Record-Breaking Homer For Bonds Met with Mixed Reaction Across Country

USA - Orlando Hudson applauded Barry Bonds' record-breaking homer from his second-base position when the big screen in Phoenix showed the historic drive.

The crowd at Chase Field mostly booed but the Arizona infielder was thrilled for the San Francisco Giants' slugger.

"That's great. That's unbelievable," Hudson said. "I can't wait to see him and give him a big ol' hug because he deserves it. He's the greatest player to walk between the lines."

Fans reacted to Bonds' achievement Tuesday night with jeers but players were impressed with Bonds' 756 homers - and some relieved.

"I'm glad I didn't have the dubious honor," Milwaukee reliever Scott Linebrink said. "I've given one up to him. In reality, it doesn't really matter if you gave up 300 or 756, but it is the stigma that will always follow one guy."

Other hitters marveled at Bonds.

"That's such a great accomplishment," said Angels outfielder Gary Matthews Jr., whose father played with Bonds' dad. Barry Bonds also used to baby-sit Matthews when he was growing up.

"You can't fathom how many home runs that is. I mean, I've never hit more than 20 in a season, and this guy just passed 755."

The homer drew praise from officials in and outside of the game. Baseball union head Donald Fehr called it "truly one of those moments that all fans will remember."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson, who visited with Bonds in July in Chicago, offered his congratulations.

"He has survived!" Jackson said in a statement. "He remains the most feared batter with the most home runs and the most walks. I know his father rejoices tonight."

San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom, who has decked out City Hall with orange lights and a banner with Bonds' home run count since No. 753, said he planned to declare Wednesday Barry Bonds Day in the city.

"We are honored to have witnessed his incredible accomplishment here at home in San Francisco," the mayor said in a statement.

Commissioner Bud Selig was on hand for the tying homer three days earlier but missed the record-breaker. Major League Baseball executive vice president Jimmie Lee Solomon and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson attended the game in his absence.

"I congratulate Barry Bonds for establishing a new, career home run record," Selig said in a statement. "Barry's achievement is noteworthy and remarkable. ... While the issues which have swirled around this record will continue to work themselves toward resolution, today is a day for congratulations on a truly remarkable achievement."

Only three games were still going on when Bonds broke Hank Aaron's storied record with a drive in the fifth inning against Washington pitcher Mike Bacsik. Bonds connected on a 3-2 pitch for a solo shot in the Giants' 8-6 loss.

Aaron offered a taped message of congratulations that played on the stadium's video board.

News of Bonds' drive quickly reached Southern California, where a replay of the homer was shown on the video boards in right and left field in Anaheim after the final out of the fifth inning. The sellout crowd of 44,177 booed loudly.

"I have no comment," said Boston's Curt Schilling, who earlier this summer said Bonds' refusal to address accusations of steroids use is tantamount to an admission. "None whatsoever."

Fans at Coors Field in Denver booed mostly as they watched Bonds round the bases between innings and quickly turned their attention to the top of the ninth.

"I'm indifferent," Colorado manager Clint Hurdle said. "My home run chase was Hank Aaron and the Babe. I'll congratulate him professionally, but that's about it for me."

When the home run was shown on the big screen over center field in Arizona, a smattering of applause was drowned out by resounding boos from most of the crowd of 25,340.

"I think it's pretty cool," Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds said after St. Louis' 4-0 loss to San Diego. "I think it's good for baseball and I just think it's a pretty neat thing."

In the visiting clubhouse at Busch Stadium, the Padres also were glad for Bonds.

"I think it was great," outfielder Scott Hairston said. "It was great to witness history. I kind of got teary-eyed myself when he was giving the speech (afterward). He pointed up at the sky and said thank you to his dad. It was a great moment."

A seven-time NL MVP, the 43-year-old Bonds hit his 22nd home run of the year. He has been hounded by allegations of steroid use but remains popular at home, where the record-breaker was met with wild cheers.

Edmonds said he was pulling for him.

"Like people say, this is a fraternity and some of these guys have let that slip," he said. "I think that we should pull for each other. He's always been very polite to me, so I can't complain."