I'm not sure I've ever had a day with such a tight competition for the Home Run of the Day. Here in Milwaukee, Corey Hart hit his first, second, and third home runs of the year in the Brewers' 11-3 rout of the Nationals. In San Diego, Albert Pujols hit his first home run in over 100 plate appearances (that didn't stop him from admiring the blast). Jose Bautista continued his torrid pace of making obnoxious sportswriters say inane things with his 19th home run of the season. In Detroit, Andy Dirks hit his first career home run. Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz returned to the Rangers' lineup down in Texas and proceeded to each hit a home run to celebrate their return. For a day with only twenty-one home runs hit, it certainly seemed like every one of them was meaningful.
So what was the Home Run of the Day? Let's get to the trots!
Home Run of the Day: Jim Thome #2, Minnesota Twins – 23.19 seconds [video]
As excited as I am for all the home runs mentioned above (and, believe me, it's great seeing Corey Hart playing well), the one that made me most excited was Jim Thome's second blast of the game. The home run came in Target Field and was the 593rd of Thome's career. Like Cruz and Hamilton, this was Thome's first time in the lineup for a few weeks, having recently returned from the disabled list. What makes this more special than any of the others, though, is that the Twins were honoring Harmon Killebrew during the game. Thome is often described as the Killebrew of his generation, so the fact that he managed to sock two home runs on the day Killebrew's memory was honored takes it to a whole other level.
Slowest Trot: Jimmy Rollins, Philadelphia Phillies – 24.55 seconds [video]
In the grand scheme of things, a 24.55 second trot isn't really all that slow. Coming from the skinny and (presumably) fast Rollins, though, makes it seems exponentially worse. That's just how things are. Albert Pujols comes in at number two here at 24.24 seconds, having taken his sweet time watching the ball barely sail over Petco Field's leftfield wall.
Quickest Trot: Denard Span, Minnesota Twins – 18.2 seconds [video]
Obviously, the spirit of Harmon was all over Target Field last night. Though I suspect Killebrew never trotted out a home run in only 18.2 seconds. Josh Hamilton, who hit the home run on only the second pitch he's seen all season, came in at a very close second, touching home at 18.24 seconds.
All of Today's Trots Jimmy Rollins....24.55 Corey Hart #1....21.82 Albert Pujols....24.24 Jose Bautista....21.76 Jim Thome #1.....24.09 Asdrubal Cabrera.21.65 Nelson Cruz......23.6 Andy Dirks.......21.44 Jack Cust........23.54 Carl Crawford....21.43 Placido Polanco..23.39* Prince Fielder...21.06 Jim Thome #2.....23.19 Matt Kemp........20.94 Corey Hart #2....23.07 Raul Ibanez......19.92* Jay Bruce........22.47 Josh Hamilton....18.24 Corey Hart #3....22.3 Denard Span......18.2 Michael Moore....22.22