By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Sports Writer
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Barry Bonds swung, took a half-dozen steps and
clapped his hands. With no trace of a smile but a strong shot for
all the doubters, he caught Hank Aaron and tied the career home run
record Saturday night.
No. 755 was an opposite-field drive to left-center field, moving
Bonds within one swing of having baseball's pinnacle of power all
Commissioner Bud Selig stood up and put his hands in his pockets
while Bonds' family hugged and high-fived. When Bonds crossed the
plate, he lifted his batboy son, Nikolai, and carried him several
steps in an embrace.
The Petco Park crowd stood and cheered, with some boos mixed in,
when the San Francisco slugger homered off Clay Hensley in the
second inning. Several fans held up asterisk signs.
Bonds was booed as he headed to left field at the end of the
inning. The 43-year-old star has been shadowed by suspicions of
steroid use for several years, which some fans feel has tainted his
chase for home run record.
It had been eight days since Bonds hit his 754th home run, and
he came out for early batting practice Saturday, hoping to break
his slump. He did it quickly, homering to lead off the second.
Earlier in the day, Alex Rodriguez hit his 500th home run. Like
Bonds, he took advantage of his first opportunity of the game.
Bonds' milestone shot came at 7:29 p.m. PDT and traveled an
estimated 382 feet. The ball clunked off an advertising sign on the
facade and fell into the navy blue bleachers below - right below
the main scoreboard featuring a giant photo of the smiling slugger.
A fan sitting in that area threw back a ball onto the field, but
it was unclear whether that was the souvenir ball.
After crossing the plate, teammate Ryan Klesko hugged Bonds, who
slowly walked through a greeting line of other Giants. Moments
later, he walked over to the field-level seats and kissed
8-year-old daughter Aisha and wife Liz through the screen.
Bonds then lifted his cap before going to the far end of the
dugout and hugging Sue Burns, the wife of late Giants ownership
partner Harmon Burns.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)