With one swing of the bat -- and with half the nation already asleep -- Barry Bonds ended the long, tortured journey towards the most famous number in sports: 756. One small, but unnoticed anecdote in all of this: just 8 years ago, on the 25th anniversary of Aaron's #715, SI's Tom Verducci named his five 'most-likely' to break the then record of 755. Bonds was not even considered on the list (those on the list: Junior Griffey (currently sitting on #589), Juan Gonzalez (out of baseball; finished with 434 homers); Mark McGwire (out of baseball, 583 homers) Alex Rodriguez (youngest man to reach 500); and Vladimir Guerrero (356 homers at age 31)).
One last image from that night in April, 1974:
And, finally, a great quote from Al Downing, who gave up Aaron's record-breaking blast: "I never say 'seven-fifteen' anymore. I now say 'quarter after seven.'"
Downing is now joined by journeyman Mike Bacsik in baseball history -- in least until A-Rod reaches the Bonds mark.