March 23, 2012; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Angels third baseman Jorge Cantu (left) catches the ball for an out against Milwaukee Brewers center fielder Nyjer Morgan (2) during the first inning at Maryvale Baseball Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Welcome back to the Greatest Moments in Marlins History. In the 100 plus years of Major League Baseball, is there anything left that hasn’t been done yet? Baseball has a lot of random records and stats that make a lot of people think they have seen it all. Well, moment 16 today shows that there are still plenty of records to be set in baseball. In 2008 the Marlins infield became the first team in Major League history to each hit 25 home runs!
The 25 home runs by each infielder is a record that has been close to be achieved in the past. 5 American League teams in the history of baseball have produced 5 teams that had all 4 infielders hit 20 home runs, but the National League had never had anybody accomplishes such a feat. That all changed in 2008 thanks to Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Mike Jacobs, and Jorge Cantu.
Ramirez played shortstop for the Marlins that famous year. He hit his first home run 5 games into the season against the Pittsburg Pirates in the first at bat for the Marlins in that game. On July 24 in game 102 Hanely would hit his 24th home run of the season to be 1 away from the magical 25. He would have to wait until July 31, game 109 of the season to knock in number 25. Leading off in the 5th inning against the Colorado Rockies, Hanley saw the first pitch and sent it over the left field wall for homer 25! However, Hanley wasn’t the first Marlin to hit 25 that year.
Uggla, our 2nd baseman, would be the first Marlin to reach 25. His first home run came in the 2nd game of the season against the New York Mets. In the 1st inning of the game, on a 2-1 count, Uggla got ahold of the 4th pitch and lined that ball over the left field wall for his first of the season. Uggla would hit number 24 at the 97th game of the season on July 19 against the Philadelphia Phillies. Number 25 would come July 27 against the Chicago Cubs when Uggla led off in the 5th inning at Wrigley field. On a 2-1 count Uggla got a hold of the 4th pitch and lined that ball over the left field wall for his 25th home run of the season (wow that looks a lot like his 1st). 2 down, 2 to go.
Jacobs, our 1st baseman, in his fourth year in the Majors, seemed like the unlikely player to help with this feat. Only once in his career, outside this season, hit 20 home runs. On April 4th (the 4th game of the season) Jacobs would smack his first home run of the season in walk off fashion to start the 9th inning. On August 9th, the 117th game of the season, Jacobs would hit number 24, and it wasn’t long before he hit 25. The next day, on August 10th, Jacobs came up to bat in the 6th inning with 2 outs and a 3-1 count, Jacobs would not miss pitch 5. He took a mighty swing and kissed that ball good bye over the center field wall. Number 25! One more player to go.
Cantu, our 3rd baseman in 2005, hit 28 home runs. This would be the only other time in his career he would hit above 20 home runs. On April 9th, the 8th game of the season, Cantu hit his first home run. It was a pretty lead off shot in the 5th inning down the left field line. Number 24 would be a while away as he hit it on September 9th against the Philadelphia Phillies. 25, though, wasn’t too far away. In his next game, on September 12th, game number 147 of the season. Cantu led off the 5th inning with an amazing home run to give himself number 25 and let the Marlins become the first team in Major League history to have the starting infielders hit 25 home runs!
The Marlins would have another feat that year too; 3 of the 4 infielder hit 30 plus home runs, becoming the 2nd team in Major League history (and the first in National League history) to reach that number. Cantu would fall one home run short to become the first ever 30 home run hitting infielder. Join me tomorrow as we talk about Mr. Marlins himself.