Mike Stanton hit 43 homers between the minors and majors last season, including 22 long balls in 100 games with the Marlins following his call-up in mid-June, which has Joe Frisaro of MLB.com wondering if he can break the franchise record for homers in his first full season.
Gary Sheffield owns that mark with 42 homers in 1996 and no other Marlins hitter has homered even 35 times in a season, so Stanton doing age 21 what only one other player in only one other season could do during the team’s 18-year history seems pretty unlikely regardless of his immense power potential.
Looking beyond the Marlins, here’s a list of the most homers by a 21-year-old in baseball history:
Eddie Mathews 47 1953
Albert Pujols 37 2001
Hal Trosky 35 1934
Miguel Cabrera 35 2004
Jose Canseco 33 1986
Bob Horner 33 1979
Jimmie Foxx 33 1929
Andruw Jones 31 1998
Ruben Sierra 30 1987
Of all the great young sluggers in baseball history Eddie Mathews is the only one to smack 40-plus homers as a 21-year-old, and Mathews and Albert Pujols are the only ones to top 35 long balls at age 21. Stanton definitely has the ability to join them in 2011, but Marlins fans shouldn’t be disappointed if he manages “only” 30 homers in his first full season.
On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.
The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.
Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:
While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.
Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.
It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.
With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.
Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.