Could Bonds make HR history at Fenway?

Before the season started, only the most optimistic No. 25-jersey-wearing fans figured Barry Bonds would have a chance to break Hank Aaron’s all-time home run record by the middle of June. After all, the 42-year-old Bonds needed 22 homers to break the mark (755) and was coming off an injury plagued season in which he hit just 26 homers in 130 games.

But Bonds has started the season on a tear, bashing seven homers in his first 17 games. He’s currently on pace to hit 67 dingers for the season. While that certainly isn’t realistic, it’s becoming more and more likely that he’ll tie and pass Aaron’s mark sometime before the All-Star break, perhaps as early as June 15-17, the dates the Giants will visit Fenway Park for a three-game series.


The Metrowest Daily News’s Lenny Megliola writes about this possibility today, imagining the reaction of the Fenway Faithful should the controversial Bonds tie or break Aaron’s hallowed mark in Boston. How realistic is that possibility? Check out these numbers, and decide for yourself whether you want to scramble to find a bleacher seat for any of those games.

  • If Bonds doesn’t miss another game (he has played in 17 of the Giants’ 19 games) and continues on his current pace (which is probably asking too much), he will both tie and break the mark in Philadelphia sometime during a four-game series from June 1-4. But considering the reputation of Philly fans and Bonds’s penchant for hitting milestone homers in the confines of his home park, it’s hard to see him breaking the mark there.
  • What would need to happen for Bonds to hit a historic homer at Fenway Park? If Bonds doesn’t miss another game between now and then, he’d need to homer at a pace of about .29 per game (that’s the equivalent of a 48-homer season) to tie the mark in Boston. If he misses four games between now and then, he’ll have to homer at a .32-per-game pace (the equivalent of a 52-homer season).
  • How realistic is a .29-to-.32 homer-per-game pace between now and mid-June? Between 2002-2004 (his last three healthy seasons), Bonds went deep at a pace of .32 per game.

    Beyond the numbers, you have to think Bonds would cringe at the thought of breaking the home run mark in Boston, a city he told the Globe’s Gordon Edes three years ago was “too racist for me.”

    How will that play into the probability? That’s something no match equation can answer. Nevertheless, it’s no longer a long shot to think Bonds could tie or break Aaron’s homer mark at Fenway Park.

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