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Saturday, May 20, 2006
Bonds puts reluctant Halsey in record books

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Brad Halsey wound up on the wrong side of history when he gave up Barry Bonds' 714th homer Saturday.

The Oakland Athletics pitcher still found some humor in it.

A's pitcher Brad Halsey reacts after giving up the milestone home run to Barry Bonds.

What exactly do those specially marked baseballs for Bonds' at-bats look like?

"They just have a 'B' and a number on them, and a picture of Barry, too. If you look into his eye, he winks at you," Halsey said with a smile and a chuckle.

Halsey heard it all after Bonds tied Babe Ruth for second place on baseball's career home run list.

The A's left-hander became the 420th pitcher to allow a homer to Bonds, who ended a nine-game homerless drought with a solo shot in the second inning of the San Francisco Giants' 4-2, 10-inning victory.

Bonds sent a 1-1 offering -- a 90-mph fastball -- into the seats in right-center for his sixth homer this year.

"I know that it's a big deal for him. But for me, it's not who I am. It's another day at the ballpark," Halsey said. "I left a fastball over the middle of the plate and he punished me for it. As soon as the pitch left my hand I knew it was probably going to be bad news."

Halsey, acquired by the A's on March 26 in a trade with Arizona that sent Juan Cruz to the Diamondbacks, found himself in this situation as the fill-in for injured No. 2 starter Rich Harden. Halsey's teammates didn't know what to say afterward.

"They really haven't spoken to me," he said. "They mentioned I'll be the answer to a trivia question."

And the 25-year-old Halsey was ready to move on from this, well, memorable moment.

"Anytime you give up a home run you're upset about it," he said. "I appreciate the fact that Barry Bonds is a tremendously gifted baseball player. I'm one of 714. There's a lot of other guys, too."