Bonds achievement deserves praise, even with asterisk

Published 12:21 am Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The number 755 might not mean anything to the average person but to a baseball fan it’s the holy grail of records.

Seven hundred fifty-five is the number of home runs Hank Aaron hit on his way to become the all time home run leader.

Barry Bonds will more than likely break that record in the near future.

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The hype even gets to non-baseball fans like Millie Young who will be in attendance for the Marlins vs. Giants game on Saturday in San Francisco.

“I don’t really care about baseball except when my son (Barrett) is playing,” Young said. “Barrett and my husband (John) have drilled it in my head I could witness history being made.”

Vidalia High School baseball coach, Johnny Hoffpauir isn’t so excited.

“The record will be tainted,” Hoffpauir said. “There is no way I’ll recognize it. It may be hard to find a lot of Bonds fans out side of San Francisco.”

Steroids or not, Bonds is one of the most recognizable figures in baseball. He has always been a phenomenal athlete.

He earned most valuable player honors seven times, holds the single season home run record of 73 and intimidates pitchers at every up to bat being walked over 3,000 times in his 21 year career.

I have grown up watching baseball and idolizing my favorite players like Chipper Jones, Greg Maddux and Cal Ripken Jr.

I remember the baseball strike and watching Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire knock home run after home run to break Babe Ruth’s record.

Some say Sosa and McGwire saved baseball.

Watching Bonds break the all-time home run record is just the same. It’s exciting and worth praise even if there is an asterisk next to it.

Like Aaron’s, Bonds’ record won’t last forever and baseball fans will praise a new home run king.

Matt Burrowes is a sports reporter for The Natchez Democrat. He can be reached at 601-445-3633 or by e-mail at