Now Bonds, the preeminent slugger and symbol of this generation, is on the cusp of booting Mays from the top three on the home run list, where Mays has been since passing Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx into second place behind Ruth in 1966. ( Aaron later leapfrogged Mays and Ruth.) As Bonds stepped to the plate in his first exhibition at bat last week, at the Chicago Cubs' spring training home in Mesa, Ariz., the crowd's reaction to him might well have been a referendum on these boom times in baseball. Many of the fans cheered. More of them booed. One man held a sign that said, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT STEROIDS PRODUCE NUMBERS.
When asked after the game if he noticed the mixed reception, Bonds replied, "I don't hear people that often. Not really."