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
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
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.