Bonds Target Date for Tying Aaron’s Career Home Run Record Predicted for June 16th against the Red Sox
By Carol-Ann Rudy
A neophyte may ask, “What’s all the fuss?” But it doesn’t take much explanation to understand the batting record set by Hank Aaron is the penultimate record in baseball history–and it’s within sight of being broken by the San Francisco Giant’s left fielder Barry Bonds.
This past Saturday night, April 28, Bonds hit homerun number 742 for the Giants against the Arizona Diamondbacks, just 13 shy of Aaron’s Major League career home run record of 755. Bonds has already tied Aaron’s record for the National League career record of 733. Saturday night was his eighth home run of the season….
A tentative prediction based on the number of games and home runs thus far suggests that he will match Aaron’s record on Saturday, June 16th, against the Boston Red Sox in the game beginning at 3:55 p.m. This estimate does not take into account the pitching prowess of the teams the Giants will be playing over the course of the next six weeks or other variables.
In 2006, Bonds held the National League title for On Base Percentage with a .454. He had a .545 Slugging Percentage. He led the NL in the walks record at 115. He holds the record for the most home runs in a single season: 73 home runs in 2001. He has won seven Most Valuable Player awards. San Francisco Giants team owner Peter Magowan and Coach Bruce Bochy express high hopes for a 100-plus-game season for Bonds this year and are excited about the prospect of their star player beating Aaron’s record.
Give the man his due: he sure can hit the ball. Steroid controversy or not.
Although he has not been charged with a crime, the suspicion of steroid and possible amphetamine use is casting a shadow on what should be the shining accomplishment of his career. He has managed to stay in the public spotlight, in spite of other MLB athletes being implicated in the BALCO affair as well: Jason Giambi, Jeremy Giambi, Bobby Estalella, Armando Rios, Gary Sheffield, and Benito Santiago. The scandal included athletes engaged in other sports as well.
He turns 43 this July. In his 2005 season, he played only 14 games, battling injuries. In the 2006 season, he led all active players in statistics, in spite of an injured elbow and an injured knee. This season, so far, he seems to have come back strong. Let’s hope the public will focus on his tremendous strengths.