Bonds, Mays receive matching trophies

Updated: April 17, 2004, 1:32 AM ET
Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO -- Barry Bonds got one more chance to celebrate this week's home run feat.

Bonds, who moved past Willie Mays into third place on the career homer list Tuesday, was honored before the San Francisco Giants' game against Los Angeles on Friday night. The Dodgers edged the Giants 3-2, though Bonds smacked a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth.

Bonds and his godfather were presented with matching trophies -- each featuring a bat used by the sluggers and inscribed with the date both men reached 660 homers.

Bonds tied Mays on Monday and passed his hero the following night, causing a weeklong celebration at SBC Park.

"I told Barry many times that it's not about Barry or myself. It's all about history and the Giants," Mays said. "I've cried many times at home wishing he could do it. I thank the Giants for keeping him on."

Bonds then walked to the podium -- and this time he didn't want to top Mays.

"I don't think I could put it any better than Willie did," Bonds said. "It's history, it's part of baseball and part of you the fans. I hope the next person that comes along and beats us ... I pray he is in a Giants uniform.

"To you San Francisco fans, I love you very much. Thank you." The next celebration for Bonds could come when he reaches 700 homers, joining Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth in that most-exclusive club.

Then comes Ruth's mark of 714 -- which Bonds could pass next season -- and Aaron's all-time record of 755 -- which might be in Bonds' sites in 2006. There's also Aaron's National League record of 733 along the way.

Nothing seems to be out of Bonds' reach these days. His milestones have been frequent of late. His 500th homer came less than three years ago.

Then there was the run to 73 in 2001, a record eight home runs in the 2002 postseason run, No. 600 last season and then this week's memorable shots.

Bonds, who will turn 40 in July, hit 213 homers in the previous four seasons. But his accomplishments have come under a cloud of possible steroid use and the indictment of his personal trainer in a steroid-distribution ring.

But the Giants fans aren't concerned with that, cheering their star slugger at every opportunity, including during the numerous video highlights played during the ceremony.

Joining the star sluggers in getting applause was a lesser-known figure, Giants fan Larry Ellison, who recovered both of Bonds' homers this week in McCovey Cove. Ellison gave No. 660 to Bonds and was honored for his generosity.

Mays didn't hit his 660th homer until he was in the twilight of his career at 42 and 3 months -- on Aug. 17, 1973. He retired after that season.

Considered by some the greatest all-around player ever, Mays was greeted by a standing ovation from the fans and even some Dodgers players who were warming up in the outfield.


Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press

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