|Aaron's uniform from 715th HR reached Cooperstown years later|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 01 August 2007 10:34|
So, those in Cooperstown say it's no biggie if that's how it happens with Barry Bonds, too.
In June, Bonds and Hall of Fame vice president Jeff Idelson met for 40 minutes in San Francisco to discuss what the slugger might donate once he hits his 756th homer and Aaron's 33-year-old record falls. Bonds suggested he might offer up a batting helmet from the historic day.
That piece of equipment might take a while to reach the East Coast - if Bonds opts to enjoy everything from the big day for a while the way Aaron did it.
Hammerin' Hank tied Babe Ruth's 714 on opening day 1974, then broke the record with No. 715 four days later. Aaron's last home run came on July 20, 1976, at now-demolished County Stadium in Milwaukee - during his 23rd and final major league season.
``The complete uniform and third base came in a couple of years after he retired,'' Idelson said, ``as is the case with many star players.''
The 43-year-old Bonds, who had 754 career homers heading into Wednesday night's game against the archrival Dodgers, has said he would like to keep the items from his 756th home run close to him after he does it and later decide what to send on to Cooperstown.
Idelson is fine with that - and reiterated that it only takes one item to connect the fans to a history-making moment.
He plans to be there when it happens. After the Hall of Fame induction ceremony last weekend, Idelson traveled Tuesday to Los Angeles to be at Dodger Stadium for the Giants' three-game series.
Around 35,000 artifacts are shown and stored in the Hall of Fame. About a dozen of those are connected to Bonds, and 30 to Aaron.
Idelson isn't sure what to expect from Bonds, but he is optimistic it will work out well for both sides - and so are the Giants that Bonds will do the right thing in the long run.
``I think we have to see how the final act plays out,'' Idelson said. ``I'll get a feel for it. We'll see how it is when we get to that point. After the game is over, we'll let him enjoy his celebration.''
Currently in the Hall, there is a bat from Bonds' rookie year in 1986 and spikes from when he became the first player with 400 homers and 400 stolen bases. Unsolicited, he sent the bat and ball from his 2,000th hit. A batting practice bat from the 2002 World Series was the last thing Bonds donated.
Last week, when the Giants were playing at home against Atlanta and Florida, Idelson tried to watch Bonds' first at-bat on TV, then set his alarm for 1:30 a.m. to get up and see if the seven-time NL MVP had homered. Idelson had flights booked for each day and would cancel them if Bonds didn't connect. He would have flown out during the week, then returned to Cooperstown for Tony Gwynn and Cal Ripken Jr.'s induction.
Now, it's all Bonds for Idelson.
The Giants go from Los Angeles to San Diego, where they have a three-game weekend series against the Padres starting Friday before returning home to face the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
Notes: ESPN2 added Thursday night's Giants-Dodgers game to its schedule.