This ain’t peanuts: Fan waiting for beer gets No. 715 ball

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – A fan waiting in line for beer and peanuts got something extra at the concession stand: home run ball No. 715 by Barry Bonds.

Andrew Morbitzer was waiting his turn to stock up on a couple of beers Sunday when the souvenir of a lifetime plopped into his hand.

“I got to be a small part of a big day,” Morbitzer said after the game with his wife, Megan, at his side.

For several moments, Bonds’ milestone ball appeared to be beyond anyone’s reach. It sat lodged on an elevated platform in center field, then trickled off the roof.

Morbitzer, a 38-year-old San Francisco resident, caught the ball and was quickly ushered away by security for a postgame news conference after the Giants’ 6-3 loss to Colorado.

Morbitzer said he went to get a few more beers because he couldn’t see who would be up next in the bleachers.

“We both finished our beers and decided it was a good time to get a beer refill,” he said.

He then heard the crowd roar and saw people reaching in the air before catching the ball with one hand.

“I snagged it,” he said.

Giants fans had been waiting for weeks for Bonds to hit his 715th homer and pass Babe Ruth for second place on the career list. Overjoyed fans jumped from their seats and streamers were shot from the stadium as Bonds made his way around the bases and into the history books.

“I was psyched. I’ve been waiting for this to happen for a long time,” said Jesse Weber, who has been to every Giants home game this season. “When I walked into the stadium I knew it was going to happen today.”

Giants were frustrated that Bonds tied Ruth’s mark across the Bay in Oakland last weekend. But on the day before the Giants left for a road trip, Bonds connected at home – leaving him behind only Hank Aaron’s 755 on the career list.

Weber said he didn’t think the achievement was sullied by the steroid accusations that have surrounded Bonds, but worried that “a lot of people think they will need some kind of enhancer to be great player.”

Frank Huysmans was watching the game with his 7-year-old son, Jeroem, who was wearing a Bonds jersey and a cap. Both said they weren’t surprised to see Bonds hit the big home run.

“He’s Barry Bonds and he’s confident and he’s always going to do what he needs to do,” Huysmans said.

Season ticket holder Annie Reynolds said she knew the ball Bonds hit historic homer was headed over the fence when she heard the crack of the bat. She only wished she’d brought her camera.

“Of course, I left it on the table,” she said.

AP-ES-05-28-06 2000EDT

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