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Bonds Returns, Leads Giants to 2-1 Victory

Outfielder hits decisive homer in win over Arizona in first game back after father's death.

August 31, 2003|From Associated Press

PHOENIX — Barry Bonds looked up and pointed toward the sky, just as he does after every home run.

But this was no ordinary homer. His heart told him so.

Overwhelmed by emotion after connecting for a home run in his first game back after his father's death, Bonds later left the San Francisco Giants' 2-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday because of an accelerated heart rate.

"It's tough. I lost my coach," Bonds said.

His father, Bobby, died Aug. 23 at age 57 after being ill for nearly a year with lung cancer and a brain tumor.

"The emotions just went through me, I felt lightheaded and couldn't stop my heart rate from racing," Bonds said. "After the home run I couldn't breathe. I tried to stay in there as long as I could. That's never happened to me."

Resting on one knee in the on-deck circle when the top of the eighth ended, Bonds came out of the game in the bottom half. He left the Giant dugout shortly thereafter because of heart palpitations he said started with his homer off Randy Johnson.

San Francisco trainer Stan Conte said Bonds' heart rate was between 150-160 beats per minute after the home run -- a normal adult heart rate ranges from 60-100 beats per minute.

Bonds felt better after the game, and Conte said the team would monitor his heart rate through the night. Bonds is expected to play today.

Bonds homered in his second at-bat, leading rookie right-hander Jerome Williams and the Giants to an emotional victory.

Bonds, who missed six games after his father's death, reached on an infield single in the first, then hit a 403-foot homer into the right-field stands leading off the fourth.

"If you believe in life after death, a lot of people were looking at that moment," Giant Manager Felipe Alou said.

After crossing home plate, the normally placid slugger pointed skyward with his index fingers and clapped once. He looked up toward the closed roof at Bank One Ballpark for a few moments, his gaze lingering longer than usual.

"My dad's helped a lot of people's careers, especially mine," Bonds said. "I just felt like somebody's carrying me right now, giving me an extra push."

Bonds' homer was his major league-leading 40th of the year.

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