Showing posts with label First Home Run. Show all posts
Showing posts with label First Home Run. Show all posts

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Bartolo Colon joins unlikely group with first career home run

Bartolo Colon made history of sorts Saturday night when he hit his first major league home run off of James Shields of the San Diego Padres. The 42-year-old Mets pitcher joined a select group of major leaguers to homer in their age-43 season or later, a list that includes Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, soon-to-be Hall of Famer Omar Vizquel, 2000 American League MVP Jason Giambi, and All-Stars Julio Franco and Andres Galarraga. Unlikely company for a pitcher with a lifetime .089 career batting average.

Bartolo Colon hitting his first major league home run


Friday, August 7, 2015

Michael Conforto hits his first major league home run against the Marlins

Michael Conforto further solidified his place in the New York Mets lineup last night when he hit his first major league home run in the second inning off of Miami Marlins starter Tom Koehler. The 433-foot blast to right-center field put the Mets ahead 3-0, putting them well on their way to a 12-1 victory.

“I was just trying to find a good pitch to hit something hard,” Conforto said. “I got into a good count 3-1, got a good fastball out over the plate [and] put a good swing on it.”
Michael Conforto at MCU Park in 2014 / N. Diunte

Conforto hit Koehler’s 3-1 offering into the depth of Marlins Park with two runners on base and the pitcher Bartolo Colon waiting on deck. Many in the ballpark were expecting Koehler to pitch around him to get to the weak-hitting Colon after falling behind in the count; however, Conforto showed tremendous poise in being prepared to hit in that situation.

“I wouldn’t say I [was] surprised,” he said. “It was what I was looking for. I wanted to make sure that I got a good pitch to hit … in a spot where I could put us ahead and help the team out.”

With the Mets recent acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes, Conforto was slated to head to their Triple-A team in Las Vegas this weekend; however, when Kirk Nieuwenhuis suffered a neck injury, Mets manager Terry Collins kept him from boarding the plane. The move paid tremendous dividends against the Marlins.

“It was a good night for him to get him going,” Collins said. “He is going to be such a good hitter."

The 23-year-old outfielder has made meteoric rise to the majors since being selected in the first round of the 2014 draft. He spent the 2014 season with the Mets short season club in Brooklyn, and split time between two minor league teams this season, before being called to the majors last month from Double-A Binghamton with only 133 professional games under his belt.

With his major league career only a few weeks old, behind every turn of the corner is a new milestone for the future star of the Mets organization. As he floated around the bases after his first home run, Conforto not only put a foothold on his position with the team, but cemented an unforgettable moment in his promising journey.

“The whole trip around the bases was a flash in my mind,” he said. “So it's a moment I'll never forget. It's pretty cool."


Monday, August 27, 2012

Dwight Gooden's first career home run

Dwight 'Doc' Gooden's amazing talent as a pitcher with the New York Mets have been well heralded throughout the years; however, Gooden took tremendous pride in his prowess at the plate. He belted eight home runs during his career while finishing just below the Mendoza Line with a .196 batting average. The video below shows the first home run of Gooden's career, which came on September 21st, 1985 at Shea Stadium off of Rick Rhoden.

Courtesy of CourtsideTweets on Youtube -


Monday, August 22, 2011

Carl Erskine tells the story of his first major league home run

Nineteen-fifty-five was a banner season in Brooklyn. The Dodgers finally won the pennant, proclaiming themselves bums no more. Johnny Podres shut down the heralded Yankees in Game 7, rightfully placing the champagne on the Brooklyn side of the dugout. Roy Campanella edged out teammate Duke Snider for National League MVP honors. The Dodgers, for once, were the sole kings of New York.

This is Part 1 of a series of interviews with Brooklyn Dodger great Carl Erskine about his experiences playing with the storied franchise. Erskine appeared recently in New York on behalf of the Bob Feller Museum and was kind enough to grant us access to produce this series of vignettes regarding his career.


For pitcher Carl Erskine, 1955 holds a more special distinction in his heart. Every pitcher has dreams of swinging the lumber like their mighty counterparts. The Dodgers lineup was filled with many who could send the ball out of the park in a heartbeat. One June evening that season in Ebbets Field, a well placed fastball allowed him for a night to roll up his sleeves and take one leisurely stroll around the bases.

On the mound was the intimidating “Toothpick” Sam Jones, who earned the nickname because he pitched with a toothpick in his mouth. Known for his deadly curveball, he led the National League in strikeouts during three different seasons.

Just the mention of his name immediately evoked memories of Jones’ hammering curveball.

“Oh nasty, oh nasty! Oh it was one of the toughest!” exclaimed Erskine.



To illustrate just how great Jones’ pitch was, he relayed a story about a matchup Jones had against the aforementioned Campanella.

“Well his curveball was big and it broke late,” he said. “I could remember Campy one game in Chicago. Campy hit in a squat [as Erskine demonstrates Campanella’s stance] and Campy goes down, and he sits down! Strike! You don’t see that in the big leagues. His curveball was big and it was nasty.”

In the bottom of the 5th inning, Erskine stepped to the plate with one out. He didn't want any part of Jones's curveball.

“Sam Jones, he could throw hard; [that’s] probably why I hit it out,” he said. “We had a 6-0 lead at the time [it was actually 1-0, the Dodgers ended up winning 7-0], so it wasn’t like an important run or anything.”

Luckily for him, his first [and only] round-tripper had witnesses.

“I had some friends I left tickets for right behind the dugout,” he said. “So I had plenty of witnesses back in my hometown [to say], ‘Yes he did.’”

So frustrated was Jones for giving up a long ball to the opposing pitcher, Erskine said he did the unthinkable, he got rid of his trademark toothpick!

“What he did that night, when I hit that home run, he threw away his toothpick. As I’m going to first base, he throws it down on the mound.”


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Astros Martinez first home run riles up his hometown supporters

Moments after J.D. Martinez hit his first major league home run, the action at Casanova's Baseball Academy in Hialeah came to a screeching halt. His first-inning blast off of Dontrelle Willis had the phone ringing off the hook. Former major leaguer Paul Casanova picked up the call and excitedly shouted, “Flaco did it! He hit his first home run!” All of the players working out stopped and cheered for the hometown rookie.

“Flaco” is the nickname which most of the people at the baseball academy call Martinez. Trained under the watchful eyes of major league veterans Casanova and Jackie Hernandez, Martinez built his legend right in Casanova's backyard, literally.

Casanova runs a training facility out of the backyard of his home, complete with pitching machines, batting cages and video recording equipment. Martinez has been faithfully attending sessions at the academy since he was a budding superstar at Miami's Flanagan High School. He was called up less than a week ago to replace Hunter Pence after his trade to the Philadelphia Phillies.

Both ex-major leaguers had ear-to-ear grins as the calls poured in and the highlights flashed on the MLB Network.

“He's been coming here since he was a kid," Casanova said. "Everyone down here knows he was working with us and we are just happy to see him do it.”

As Martinez topped off the rest of the game with two doubles, one of which narrowly missed being a home run, Hernandez confidently asserted that this will be a normal occurrence for Martinez. “He's been doing this everywhere he's been. Every level, he's hit. We will see him in left field for many years to come, just watch.”

While the cheers in Houston may have been plentiful for Martinez, they were just as loud in Hialeah, as the hopefuls watched one of their own begin to build his legacy in the majors.

“All of Hialeah is pulling for him.” Casanova said.