Now that he has hit his 660th homer, Barry Bonds can focus on just playing baseball.
Stuck on 659 homers for five games, Bonds finally tied his godfather Willie Mays for third place on the all-time list, belting a three-run shot into McCovey Cove off Matt Kinney in the fifth inning of Monday’s 7-5 win.
“It was like a weight was just lifted off my shoulders,” Bonds said. “I felt a sense of accomplishment in baseball. It’s a relief now to be able to stand next to my godfather and finally feel like I’ve accomplished something in the game of baseball. It was a big way of getting his approval that I’ve finally done something.”
A pretty remarkable statement from a six-time MVP, who holds the single-season home run record with 73.
Mays, who turns 73 next month, hurried to congratulate Bonds, giving his godson a hug and a kiss outside the dugout. Mays presented him with a torch decorated with 25 tiny diamonds, symbolic of the number Bonds wears. They both carried the torch before the 2002 Olympics.
“I think this is probably the icing on the cake,” Bonds said. “I really wish my dad could have been here to be part of it. … I just really can’t believe it, being 4 years old when my dad came up into the major leagues and having an idol like Willie Mays take me under his wing, and now being up in front of all of you people answering questions what it’s like to tie the man you respected and honored your entire life.”
Bonds has repeatedly said he’d like to pass Mays at home. The Giants began a 10-game homestand Monday.
“Maybe I’m just too stupid to walk him every time,” Brewers manager Ned Yost said. “I’d venture to say there’s not another player on this planet better than Barry Bonds.”
“For most of us, he’s the best player we’ve ever seen,” Counsell said. “You are always amazed at him. It’s fun to watch him when he’s that good. You don’t like it because he beats you, but there’s no question there’s an appreciation.”
The Brewers have dropped two straight.