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Retiring #25

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Today’s the day. Let’s watch.

San Diego Padres v San Francisco Giants Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Barry Bonds won more than twice as many MVP Awards than the next guy, was an All-Star 14 times (remember, this is an extremely important distinction for people who make Wall/Hall of Fame selections), is the sole member of the 500 / 500 Club and the 400 / 400 Club, and has more walks, intentional walks, and home runs than anyone who ever played the game of baseball.

When the Magowan Group signed Bonds at the end of 1992 before they even officially had closed their deal to buy the Giants, Bonds said that he would wear his godfather Willie Mays’ #24 jersey, which had been retired for 20 years. That never came to pass for lots of reasons — the Magowan Group didn’t want to disrupt the history they wanted to preserve — and Bonds instead made #25 all his own.

EDIT: Actually, behold this great story told by #24 himself:

The ceremony begins at 5pm. NBC Sports Bay Area will start their telecast at 4:30pm (for now, this is the only one that appears to be live: http://stream.nbcsports.com/rsn/nbcs-bay-area-giants) and you can listen to the audio only call via KNBR at the same time.

Recall that KNBR has made Giants games available to stream now and if you can’t get to a sports bar or online elsewhere to watch the telecast, audio only isn’t such a bad option. You will hear everything as it happens and you’ll get to see in your mind’s eye the various Giants luminaries in attendance as you’ve always remembered them.

That list includes the five living former Giants to have had their jersey numbers — Willie Mays (24), Juan Marichal (27), Orlando Cepeda (30), Gaylord Perry (36), and Willie McCovey (44) — as well as Will Clark, Rob Nenn, Kirk Reuter, Ray Durham, Shawon Dunston, Royce Clayton, Eric Davis, and Fred Lewis, who paid his own way just to be in attendance and as a result, the Giants have adjusted their plans to include him in the ceremony. Bonds’ former managers Jim Leyland, Dusty Baker, and Bruce Bochy will also be there.

Share your thoughts, live commentary, images, and memories below and enjoy the ceremony. This doesn’t happen very often.