1. Archive


In a remarkable coincidence, Mike Bacsik and his father both faced a slugger with 755 home runs.

The only difference is that the father, also named Mike, didn't allow Hank Aaron to hit another one 31 years ago and the son did give one up to Barry Bonds, the record-breaking 756th, in fact.

"If my dad had been gracious enough to let Hank Aaron hit a home run, we both would have given up 756," Bacsik said after allowing the milestone homer in Washington's 8-6 victory over the Giants on Tuesday night.

Bacsik showed no fear, pitching to Bonds all three times he faced him, and felt no shame, pointing to the 445 other pitchers who have given up home runs to Bonds.

But it's the shot off Bacsik, 29, that will likely be replayed most.

"You either have to be a really special player to be remembered in this game or part of a special moment," Bacsik said. "I didn't want to give up the home run but, I'm lucky to be part of a really special moment in sports history."

Bacsik goes down in history with Al Downing, the Dodgers pitcher who gave up Aaron's record 715th home run. Downing won 123 games and pitched in three World Series in a 17-year career, but most people know him only for the one pitch he threw to Aaron on April 8, 1974.

"Me and Al Downing I guess will be linked for a long time," said Bacsik, who received an autographed bat from Bonds after the game. "Hopefully I can win 20 games and be an All-Star like him one day."

He said he didn't want to pitch around Bonds and was willing to challenge him with a 3-and-2 fastball in the fifth. Bonds drove it to right-centerfield, the deepest part of the ballpark.

"There was nobody on base and one out," Bacsik said. "I wanted to go after him. I was trying to get him out and I threw him a pitch that he really likes to hit. And he did."