Barry Bonds' chase for Hank Aaron's record may be tainted, but it was certainly memorable. As he drew nearer, each game was nationally televised as people tuned in to watch Bonds hit No. 756.
It finally happened on Aug. 7, 2007, in a game between the San Francisco Giants and the then-lowly Washington Nationals. With pitcher Mike Bacsik on the mound, Bonds crushed a pitch to center field.
Bonds had spent the entire summer inching closer to the record, and he immediately threw up his arms in celebration. The crowd, always favorable to him in San Francisco, cheered him as he went around the bases.
The homer officially put Bonds as the all-time home run leader, even as fans and media across the country cast immediate doubt given Bonds' use of performance-enhancing drugs. A good portion of the country did not want Bonds to break the record, assuming, correctly, that it would be tainted forever. Famously, MLB Commissioner Bud Selig wasn't even watching the game, he was too busy preparing to testify in Congress over the Mitchell Report.
Despite hitting for a ridiculous 169 OPS+ at 43 years old, Bonds was not signed after his contract expired. Although he likely could've kept playing until he was 50, no team wanted to have the ignominy of signing Bonds and falling under a cloud of PED suspicion. Thus, the home run record stands at 762, not at 800 or 850 as many would've expected at the time.
In many ways, Bonds' famous home run signals the end of the "Steroid Era", as the Mitchell Report and the BALCO revelations would begin a series of investigations and scandals. However, it was great television at the time, and remains a moment that fans will remember.
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Tristan Jung is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Tristan Jung also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username tristan1117. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.