There have been around 1,200 inside-the-park home runs hit during the Major League Baseball regular season since 1951. On Tuesday, Texas Rangers outfielder Hunter Pence may have hit the easiest one in the league’s history.
The 36-year-old Pence, who many thought was washed up when he signed with the Rangers this season, has been having one of the best years of his career with a .585 slugging percentage so far (the highest of his career if it holds) and hitting 14 home runs (the most he’s hit in a season since 2013).
None of those home runs will be as memorable as the one he hit Tuesday night, however.
Normally, inside-the-park home runs are the most exciting play in baseball. That was defintely not the case when Pence launched a drive towards Pesky’s Pole down the right field foul line.
As the ball almost made it into the seats, Red Sox outfielder Brock Holt made an attempt to catch the ball, but ended up stretched out over the top of the wall, not moving, and basically conceding what he knew was going on behind him – the ball, trickling away, thanks to the odd angle of the right field wall at Fenway.
By the time Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts finally retrieved the baseball, Pence was already celebrating at home plate.
Reactions on social media to the bizarre home run were about what one would expect.
Bold strategy to just chill on the fence while he’s rounding the bases
— Covid SZN (@halos45) June 12, 2019
Hunter Pence is 146 years old. you cant let him do that.
— Mite B. DeCarburetor (@Jjen6097) June 12, 2019
Did the right fielder lag out?
— ً (@Kreamations) June 12, 2019
And it's Brock Holts birthday today so I guess he felt like he gave it enough effort
— what's his face (@jerrysnub) June 12, 2019
Good hustle Mookie.
— Gregg 🐺 (@occhipig) June 12, 2019
When The Show glitches out
— JoJo (@RealAntonyo) June 12, 2019
Did someone go pick dude up off the wall?
— Burch 🆎 (@AnthonyDaShaun) June 12, 2019
yoooo he coulda got 6 bases on that... woulda been classic if he kept running
— Umlungu (@days_ph) June 12, 2019
Pence right now: pic.twitter.com/xJLS7l6EUs
— Baseball and Softball Memes (@itsdingerseason) June 12, 2019