How’s this for weird? Barry Bonds finally hits home run # 715 on Sunday afternoon to pass Babe Ruth for second place on the all-time list, and no one in the Bay area hears the call on the San Francisco Giants radio station, KNBR. Play-by-play announcer Dave Fleming was primed and ready, and as Bonds made contact for a mammoth blast to deep center field, here’s what was heard:
“Three-two. Finley runs. The payoff pitch. A swing and a drive to deep cen…”
Then crowd noise only, as Fleming’s mike went dead. The same mike that worked perfectly for the last two hours before Bonds swung at that pitch.
Many Red Sox fans believed in the “Curse of the Bambino” (bad karma for trading the greatest player in baseball to the rival Yankees in 1919) when the team failed to win a World Series for something like 9 decades up until a couple of years ago. Was the spirit of Babe Ruth at it again, or simply a disgruntled employee with a severe dislike of the most reviled man in baseball who happened to have his hand on the patchcord or button at the right time (or wrong depending on your feelings on the ex-roided up freak with the a-hole disposition)? If it was Ruth from beyond, it even kind of makes sense that he would silence the call on radio only and not television because that’s how all of his amazing achievements were broadcast. By the time of Ruth’s last season in 1935, only the most rudimentary TV models had been invented and baseball games were still a long way from being televised.
Technical glitch, p.o.’d baseball guy, the spirit of the Babe standing up for what’s right. Who knows what really happened, but it’s fun to speculate. And kind of bizarre to listen to (and not hear!) on such a “momentous” occasion.