It’s Barry Bonds’ birthday, so let’s take a moment to a) wish him a happy birthday, and b) watch him hit a whole bunch of dingers into McCovey Cove.
Be careful. That video was made by a fan, and it might make you like baseball more. You might share it with someone who isn’t a huge baseball fan, and it might make them like baseball more. You can understand how that would make Major League Baseball nervous, so it’s likely to be pulled from YouTube soon.
This video is a treasure, by the way. It includes the original broadcaster calls, so you get to hear Duane Kuiper’s improvised (and perfect) insertion of “McCovey Cove!” into his regular home run call. And it’s filled with so many marvelous tidbits and tiny details. Such as ...
0:06 — The boat that almost kills someone. In retrospect, for Bonds’ first splash hit, it was probably worth it.
0:42 — Bonds telling the Splash Hits sign to get a danged number on it.
2:33 — “I hope you didn’t have onions on that hot dog.”
2:57 — #500
3:49 — “LOOK OUT.”
4:19 — “Look out, baby.”
5:32 — Ted Robinson!
6:38 — The 69th homer of 2001 was a splash hit. Nice.
6:49 — Bonds does that thing where he looks disgusted that he had to humiliate the pitcher like that, and I love it so.
7:25 — Joe Angel!
7:53 — Did ... did those people push the dog into the Bay and tell it to fetch the ball?
9:03 — A subtle cut to Jeff Kent looking surly, just because.
10:08 — “WE ARE GOING HOME!”
10:49 — Angel’s call is pretty rad on this one, to be honest.
11:42 — What a perfect camera angle to see the crowd.
13:22 — how did he hit that i mean my word
There are some things to take away from this video. The first is that Barry Bonds sure hit a lot of home runs that went really, really far. The second is that people really lived like that, watching television broadcasts that were hand-drawn by workers in real time, because that’s the only possible explanation for why every video was so fuzzy and muddy.
I don’t remember living like that, and thank goodness.
Anyway, happy birthday to the greatest hitter I’ll ever watch in my lifetime. Now suit up and get back out there, please.