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It’s the 30th anniversary of a unique home run

It was hit by Barry Bonds and it was against a surprising foe.

Pittsburgh Pirates

While desperately searching for ideas this morning, I looked back at the box score of a Giants-Pirates game on May 9, 1988, played at Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh. San Francisco won 8-6 and the starting pitcher that day was none other than Giants broadcaster Mike Krukow.

Leading off for the Pirates was Barry Lamar Bonds. He took a pitch for ball one. He did not take the second pitch. I don’t have video of the home run Bonds hit, but here’s a picture of the moment:

It was one of 20 leadoff home runs Bonds hit in his career. In his next at bat of this game, Bonds tripled off of Krukow. In 15 plate appearances against Krukow, Bonds hit for the cycle — a single, double, triple, home run — with 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts, good for a .286 / .333 / .714 line.

Krukow has admired Bonds work from afar for decades now, and it’s just funny to think that 30 years ago, he was anything but a Bonds admirer.

Other bits from the game:

  • The home run was the 47th of Bonds’ career, which means this moment has a tenuous connection to Star Trek.
  • Bonds’ OBP after the game was .279 for the season!
  • Krukow reached base on an error by the shortstop in the top of the 4th inning. It was the 5th-most important play, in terms of win probability.
  • Don Robinson vultured a win after blowing the save, while Pittsburgh’s Jeff Robinson got the loss. [EDITED TO ADD: As Facebook reader Seth Robson pointed out, it’s ex-Pirate Don Robinson vulturing a win with ex-Giant Jeff Robinson taking the L.]
  • Brett Butler & Robby Thompson combined at the top of the order to see 44 pitches and went 3-for-11 with 1 BB, 2 K, and 2 runs scored; Bob Brenly and Jose Uribe combined at the bottom of the order to see 45 pitches and went 1-for-9 with 1 BB, 3 K, and 0 runs scored. Baseball!