Leading Off

Sept. 27, 2004
Sept. 27, 2004

Table of Contents
Sept. 27, 2004

50 Years of Sports in America
Sports Illustrated Bonus Section: Golf Plus
SI Players
Inside The NFL
Inside Baseball
Inside College Football
Inside Boxing
Inside Golf

Leading Off

[This article consist of photographs--see below]

This is an article from the Sept. 27, 2004 issue

COLOR PHOTOPhotograph by Jim Gensheimer/AP Mr. Majestic By now the tableau is classic Americana, like a sky streaked by fireworks on the Fourth. Barry Bonds swings, and the rest of us are transfixed by the graceful arc of another baseball solidly struck. Bonds was right at home in San Francisco when he hit number 700 off San Diego Padres righthander Jake Peavy last Friday night, just as he was for home run number 73 in 2001 and career homers 500, 600 and 661 (which moved him past Willie Mays). Babe Ruth established the 700 Club in 1934, the year its next member, Hank Aaron, was born. After joining them, Bonds added number 701 on Saturday, leaving him 13 homers short of the Babe and 54 shy of Hammerin' Hank. At the top of his game at 40, with another batting title in his pocket (.372 at week's end), a record on-base percentage (.610) and more home runs (43) than strikeouts (36), Bonds has left no doubt that more monumental seasons are in his future. COLOR PHOTOROBERT B. STANTON/WIREIMAGE.COM [See caption above] COLOR PHOTOPhotograph by Robert BeckRyding High Colin Montgomerie wielded a big stick for the Europeans in their 181/2--91/2 drubbing of the U.S. in the Ryder Cup. The blowout left U.S. captain Hal Sutton (far left, with Jim Furyk and Tiger Woods) in shock while his counterpart, Bernhard Langer, was joyfully pounding Ian Poulter into the Oakland Hills turf. COLOR PHOTOJEFF KOWALSKY/EPA [See caption above] COLOR PHOTOJEFF J. MITCHELL/REUTERS [See caption above] COLOR PHOTOPhotograph by David E. KluthoEnd of the Ice Age? Twenty-four hours after Canada won the World Cup of Hockey on Sept. 14 in Toronto, a lockout by NHL owners guaranteed that the 3--2 win over Finland would be the last big league hockey played in North America for a while. Until management, such as Phoenix Coyotes managing partner and Team Canada executive director Wayne Gretzky (kneeling in suit), comes to terms with players, like winning goalie Martin Brodeur (seated on ice), NHL training camps will be shuttered. The forecast? Extremely chilling.