Well, he did it. Last night in the bottom of the 5th inning against the Washington Nationals, Barry Bonds hit home run number 756. He is now Major League Baseball’s Home Run King. It truly was exciting to watch. After the ball left the bat, Bonds’ fists went up in the air as did most of the crowds’. He rounded the bases with a huge smile on his face, and his 17-year old son flew out of the Giant’s dugout to meet him at home plate. Bonds’ mother, wife, two daughters, and godfather Willie Mays were also there to celebrate the event. MLB Commissioner, Bud Selig, sent his representatives and a message of congratulations. And in a surprising and touching moment, a recorded video of Hank Aaron offering his own congratulations played on the big screen during the 10-minute ceremony after the big hit.
Watching all the celebration and excitement last night, I did momentarily feel happy for Bonds. There is no question that he is an amazing baseball player and has accomplished many great feats in his 22 season career. Many have said he is the best of all time. We may never know for sure if he is telling the truth about never knowingly using steroids. What is apparent is that what should have been one of the grandest celebrations in baseball history was clouded by lingering accusations and doubts.
My hope is that this awkward situation causes the MLB and all major sports organizations to become more determined than ever to keep steroid abuse out of professional sports. They should never tire in the fight to keep the game and the athletes pure. Bring the truth to light and let the punishments for breaking the rules be swift and sure. Then our celebrations can truly be celebrations.