Baseball: Bonds equals home run total of godfather Mays

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The Independent Online

Barry Bonds hit the 660th home run of his career on Monday night, to draw level with his godfather Willie Mays in joint third place on a prestigious list.

Barry Bonds hit the 660th home run of his career on Monday night, to draw level with his godfather Willie Mays in joint third place on a prestigious list.

Playing for San Francisco Giants in their opening home game of the season against Milwaukee Brewers, Bonds hit a three-run home run over the right wall in the fifth inning, his second of the season. With the Giants facing the Brewers again last night, Bonds should soon pass Mays' total.

The record-holder for home runs in a single season, 73, Bonds has faced growing questions about whether he used steroids after his personal trainer was indicted on steroid distribution charges.

The 39-year-old Bonds was greeted at the home plate by several team-mates. He came back out of the dugout and waved to the fans in each direction as they cheered "Barry! Barry!" and gave him a standing ovation. Children bowed repeatedly along the left-field wall when he took the field at the start of the sixth inning.

Mays hurried to congratulate Bonds - voted the National League's Most Valuable Player six times - giving his godson a hug and a kiss outside the dugout. Mays presented him with a torch decorated with 25 tiny diamonds, symbolic of the number that Bonds wears. They both carried the torch before the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City.

Hank Aaron leads the career home run list with 755, followed by Babe Ruth with 714. When asked earlier this year whether he thought he could pass Aaron, his hero, Bonds quickly answered: "I think I can do anything i... I'm going for it all."

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