Barry, Mickey, Goofy ...

July, 26, 2007
Barry Bonds relaxed before Thursday's game by serving as the pitcher in the Giants' annual family game. Asked how many such games he's participated in as a father and as a son, Bonds said, "A lot.

"When my dad played for the Angels in Anaheim, we played against the Disney characters. They had a fashion show for the wives, and then they had us play the Disney characters."

So did he get any hits off Mickey? Or did they bring in Goofy to face the left-hander? How long did it take the umpire to eject Donald for arguing? (And most importantly, did any of the dwarves get angry when Barry called them midget men?)

"I don't remember who pitched to me. I just remember some girl chasing me on the bases," Bonds said, speculating that the girl in question was probably Alice in Wonderland or Cinderella. "I was a little boy, and she was a girl, so of course I ran away from her."

Maybe Bonds needs to face some Disney characters now. Despite being very relaxed and rested from a day off, Bonds went homerless again Thursday. He popped out to third, fouled out to the catcher, flied out to left and doubled when Atlanta outfielders misplayed a flyball. He still is two home runs shy of Hank Aaron's record.

Before the game, Bonds talked extensively about a range of subjects. He commented on the equipment used by old-time players -- the heavy bats and small, clumsy gloves -- saying there is no way pitchers could have been throwing as hard then as they do now if hitters could make contact with those heavy bats.

He said baseball's modern era began with Jackie Robinson in 1947.

"When baseball integrated, that's when it became the national pastime," he said. "Before that, it was just a bunch of different leagues. You had a white league and a black league."

Asked whether he discounted pre-1947 statistics, Bonds said, "I don't discount anything. It's just different times. Different eras. It was just a different league."

Bonds also outlined his family tree, which includes his father, Bobby, and his aunt, Rosie Bonds-Kreidler, who was a hurdler in the 1964 Olympics, as well as a boxer, a football player, a martial arts instructor, a pool shark and a wolf trainer (wolf trainer?). "You have that many athletes in your family, you're bound to get one that is better than all the others."

Jim Caple | email

ESPN Senior Writer
Author of "The Devil Wears Pinstripes" and winner of a Sports Emmy. Reported from 17 World Series, 9 Olympics, 6 continents.



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