Barry Bonds became baseball's all-time home run champion by hitting a fifth-inning, full-count pitch 435 feet into the seats for number 756 of his career, passing Hank Aaron. The world weighs in.
The New York Post spelled out the number 756 with hypodermic needles on their morning cover, while the back page ran the headline “Big Sh*t.” Readers tried to find meaning in Bonds’ record-breaking feat during last night’s game thread.
Several readers used the opportunity to reflect on Hank Aaron’s grace. “Aaron did the right thing tonight and took the diplomatic approach to the entire situation,” wrote one poster. “Regardless of his own personal views, Aaron gave a poignant and memorable speech that in no way trivialized or belittled the moment. It was the right thing to do and Aaron was the person who showed what dignity and class is all about. Bonds and Selig should take some notes.”
Others asked fans to separate their angst for the individual and respect the accomplishment. “Bonds is the latest in a long, long, long line of jerks who are very good at baseball. If you can't divorce your personal feelings for the guy from your respect for the record and for his achievements, you shouldn't be a baseball fan.”
Several others pointed to the hypocrisy of Bud Selig and others and identified a trace of racism. “I have no problem with fans calling Bonds a cheat and a jerk. I DO have a problem with fans who do that but never said peep about McGwire or Lenny or Sosa or Palmeiro, which is a substantial number. How many of the posters here tonight have ever posted one word about the other cheaters? I think there's an undercurrent of racism here, frankly, and it's ugly.”
Selig was not in attendance, but attended the record-tying game three days ago and phoned Bonds personally after the game. Aaron also wasn’t in attendance. Major League Baseball executive vice president Jimmie Lee Solomon and Frank Robinson represented baseball. Willie Mays, Bonds’ godfather, was at Bonds’ side.
Bonds' home run ball was caught by Queens native and Mets fan Matt Murphy, 22, who was reportedly traveling to Australia with a friend when they stopped in San Francisco and decided to go to last night's game.