When Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruthâ€™s all-time homerun mark, there were some who certainly begrudged him that accomplishment. He was threatened because he was Black. Racism will always exist, unfortunately, but the vast majority saw and knew that Aaron was simply an amazing athlete who broke that homerun record fair and square.
Ruth had 714. Aaron still holds the record at 755. Right now, Bonds is at 749, six away from tying Aaron.
In my lifetime, itâ€™s hard to remember this much controversy over the breaking of a record. True, Roger Maris was threatened as he closed in on the Babeâ€™s single season total of 60 four-baggers. It took him more games and so purists basically refused to give him the record with an asterisk, since the MLB season had been lengthened due to expansion.
Eventually that issue died out (after about 20 years). That record has since been broken, again with controversy, due to the use of various performance enhancing substances.
Now we have Bonds. The question isâ€”What type of record is this? Or better yet, what has Bonds done to the record and baseball? Itâ€™s hard to respect a record when it was achieved in a manner that negates fairness. Iâ€™d rather heâ€™d done it with a aluminum bat than the help of steroids. (I would not like it but I would have rather it happened that way.) That is, of course, if aluminum were allowed in the majors. It is not.
Maybe thatâ€™s a good way to think of this whole thing. The use of steroids by Bonds was sort of like secretly going to the plate with an aluminum bat (both give a hitter more pop). If heâ€™d done that, he need the biggest asterisk you could find.
Well, itâ€™s sad to think that Hammerinâ€™ Hankâ€™s record is about to be broken. It would not be disturbing if the guy had done it fairly and with class.
To me 755 will still be the mark, even when Bonds hits number 756.