Yovani Gallardo has allowed his fair share of home runs – heck, he allowed 16 long ones in 118 innings, leading to a career-worst 1.2 home runs-per-nine one year in Baltimore – but there was a time when he was the threat at the plate.
Specifically, this one time he homered of Randy Johnson:
Yes. That’s Hall of Fame southpaw Randy Johnson.
The same Randy Johnson who won 303 games, five (5!) Cy Young Awards and struck out 4,875 batters in his 22-year big league career.
It’s not as if Johnson never gave up home runs (he allowed 411 career homers, in fact). But of the 411 gopher balls he served up in his 4,000+ innings pitched, Gallardo was the only pitcher to do take him deep. Yovani Gallardo.
Yes. It was Gallardo – proud owner of a career .227 batting average – who took a five-time Cy Young award winner deep into the San Francisco night. What a blast.
To his credit, Gallardo wasn’t a bad hitter for a pitcher. He won the National League’s Silver Slugger award in 2010, a season where he made the All-Star team while pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers. And Gallardo – who won’t likely get too many chances to swing for the fences now that he pitches for the Seattle Mariners – hit 12 home runs in 406 plate appearances from 2007-13.
But it’s that home run off Johnson that will live forever in baseball lore.