Bonds gear a Cooperstown hit despite home run record controversy Print
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Friday, 10 August 2007 12:26
MLB Headline News

 COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. (AP) -Like a lot of fans, teenager Matthew Somerville was in a hurry to see the newest exhibit at the Hall of Fame.
``This is the helmet Barry Bonds wore when he hit home run number 755 ...'' he said Friday, shooting and narrating his own video.
``It's incredible to be less than five feet away from history!'' he said.
The batting helmets Bonds wore for his 755th homer - tying Hank Aaron's mark - and his record-breaking 756th Tuesday night debuted under glass at the museum.
Also displayed were plate umpire John Hirschbeck's ball-strike clicker, a scoresheet from the game and a page from the San Francisco Chronicle featuring a picture of Bonds raising his arms in exultation under the headline ``ALONE AT THE TOP.''
Somerville shrugged off the drug controversy that has shadowed Bonds.
``Whether he used steroids or not, it's a tremendous achievement,'' said the 13-year-old pitcher from Suffield, Conn.
Patricia Akin-Trexler of Dallas and her new husband made a beeline to the Bonds exhibit and took time to savor it.
``It was a thrill, the height of the honeymoon - oops!'' she said with a laugh.
Other fans were less impressed.
While no one said outright there should be an asterisk on the exhibit, a few Hall visitors questioned Bonds' accomplishment.
``It's always going to be under a shroud, I think, unless he comes clean,'' said Darrell Short of Warner Robins, Ga.
After looking at Aaron's display in another corner of the museum, Michael Laracuente of Newburgh, N.Y., remembered the pride he felt as a black teenager when Aaron broke Babe Ruth's record in 1974. He said Bonds, with his abrasive public personality, inspires more indifferent feelings.
Over by the Ruth exhibit, Bud Street said he had no interest in seeing the Bonds artifacts. Street recalled the thrill of going to Fenway Park in Boston as an 11-year-old in 1934 and watching Ruth play (he struck out three times).
The Barnstable, Mass., native thinks Bonds' career is too clouded to compare favorably with the other great sluggers in the Hall.
``It's a tough call,'' Street said, ``but I think Ruth and Aaron are still ahead of him.''
Bonds had donated several artifacts before this week, including spikes from when he became the first player with 400 homers and 400 stolen bases.
Bonds will not be eligible for consideration for the Hall of Fame until five years after he retires. A few fans on Friday insisted he should be a lock.
``It would be weird if he's the home run king but he's not in the Hall of Fame,'' said 12-year-old Mike Errigo of Silver Spring, Md.
 

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