- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 6, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO Barry Bonds wasted no time.

He claimed home run history for himself last night by hitting No. 71, ending Mark McGwire's reign just one night after he caught him for a share of baseball's most glamorous record.

Then, in the third inning, he hit his 72nd.

Bonds homered to right-center field at Pacific Bell Park in the first inning on a tailing fastball from Los Angeles' Chan Ho Park.

The San Francisco star connected on a 1-0 pitch to break the record McGwire set in 1998. It came on his first swing since hitting No.70 in Houston's Enron Field off rookie Wilfredo Rodriguez. Both homers went in the same direction.

After hitting his 442-foot shot, Bonds trotted around the bases and was mobbed by his teammates at the plate. He slipped into the dugout for a short time, before returning to the field.

As a "71" flashed on the scoreboard and fireworks went off in the outfield, Bonds hugged his wife, Liz and daughter Aisha, as well as his mother, Pat.

In a neat twist, Bonds homered at the same moment McGwire was approaching the plate at Busch Stadium at St. Louis. Unlike Big Mac's record, Roger Maris' record of 61 had stood for 37 years.

And now Bonds has rewritten the record book only three years later and he still has two games to go against the Dodgers.

After McGwire made an out against Houston, the Busch scoreboard briefly flashed that Bonds had hit No.71. But it had happened so fast that most fans didn't even notice.

When the popular McGwire hit his record-breaking 62nd homer in 1998, he got high-fives, hugs and handshakes all around the bases from the opposing Chicago Cubs.

In a sharp contrast, Bonds never the most likable player among fans, opponents and even some of his teammates wasn't embraced by any of the Dodgers on his trip around the bases.

Earlier this season, the rival Dodgers were infuriated when the Giants stopped the game at Pac Bell after Bonds hit his 500th home run against them.

This was Bonds' sixth career home run in 38 at-bats against Park, who was pitching with a 5-0 lead and decided to go right after him unlike the walkathon in Houston.

Two giant banners were hoisted on either side of the video scoreboard reading "Bonds" and "71." But the on-field celebrating was short, lasting just about five minutes.

Jerry Rose, 49, caught the ball on the fly. He is a season-ticket holder from Knight's Landing, Calif. No word on what he will do with the prize souvenir.

Earlier yesterday, McGwire said he was rooting for Bonds to break the record.

"It's a crazy number and we all thought it was crazy at the end of '98," McGwire said. "But now we're looking at it like it's not crazy. That's just the way the game's gone, there's so much offense."

Bonds, 37, was destined for baseball greatness from the day he was born.

He grew up in the company of giants, being raised in major league clubhouses by his father, former All-Star outfielder Bobby Bonds, and spending time on the diamond with his godfather, Hall of Famer Willie Mays.

Even before these last two days, Bonds' season had been phenomenal.

Bonds became the 17th member of the exclusive 500-homer club on April 17 against the Dodgers.

On Sept. 9, Bonds hit No. 61, 62 and 63 at Coors Field in Colorado, surpassing Maris' mark and giving him the most homers in a single season by a left-hander.

Since then, he has moved into seventh place on the all-time list with 565 home runs, two more than distant relative Reggie Jackson. Harmon Killebrew is in sixth place with 573.

The enigmatic slugger was playing on only about four hours of sleep. After swatting No.70 on Thursday night, Bonds arrived in San Francisco early yesterday morning, then attended the burial of close friend and former bodyguard Franklin Bradley.

Earlier this year, he lost an uncle and a cousin

"You have to move on," he said before the game. "That's what they would want. That's what you have to do."

Bonds also has drawn 175 walks, breaking McGwire's NL record of 162 and Babe Ruth's major league mark of 170.

Bonds is a 10-time All-Star who could he headed to his record fourth MVP award. But he had never hit more than 49 home runs in a season, accomplished last year.

Choking up on his 34-inch, black maple bat, Bonds blossomed this season into baseball's single season home run king.

Bonds was meant to be a Giant, just like his dad and the Say Hey Kid. Originally drafted by San Francisco in June 1982, he decided not to sign and instead starred at Arizona State.

Pittsburgh picked him sixth overall in the 1985 draft and he zoomed to the majors the next year, making it as thin, fleet leadoff hitter.

Bonds became a free agent after the 1992 season and chose to join the Giants, and eventually bulked up to become the game's most feared slugger.

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