Each day, I highlight the quickest, slowest, and most interesting home runs of the day in Major League Baseball. Some days the calls are easier than others, but it’s always fun. Who doesn’t love home runs?
There’s a lot more out there than Major League Baseball that I’m missing, though. Thankfully, the world is a pretty cool place these days and people can get a hold of me in all kind of fancy ways: email, Facebook, Twitter. On Tuesday afternoon, Twitter user @TheRTTC (Eric Krauss of Race to the Crown) sent me the link to this awesome video.
For those who didn’t click through, it’s a news report of a game between the Rangers’ Class-A affiliate Bakersfield Blaze and the Visalia Rawhide on Memorial Day. Blaze prospect Engel Beltre crushes a tenth-inning, walkoff home run to right field and, after a little preening at the plate, gets involved in a bench-clearing brawl before he even reaches home plate. It is by far one of the more interesting home run trots you may ever see.
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But this is the Tater Trot Tracker, and if a trot can’t be tracked from contact-to-plate, it’s not that interesting. The video linked above, being an on-air news report, just doesn’t have what I’m looking for. So I contacted Pep Fernandez, the sports anchor in the report and the proprietor of Sports With Pep, and asked him if he had the full video available. He got back to me very quickly and, before you knew it, the full video of Beltre’s walkoff home run was available on YouTube. You can watch the video below.
So how long did that trot last? From the moment the ball left the bat to the moment Beltre emphatically stepped on home plate while flipping off the Rawhide, the trot lasted 1 minute, 7.47 seconds. That’s more than two whole David Oritz home run trots! Sadly, the video doesn’t capture what exactly Beltre does at home plate, but there was obviously a bit of showboating in the box. He doesn’t reach first base until about 10 seconds after contact, which is slow by all accounts. He’s at second base at about 15 seconds, though, and at third under 19 seconds. And that’s with the constant jawing between Beltre and the Rawhide players starting just past first base.
The pitcher, Billy Spottiswood, comes out to meet Beltre on the basepath between second and third and it escalates pretty quickly from there. Spottiswood, and what appears to be the third-baseman, Ryan Wheeler, are definitely causing some trouble here, but Beltre doesn’t do anything to ignore or diffuse the situation. The benches clear and a brawl ensues.
Eventually the players are separated and Beltre steps on home to seal the victory. You’ve gotta wonder, though, should that run count? Beltre certainly left the basepath and it’s not like his antics weren’t worthy of an ejection if an umpire were so inclined. I suppose no umpire wants to be responsible for continuing that game, though.
In all seriousness, I would never count a trot time like this on my official list if this had happened in a Major League game. It’s still a rather entertaining thing to watch, though. One doesn’t exactly expect to see that kind of fireworks in a standard home run trot, so, when it does happen, I feel compelled to post it. If anyone has any other exciting trots, I’d love to hear about them. In the meantime, we can always get our kicks from Engel Beltre and his Memorial Day walkoff blast.