The Big Three-Oh – #30

Welcome to “The Big Three-Oh!” I’m turning 30 at the end of July and to celebrate, I am counting down my best/favorite sports moments in my lifetime. If you missed the kickoff post, check it out for the background for the series. Today I’m kicking things off with #30.

#30 – Barry Bonds Sets the All-Time MLB Home Run Record (2007)

In the most recent episode of the podcast, “Reel Sports: Long Gone Summer,” Emily and I talked a bit about Barry Bonds breaking both McGwire’s single season and, eventually, Hank Aaron’s all-time home run records. I gave my thoughts about Barry Bonds breaking both records and how, especially in 2007, steroids were a huge part of my consumption of baseball media. Specifically, I couldn’t throw on “Baseball Tonight” without seeing some type of Barry Bonds update.

I say this because the “Steroid Era” represents a large part of baseball that I grew up watching. In part, I couldn’t follow Major League Baseball without following Bonds and the chase to hit home run #756. His chase to the top, especially the final stretch in 2007, is certainly one of the first things I think about in reminiscing on the early-to-mid 2000s in baseball.

Earlier that summer, the Giants hosted the All Star Game and Bonds received a hero’s welcome during the introductions and I was dumbfounded to see this. It was as clear as day to see what Bonds was doing but now looking back on it nearly 13 years later, knowing what we know about baseball as a whole, I kinda get it. He was their guy and they backed him up. As for this specific night, I didn’t see it the night of as I was up at Camp Susquehannock. I heard about it the next day and wouldn’t see the highlight until I got home from Camp a few weeks later. The legacy of this moment certainly lives on, though.

Bonds’ 756th homer seemed to be a good jumping off point. I’m sticking to positive moments so something like the Mike Richards and Jeff Carter trades, which both happened nine years today, won’t be making the list either though I vividly remember the news of both coming through. Bonds becoming the home run king is going to the be the only even remotely negative moment on the list. There many more “happy” moments that didn’t make the list but because of its significance to baseball and my fandom of the sport, Bonds had to come in at #30.

Today’s Instagram Athlete

Nine years ago to count down the days until my 21st birthday, I posted a picture of athletes wearing the cooresponding number of day left to Facebook. While I did not have an Instagram account back in 2011, I have one now so I’ll be revisiting this idea in conjuncture with Top 30 Sports Moments. FOLLOW MY INSTAGRAM SO YOU DON’T MISS IT

Nolan Ryan is a pretty easy one to pick for #30. Corey Clement and Martin Broduer were also in consideration but Ryan takes the cake. Baseball’s Strikeout king is a good compliment to the focus of today’s “moment” being Barry Bonds. This won’t always be the case so I had to strike while the iron was hot.

What did you all think about the first post for “The Big Three-Oh?” Anything else you want to see from it? Let me know in the comments below!

(cover photo via)

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