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10 years ago today: Barry Bonds hits three homers, giving him 20

May 19, 2011, 6:40 PM EDT

Barry Bonds AP

May 19, 2001

Barry Bonds hits three solo homers as part of a 6-3 win over the Braves, giving him 20 homers through the Giants’ first 42 games.

Bonds went on to hit a major league record 73 homers in 2001 to win the fourth of his seven NL MVP awards.

Even though he was on such a tear right from the start of the season, Bonds only moved into a tie for the major league lead in homers with the outburst. Luis Gonzalez already had 20 on his way to hitting 57 that season.

It was Bonds’ second three-homer game, the first coming seven years earlier. He had another three-homer game on Sept. 9, 2001 and one last one on Aug. 27, 2002. While Bonds is the career leader in homers, he’s tied for seventh in his number of three-homer games. Johnny Mize and Sammy Sosa had six apiece, while Joe Carter, Carlos Delgado, Dave Kingman and Mark McGwire all had five.

Also having multihomer games on May 19, 2001 were the Dodgers’ Shawn Green (Nos. 9 & 10 of the year) and the Tigers’ Damion Easley (Nos. 3 & 4). J.D. Drew hit his 16th homer for the Cardinals, while Alex Rodriguez hit No. 15 in his first season for the Rangers. The long forgotten Mark Quinn hit his 10th for Kansas City. He was just about on pace for a 40-homer season then, but he’d be out of the league barely a year later.

That’s 2001 for you.

  1. florida76 - May 19, 2011 at 7:46 PM

    Unfortunately, any flashback to a Bonds steroid enhanced achievement is like water down the drain. Meaningless then, now, and later.

  2. lilevil74 - May 19, 2011 at 8:01 PM

    It makes no difference to me. I couldn’t, can’t and won’t ever hit 73 home runs. And neither will you. I am not a Pirates or Giants fan by any means. But Bonds had, probably, the sweetest swing I have ever seen. Remember, baseball was in the dumps until when? When McGwire and Sosa were originally chasing the record. And I don’t put the blame on any of them. I would really like to see Selig step up and say they knew what was going on and turned the blind eye for ratings and attendance. I know everyone has their own theories to what really was going on. But if all I had to do was take steroids to make 20+ million dollars a season, I would do it in a heart beat. Offensively, long ball hitters make the most money. That was true then and still is today. Guys have break out power numbers and get paid shortly there after. Fact: Barry Bonds is the Home Run King whether you like it or not.

  3. jstrizzle - May 19, 2011 at 8:16 PM

    That helmet is holding on for dear life on that oversized head. The thing is stretched farther than an ankle bracelet on a fat chick.

  4. uyf1950 - May 19, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    …and this day in history May 19, 2011 Giambi hit 3 giving him 4.

  5. skerney - May 20, 2011 at 4:58 AM

    Bonds was one of the best all around players in baseball history before he started steroids in 1999. He was a hall of famer before BALCO, then he started on the Clear and the Cream and became an unholy god. A home run hitting monster of both natural gifts and human enhancement. I knew what was going on, but imagine if Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle never got tired, or injured. Imagine if Babe Ruth had his endurance and plate discipline. It was unlike anything that will ever be seen again. A freak show spectacle of god given talent meeting evil human ingenuity. It was gross and awe inspiring all at once.

    • visnovsky - May 20, 2011 at 6:51 AM

      That’s what she said.

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