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Bonds establishes 500-500 club
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06/24/2003  1:38 AM ET 
Bonds establishes 500-500 club
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Barry Bonds slaps second after stealing the 500th base of his career. (Julie Jacobson/AP)
SAN FRANCISCO -- For a brief moment, Barry Bonds forgot it was the 500th stolen base of his career, forgot he was suddenly baseball's only member of the ultra-exclusive 500-500 club.

Instead, the Giants outfielder gleefully slapped second base on Monday night in the 11th inning, his first thought being in scoring position and giving his team a chance to break a tie game and beat the rival Los Angeles Dodgers at Pacific Bell Park.

Moments later, after hearing the crowd roar its approval and music playing, it dawned on Bonds what he had accomplished, and he lifted the base in triumph.

But he wasn't finished. Teammate Benito Santiago singled him home for a 3-2 victory, making his night complete.

  Barry Bonds   /   LF
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 210
Bats/Throws: L/L

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Hit chart
Giants site

It was fitting that Barry Bonds stole the 500th base of his illustrious career in his home ballpark, and with his father, Bobby Bonds, and godfather Willie Mays celebrating elsewhere after coming here earlier.

More impressive was the fact Bonds had been walked by Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, a hard thrower against whom few players even get a chance to steal, but Bonds took off and a throw was never made.

"He's one of the best closers you're ever going to see in baseball," said Bonds of the bespectacled Dodgers star, who has a Major League-leading 37 consecutive saves dating back to 2002. "He's a great pitcher and a good guy."

"Normally even if you put a guy at third base he's going to strike out the side," said Bonds, who relished the moment but at first said he was too exhausted to speak of joining the 500-500 club.

Then, he caught his breath. "I think it's great, something I hope is going to be around a long time. You never know. But my dad probably wasn't here to see it. ... He hasn't stayed a whole game for a long time."

Manager Felipe Alou said he never gave Bonds a base-stealing signal.

"He was on his own -- he is always on his own," said Alou.

"I think it's a huge accomplishment," Bonds, who'll turn 39 years old on July 24, had said earlier. "Most of the time it's usually one or the other -- home runs or stolen bases -- and to be able to do both of them is pretty special."

Bonds has 633 lifetime home runs and needed seven stolen bases this season to reach the 500-thefts milestone.

Bonds reached No. 499 on Sunday at Oakland in the first inning off A's starter Ted Lilly after hitting an RBI single.

Bonds, who played in his 2,500th big-league game Friday against the A's, has 20 homers this season and needs only two more to tie Willie Mays for second place on the all-time San Francisco homer list with 459. Willie McCovey leads with 469 homers.

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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