Tuesday, August 07, 2007

BECAUSE BASEBALL IS MY FIRST LOVE


Disclaimer: Not No. 756.

I am not one of those who believes that Barry Bonds did what he did honestly, or that he is in any way fit to take the crown from Hank Aaron. The second of those two sentiments, about the man who will always to me be "The Home Run King" (even if the record is later broken cleanly), has only grown stronger since I moved to Atlanta.

But the chase is over. Barry Bonds has hit more home runs than any other man in the history of professional baseball. Through fair means or foul, that is an accomplishment.

And as he paid homage to the fans, his opponent and -- on the verge of tears -- his father, Barry Bonds took on a dimension I had rarely seen before, a quality I had never noticed.

He seemed human. Not larger than life. Not a villain. Not a hero. Just a man.

And it touched me. Not the same way it would have had Ken Griffey Jr. been the one to break the record, or if Alex Rodriguez breaks it in the future. But it touched me.

I guess, in some way, that's worth something.

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