Barry Bonds

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Barry Bonds : biography

July 24, 1964 –

On May 20, Bonds tied Ruth, hitting his 714th career home run to deep right field to lead off the top of the 2nd inning. The home run came off left-handed pitcher Brad Halsey of the Oakland A’s, in an interleague game played in Oakland, California. Since this was an interleague game at an American League stadium, Bonds was batting as the designated hitter in the lineup for the Giants. Bonds was quoted after the game as being "glad it’s over with" and stated that more attention could be focused on Albert Pujols, who was on a very rapid home run pace in early 2006.

On May 28, Bonds passed Ruth, hitting his 715th career home run to center field off Colorado Rockies pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim. The ball was hit an estimated 445 feet (140 m) into center field where it went through the hands of several fans but then fell onto an elevated platform in center field. Then it rolled off the platform where Andrew Morbitzer, a 38-year-old San Francisco resident, caught the ball while he was in line at a concession stand. Mysteriously, radio broadcaster Dave Flemming’s radio play-by-play of the home run went silent just as the ball was hit, apparently from a microphone failure. But the televised version, called by Giants broadcaster Duane Kuiper, was not affected.

On September 22, Bonds tied Henry Aaron’s National League career home run record of 733. The home run came in the top of the 6th inning of a high-scoring game against the Milwaukee Brewers, at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The achievement was notable for its occurrence in the very city where Aaron began (with the Milwaukee Braves) and concluded (with the Brewers, then in the American League) his career. With the Giants trailing 10–8, Bonds hit a blast to deep center field on a 2–0 pitch off the Brewers’ Chris Spurling with runners on first and second and one out. Though the Giants were at the time clinging to only a slim chance of making the playoffs, Bonds’ home run provided the additional drama of giving the Giants an 11–10 lead late in a critical game in the final days of a pennant race. The Brewers eventually won the game, 13–12, despite Bonds’ going 3 for 5, with 2 doubles, the record-tying home run, and 6 runs batted in.

On September 23, Bonds surpassed Aaron for the NL career home run record. Hit in Milwaukee like the previous one, this was a solo home run off Chris Capuano of the Brewers. This was the last home run Bonds hit in 2006. In 2006, Bonds recorded his lowest slugging percentage (a statistic that he has historically ranked among league leaders season after season) since 1991 with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

In January 2007, the New York Daily News reported that Bonds had tested positive for amphetamines. Under baseball’s amphetamine policy, which had been in effect for one season, players testing positive were to submit to six additional tests and undergo treatment and counseling. The policy also stated that players were not to be identified for a first positive test, but the New York Daily News leaked the test’s results. When the Players Association informed Bonds of the test results, he initially attributed it to a substance he had taken from the locker of Giants teammate Mark Sweeney, but would later retract this claim and publicly apologize to Sweeney.

2007 season

On January 29, 2007, the Giants finalized a contract with Bonds for the 2007 season. After the commissioner’s office rejected Bonds’ one-year, $15.8 million deal because it contained a personal-appearance provision, the team sent revised documents to his agent, Jeff Borris, who stated that "At this time, Barry is not signing the new documents." Bonds signed a revised one-year, $15.8 million contract on February 15 and reported to the Giants’ Spring Training camp on time.

Bonds resumed his march to the all-time record early in the 2007 season. After an opening game in which all he had was a first-inning single past third base against a right-shifted infield (immediately followed by a stolen base and then a base-running misjudgment that got him thrown out at home) and a deep out to left field late in the game, Bonds returned the next day, April 4, with another mission. In his first at-bat of the season’s second game at the Giants’ AT&T Park, Bonds hit a Chris Young (of the San Diego Padres) pitch just over the wall to the left of straightaway center field for career home run 735. This home run put Bonds past the midway point between Ruth and Aaron.