Barry Bonds hit home run number 756 on this day 10 years ago. In the fifth inning of the Giants game against the Washington Nationals on Aug. 7, 2007, Bonds smashed his record-breaking home run off left-hander Mike Bacsikwhich. The blast soared an estimated 435 feet into the small quadrangle of seats in right-center field at AT&T Park.
8/7/07: Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s all-time record with home run No. 756 off Mike Bacsik in the fifth inning Check out http://m.mlb.com/video for our full archive of videos, and subscribe on YouTube for the best, exclusive MLB content: http://youtube.com/MLB About MLB.com: Commissioner Allan H.
It came seven seasons after he shattered the single-season home run record of 70 set by Mark McGwire in 1998 by smashing 73 dingers in 476 official plate appearances.
By the time Bonds broke Hank Aarons long-standing homer record of 755, public sentiment and the beginning of an all-out MLB, media and government assault on the credibility of suspected PED cheats had already tarnished Bonds accomplishments. He was one of the central figures in what would become the sports scandal of the century.
The hate for Bonds was at its apex at this time. He was never going to get the props he deserved in that climate.
It was still a shock to the fans that their heroes possibly used performance enhancements and folks didn’t understand how prevalent it was and how baseball itself encouraged such behavior and was aware of the problem. Everyone turned on baseballs brightest stars; Sammy Sosa, Roger Clemens, Mark McGwire and of course its greatest player – Bonds. They went from kings to lepers in short order.
A decade later, opinions have shifted about the PED Era. People are more accepting of that fact that the entire baseball community was complicit in the scandal and the MLB brand benefited tremendously from the spike in offensive production. Pitchers juiced too and some prolific pitching stats were posted during this era.
When Bonds broke the record, his accomplishment was celebrated, but also shunned and attacked by certain fans and media who decided to discredit his entire career, focusing on whether or not he juiced, instead of the magnificence of his accomplishments and the superior talent he displayed while crushing records and climbing towards Aarons ultimate baseball statistic.
The Giants will mark the occasion during Monday nights game against the Cubs at AT&T Park. They plan to acknowledge the anniversary with Bonds in the park, shown on the big video board.
Bonds spoke to The Chronicle on Saturday, and says he found it hard to grasp that a decade has passed since he broke Aarons record, hit his 762nd and final homer at Colorado and coped with the unwanted end to his big-league career in the final days of the 2007 season.”
Asked what the record means to him now, Bonds said, “It means San Francisco to me. Unfortunately, I wish I did the last one at home.”
Some folks, including ex-commissioner Bud Selig, a great friend of Hank Aaron, wish Bonds didnt hit the record-breaking homer at all. The 2017 HOF inductee’s aggressive posture towards his superstars-turned-outcasts helped fuel a lynch-mob mentality in the press, social media and baseball community.
Roger Clemens testifies to House Oversight Committee, February 13, 2008
Bonds has come a long way since he was one of the most hated men in sports. Hes returned to baseball and has served as a hitting instructor and mended relationships with fans and media to an extent .
He was exonerated of federal charges and despite the Hall of Fame snub, hes considered the premier hitter of his generation. Hes actually gaining support for his Cooperstown induction and he has the respect of young players.
Slowly but surely, Barry Bonds is gaining his credibility back.
Still, his relationship with baseball will always be bittersweet.