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Barry Bonds commemorative plaque missing from Giants' ballpark

April 24, 2013|By Chuck Schilken
  • Glue is seen on the brick facade in right center field at AT&T Park, to the left of the Comcast sign, where a now-missing plaque commemorating Barry Bonds' 756th home run was affixed.
Glue is seen on the brick facade in right center field at AT&T Park, to… (Ben Margot / Associated…)

Barry Bonds' home run record has been removed ... not from the record books, like many people have wished, but from the walls of the San Francisco Giants' ballpark in San Francisco.

The commemorative plaque honoring Bonds' record-setting 756th home run has disappeared from the right-center brick facade in AT&T Park, where it has hung since the start of the 2008 season.

No one seems to know exactly what happened to it. Giants spokeswoman Staci Slaughter said Tuesday night that the team is conducting an investigation as to where the hardware may be.

“We're not sure what happened," she said. "We're reviewing video, but haven't found anything yet.”

It kind of makes sense that a huge fan would love something like a large shield marking a historic moment in team history as a personal souvenir. Or that some huge Bonds detractor would take it upon himself to rid the stadium of that reminder of a milestone allegedly tainted by performance enhancing drugs (which Bonds has denied ever knowingly using).

What doesn't make sense is how such a person or, more likely, people would pull this off without anyone noticing. The plaque is some 6 feet tall and presumably pretty heavy. It hung pretty high and surely wasn't just held to the wall by glue alone. Removing it would have been quite a task.

Scott Ostler of the San Francisco Chronicle, who broke the news of the missing hardware, has another theory. He feels the Giants are trying to erase the memory of the controversial slugger, citing the facts that they have yet to retire his number or add him to their wall of fame.

But there's still a very visible glue outline of the shield on the wall beneath the flag court area of the park. You'd think if they were trying to remove Bonds from fans' memories, George Orwell-style, they would have scrubbed those bricks down a little better. Plaque? What plaque? We have no idea what you're talking about.

Plus, Slaughter says the team is working on a replacement plaque as we speak, which, if true, should put Ostler's conspiracy theory to rest for good.

So maybe it was a good idea that the glue outline remains on the wall. You know how hard it can be to hang things like giant plaques just right.

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