My overriding memory of Barry Bonds’ home run chase in 2001 and all subsequent home runs was that the Giants lost virtually every game in which he homered. That was, indeed, the case on the night he hit his 600th career home run, with the Giants losing to the Pirates 4-3. Jason Schmidt struck out 7 of his former teammates in 7 innings, but walked 3 and allowed all 4 earned runs, and the Giants couldn’t do much against Kip Wells for 7.1 innings.
But we’ll always have this:
Bonds became just the 4th player at the time to reach 600 (behind Ruth, Mays, and Aaron) and was the fastest to go from 500 to 600 — he hit #500 against Chan Ho Park in April 2001:
Basically, right after AT&T Park — nee Pacific Bell Park — it became Accomplishment Season. The Giants seemed to be doing something amazing or historic or just plain interesting on most nights and there was the constant thrill of newness that came from the stadium.
Barry Bonds’ emotional insecurity led to a run of historic feats we won’t see again as Giants fans and will seldom be replicated by other baseball players around the league or even on the planet. It was a special time, it was an interesting time, and only just now am I getting to the part where it’s a fun coincidence that the anniversary of #600 coincides with the first night of this 4-game series against his former team, the Pittsburgh Pirates.