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Giants Fans Can't Wait for Barry to Come Home
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 10/05/2001
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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AP Sports Writer

SAN JOSE, Calif. - Fans, ushers and hockey players alike joined in the cheers when news of Barry Bonds' 70th home run reached San Jose's Compaq Center.

The San Francisco Giants' slugger tied Mark McGwire's major league homer run record on Thursday night in Houston, and the San Francisco Bay area cheered him on. Bonds will get a chance to break the record at home when the Giants finish the season with three games against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Pacific Bell Park.

The San Jose Sharks' game against the Detroit Red Wings came to a stop as fans stood to cheer Bonds, whose homer was replayed on the scoreboard. Thousands of teal-clad fans gave Bonds a raucous ovation.

"It's perfect for him to get a chance to break it at home now," said Sharks fan Dave Bromowski, who slapped high-fives with perfect strangers at the concession stands when Bonds' homer was announced. "It'll mean a lot to the fans who supported him for all the years he's been here."

At Green's, a sports bar in San Francisco, fans roared at the hit.

"It's fantastic. He really got the league behind him," local money manager Colin Kreidewolf said. "It's good they pitched to him at last, (but) what we really want is the Giants to get to the postseason."

Pat O'Shea's, a well-known San Francisco tavern, was three-quarters full for the game's early start.

"We're looking forward to 71 and 72," owner Paulie Fuller said. "It's great, because it makes our place happy. It's something you might not even see again."

Bonds, who hit homers No. 68 and 69 at home last weekend, said he was disappointed that he hadn't been able to tie or break the record at home. Now, he'll get the chance.

It'll be a hot ticket. Moments after the tying homer was hit, some single seats for Friday night's game against the Dodgers were being offered for sale at $800 or more on the Giants' Web site, where season-ticket holders can resell their seats for profit.

It got worse: One package of four front-row seats just off the infield was priced at $1,980. Five rows behind and across an aisle, a ticket-holder was asking $2,200 for four seats.

With Houston pitching him carefully for three days, Bonds was forced to wait until his final at-bat of the Giants' series with the Astros to tie the mark.

"I was glad Houston was afraid to pitch to him, because that meant there was a better chance he'd break the record at home," said Bill F. Watson, who plans to throw a party at his home on Friday night to watch Bonds' first attempt to break the record.

Watson voiced a common concern among Giants fans when he wondered whether the Dodgers will give Bonds a decent opportunity to break the record. There's been much speculation that Los Angeles - given its long-standing rivalry with San Francisco - will avoid Bonds in much the same way Houston did.

"That'd be wrong. It'd be cowardly," Watson said. "People would let them hear about it."

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