Tag Archives: home runs

Babe Ruth’s 500th Home Run

On August 11, 1929 New York Yankee Babe Ruth was the first ever player in Major League Baseball history to hit 500 home runs.  The game took place in Cleveland, OH at League Park VI.  The pitcher that gave up this historic home run was Willis Hudlin of the Cleveland Indians.  Ruth went 2-4 with 2 runs and 1 RBI.  The Yankees would end up losing the game by a score of 6-5.

Babe Ruth ended his career with 714 home runs when he retired in 1935.  His record would stand until Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run in 1974.  Aaron (755) and the current career home run leader Barry Bonds (762) are the only players to surpass Ruth’s record.

In the history of baseball only twenty-five men have hit 500 or more home runs in their career.  Fifteen of those players are in the Baseball Hall Of Fame.  The last player to reach this milestone was Gary Sheffield on April 17, 2009.

Fernando Tatis And His History Making Inning

When you think of all time greats in baseball, names like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson are a few of the players that might pop into your head.  When you think of Major League Baseball record holders you might think of Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr and Barry Bonds.  Fernando Tatis would be the last player you would think of being one of the greats of the game or even holding a MLB record.  While he is not a legendary player he does hold a pretty incredible record.

Fernando Tatis rounding the bases. (Getty Images)

Fernando Tatis rounding the bases. (Getty Images)

Only thirteen players in the history of MLB have hit two grand slams in the same game.  Fernando Tatis is one of those players to accomplish this amazing feat, but he did it better than the twelve other players.  On April 23, 1999 Tatis, playing for the St Loius Cardinals took to the plate in the third inning of their game against the Los Angeles Dogders.  Chan Ho Park was the pitcher on the mound for the Dodgers.  Tatis hit not one but two grand slams, all of them in the third inning against Park.  The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers by a score of 12-5 that day.

Fernando Tatis retired from baseball after the 2010 season.  He had a career batting average of .265 with 113 home runs and 448 RBIs.  While not a impressive career numbers, Tatis holds a very rare and difficult record.  Many look to records like Cal Ripken Jr’s consecutive game record and Nolan Ryan’s career no hitter’s as unbreakable records.  This record is right up their with those as records that might stand forever.  The proof is in the amount of player that have hit two grand slams in one game with only thirteen.  Then take a look at how many did that in one inning, only one.

While Fernando Tatis was a very forgettable player that had a forgettable career, no one can take away this accomplishment.  So when you think of incredible records think of Tatis in that one game back in April of 1999.

Hank Aaron Tied Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record On Opening Day 1974

Many know that Hank Aaron was the first player to tie and break Babe Ruth’s all time home run record.  However most don’t know that the historic tying home run came on Opening Day.  On April 4th, 1974 the Hank Arron and Atlanta Braves played the Reds in Cincinnati, Oh.  It was in that game that Aaron hit his 714th career home run.  The historic home run came in Hank Aaron’s first at bat of the 1974 season.  Jack Billingham was the pitcher that gave up the home run.

Hank Aaron being congratulated on home run 714. (Getty Images)

Hank Aaron being congratulated after home run 714. (Getty Images)

There was no better place for this incredible moment to happen in Cincinnati.  The city is home to the first ever professional baseball team, the Reds.  Everyday until 1990 the Reds had thrown the first pitch in every baseball season.  Opening Day is even an official holiday in the city, complete with a parade.

That great Opening day moment almost never happened.  Prior to the season opener the Braves management was worried that Aaron would not only tie but break the record in Cincinnati.  They were so concerned that he was going to sit out the first series of the season until the team returned to Atlanta.  The Braves were forced to play Aaron in at least two games of the three game series.

Hank Aaron would not hit another home run until April 8th, 1974 in Atlanta.  That home run would be his 715th and broke Ruth’s all time record.  Aaron retired after the 1976 season with the Brewers.  When his career was over Aaron had 755 career home runs.

Babe Ruth: Hall Of Fame Pitcher?

Babe Ruth is by far the greatest Icon in American sports history.  Some would even argue he is the greatest American Icon period.  Everyone from Grandma to your 5 year old niece or nephew knows who Babe Ruth was.  Most people associate Ruth with his legendary slugging days with the New York Yankees.  Ruth even held the Home Run record in Major League Baseball until Hank Aaron broke that record in the 1970’s.  What many people don’t know is that Ruth had a history before the all of those home runs and before the Yankees.

