Thursday, August 28, 2008

"Ten years? Rickey's been playing at least 16, 17 years."

And to think, if Barry Bonds had discovered Winstrol sooner, we'd have gotten here a few years ago.

As we steam toward the postseason, the baseball world inches closer and closer to a milestone, 250,000 home runs. On May 2, 1876, Chicago's Ross Barnes took Cincinnati's Cherokee Fisher yard for the first home run in Major League history. Barnes stopped to admire the bomb, styled his way around first base, high-fived the first- and third-base coaches, and stomped on home plate while pounding his chest and pointing skyward. The hit preceded the 1,434th benches-clearing brawl in Major League history. Following the game, Barnes delivered his post-game quotes in the third person, even though nobody was around to interview him.*

The blast was the only home run Barnes would hit in '76, and the penultimate of his career. Fisher's not-so-special brand of slop would add five more to the league total.

It took Major Leaguers over three years -- until June 17, 1879 -- to reach the century mark. For contrast, on August 27, 2008, Major Leaguers hit 31 dingers. Bigger players, more teams, better equipment ... yawn.

A rough guesstimate puts the monumental shot at some time during the second week of September. In keeping with the first one ever hit, allow me to be the first to wish that David Eckstein hits it, since he's probably the closest thing we've got to 145-pound Ross Barnes, particularly in his penchants for speaking in the third person and starting fights.**

* The last three sentences aren't factual. I don't think.

** Vicious lies.

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