Friday, August 20, 2010

JIM: So, I keep thinking that I will never forget that home run hit by Domonick Brown last night. It just went unbelievably far. And I think that my son won't forget it either.

And then today, I heard that Bobby Thompson died. So that got me to thinking about famous home runs in baseball. There are home runs I have seen that I will personally never forget because I was there in person (Jeff Bagwell hitting one well into the orange seats in the upper deck at Three Rivers comes to mind). But just take a minute to think about famous home runs in baseball:

Thompson's shot heard round the world
Babe Ruth's "called shot"
Hank Aaron's 715th home run
Kirk Gibson being injured and coming off the bench in the 9th inning to hit the game-winning home run in the first game of the World Series
Joe Carter hitting the game-ending World Series winning home run in 1993
Carlton Fisk hitting the home run where he is waving for the ball to stay fair as he runs down the first base line.

These are just ones that come to mind immediately off the top of my head. But what do you notice about this list?

There aren't any home runs on this list hit by Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, or Mark McGwire. In fact, even when I try, I can't think of one famous or memorable home run hit by any of those guys, even though I've probably seen the vast majority of all of the home runs they've hit in their careers (at least on SportsCenter highlights). Yeah, I may someday tell my grandkids that Barry Bonds was probably the best player I ever saw, but if they ask for that one memorable, career-defining home run that he hit, I got nothing.

Maybe the Baseball Gods really do make sure that everything always evens out in the end.

DAVE: I have one for Bonds. It's a highlight that gets shown here in Pittsburgh from the 1991 season. I was at Peter's Pub drinking with some friends and watching the Pirates game (because that's what you did when they were good) against the Cardinals, who were the Pirates' closest rival in the standings at that time. It was extra innings and Lee Smith (who was at the height of being unhittable as a closer) came in to face Bonds. Bonds hit a home run to right field and raised his arms in the air and then went down the first base line clapping his hands together while a stunned Lee Smith walked off the mound. The bar erupted in joy in a way that I've never experienced since regarding baseball in Pittsburgh. And the Pirates never looked back, going on from there to win the division.

But no, I agree that there are not "historical" home runs associated with those guys, if you don't count the ones where McGwire and Bonds broke records. I still remember those. I watched them, even though I didn't believe.

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