08/10/2002 5:50 pm ET
Mays, Aaron to honor Bonds
By Josh Rawitch / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- Upon joining one of baseball's most exclusive clubs, Barry Bonds was asked what he would say to his godfather, Willie Mays, the next time they spoke.
"Why wasn't he here?" said Bonds without hesitation. "He should have been here."
Mays was out of town with a previous commitment, and though he might have missed the action, he'll certainly be on hand for the celebration.
The Hall of Famer, whose 660 home runs rank third on the all-time list and constitute the next stop for Bonds, will be at Pacific Bell Park on Aug. 23 when the club honors its current left fielder. The pregame ceremony will include Hank Aaron, whose 755 homers top the all-time chart.
Also on hand during the event will be Frank Robinson, whose Montreal Expos will be playing the Giants that night. Team spokesperson Blake Rhodes said that was one determining factor in selecting the date, in addition to Aaron's availability. If the Giants include senior advisor Willie McCovey in the festivities, they will be hosting five of the top 12 home run hitters in baseball history.
Tickets are still available for that game, though they won't be nearly as valuable as the ducats from Friday night's historic event. Fans holding those tickets are able to redeem them for a commemorative pin at the Giants Dugout stores or ticket windows at Lefty O'Doul Plaza at the ballpark. Plus, fans get to keep the tickets, which are usually untorn since Pacific Bell Park has electronic turnstiles, as a second souvenir.
Of course, just because Mays was not on hand for the game does not mean that someone in the front office won't be able to dig up one of the limited-edition pins for his collection. What remains to be seen, though, is what will happen when and if Bonds passes Mays' home run total, but manager Dusty Baker did not even want to think about that.
"Let's not talk about Willie yet," said Baker. "This 600 thing was enough for a while."
Josh Rawitch covers the Giants for MLB.com and can be reached at email@example.com. John Schlegel contributed to this article. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.