Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Record

For the first few seconds I felt like Mike Bacsik. Then I realized the magnitude of the moment. I stood up and clapped.

It was like a photo, but in real time, as Barry Bonds stretched his hands over his head in triumph. Mike Bacsik put his hand on his waist with his head held low. At that moment, the two men were forever linked by history. Their career paths had been very different and their lives will diverge from here, but for that moment the epitome of sport was on display. The elation of the victor and the anguish of the vanquished.

At home plate, Bonds' son hugged him, but this time it was for dad. Bonds raised his hands in appreciation of his father. I ran upstairs and saw my mom. I stared at her for a second. "He hit it." We both raced downstairs. Somewhere in DC, my brother rushed into a bar the pitch before.

Bonds' family joined him on the field as the San Francisco crowd cheered wildly. His godfather, the great Willie Mays, hugged the new homerun champion. Hank Aaron congratulated Bonds via the giant scoreboard. My brother called me and I told him I'd call him back. Bonds thanked the usual suspects as well as the Nats, which made me happy.

When it was over, I called my brother back. Then I phoned my friend Mike. We had a long talk about what had happened. "You can't argue with numbers," he told me. He's right. Barry Bonds has hit the most career homeruns in Major League Baseball history. 756.

Congratulations Barry.

In the 8th inning, Mike Bacsik was being interviewed on the local Washington television station. The interview was interrupted when the Nats tied the game, 6-6. "No loss!" Bacsik screamed in delight. The Nats won 8-6.

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