Barry Bonds Gets Hero's Welcome at AT&T

By Joe Kukura
|  Thursday, Oct 21, 2010  |  Updated 12:18 PM PDT
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Giants Rock Star Emerges

Raj Mathai

Barry Bonds got a hero's welcome at AT&T Park

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The San Francisco Giants' home field was rollicking even before the Giants' 3-0 win Tuesday afternoon that put them up 2-1 in the NLCS.

Fans went nuts before the game at an unexpected appearance by former Giant and baseball's all-time home run champion, Barry Bonds. This is the first time the team has made it this far in the post-season since the post-Barry Bonds era began.

Barry attended Tuesday's game as a tribute to the Giants' 2002 National League championship team. Bonds, J.T. Snow, Robb Nen and Shawon Dunston all threw out a ceremonial first pitch.

Bonds got by far the loudest ovation. He tipped his hat, waved his arms, and, yes, actually blew kisses at fans.

Once the game started, Bonds took a front row seat near the Giants dugout.

"That was a tremendous feeling," Bonds told MLB.com. "This place has always felt like home to me. My father (Bobby Bonds) and my godfather (Willie Mays) played here. There's no better place in the world. This is home, man."

The intrepid Raj Mathai of NBC Bay Area Sports took the above snapshot of Bonds looking like a million bucks while shmoozing it up with fans. When Barry threw the first pitch, he wore his old No. 25 Giants home jersey on the mound.

Pleanty of sports media grouches found the Giants' celebration of Bonds to be distasteful, in lew of Bonds' perjury trial proceedings. "SF Giants make you wonder if they have a clue," Seattle Times beat writer Geoff Baker grumbled on his Twitter.

Plenty of Giants fans seem to think otherwise. In fact, most would probably want Bonds to return for all the rest of the playoff games at AT&T Park, preferably wearing the exact same lucky dress shirt and sunglasses and pair of socks he wore Tuesday.

Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who thinks Jeff Kent's invitation to the 2002 Giants pre-game tribute must have somehow gotten lost in the mail.

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