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The History of Broken-Bat Long Balls

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USA TODAY Sports

The History of Broken-Bat Long Balls

The one baseball highlight you probably saw over and over again Monday night was Bryce Harper's improbable broken-bat home run en route to an 8-6 victory over the Mets. 

It begs the question: Has it happened before in Major League Baseball? 

This was well before my time, but the great Vin Scully was left speechless after Jack Howell did this: 

 

Rewind to August 2002. Just eight days removed from blasting his 600th homer, Barry Bonds hit this one out: 

2005 MLB home run king, Andruw Jones, took this pitch to deep center: 

  

Switch-hitter Mark Teixeira launched this ball to deep left while in Pinstripes: 

  

In September of 2011, Justin Upton left Jeff Karstens beside himself after hitting his 31st out of the yard: 

 

For Bryce, this wasn't just a broken-bat deep ball. It marked his league-leading eighth home run and he now finds himself one short of his career-high through the end of April. 

More importantly, it powered the Nationals past the Mets who sit atop the NL East at 12-3. 

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On this date: The Nationals played their first game ever

On this date: The Nationals played their first game ever

It seems like eons ago that the Washington Nationals played in their first game after departing from Montreal.

Saturday marks the 15th anniversary of their inaugural game as they brought professional baseball back to the District of Columbia.

The Nationals opened up the 2005 season on the road at Citizens Bank Park with a matchup against their future rival in the Phillies.

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The game didn't go as planned for Nats manager Frank Robinson, with his squad dropping the first game of their 162-game slate with a defeat, but it was a return to normalcy for baseball fans in the nation's capital who had longed for a team to root for since the Senators left town 34 years prior.

The Phillies beat the Nats 8-4 on Opening Day, but for fans in the District, there was now a team to cheer on when they returned home a few days later for the home opener at RFK Stadium.

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Nats GM Mike Rizzo displays Commissioner's Trophy in neighborhood during quarantine

Nats GM Mike Rizzo displays Commissioner's Trophy in neighborhood during quarantine

Now this is the type of content we love to see. 

Nationals GM Mike Rizzo found a pretty cool yet responsible way to bring some cheer to his neighborhood in the midst of social distancing on Thursday. 

On the day that should have been the Nats’ 2020 home opener Washington’s GM Mike Rizzo displayed the World Series trophy in the window of his home in Navy Yard.

According to The Washington Post’s reporter Barry Svrluga, Rizzo’s gesture was “in honor of Opening Day!” 

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Of course, fans loved this idea. I mean who wouldn’t? 

Fans passing by even stopped to take a picture with the trophy. 

Although we were all thrilled to return to Nationals Park to celebrate the defending World Champions, Rizzo’s trophy display was a way to spread some joy until we can reunite again. 

On a recent conference call Rizzo told reporters, “This is going to be a very, very special Opening Day for us when it happens, so we still have that to look forward to... On the brighter side, the glass half full view is that we’re the reigning world champions and we still are clutching hard to that trophy. We’ve got ourselves a banner-raising ceremony coming, we’ve got ourselves some beautiful rings that we’re going to be able to wear around D.C. in the very near future, so although we’re thinking daily and hourly about the humanity of what’s going on right now, we also have that to look forward to when we get through this thing and we come out the other side and baseball begins again.”

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