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ERNIE BANKS

On The Record

With Barry Bonds passing Hank Aaron on the home run list, possibly the most famous mark in sports has become easily the most controversial. Here are some reactions from those around the game.Bonds is the king for sure

August 08, 2007|ERNIE BANKS

Here's what this means: Barry Bonds just broke baseball's most sacred record. It means he's the king. Hank Aaron went, what, 33 years as the king? You know, I'm not going to forget Hank, but he did it in a very different time. And so did Barry.

In the time that I played, there was so much focus on Hank and how often he was hitting home runs. And let me tell you, I saw a lot of home runs from Hank. I hit a few myself. But records are made to be broken and I guess one day, somebody might break Barry's record. Might be Alex Rodriguez, he's still young.

I've also thought about history and how Barry Bonds will be remembered, but that remains to be seen, with the young people, the hip-hop generation and all that scene sorting out his career and his accomplishments. And I am sure there are people concerned with how it happened. There has to be. But I'm not one of them. There's no shadow, as far as I'm concerned.

I played against Barry's dad, Bobby, for some time and he even finished up with the Cubs in 1981. His dad was a very good guy and I had a good feeling even then about Barry.

Man, can Barry hit. It seems like to me, maybe I'm crazy, but the better hitters are left-handed hitters. They've got better swings, smoother, they look better swinging the bat. They look wonderful hitting the ball out of the ballpark. Right-handers have a little bit of a hitch in their swings. Barry has a beautiful swing. So did Eddie Mathews, Willie McCovey, Ted Williams, Willie Stargell, Billy Williams, to name a few.

But right now, there's only one, and it's Barry Bonds.

--

Ernie Banks, "Mr. Cub," hit 512 home runs in his major league career. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1977.

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