An age of bewilderment

Kevin Frandsen remembers what it was like growing up a Giants fan in Los Gatos and how it was “Barry this, Barry that” with his buddies all the time.

He was a star infielder at Bellarmine College Prep then, an All-State selection as a senior who would move on to San Jose State and set the school record for most career hits. But even though he was drafted by San Francisco in the 12th round of the 2004 draft and has never stopped hitting, the Giants’ infielder sometimes finds it hard to believe he is playing a complementary role in his boyhood idol’s pursuit of Hank Aaron’s all-time home run mark. Bonds has 753 career homers, just two shy of the record.

“That’s the most surreal thing,” Frandsen said. “My buddies and I grew up loving him and talking about him all the time. And now I can say I was in the lineup for when he hit 715 to pass Babe Ruth’s record and maybe for when he breaks [the all-time mark]. I’m pretty lucky.”

Frandsen is one of several Giants in their early to mid-20s now contributing for the team and all have played well in varying roles while dealing with the intense media scrutiny Bonds’ chase has created.

Frandsen, 25, is hitting .238 in 62 games with the Giants after going 0-for-3 and starting at shortstop against Atlanta. He started the season batting .403 in 19 games at Triple-A Fresno. Outfielder Fred Lewis, 26, has already clubbed two grand slams this season and is hitting .273 with three homers and 16 RBIs while occasionally spelling Bonds in left, which he did Wednesday, going 1-for-2. Relief pitcher Randy Messenger, 25, has not allowed a run in his last nine appearances and is 0-1 with a 1.07 ERA since arriving from Florida on May 31 in the Armando Benitez trade. And starting pitcher Tim Lincecum, 23, has shown the potential to be a future ace since arriving from Fresno, going 5-2 with a 3.96 ERA and striking out 95 in 86¹/³ innings pitched while performing in front of the media mob.

“Occasionally, someone will make a joke about how there’s more writers in [the locker room] looking for a story then there are players,” Lincecum said. “But it’s funny — Barry’s been chasing the record since I’ve been up here. So I’m more familiar with having [a lot of media] than not. And it’s a great story.”

Frandsen said the special excitement of watching a Bonds at-bat has yet to lose its luster.

“He’s the one guy that makes anyone stop what they’re doing and watch TV because you want to see him hit,” Frandsen said. “And I think he feels that too because he’s so confident every time he goes up there.”

But despite the thrill of the chase, Frandsen said he is hoping the last-place Giants can add to the charged atmosphere at AT&T Park by winning more games.

“Being from the Bay Area and being a Giants fan, I’m used to seeing a lot of wins,” Frandsen said. “So coming up, I wanted it to be all slapping hands in the middle of the field after wins and hopefully we can start doing that more.”

Will the young players benefit from this scene?

Share your comments below.

Other Sportssports

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at

Just Posted

U.S. President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden arrive at Biden's inauguration on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol on January 20, 2021, in Washington, DC.  (Win McNamee/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden issues call for ‘unity’ amidst extreme partisan rancor

‘I will be a president for all Americans,’ he says in inauguration speech

From left, Doug Emhoff, U.S. Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, Jill Biden and President-elect Joe Biden wave as they arrive on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol for the inauguration on Jan. 20, 2021 in Washington, DC. During today’s inauguration ceremony Joe Biden becomes the 46th president of the United States. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images/TNS)
Joe Biden inaugurated as 46th president as Trump era comes to an end

Todd Spangler Detroit Free Press Taking over the reins of government at… Continue reading

San Francisco City Hall is lit in gold and amber to remember victims as part of a national Memorial to Lives Lost to COVID-19 on Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
San Francisco joins national COVID memorial ceremony

San Francisco took part Tuesday in the first national Memorial to Lives… Continue reading

(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times/TNS)
With executive orders, Biden to reverse Trump policies on environment, immigration

Evan Halper Los Angeles Times President-elect Joe Biden will move swiftly to… Continue reading

Private vehicles were banned from much of Market Street in January 2020, causing bike ridership on the street to increase by 25 percent and transit efficiency by as much as 12 percent. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFMTA board approves new Better Market Street legislation

Advocates say traffic safety improvements don’t go far enough to make up for lost bikeway

Most Read