Barry Bonds Breaks Home Run Record

San Francisco Giants Barry Bonds hits his 756th career home run in the fifth inning of their baseball game against the Washington Nationals in San Francisco, Tuesday, August 7, 2007. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu) AP

Barry Bonds hit No. 756 to the deepest part of the ballpark Tuesday night, and hammered home the point: Like him or not, legitimate or not, he is baseball's new home run king.

Bonds broke Hank Aaron's storied record with one out in the fifth inning, hitting a full-count, 84 mph pitch from Washington's Mike Bacsik 435 feet to right-center field.

"Thank you very much. I got to thank all of you, all the fans here in San Francisco. It's been fantastic," he said shortly after crossing home plate, his godfather, Willie Mays, at his side.

Conspicuous by their absence were the commissioner and Hammerin' Hank himself.

Though he was on hand for the tying homer three days ago, deciding to put baseball history ahead of the steroid allegations that have plagued the Giants slugger, Bud Selig wasn't there for the record-breaker.

Instead, he sent two emissaries, Major League Baseball executive vice president Jimmie Lee Solomon and Hall of Famer Frank Robinson.

"While the issues which have swirled around this record will continue to work themselves toward resolution, today is a day for congratulations on a truly remarkable achievement," Selig said in a statement, released after he spoke to Bonds by telephone.

President Bush has yet to call the baseball star with congratulations, reports CBS Radio White House reporter Mark Knoller.

White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters this morning that the president congratulates Bonds for breaking "one of the most treasured records" in all of sports. Asked if the president believes the record was compromised at all by allegations of steroid use, Snow noted there's a league-wide investigation of steroid use which the president commends. Snow said he didn't know if Bush would be calling Bonds.

In his State of the Union message in 2004, Knoller notes, President Bush denounced steroid use by athletes calling it dangerous and saying "it sends the wrong message -- that there are shortcuts to accomplishment, and that performance is more important than character."

As for Aaron, he said all along he had no interest in being there whenever and wherever his 33-year-old mark was broken. He was true to his word, but he did offer a taped message of congratulations that played on the stadium's video board.

"It is a great accomplishment which required skill, longevity and determination," he said.

"Throughout the past century, the home run has held a special place in baseball and I have been privileged to hold this record for 33 of those years. I move over now and offer my best wishes to Barry and his family on this historic achievement.

"My hope today, as it was on that April evening in 1974, is that the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams," he said.

A woman who answered the phone at Aaron's home in Georgia shortly after Bonds' homer said that Aaron was asleep.

  • Scott Conroy On Twitter»

    Scott Conroy is a National Political Reporter for RealClearPolitics and a contributor for CBS News.

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