While I'm not a big baseball fan, I've been following Barry Bonds's chase of the home run record with great interest. As luck would have it, I dropped off some friends at the airport this evening and as I started the drive home I turned on the radio to see what was happening. And what do you know: Bonds was up next for his third at-bat after having hit a double and a single in his first two at-bats! The crowd was electric, chanting "Barry! Barry!" Once Bonds got in, the count quickly reached three and two. And then Bonds got a fastball. And he launched it 435 feet for his record breaking 756th home run...! The crowd went absolutely crazy! All very exciting!
What followed was a lesson in taking the high road. With the steroid controversy engulfing Bonds, Hank Aaron had previously refused to attend Barry's record breaking run. But when Barry came out on the field with Willie Mays, Aaron appeared on the big stadium screen and very graciously congratulated Barry on his singular achievement:
It is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity and determination. Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement. My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams.
Now that's classy. Quite unlike Bud Selig's classless performance in San Diego when Bonds hit 755.