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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 April, 2004, 05:27 GMT 06:27 UK
Bonds passes Mays
Barry Bonds

National League

San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds hit his 661st career home run on Tuesday to move past his godfather Willie Mays into sole possession of third place on the all-time list.

After tying Mays' record of 660 home runs in the Giants' home opener on Monday, Bonds passed the milestone with a 468-foot blast off Milwaukee's Ben Ford over the right-field wall into McCovey Cove.

The seventh-innings blast put the Giants 4-1 ahead of the Brewers and they went on to win 4-2.

"He will always be my mentor," Bonds said of Mays, adding the he considered his godfather the greatest-ever baseball player.

CAREER HOME RUN TABLE
755: Hank Aaron
714: Babe Ruth
661:* Barry Bonds
660: Willie Mays
586: Frank Robinson
583: Mark McGwire
573: Harmon Killebrew
563: Reggie Jackson
548: Mike Schmidt
540:* Sammy Sosa

* denotes still active in 2004

Bonds is already the record-holder for single-season home runs with 73 and trails only Hank Aaron (755) and Babe Ruth (714) overall.

Ruth, who turned baseball into a power hitting game back in the 1920s, held American sport's most cherished record until Aaron broke it to mixed ovation in 1974.

"Hammerin' Hank" was subjected to racist abuse as he approached and past Ruth's record in a dark period for US Sport.

But Bonds can expect far better treatment as he resumes his quest to become the third man in the "700 club".


American League

Paul Konerko hit a three-run homer in the fifth to help the Chicago White Sox beat the Kansas City Royals 12-5 in their home opener.

Juan Uribe also homered for the White Sox, as Chicago manager and former White Sox shortstop Ozzie Guillen picked up a win in his first game.

Esteban Loaiza (2-0) allowed five runs to earn the win, four of them coming from Kansas City home runs.

Tampa Bay's trip to New York and Baltimore's game in Boston were postponed due to rain in the northeast.



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MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL


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