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#EdgarHOF - Day 22

forget Black Friday, it’s DINGER FRIDAY

Edgar Martinez
look at all those stars wearing M’s uniforms. Someday.

I hope you are reading this from somewhere you are happy and safe, and not wedged beneath a pile of humanity at a big box store, because it is the happiest day of the week: DINGER FRIDAY. Today, we look at Edgar’s home run from the 1997 All-Star Game in Cleveland. Edgar went 2-for-2, and he greeted starter Greg Maddux (Greg Maddux! He has a type of game named after him!) with this shot, in the second inning:

Maddux has Edgar in a 2-2 count here and decides to throw Gar an 89 mph space heater right in the zone, which Edgar promptly turns on. This ball starts out looking like it’s going to go straight over the heart of the plate before it takes a last-minute nip inside—some of that Maddux devil magic movement—but by this point Edgar has already made up his mind he’s going to swing; you can see him kick the leg when the ball’s not halfway to the plate:

It’s over so quickly. One second the bat is on the front of his right shoulder; the next second he’s holding it out like the Statue of Liberty’s torch. If you look you can see that this ball did jam him some (sorry about the lousy quality here, I am no José):

But Edgar is able to turn on it and charge up his swing, adjusting his swing path immediately and essentially putting the ball out of the park one-handed. Because Edgar didn’t have the mammoth home run numbers some of his peers did at this time [sneezing sound that sounds suspiciously like “stanozolol”], his name doesn’t often pop up when discussing the best power hitters of the era. To be honest, sometimes I feel that the “pure hitter” label doesn’t always do service to the tremendous power he did have. But as homers like this show, Edgar was capable of damaging any ball, thrown by any pitcher, in any location. To me, that’s the true definition of a power hitter.