Since debuting in 2015, Joey Gallo has swatted 146 big-league homers, most of the tape-measure variety. But Gallo’s first round-tripper in pinstripes (also his first in 30 lifetime at-bats in the Big Apple) traveled a puny 331 feet, barely clearing Yankee Stadium’s notoriously short right-field porch.
While YES announcer Michael Kay marveled at the All-Star outfielder’s “signature moment,” fans on Twitter found themselves in a similar state of disbelief, debating whether Gallo’s “home run” would have even reached the warning track at other venues.
Gallo, like many left-handed sluggers before him, is already benefiting from New York’s uncommonly short right-field dimensions, which, one would imagine, was a key factor in the Bombers adding him at last week’s MLB trade deadline. According to Statcast, Gallo’s three-run shot to right would have left the premises in exactly half of MLB’s 30 home parks.
Between Gallo and fellow newcomer Anthony Rizzo (not immune to the Cubs’ dismantling last week), the Yankees appear to have cornered the market on left-handed power, supplementing a lineup already flush with potent bats like Giancarlo Stanton, Aaron Judge, reigning American League batting champ DJ LeMahieu and the suddenly resurgent Gary Sanchez. Enlivened by their deadline acquisitions of Gallo and Rizzo (players both proud of their Italian heritage), the surging Yankees have won six of seven, trimming their deficit to just 5.5 games in the division and 1.5 in the AL Wild Card hunt.
Gallo’s late-inning contribution Thursday against Seattle may have been more bloop than blast, but it goes in the record books as a home run all the same, which, for Yankees fans, is obviously all that matters.