Not the home run record, because that probably would have gotten some more hype. But it is a record nonetheless. By hitting No. 24 today, Cleveland’s Asdrubal Cabrera broke the single-season record for homers by a Venezuelan shortstop.
OK, yeah, Babe Ruth wasn’t eligible for this one.
Alex Gonzalez had held the record, hitting 23 in 2004 with the Marlins and then matching that total with the Blue Jays and Braves last year. Carlos Guillen has the next three biggest seasons: he had 21 homers while primarily playing shortstop in 2007, 20 in 2004 and 19 in 2006. And then there are a couple of more Gonzalez seasons before one gets to Dave Concepcion’s career-high 16 homers in 1979.
So, obviously, while Venezuela has produced some great shortstops, including Luis Aparicio and Omar Vizquel, it hasn’t produced a whole lot of power-hitting shortstops.
Cabrera, who made his first All-Star team this year, is hitting .274 and has 88 RBI. His 24 homers this season are six more than he had in 1,415 major league at-bats from 2007-10.