Bonds' image mirrors trials of Maris
As Barry Bonds chases 70, Alan Schwarz points out how Bonds' image is similar to Roger Maris' in 1961.
Originally Published: September 5, 2001By Alan Schwarz | Special to ESPN.com
One byproduct of baseball's mythologized status as the National Pastime is how its most consecrated records tend to be imbued with personality traits. Hank Aaron's 755 career homers resonate with his struggle against Babe Ruth's ghost. Cal Ripken's 2,632 consecutive games without a day off symbolize his lunch-pail reliability. People won't care if Randy Moss breaks every NFL receiving record as long as the Vikings cover the spread. No one will howl if Shaquille O'Neal bests Wilt Chamberlain's record of 100 points in an NBA game; the requisite attributes for that record are to be, well, tall. But baseball records? They must be broken by players worthy of breaking them. This is the net in which Barry Bonds' chase of Mark McGwire is getting caught. He is stalking the most prestigious record in sports. Home runs are everything the United States likes to be -- the biggest, the best, and worth a ton on the open market. They are borne of John Glenn gallantry and John Wayne valiance.
To continue reading this article you must be an Insider
MORE MLB HEADLINES
- A-Rod met Bosch at ALCS, clinic crony says
- Yanks' Jeter takes batting practice in Tampa
- Hamilton drops to No. 7 spot in Angels lineup
- Davis launches 2 HRs as O's trounce Tigers