Now batting ... Ortmeier? 

May, 21, 2006
OAKLAND, Calif. -- The beautiful thing about baseball is that no matter whether you have 715 home runs or none at all, at some point you're going to wind up on center stage, all alone, with thousands of eyes upon you and thousands of voices screaming in your ear. Such was the case for the Giants' Dan Ortmeier on Sunday afternoon.

One day after Barry Bonds joined the 714-Home Run Club, Ortmeier joined a club almost as exclusive. The "I Pinch-Hit for Barry Bonds Club."

With exactly two big league RBI and five hits on the back of his baseball card, Ortmeier pinch-hit for Bonds in the top of the ninth of San Francisco's eventual 6-0 victory over the Athletics. Although rare -- no one has pinch-hit for Bonds this season -- the move was not a big surprise. Barry was the designated hitter, San Francisco held a commanding six-run lead and was about to return across the bay for a six-game homestand where the Giants would much rather have Bonds hit career home run 715.

Jim Caple | email

ESPN Senior Writer
Author of "The Devil Wears Pinstripes" and winner of a Sports Emmy. Reported from 17 World Series, 9 Olympics, 6 continents.