SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Nowhere near the
Barry Bonds chase,
Hank Aaron insists his silence speaks for itself.
Aaron has declined all along to be drawn into a debate about
Bonds' worthiness to surpass him as baseball's home run champion.
"I am making a comment by not making a comment," Aaron told
The Associated Press on Monday. He did not elaborate.
At an airport news conference, Aaron instead wanted to talk
about the World Children's Baseball Fair, a charity he co-founded
that will hold its annual series of clinics this week in Puerto
"We started this many, many years ago and it has done
magnificently," he said.
Aaron plans to be on the island through Saturday. By that time,
his record of 755 home runs may be broken by Bonds.
Bonds has 754 homers going into Tuesday night's game against the
Dodgers in Los Angeles. Aaron previously said he would not be in
attendance when the San Francisco star overtook him, saying he did
not want to travel around the country for the pursuit.
Bonds has been followed by suspicions of steroids use. Aaron has
not commented on those allegations.
Dressed in a blue guayabera shirt, the 73-year-old Aaron spoke
about his time as a teenage infielder for the Caguas Criollos of
the Puerto Rican league in the mid-1950s.
"I wouldn't have gotten to the big leagues as quickly if I
hadn't played in Puerto Rico," he said.
Founded in 1989, the World Children's Baseball Fair was
conceived by Aaron and Japan's home run king, Sadaharu Oh, to
promote goodwill around the world. The group has held clinics in
Japan, Canada and the United States.
About 180 boys and girls from about 20 countries will attend
this year's event, which begins Tuesday and will feature clinics
across the island.
The opening ceremony is scheduled for Wednesday at the Roberto
Clemente Stadium, named for the late Puerto Rican baseball great.
"Not only was he terrific ballplayer, but he was also a
terrific gentleman," Aaron said.