As with Pete Rose, and his record for most career hits in the memories of the major leagues with 4256 hits, with Barry Bonds there is the belief, of course unfounded until now, that his record of most career home runs in the major leagues with 762 homers, will remain for some considerable time, installed in the lifetime records of the big top.
The left-handed slugger with his 762 home runs, in what is perhaps the most admired category, began to walk after the feature-length mark, in 1986 when he was a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and culminated in 2007 with the uniform of the Giants of San Francisco.
Who is closest to him is the legendary Henry Aaron with 755 homers, meanwhile among the active the first is the Dominican Albert Pujols with 693 homers, until the time of writing this column.
However, we must clarify that in the immediate term there is no batter who is emerging as a weight contender. At that very moment, behind Pujols on the list are the Venezuelan Miguel Cabrera with 506 home runs, and the Dominican Nelson Cruz with 459. And both one step away from the age of 40 and their farewell to the big top.
Thus, the active hitter with the best prospect of at least approaching Bonds is Giancarlo Stanton, of the New York Yankees, with 371 complete circuit hits and 32 years of age.
Bonds reached the first home run in the major leagues on June 4, 1986. The 22-year-old had already accumulated twenty-four at-bats and thirty challenges without going over the fences, when he arrived in Atlanta to play with the Braves.
Manager Jim Leyland put the recruit as a leadoff hitter and center fielder keeper. In the first stretch, he was struck out with the third strike called by Braves starter Joe Johnson.
In the second inning he singled in the middle of a four-run rally, and in the fourth he hit another as Pittsburgh added six more runs. Then in the fifth period, with the bases clean and two out, the ball disappeared for the first time in front of Craig McMurtry. Pittsburgh won 12-3 and Bonds drove in 4 of the runs.
And when he dispatched home run 762 by way of farewell? On September 5, 2007 in Denver against the Colorado Rockies. He was also the 28th of the campaign against a shipment from the Dominican Ubaldo Jiménez, in the first inning as the first batter of the game. Bonds would appear in eight more games in the remainder of the campaign.
It took another nineteen turns. Probably without knowing it, he said goodbye forever to major league baseball, manager Bruce Bochy and his Giants teammates.