Have you ever heard of these magical things called "dingers"? Well, once upon a time, the Giants had a player who hit these "dingers" more than anyone else in the history of baseball. His name was Barry Bonds, and there were 35 dingers that he hit so hard, they went over the wall of PacBell/SBC/AT&T/MCI/Vonage Park, and into San Francisco Bay, which is dozens of feet past the edge of the ballpark.
Now, it turns out that there is video on the Internet of every one of these dingers. So, as a good Internet writer, it's my job to put all of these dingers into an article, counting down from the least best splash hit to the most best splash hit.
All the splash hits are the best, is what I'm saying. But some are more bester than others. Let's start with those others.
35. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #12: Against Nelson Figueroa, 8/4/01
Is this ranking colored by the announcers? Probably. They're just so blase about it, and I can't see where it landed, and it was the Giants' only offense in a 12-2 loss, so it wasn't even an important homer. It was just a thing that happened.
It was also amazing, of course. I mean, Jesus. That ball was crushed.
34. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #5: Against Brian Meadows, 7/19/00
It tied the game in the fourth. That's good! But it didn't really go far, so it was as routine as a man hitting a baseball into a body of water 400 feet away can be. Plus, it was against the Padres. Do you care about the Padres? No. No you don't.
33. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #18: Against Vic Darensbourg, 5/18/02
I feel like I should be giving more credit to this one, since it was both off a lefty and his second splash hit of the day. And yet hitting balls against lefties is such an ordinary thing to be good at, when Barry was extraordinary in so many ways that it almost doesn't register. Yes, of course, Barry Bonds beat that lefty, for that lefty was a baseball player who threw baseballs towards the plate when Barry Bonds was also standing near the plate. Why did he do that? What a poor decision.
As for the second of the day thing, well, maybe Barry should get more credit for that, but this one's just not speaking to me. I dunno. I'm not perfect. I am, after all, the guy who said Logan Forsythe was only a 6.5 on the Padre name scale, when he's clearly a 9.5. I never should have had any credibility in the first place.
32. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #11: Against Pat Rapp, 6/12/01
Line drive homers aren't really my favorite, mostly because there's not much majesty to them. Barry crushed this ball, but my first thought isn't "THREE LETTERS THAT SERVE AS SHORTHAND FOR AMAZEMENT" but rather "Is it high enough? Is it fair?" And keep in mind, this is after I specifically clicked on this video because I knew it would be a home run that would go into the water.
The moral of the story is, I'm not very bright.
31. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #23: Against Matt Clement, 4/30/03
It takes a while to see the view from the Splash Cam in this one, which got me thinking: Remember the original sponsor? Gobosh? It used to be called the Gobosh Splash Cam . What do you think Gobosh did? I have no idea. Literally none. If I had to guess, I'd say . . . grocery delivery. They were like Webvan, but worse. Total guess. Certainly wrong.
30. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #30: Against Chris Carpenter, 7/30/04
At this point in his career, Chris Carpenter was a very good pitcher who was a year away from winning the Cy Young. He faced off against Barry Bonds, who was a fire-breathing minotaur from Krypton. Barry Bonds won.
29. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #31: Against Cory Lidle
Hey, it's the Noah Lowry game! I was there, you know, when Noah Lowry pitched a shutout against the Reds and had two hits. It was a fun game. Now Lowry is living in Santa Rosa, and he's a big part of the Junior Giants program there. Way to go, Noah!
28. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #2: Against Andy Benes, 5/10/00
I have no idea where this one landed. I can barely even see it go out in the video, which gives me a pretty good idea that he hit it hard. It tied a game against the Cardinals, though! They had the lead, and then Andy Benes threw a pitch to Barry Bonds, and then they didn't have the lead. That's good!
27. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #19: Against Brian Anderson, 9/8/02
He's not even balanced. Look at that swing; his timing was off by a fraction of a second, which is a lot in baseball terms, and he still hit the ball into the large body of water hundreds of feet away. This is just . . . how is that a thing that is even humanly possible. Like, you could shoot Adam Dunn up with every steroid known to man, and he still couldn't do that. Mostly because that would wreak havoc on his immune system, but you get my point.
26. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #10: Against Robert Ellis, 5/30/01
It went far. It went so, so far. Did we take Barry Bonds for granted when he was doing this? I don't remember. We probably did though, if only because "taking him for granted" in this context means "not building altars on which we burn effigies of Tommy Lasorda and Steve Garvey"
In conclusion, this home run was delightful.
25. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #9: Against John Thomson, 5/24/01
Man, that thing fans did for a while where they threw a fake ball into the cove was really annoying. Since the camera barely caught the splash of the actual ball landing in the water, it made this one look like it bounced in. What a bunch of jerks, trying to trick kayakers into grabbing a not-hit-by-Bonds home run ball. And those fake balls cost money too! No one wins when people do that. I just don't get it.
24. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #16: Against Kevin Millwood, 5/13/02
A year later, Kevin Millwood would get his revenge by no-hitting the Giants, but no matter. This is a fun home run. All of Barry's home runs are fun! He hit balls hard. This one just isn't all that special, which is amazing, because look at it.
Also, the Giants won this game on a SHRIMP before there was such a thing as a SHRIMP ALERT. We didn't know what we were missing, people.
23. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #34: Against Ryan Franklin, 4/18/07
Did it go that far? No, not really. But it did tie the game against the Cardinals in the 8th inning in a game that the Giants would go on to win in the 12th, and that is something to cherish. Thank you, Barry. You have enriched us all.
22. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #14: Against John Thomson, 8/31/01
Oh, hey John Thomson. Good to see you again. I had totally forgotten about you until I wrote this article, and when I'm done, I'll probably forget about you again. But did you see how far that ball went? It went really far! Barry Bonds was good at hitting home runs.
Originally, that sentence had a typo saying "Barry Bonds was god at hitting home runs" and I changed it, and I don't think I made the right call there.
21. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #25: Against Jose Mesa, 8/8/03
At the time, we could have been forgiven for not enjoying this one to the extent we should have. Jose Mesa, of course, hates Omar Vizquel. Hates him. And he threw at Vizquel every chance he gets. Does this mark Mesa as a bad person whose failures should be cherished like an 8-year-old's presents on Christmas morning? Yes, absolutely it does. And look at how Barry Bonds made Jose Mesa fail here! It's a wondrous thing.
20. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #20: Against Jeriome Robertson, 9/28/02
This was the winning run on the day the Giants clinched the wild card in 2002! Now, this happened in the fifth inning and the team did go on to score two more runs, so it wasn't THE GAME CHANGING MOMENT, but it was really cool. The homer itself was a rocket that shot out into the bay, which is delightful! Lookit that homer go! Go homer, go!
19. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #33: Against Livan Hernandez, 8/21/06
Should I still be angry at Livan? Probably not; he was just a pitcher who wasn't very good who was given the most important start of the year when a better option was available. Of course he failed in 2002. He never should have been in that position in the first place, and Dusty's inability to manage a pitching staff was what really doomed that team. Plus, the Giants have won a bunch of World Series since then! Maybe it's time to let go of some of that bitterness.
On the other hand, daaaaaannnggggggggg is it fun to watch Barry Bonds hit a home run off of Livan Hernandez.
18. Barry Bonds Splash Hit #17: Against Brad Penny, 5/18/02
Look at the velocity it has after it leaves the stadium. You can see the ball in the shot behind the water cannons, and you think "Well that one will just barely get into the bay," but no! You're incredibly wrong! It's a good 40 or 50 feet out there, because Barry hit the ball so hard that he broke common sense. He was pretty good at that.
This is the end of Part 1. Tune in Thursday, probably, for the epic conclusion. I don't want to give any spoilers, but Barry Bonds hits a lot of baseballs very far.