NEW YORK (AP) — Barry Bonds is as much a fixture in San Francisco as cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge, and he’ll be in his usual spot in left field when the All-Star game comes to his home ballpark.
The Giants star overcame a 119,000-vote deficit in the final days of balloting and finished 123,000 ahead of the Chicago Cubs’ Alfonso Soriano on Sunday to claim the third and final starting outfield spot for the National League.
“I’m at a loss for words right now,” Bonds said. “It just means more ‘cause I’m at home. This is my town. This is my house. You can’t say enough about being at home. It’s great.”
At 42, Bonds will be the oldest player to start an All-Star game. He tops Roger Clemens, who was 41 years, 11 months at the 2004 game in Houston, his hometown.
“This is the one I’ll remember all time. This is the one I’ll remember forever,” Bonds said.
Bonds, heading to his 14th All-Star game and 12th as a starter, was the lone Giants player chosen for the July 10 game in San Francisco — his first trip since 2004. Five home runs from tying Hank Aaron’s record of 755, Bonds is beloved in San Francisco but booed in most other cities following years of suspicion that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
“One guy will be a lot bigger than everybody else. It’s his hometown,” said Cincinnati’s Ken Griffey Jr.