SAN FRANCISCO -- The national spotlight has faded. The kayaks mostly are gone, leaving McCovey Cove -- once again -- all to the fish. The night-time chill and mist remain, but the carnival long ago left town.
One year after Barry Bonds set baseball's all-time home run record, all that's left is the fog.
|Like him or not, Bonds attracted a lot of fans to the park. (Getty Images)|
"It's amazing how he was such a big part of everything, and now he's not even ..." Giants outfielder Dave Roberts says, his sentence hanging there momentarily before disappearing the way of everything else Bonds around both this ballpark and this city.
AT&T Park mostly has been scrubbed clean -- at least, on the inside -- of all things Bonds. There are two small references, one an orange sign affixed to a brick wall in right-center field, near the spot where historic No. 756 landed, and described by one Giants player as "itsy bitsy." The other is a small leaderboard next to the 421-foot sign in right-center field listing the four names in the Giants' 500-homer club: Bonds, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey and Mel Ott.
"I couldn't believe they did that," says Paul Cardinale, the general manager of Momo's, a popular restaurant and bar across King Street from AT&T Park. "It's obvious that Barry built the house, basically. He put a lot of butts in the seats. All the regulars in our restaurant, a lot of season-ticket holders, they all noticed. It was pretty harsh."
But it isn't just at the ballpark.
"It's sort of like all traces of Barry Bonds have been erased from the city," says Curtis Huber, curator for the past 15 years over at the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf.
Huber should know, because he has helped. The Wax Museum, located across the Embarcadero from the longstanding tourist destination Pier 39, banished its life-size figure of Bonds from its lobby in April, demoting it to downstairs with the rest of the wax statues.
"When he was in the lobby, people used to come by and take pictures," Huber says. "It didn't necessarily generate ticket sales, but he was a San Francisco icon and we left him up there. Some people thought it looked like him. Some people thought it looked too mean. Some people thought we made his head too big.
"But it was totally proportional."
The museum now features Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie figures in the lobby -- they bear an eerie resemblance to the stars, particularly Jolie's lips and Pitt's hair -- as well as that of Harrison Ford ("Top-earning swashbuckling film hero").
Bonds is downstairs in a sports display next to, among others, figures of Mays, Muhammad Ali and Joe DiMaggio. A wax artist who formerly did figures for Madame Tussauds in London designed the statues of both Bonds and Willie Brown, San Francisco's former mayor, and talk about an actual wax likeness. Both are killer.