As a little kid, nobody dreams of hitting singles. Whether you were playing whiffle ball with your friends or tossing the ball up to yourself, there was one goal in mind — hit a home run. Dillon Dobson still perfectly remembers his first home run. At six years old, he was already advanced on the diamond and playing with kids two years older than him.
“My dad was coaching and we were playing against the best team in the league and I was scared,” Dobson remembers in a phone call with NBCSportsBayArea.com. “I didn't want to go up to hit, this kid was throwing hard.”
But already at six years old, his skills outweighed the butterflies in his stomach. Dobson smacked his first home run ever against what to him was a flame-throwing eight-year-old. He didn’t stop there.
“I hit the first one, it was over the fence and it was crazy,” Dobson said. “I don't even remember how I did it. And then I came up my next at-bat and hit another one. I hit two in that game.”
There was only one missing piece to this lifelong memory, one of Dobson’s biggest fans who he could always rely on seeing at his games.
“My mom was actually at bible school and she never missed games,” Dobson said. “Mom was kind of upset she missed it, but it was a cool time.”
Fast forward 17 years later and Dobson, who now plays second base for the San Jose Giants, is once again hitting balls over the fence, making more memories he’ll never forget. One week ago on April 28, Dobson hit three home runs in one game against the Stockton Ports, the first three-home run game in the club’s 30-year history at San Jose Municipal Stadium. Dobson finished the game going 4-for-4 with five RBI to propel the Giants to an 11-4 victory over the Ports.
Dobson says he had a few two-homer games in Little League and even in college, but a three-homer game he calls “kind of a different world.” From the way he rounded the bases on his third long ball, you would think he’s done this before.
While his third home run of the day eclipsed the center field wall, there was no fist pump or vivid celebrations as he jogged around the bases. Dobson put his head down and made sure he touched every base at a nice steady pace. With the two teammates he drove in, plus the on-deck batter waiting for him at home plate, the emotions took over. Dobson went from calm and collective to smiling from ear to ear.
"I guess I didn't realize it actually happened until I hit home plate and it clicked," Dobson said. "I was like, 'Wow, this is a pretty rare opportunity, I wanna enjoy it.'"
And enjoy it he did, with his teammates just as jubilant as he was in the dugout.
"It was kind of a blur in there when I got in. They were enjoying it as much as I was, so that was pretty cool to see.
"Had to finish the game off and stay focused, but it’s cool to enjoy it while it lasts," Dobson said.
The day before he made history, Dobson came off the seven-day DL after taking a ball off his elbow at the plate. He certainly didn't expect to do much right away, but stayed focused on sticking with the same approach he's always had. Dobson hit 13 home runs in 2016 with the Augusta GreenJackets, though he isn't focused on the long ball and tries to keep it simple — steady approach, hit the ball hard and hit it where it's pitched.
That mindset worked to the highest degree against the Ports. Dobson pulled his first home run of the night down the right field line, took the next one the opposite way and shot his record-breaker to dead center.
Once San Jose secured the win, the celebration was on. Teammates even hit Dobson with a pie to the face… well, not exactly a pie.
"I wish it was a pie," Dobson said with a laugh. "It was shaving cream. It got down in my ear and yeah, it was a mess, but it's all worth it. It's all fun."
The only downside to the shaving cream pie? You can't mess with the hair.
"I got the hair growing right now, so it kind of messed with my mojo in the hair, but it's all good," Dobson jokingly said.
Mom missed her son's first home run, but thanks to the power of technology, she saw every swing of Dillon's historic night. The family stayed up deep into the night watching San Jose's live stream all the way in North Carolina.
"It was like midnight there, but they were still freaking out. It was pretty cool," Dobson said. "My uncle was there, I talked to a lot of people in the family. They were really supportive and enjoying it just as much as me."