ASU Alum Barry Bonds Joins The Elite

April 17, 2001

AP Sports Writer

SAN FRANCISCO - Barry Bonds became the 17th major leaguer to hit 500home runs with a drive into San Francisco Bay on Tuesday night. After Bonds hit No. 499 on Sunday against Milwaukee, the San FranciscoGiants returned home to Pacific Bell Park to face the archrival Los AngelesDodgers.

With the Giants down 2-1, Bonds hit a two-run homer off Terry Adams in theeighth inning.

The ball splashed into McCovey Cove beyond the right-field fence. Bondsrounded the bases and jumped with both feet on home plate before embracing hisfather, former major leaguer Bobby Bonds.

The left-field fence opened up and former Giants Willie Mays and McCovey -also members of the 500 club - were whisked by a golf cart to a ceremony athome plate.

'First of all, I'd like to thank my parents for having me,' Bonds said. Mays, Bonds' godfather, hit 660 homers, third on the career list behind HankAaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714). McCovey is 11th with 521.

The crowd cheered deafeningly for every Bonds' at-bat, waved orange rallytowels passed out before the game, and chanted 'Barry! Barry!'

Those in the outfield bleachers and along the top of the right-field wallwould rise in anticipation of each Bonds' appearance. The walkway outside thewall - edging McCovey Cove - was packed with fans hoping to snag No. 500. Thecove was filled with boats, and even a man in a wetsuit floating on asurfboard.

Bonds struck out in his first at-bat. In the third inning, his shot to leftfield was grabbed by Gary Sheffield just in front of the wall. Bonds is the first player to reach 500 homers since Mark McGwire did it in1999.

The 36-year-outfielder was the eighth quickest to hit 500, reaching it in7,501 at-bats. McGwire did it the fastest, in 5,487 at-bats. Bonds, a three-time MVP, has hit 324 home runs since coming to San Franciscoas a free agent before the 1993 season. He hit 176 with Pittsburgh.

The nine-time All Star had started this season 0-for-21 before homering infour straight games. He homered in four straight games once before, last June3-6.

Bonds hit No. 499 in the fourth inning Sunday off David Weathers in theBrewers' brand-new Miller Park. Bonds has hit homers in 24 major leagueballparks.

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