From today's chat:
- Drew (Philly): Hey Rob, What are your thoughts on Mark Teixera's shattered bat home run this weekend? Have you ever seen anything like that before?
Rob Neyer: He's definitely not the first to do it ... Surely some enterprising young fellow has culled the archives to find other examples, right? I have a vague memory of Bo Jackson...
I get so many questions and comments in the chats that it's impossible for me to see all of them while I'm actually chatting. Today, though, I did something I've never done before: Afterward, I went back and read through everything I'd missed ... and what a trove! Below, all the memories of other broken-bat homers ...
Kevin (San Diego): I remember Brian Downing of the Angels hitting a broken bat HR in the mid-80's. Also Damian Jackson at Enron Field, errr Minute Maid Park, albeit only 310 feet away...
guinness: Didn't Cliff Floyd do it, too?
Jason (Detroit): Marcus Thames hit a broken-bat homer, I think in 2007, though it could've been 2008, to LF at Comerica Park.
Brandon (NYC): Larry Walker hit a broken bat bomb in St. Louis once...
Mike (Akron): Frank Thomas shattered his bat on a home run in Chicago.
Johnny (Scranton, PA): Without looking it up, somehow the name Jack Howell comes to mind hitting a broken bat HR at the old Yankee Stadium. Might be wrong here.
Otis, D.C.: Jack Howell hit a broken bat home run against Dave Righetti years ago. 1987?
Frank (CT): Mo Vaughn hit a broken bat HR in Pawtucket back in the day. I recall them claiming it was the first time it was done in a professional ball game in a very long time (or perhaps ever) my memory is pretty hazy from that long ago.
Larry (Albany): I saw Mo Vaughn hit one out in the minors off the handle of the bat which then shattered ...
Matt (Chicago): Canseco definitely hit a shattered-bat HR.
Stack (NJ): I seem to remeber Canseco hitting a broken bat HR and mouthing, "What a joke" afterwards...
Rob (Boston): Rob, I remember a broken-bat home run Andruw Jones hit a few years ago (when he was good) thinking it was the most amazing thing I'd ever seen.
Colin (NY): Andruw Jones did it a few years back.
Bob (Wethersfield): I remember Andruw Jones hitting a broken bat HR a couple years ago.. when he was still hitting those.
Chris (CT): Bill Haselman hit a broken bat home run for the Red Sox sometime in the 90's, I believe.
Brad (Norfolk, NE): Shattered-bat home runs have been done before. I remember Bill Haselman doing it for the Red Sox back in '95 or '96. If he can do it, there's no reason Teixeira is that special for doing it.
So we've got multiple memories of Jack Howell, Mo Vaughn, Jose Canseco, Andruw Jones, and Bill Haselman (!). As Brad in Norfolk suggests, while broken-bat home runs are rare, they're far from unprecedented and one hit by a big strong guy doesn't tell us anything truly interesting about him or his home ballpark.