Polo Grounds

Polo Grounds

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Facts about the long ball!

"Just to hit the ball
and touch them all
A moment in the Sun
It's a gone and you can tell that one goodbye"
Centerfield - John Fogarty

Is there anything more exciting than a home run? The way the ball flies off the bat like a cannon, the brief pause where the batter looks at the ball before heading toward first, the collective holding of the breath of the crowd, and the high five between third base coach and ball player as he heads for home. Nothing is better. With the lull that post Super Bowl February brings to the sports world before March Madness and eventually (finally!) the return of baseball, let's take a look at some fun baseball facts and oddities surrounding the long ball: 

Ramon Santiago has hit 30 home runs in his 13 years in the league. His first one was a lead-off home run.....off Pedro Martinez. He also hit one in the 7th inning of the same game off Tim Wakefield.

Bobby Higginson hit a two-out, pinch-hit home run in the 9th inning off Roy Halladay......to break up a no-hitter........in Halladay's second career start.

Stan Musial hit ten or more home runs off seven different pitchers in his career.....all who were all-stars. Three of them were Hall of Famers.

Jamie Moyer allowed home runs to both Mike Schmidt (b. 1949) and Giancarlo Stanton (b. 1989).

At one point, Brad Miller had ten career home runs, which he had hit in six different games. He had four multi-HR games compared to only two single HR games.

There are two major league baseball players with ten+ wins and 50+ home runs. One is Babe Ruth......the other is Rick Ankiel.

Adam Dunn hit four home runs in an eight day span between June 6-14, 2003. Two of them, off Roy Halladay and Randy Wolf, were lead-off home runs.

In 1986, Ron Kittle (176 career HR) faced Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven 6 times. He recorded 1 double and four home runs. His slash line was a blistering .833/.833/3.000. His career line against Blyleven was .318 with 9 home runs and 16 RBI's in 50 PA's.

Five players have hit 100 or more home runs with three different teams: Reggie Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, Jim Thome, Adrian Beltre and Darrell Evans.

Daniel Nava hit the first pitch he ever saw in the Major Leagues for a Grand Slam, off Joe Blanton.

Will Clark (who also hit a HR in his first career at-bat) was 12-36 in his career off of Nolan Ryan, with six of his 12 hits being homers.

LHP Mickey Lolich had 90 career hits in 821 at-bats, for a .110 batting average in the regular season. Lolich did, however, hit a home run in Game 2 of the World Series in 1968, en route to a Tigers victory and, eventually, Lolich winning WS MVP honors.

That's all for now, but I am happy to post more of these if people are interested! Remember, only 26 days until Spring Training games begin!

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