SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 5 (UPI) -- Barry Bonds became the single-season home run record holder in overwhelming fashion Friday night, hitting shots in his first two at bats to reach the amazing total of 72.
Three years after Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals raised the record from 61 to 70 and seemingly set a mark that would perhaps last for generations, Bonds roared past it with two days remaining in the season.
Bonds tied McGwire's record in Houston Thursday night and he wasted no time breaking it Friday night. He hit the second pitch he saw in the first inning over the right-centerfield wall in Pac Bell Park.
The San Francisco outfielder, having seen his team fall behind by five runs in the top of the first inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers, came to bat with two outs and none on in the bottom half of the inning.
Los Angeles starter Chan Ho Park missed the strike zone with his first delivery to Bonds and then threw a fast ball that was tailing away toward the outside corner.
That was good enough for Bonds, who crushed the pitch and stood briefly at home plate to admire his history-making effort.
After being mobbed his his teammates at home plate and then trotting over to the stands to receive a hug from his wife, Bonds motioned to his teammates to keep the game going.
Bonds was the leadoff batter in the third with the Giants trailing, 8-4. Once again, Bonds crushed a 1-1 pitch from Park deep to right-center to elevate the record.
The record of 61 set by Marris lasted 37 years before McGwire shattered it in 1998. McGwire's record did not last three full seasons.