If the fates had aligned correctly, Barry Bonds would be breaking the home run record this month for the Tampa Bay Giants.
At least, that's how The Sporting Orange envisions it:
ST. PETERSBURG - It was another historic night at Tropicana Field and another victory in Tampa Bay’s march to a second consecutive division title.
Devil Rays left fielder Barry Bonds slammed his 869th homer into the right field scoreboard, breaking Sadaharu Oh’s worldwide home run record. The seventh inning solo homer was the difference in Tampa Bay’s 4-3 win over the Houston Astros.
As Bonds trotted the base paths, confetti rained down from the dome’s catwalks. He was greeted at home plate by his teammates, including Oh, who came from Japan to celebrate the breaking of his record.
“I want to thank all the Tampa Bay fans for being here and supporting me,” Bonds said to the crowd of 45,025 during an in game ceremony. “You have embraced me and made me a better ballplayer and better man. Thank you.”
Bonds has become part of the community here in Tampa Bay, despite his reluctance to play originally for the team in 1993. It was Devil Rays owner Vince Naimoli who convinced Bonds to honor his contract and follow the San Francisco Giants to St. Petersburg.
“There wasn’t much convincing to do,” Naimoli humbly said. “Once Barry realized that it’s 322 down the right field line and in a dome, he was packing a moving truck.”