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth made his Major League debut on July 11th, 1914 for the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth won that game; it was the beginning of Ruth’s pitching career.  His pitching career spanned from 1914-1919, all of those seasons with the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth did however pitch 5 games with the Yankees years later and won all 5.  He made the starting rotation for the Sox in 1915 and won 18 games in his first full season.   Ruth started batting in the lineup when not pitching halfway through his time with the Sox.  He had signs of being a great offensive player but was still used primarily as a pitcher.
He went on to have a very respectable pitching career.  He helped pitch the Red Sox to 3 World Series Championships in just 6 seasons.  When Ruth retired he had 94 career wins and a career ERA of 2.28 with 488 strikeouts.  Babe Ruth would be sold to the Yankees in a deal that changed the face of American Sports history.
The Yankees played Babe Ruth in the Outfield and all but ended his pitching career.  There are many people who feel that Ruth could have gone into the Hall Of Fame based on his pitching stats alone.  There is no arguing that Ruth was a great pitcher, but his time in that position pales in comparison to his slugging years.
It really makes you wonder how American Sports would be different if Babe Ruth had not gone to the Yankees and become a baseball hero.  The fact of the matter is as big of an icon Ruth became there would have been no way he would have become so without his years with the Yankees.  The Yankees gave him a grand stage and opportunity to become the Icon he became.  They also surrounded him with other legendary players.

It should not be forgotten just how great Babe Ruth was as an all around baseball player.  While not the most athletic player to grace a baseball field, he was by far the most dynamic.  Ruth was and forever will be America’s first sports legend.

Andrew McCutchen, Best Bet For N.L. MVP

The Pirates have been changing the perception of their team this year.  After years of dwelling in the cellar of the National Leagues Central Division they seem to have turned things around.  The team currently holds a record of 51 wins and 40 loses and are tied for first in the division with the Cincinnati Reds.  Both teams hold a 5 game advantage over the defending World Series Champion St. Louis Cardinals.  Superb pitching has a lot to do with their success but beyond the pitching is the incredible play of Andrew McCutchen.

The Pirates Andrew McCutchen is having an MVP caliber season heading into August.
(Getty Images)

McCutchen is having a great year and has shown himself to be the team leader.  He has the best batting average in both leagues batting .369 after 87 games played.  He also has 22 home runs, 65 RBI’s, 65 runs and 14 stolen bases.  Producing many walk off game winners and with the lowly Pirates not looking so low combined with his stats shows that he is in the running and possibly the lead to win the National League MVP trophy this year.

McCutchen was drafted by the Pirate in the 1st round of the 2005 draft with the 11th overall pick.  He is in prime position to turn this franchise around for good and be recognized as one of the best baseball players around.  He has added excitement to a team that had nothing to get excited about since Barry Bonds left after the 1992 season.  He has had a few good seasons already but none as dominant as he has been this season.  The fact that the Pirates are in 1st place in late July is amazing in its own right.  The city of Pittsburgh could be transferred from a football city into to a baseball city in just a matter of a couple more years.

The Pirates have a lot to prove still.  Can they make the playoffs for the first time since the early 90’s?  Can they advance in the playoffs?  Can they continue to be a good team year in and year out?  All of those questions ride on the play of McCutchen.  If McCutchen continues this run he will be the N.L. batting champion and should be the N.L. MVP.  Recognition of that level would be incredible for the Pirates franchise.   So if you have not been following this player or this team its time to open your eyes and believe what you are seeing,  its true the Pirates are for real and they have one of baseballs best rising stars.

Giancarlo Stanton Has Come Alive In May

Miami Marlins Right Fielder Giancarlo Stanton
(Getty Images)

The Miami Marlins are having a really good month of May.  Their record for this month so far is 18 wins and 8 loses.  The Marlins have shown themselves to be the contenders in the N.L. East many have thought they could be.  The Marlins have to give a lot of credit to Right Fielder Giancarlo Stanton (formerly known as Mike Stanton) for their success.

May has been a month where Texas Rangers star Josh Hamilton solidified his place as a superstar after two incredible months of play.  Hamilton has soaked up most of the mainstream sports media’s attention.  Now their is another star to pay close attention to.

The Marlins and Stanton had a rough opening month of April.  The power  hitter had only one home run in April and it was at the end of the month.  Stanton was also having a hard time getting on base at times.  He has had 2 previous complete seasons in the bigs.  He increased almost all of his stats from his first season in his second season last year.  I have a feeling he can go even further this year.

