Barry Bonds loved stepping to the plate on April 12. It didn’t matter what uniform he wore or what pitcher he faced. History showed that when Barry Bonds hit on April 12, regardless of the year, there was a realistic chance the ball was leaving the stadium. Bonds showcased just how special the 12th day of April was throughout his time with the San Francisco Giants.
How successful was Barry Bonds on April 12, and what notable home runs did he hit that day? Let’s take a look back in time.
Barry Bonds hit several record home runs on April 12
Any doubts of Barry Bonds not seriously pursuing Hank Aaron’s home run record were likely eliminated on April 12, 2004. Bonds’ three-run, fifth-inning home run not only gave the Giants a 5-4 lead against the Milwaukee Brewers, but it tied him with his godfather, Willie Mays, on the all-time home run list.
Mays, a Giants legend, ended his career with 660 home runs and met Bonds at home plate.
Exactly two years earlier, Barry Bonds passed Minnesota Twins legend Harmon Killebrew on the all-time home run list. Interestingly, Bonds hit his 574th home run in a 3-2 victory over the Brewers.
April 12 was one of Barry Bonds’ favorite days
Barry Bonds wasn’t a stranger to homering on April 12. Bonds’ first April 12 home run was in 1992, his final year with the Pittsburgh Pirates. A year later, Bonds endeared himself to the Giants’ home crowd by homering in the team’s home opener.
On April 12, 1994, Bonds’ two-run, ninth-inning home run against John Smoltz and the Atlanta Braves tied the game at 5. Bonds added other April 12 home runs in 1996 and 2001, the second of a record 73 home runs he hit that year.
Barry Bonds‘ historic home run on April 12, 2004, was the last time he homered that day. However, Bonds enjoyed a two-run home run day against the Pittsburgh Pirates on April 13, 2007.
What else happened in baseball on April 12?
- The first strike in MLB history ended on April 12, 1972. Although MLB owners canceled the 86 games missed during the 13-day strike, they agree to add salary arbitration to the collective bargaining agreement. The owners also approved a $500,000 increase in pension fund payments.
- Boston Red Sox left-hander Matt Young no-hit the Cleveland Indians on April 12, 1992. The Indians take advantage of Young’s seven walks and win 2-1 in Cleveland.
- Boston Red Sox third baseman Scott Cooper hit for the cycle in a 22-11 victory over the Kansas City Royals on April 12, 1994. Cooper’s fifth-inning triple occurred when he was thrown out trying to record an inside-the-park home run.
- The Philadelphia Phillies opened Citizen Bank Park with a 4-1 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on April 12, 2004. Phillies star right fielder Bobby Abreu celebrates the occasion with a first-inning solo homer.
- The Minnesota Twins opened Target Field with a 5-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on April 12, 2010. Veteran pitcher Carl Pavano threw six innings of one-run ball for the Twins and designated hitter Jason Kubel christened the park with a seventh-inning solo home run.
- Kansas City Royals outfielder Paulo Orlando became the first MLB player to turn his first three career hits into triples on April 12, 2015. After tripling three days earlier, Orlando tripled twice in the Royals’ 9-2 victory over the Angels. Orlando hit six triples in his rookie year.