Sunday, May 28, 2006

A Giant Day: #715

I really wished the Giants would have won today. That would have made the day even more special.

As it is, Libby and I were among the 43,000 fans basking in the sunny glory of seeing Barry Bonds career home-run #715, moving him past the immortal Babe Ruth to become the most prolific left-handed homer hitter in Major League baseball history.

When Barry took Byung Hyun Kim's 3-2 pitch and rocketed it over the center field wall, some 440 feet away from home plate, the crowd (hey, we were *already* on our feet) erupted in a cacophony of noise that no doubt left many a Giants' fan hoarse with happiness.

There's a good chance some of the throng at the SF Phone Booth were not dyed in the wool Barry fans, but I hope at that moment of impact between bat, ball and history, Barry converted a few more baseball fans. The Giants organization knew how to celebrate, too. No on-field interruptions save for a couple of sustained curtain calls.

But as Barry trotted around the bases (that's him heading for 3rd in the #715 trot in one of the shots here) two huge banners unfurled on either side of the scoreboard in center field. One celebrating Barry---the other one of Hank Aaron, still towering over every power hitter in the history of the game at 755. (Though as provincial as this may sound, I'm in the camp that believes Willie Mays easily lost more than 100 home-runs to his two years of military service when he was with the NY Giants, and the fierce and unforgiving Candlestick winds during his San Francisco tenure.)

As a baseball fan my whole life--- my Dad taught me to read sitting in his lap looking at baseball boxscores when I was a toddler--- I've been fortunate enough to see so many power-hitting Hall-of-Famers, those who played for the Giants and cross-bay A's and those who played against them. Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, Reggie Jackson, Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Mike Schmidt, Frank Robinson (!), and others. Despite the allegations, Bonds has passed them all, no asterisk needed.

It takes a heck of a lot more talent than clear and cream to tattoo a baseball like Barry has for the last 20 years. Once again, I feel fortunate to have witnessed Barry's historic blast.

But I *really* wish the Giants would have won the game...

Peace 'n' Home Runs!

(...and I'll be out there tomorrow night rooting on the A's against the Royals, while hoping the Giants hook the Marlins in Florida.)
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