Tributes to Bonds added at AT&T Park
Outfield plaque commemorates 756th homer; 500 club honored
SAN FRANCISCO -- With little fanfare but in plain sight to anybody entering AT&T Park on Monday, the Giants unveiled a pair of new displays that commemorate Barry Bonds' slugging exploits for the club.On the wall in right-center field appeared an orange shield-shaped plaque emblazoned with the number 756, a tribute to the home run Bonds hit last Aug. 7 to become baseball's all-time leader in that category. After the top of the second inning Monday, the Giants made note of the new plaque with a PA announcement and displaying it on the scoreboard. Near that plaque, in the first archway of the right-center-field wall adjacent to the 421-foot marker, the Giants began displaying the career home run figures of the four players to exceed 500 home runs while spending most or all of their careers with the franchise -- the largest such contingent in the Major Leagues. Bonds' surname and his total, 762, appear with those of Willie Mays (660), Willie McCovey (521) and Mel Ott (511). After a recent tour to unveil new features at AT&T Park, representatives of some news outlets noted the ballpark's absence of prominent reminders of Bonds, a central figure in baseball's performance-enhancing drug controversy who remains a free agent after the Giants announced late last season that they would not re-sign him. Those Bonds-related touches included the huge banners extending along the left- and right-center-field light towers celebrating his record, the depiction of his image on the left-field wall and the home run tracker in right-center listing the all-time top four -- Bonds, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Mays. Regarding the 756 sign, Giants executive vice president Larry Baer said that the club always had planned some sort of perpetual recognition of that feat. "Obviously, that was a historic moment in baseball," Baer said. Baer said that team officials also discussed the new home run counter during the offseason. "We were kind of debating what was the best tribute," Baer said. "Everybody agreed that Barry was a big part of our history."
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.