By Glen Sparks
Brett Gardner hit the 15,000th home run in Yankee history on Sunday in the Bronx. Gardner now has 40 of those 15,000. Babe Ruth (659), Mickey Mantle (536), Lou Gehrig (493), Joe DiMaggio (361) and Yogi Berra (358) have 2,407 of them, or 16 percent.
John Ganzel hit the first recorded home run in Yankee history, an inside-the-park-job on May 11, 1903. Here is some more Yankee home run trivia:
- The Yankees are the only team with 15,000 home runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Giants rank second, with 13,984 through Sunday, and the Cubs rank third with 13,355.
- Bob Meusel hit the 1,000th round-tripper in Yankee history (Sept. 2, 1925), according to newsday.com. Mantle hit the 5,000th (Aug. 8, 1954), and Claudell Washington hit the 10,000th (April 20, 1988).
- Ruth led the American League in home runs 12 times, more than any other player. He hit 54 in 1920, more than any other American League team and more than every National League team except the Phillies. Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, broke Roger Connor’s all-time home-run record with his 139th. The Bambino hit 575 more after that.
- DiMaggio knocked 15 home runs during his 56-game hitting streak in 1941. The Yankee Clipper smacked 361 career homers. He only struck out 369 times.
- Mantle hit a home run in 1953 at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., that measured 565 feet. Some people insist he hit even longer homers. The Mick hit two balls off the third-deck façade at Yankee Stadium.
- Mantle and Roger Maris smashed 115 home runs combined in 1961, more than any other teammates in history. Barry Bonds and Rich Aurilia hit a combined 110 (Bonds 73, and Aurilia, 37) for the 2001 San Francisco Giants, the second-best single-season duo. Ruth and Gehrig belted a combined 107 (Ruth, 60, and Gehrig, 47) for the fabled ’27 Yankees.
- Reggie Jackson hit three home runs on three consecutive pitches in Game Six of the 1977 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers (off Burt Hooton, Elias Sosa and Charlie Hough, in that order). He also had hit a home run on Don Sutton’s first pitch in his last at-bat of Game Five. Mr. October hit eight home runs in three World Series as a Yankee.
- Don Mattingly ripped a home run in eight straight games for the Yankees in 1987, tying a record set by Dale Long (Ken Griffey Jr. matched Long and Mattingly in 1993. Mattingly, though, hit 10 homers in his streak. Long and Griffey hit eight.) The former New York first baseman also set a single-season record in 1987, since tied by the Indians’ Travis Hafner, with six grand slams. They were the only six slams of Mattingly’s career. Mattingly, now manager of the Dodgers, hit 222 home runs in a 14-year career with the Yanks.