Stanton celebrates his walk off grand slam on May 13th, 2012.
(Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)

The most exciting event for the Marlins this month came just a week ago at their home stadium known as Marlins Park.  On Sunday, May 13th in the bottom of the 9th inning the Marlins were tied 4-4 with the New York Mets, Stanton came to the plate with the bases loaded.  Stanton did not disappoint,  he blasted a walk off grand slam to give the Fish a 8-4 victory.  In the very short history of Marlin Park this moment is the biggest ending to a game the team has seen.  The grand slam not only made Stanton look good, it showed that the Marlins are ready to battle it out with the teams in the really tough N.L. East.

Stanton was drafted by the Marlins in the second round of the 2007 June Draft.  He was one of their top prospects until he made his Major league debut in 2010.

Stanton has been awesome in May.  He hit 11 home runs and has hit 21 RBI’s this month alone.  He has a season batting average of .291 and hit a total of 12 dingers and totaled 36 RBI’s so far.  He is on pace to have one of his best seasons.

Giancarlo Stanton is a well rounded player with the potential to be a superstar the likes of Albert Pujols.  The question is not if he will reach his full potential but when.  Even the player he has been right now has been a huge benefit to the club.   Stanton is the future of the Marlins franchise and their future is really bright.

Josh Hamilton After 40 Games

The Texas Rangers have played 40 games so far this season. They hold a record of 25 wins and 15 losses. The team is 5 games ahead of the second place team in the A.L. West. The real story this season for the Rangers is their main star Josh Hamilton and his hot streak, or should we call it the beginning of a hot season.

The Texas Rangers Josh Hamilton
(Getty Images)

Josh Hamilton has a .392 batting average, 18 home runs, 45 RBI’s, 33 runs and 3 stolen bases. Of the 40 games the Rangers have played this season Hamilton has played 37 of those games. Hamilton is on pace for 72 home runs, 180 RBI’s, 132 runs and 12 stolen bases. He has already hit 4 home runs in one game this season. Now I don’t need to tell you that it would be one of the best seasons we have ever seen. It should be noted however, Hamilton has never hit more than 32 home runs in one season, but at the same time he has never been this hot.

The big stat that has everyone’s attention are the amount of home runs he has complied so far. His home run hitting this season has reminded me a lot of Ken Griffey Jr.’s record pace in the 1994 season. However Griffey’s season ended in June when the players went on strike. Hamilton will not have anything other than an injury to hold him back this particular season. His pace is impressive but would not be a record. However if he could have hot streaks from time to time, he could very well take the home run record of 73 held by Barry Bonds in 2001.

If Josh Hamilton could take the home run record it would be an incredible thing to happen to Major League Baseball. We all know how tainted the record held by Barry Bonds is after the truth about him taking Performance Enhancing Drugs came out a few years ago. Hamilton would clean up the record having played in an era with stricter testing and a lower tolerance of P.E.D.’s. Hamilton also would be a great story of a man who has battled demons and while he will never be clear of them, made things right and triumphed over them.

Hamilton has had a crazy last 13 years. He was drafted 1st overall in the 1999 June MLB draft by the Tampa Bay Rays. He struggled with a drug addiction and alcoholism. Hmilton never fully adapted to the system in order to become a Major League star. The Rays gave him numerous chance but had no choice but to let him go after 4 years of working with him. Hamilton battled his demons and came back to baseball in the Independent League and later got a contract with the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. He played so well that year that he was signed by the Texas Rangers in 2008. He had an incredible showing in the 2008 MLB Home Run Derby and caught the attention of the sports world. Hamilton has developed into a superstar and is the face of the Rangers Franchise.

The season is only 1/4 complete though. He could calm down, or he could keep going. He is the heart of this team and I feel how Josh Hamilton goes so does the team. The team has made the World Series the last 2 seasons. I totally believe they could make another appearance this year and actually win the championship this time.

Josh Hamilton is what is good about baseball right now. He is a man that has fallen down numerous times, picked himself up every time and succeeded. He will continue to garner attention this year from all baseball fans. I believe the baseball world will rally behind him and if he is close to breaking Barry Bonds’ record near the end of the season and push him to breaking it. Hamilton is already a hero but he could become the single season home run hero by the end of the summer.