On September 28, 2012, Bobby Abreu, in what looks to be his final career home run, blasted a shot down the right field line in Dodger Stadium. After strutting out of the box, Abreu took his sweet time rounding the bases. Vin Scully even said, after Abreu rounded second, “And Bobby’s going to take his time and enjoy the ride.”
Abreu’s trot ended up clocking in at 31.56 seconds. It was the slowest trot in the Tater Trot Tracker era that was not the result of an injury.
(For a look at the other 30-second trotters, see this post on Bobby Abreu’s slow trot.)
Thursday afternoon, Colorado’s Todd Helton put himself in a virtual tie with Abreu for slowest non-injury related trot with a 31.54 second trot off of San Francisco’s Matt Cain in Coors Field.
View Todd Helton’s slow trot here
Much like Abreu, the home run on Thursday was a towering pop-fly down the right field line that could very easily have ended up foul. In fact, the ball had a hang time of close to seven seconds and seemed to land only one or two seats on the fair side of the pole. Anyone can be excused for slowing down to see where that ball would land.
And it’s clear that the uncertainty of the ball affected Helton. There is no good video evidence of exactly what Helton did while waiting for the ball to land. The replays don’t show too much of it and the home run from Nolan Arenado on the very next pitch quickly takes the broadcast’s focus away from Helton. However, before Cain got off that next pitch, the Colorado feed does show Helton regaining his balance and watching the ball fly. He doesn’t appear to move towards first right away but, according to video shown on the San Francisco feed, he is well on his way to first base by the time the ball is ruled fair.
So what does that mean? Unless someone can show clear evidence that Helton took a few steps out of the box towards first base and then stopped his trot before resuming it, this is assuredly an uninterrupted trot and therefore counts in the official statistics. The slow start as everyone waited for the ball to go fair or foul combined with Helton’s natural tendency towards a slow trot (since 2010, Helton’s average tater trot is a very slow 25.3 seconds) to give us one of the slowest trots in Tater Trot Tracker history.
And it was glorious!