SAN FRANCISCO -- At the end of Barry Bonds' climb to Major League Baseball's home run record, Peter Magowan reminisced about the beginning -- that is, the beginning of his star player's career with the Giants.
Magowan, the Giants' owner, felt extremely proud in the wake of Bonds' 756th home run, which broke Hank Aaron's all-time mark. But Bonds had only 176 homers when he signed with the Giants before their eventful 1993 season, Magowan's first at the club's helm. San Francisco won 103 games that year and missed the playoffs by just one game, while Bonds hit 46 homers and captured the National League's Most Valuable Player award.
"Barry has meant so much to this franchise," Magowan said. "We've been on a ride for 15 years. We've had some downs, of course, the last two or three years, but the achievement he has made under all of his incredible pressure is a tremendous accomplishment for him."
Magowan admitted that tears sprang to his eyes upon witnessing the majesty of Bonds' milestone homer, which landed in the right-center field seats.
"So much emotion, so many things we've been through, so many home runs we've seen him deliver for our fans here," Magowan said. "I don't think I was the only guy in the stadium feeling that kind of emotion."
Magowan also was overcome with feeling as he thought of Bobby Bonds, an All-Star outfielder with the Giants who died during the 2003 season. The elder Bonds, also prodigiously talented as a ballplayer, knew his son's batting stroke better than anyone else.
"I wish Barry's dad had been here," Magowan said. "I guess in a way, he was."
Like everybody else, Magowan deeply appreciated the sentiments Hall of Famer Hank Aaron expressed in the video tribute that was shown on the scoreboard minutes after Bonds' homer.
"I thought it was wonderful," Magowan said. "I thought Hank spoke from the heart. It was a very classy thing for Hank Aaron to have said what he did and I know it meant a lot to Barry. It meant a lot to the organization."
It's an organization that has known many great players and great moments since its inception in the late 19th century in New York, which executive vice president Larry Baer referred to as he tried to put Bonds' record in perspective.
"This is a big moment in the 125 years of our franchise," Baer said. "Whether it's Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Barry Bonds, it's something that will leave fans with great memories. And isn't that what it's all about?"
Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.