Posted May 28, 2006 – San Francisco slugger Barry Bonds erased all doubt Sunday of whether he would ever pass Babe Ruth by slamming a 455-foot home run over the centerfield wall before a stadium packed with screaming hometown fans.
Bonds, the second African-American baseball player to surpass Ruth’s longstanding 714-homer record, hit the power shot in the fourth inning off pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim in the Giants’ 6-3 loss to the Colorado Rockies.
While Bonds has been battered by the media and baseball fans throughout the league over allegations that his on-field feats were enhanced by steroids, Giants fans largely remained true to their hero. Thus, it was only fitting that he belted the Babe-beater at home.
"For the fans of San Francisco, it can't get any better than this even though I made them wait longer than I have in the past," said Bonds, 41. Age ain't catching up with me."
The home run was only Bonds' seventh so far this season, and only his second since the first week of May, a seemingly sluggish span for a player who for the past decade had hit a homer for every 8.3 times at bat. Some attributed the dry spell to a series of injuries that has dogged the all-star player over the past several months. Others have suggested that criticism over his alleged steroid use has distracted him from his task.
There is just one player to hit more home runs than Bonds, Henry “Hank” Aaron, who is in sole possession of the record with 755 round trips.
On Sunday, Bonds had taken six pitches before connecting on his 715th.
The ball, which had been slapped deep into the stands, careened off a fans' hands 15 rows up and rested on the roof before tumbling to the pavement below, The Associated Press reported. San Francisco resident Andrew Morbitzer, 38, nabbed the ball as he was waiting for a hot dog. Security quickly spirited him away to a post-game news conference.
Does allegations about steroids taint Bonds' record? Is he the best player in Major League history?
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