Barry Bonds hits career homer No. 750…
Bonds hit No. 750 on Friday night to lead off the eighth inning against the Diamondbacks at AT&T Park, placing him five away from tying Hank Aaron’s magic 755 and six away from passing him for the lead on Major League Baseball’s all-time list.
…but after after a fan walks up to him at his left field position…
The blast off Arizona right-hander Livan Hernandez came only an inning after a male fan, identified by San Francisco police as Andrew B. Clapp, 24, and a tourist from Fargo, N.D., trotted out to left field and appeared to chat with Bonds while he was trying to play his position. Bonds casually put his arm on the fan’s shoulder and walked him off the field toward the left-field foul line where they were met by security. Bonds never seemed in danger and no security ventured into fair territory during the incident.
“He just wanted to shake my hand,” Bonds told MLB.com in the hallway outside the clubhouse after the Giants dropped a 4-3, 10-inning decision. “I told him to come with me so he didn’t get into any more trouble.”
When asked if he had felt threatened at any time during the episode, Bonds said, “No.”
The incident occurred with Giants starter Matt Morris nursing a one-ball count on D-backs second baseman Orlando Hudson. There was one out and a runner on first in the top of the seventh when the fan hopped over the low fence by the Giants bullpen down the left-field line and walked unencumbered over to Bonds.
…which unnerved some of his teammates.
Several of the Giants said they were a bit shaken by the incident that occurred during their third loss in a row and 14th in their last 19 games.
“When guys go out there, you never know what their intentions are,” said center fielder Dave Roberts, who dropped a fly ball later in the inning, allowing two unearned runs to score on the error. “I’m just happy Barry’s safe.”
“It’s pretty scary,” pitcher Barry Zito said. “You never know with these kinds of things. I didn’t see it. I was up here [in the clubhouse] when it happened. But I heard Barry really kept his cool and handled it very well.”
Yes, he did.
Besides the HR milestone, if Barry plays another year (and I fully expect him to do so, according to interview comments he’s made this season) he now is only 102 hits away from 3,000. Passing that mark would allow Bonds to join Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Rafael Palmeiro in a very exclusive club: players with 500 HRs and 3000 hits.