In a few hours, grown men in pajamas will try to hit baseballs as far as they possibly can. It is National Dinger Day. Let us honor the dingers.
Bryan will be by tonight to remember the home runs from June, which was the saddest month in sports history. Right now, though, it's time to honor our favorite all-time home runs. They don't have to be Giants homers. For example, this one is an honorable mention:
But, hey, lookie here, they're all Giants home runs. There is no set criteria for "favorite," and I'm going to screw up and miss at least one. These are my personal favorites as a baseball fan of 30-plus years.
Note: They trend toward the recent seasons because I have the memory of a gnat
Also note: Pagan's inside-the-parker doesn't count because I'm looking for majestic, towering dingers, mostly.
Also also note: J.T. Snow's homer doesn't count because the Giants lost the game, you fool.
5. Barry Bonds' Giants debut
By limiting myself to five, I'm leaving off so many great Bonds ones. Number 756. Yankee Stadium. The one off Francisco Rodriguez. The walk-off after his dad passed away. So many great dingers.
This one, though. Several months earlier, the Giants were gone. They were out of San Francisco. The deal was signed. The preparations were being made. Then the Giants were back and they had the best player in baseball. Best twist ending ever. He homered in his first at-bat as a Giant in San Francisco, and he got to shake hands with his dad as he rounded the bases. It was a beautiful omen.
4. Juan Uribe v. Jonathan Broxton
A lot of postseason dingers are going to get short shrift here. Uribe's game-winner in Philadelphia, for example. That was probably the first time Uribe had hit a baseball to the opposite field in his life, and it helped send the Giants to the World Series.
This one against Broxton, though, was the first time I started believing the Giants even had a chance to win the World Series. The Giants were down 4-0 going into the seventh, then they hit four homers in the next three innings, moving them two games back of the Padres. Uribe's jazz hands were the best jazz hands in a brilliant career of jazz hands.
3. Barry Bonds's 500th
- It was #500
- It went into the water outside of the not-Candlestick wall
- I was there
- It came in the eighth inning of a tight game
- That game was against the Dodgers
- Up yours, Dodgers
- Here, watch this on-field ceremony while you think about losing the lead, Dodgers
2. Edgar Renteria
Reminder: Joe Buck's call was perfect. Think about it the next time you want to complain about him. Dave Fleming's call was perfect in its own way, too.
There's so much to like about this one. That it was in doubt. Cody Ross's little skippy hop-jump onto the plate. The reactions of the fans behind home immediately after contact. That it came off Cliff Lee, who was a postseason legend before that World Series.
I think my favorite part, though, was how it won the first World Series for the Giants since they moved to San Francisco.
1. Buster Posey against Mat Latos
It didn't win the World Series. Not technically, at least. But it's still my favorite home run ever. The Giants won a game in which they got three hits to stay alive in the series, so they shouldn't have even been there. Once Mat Latos was announced as the Game 5 starter, I think I stayed in my bed for 27 hours. I just knew he was going to be the one to end the Giants' season, I just knew it.
This is also my favorite Mat Latos memory, by the way. This home run is on the top of a lot of lists. When Posey hit the grand slam on Sunday, it made me think of this. Like, a grand slam already makes you smile, but this one can magically make the best grand slams feel even better, just by association.
Apologies to Cody Ross, Pablo Sandoval, Joe Morgan, Will Clark, and so many others. This is a subjective thing, and there's no way to get it right. But #1 is obvious. I can't see how it will ever be topped.
Edit: I forgot about Brian Johnson because I'm a bad person. Also, I was moving that day, so I didn't actually watch it live, which is probably why I didn't think about it.
This one from the night before actually meant more to me as a fan because I remember where I was when I saw it: