In 2001 Barry Bonds
broke not only his own personal records but several major league records. In the Giants’ first 50 games in 2001, Bonds hit 28 home runs, including 17 in May—a career high. This early stretch included his 500th home run hit on April 17 against Terry Adams of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also hit 39 home runs by the All-star break (a major league record), drew a major league record 177 walks, and had a .515 on-base average, a feat not seen since Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams over forty years earlier. Bonds’ slugging percentage was a major league record .863 (411 total bases in 476 at-bats), and, most impressively, he ended the season with a major league record 73 home runs. On October 4, he tied the previous record of 70 set by Mark McGwire (which McGwire set in the 162nd game in 1998) by homering off of Wilfredo Rodríguez in the 159th game of the season. He then hit numbers 71 and 72 the following night off of Chan Ho Park. Bonds added his 73rd off of Dennis Springer on October 7. The ball was later sold to toy manufacturer Todd McFarlane for $450,000. McFarlane previously bought Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from 1998. Bonds received the Babe Ruth Home Run Award for leading MLB in homers that season.