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ML 3`s `Fire-spitting Homerun Show`

Posted August. 13, 2001 10:17,   


Mark McGuire (38, Saint Louis Cardinals), Barry Bonds (37, San Francisco Giants), Sammy Sosa (33 Chicago Cubs).

Baseball fans will always associate these players with homeruns. These three players are the marvelous sluggers who represent the current American professional baseball. Close friends off the field, on the field they are fiercely competitive homerun rivals.

On August 12, the three players displayed their homerun skills in order. First, Barry Bonds whose potential to set a new homerun record this season has drawn intense interest. He scored three homeruns in the second inning of a Cubs game in Wrigley Field and became the player to hit 50 homeruns at the fastest pace in baseball history.

Bonds hit 50 homeruns after the team played 117 games, surpassing Sammy Sosa’s 50 homeruns after 121 games in 1998. He also set the record as the longest hitting player to score 50 homeruns in the Major Leagues. There is no other player to have hit 50 at 37 years of age. His expected number of homeruns this season is 69. There is a chance that he will break Mark McGuire’s 70 homerun record in 1998.

When it comes to homeruns, Sosa is a hitter on equal par with Bonds. When Bonds hit a homerun in the second inning, Sosa of Chicago Cubs answered back in the seventh with a one point homerun. With 41 homeruns this season, Sosa trails third in the National League after Bonds (50) and Louis Gonzales (43 homeruns, Arizona Diamond Backs).

The season homerun record (70 homeruns, 1998 season) still belongs to Mark McGuire. Although he suffered from injuries last and current season, his hitting power remains awe-inspiring. On August 12, McGuire drew a two point arch in the fifth against the New York Mets in Sheas Stadium, recording a total of 574 career hits that surpassed Harmon Killebrew (former Minnesota Twins player, total 573 career homeruns) and entered the fifth spot in the historical ranks.

The surprising thing is that his recent 10 hits were all homeruns. This is a record that has not been set for the past 25 years. McGuire’s season batting average is only 0.19 but the 20 homeruns out of 38 hits attest to his unmatched hitting power.

Meanwhile, San Francisco Giants’ Riban Hernandez from Cuba scored four base points with 7 base hits in the eighth inning, hitting two point homeruns at bat, scoring 4 base hits and 3 points. This is the first time that a pitcher scored four base hits after John Thomson (Colorado Rockies) in 1997. With a season batting average of 0.333, Hernandez displayed a surprising hitting power when he made eight base hits in the game with Pittsburgh on August 1.

Kim Sang-Soo ssoo@donga.com