The Tacoma Rainiers may have lost the game on Thursday, but they definitely provided the highlight of the night.
Catcher Cal Raleigh hit one of the longest home runs you will ever see at Cheney Stadium, perhaps adding his name to a very short list of just two players who have made Tacoma history by homering over the giant center field wall.
Batting right-handed against Salt Lake lefty Thomas Pannone in the third inning, Raleigh launched a towering drive toward center. The ball carried out of the deepest part of the ballpark, passing over the fence just barely to the right of the giant wall.
At least, that was the way it appeared to everyone watching in the press area – which is on the third base side of the ballpark, which makes the angle tricky to be sure about something like this. Raleigh’s ball certainly had the height and the distance to pass over the giant wall, but on press row we all saw it as being a bit to the right of it.
Here’s a look at the replay, which is also somewhat troublesome because the baseball leaves the top frame of the shot:
Cal hit this ball, uh… far 🤯 pic.twitter.com/qrU9kHTKvL
— Tacoma Rainiers (@RainiersLand) June 4, 2021
I’ve looked at this on my large desktop monitor, pausing frame-by-frame like it’s the Zapruder Film or something, watching where the ball falls, and I can’t tell if it would have gone over the wall or to the right of it. Maybe we need to put football uprights on top of the center field wall?
Covid restrictions are going to make this more difficult than it should be, but I’m going to try to ask some people who were involved in the play – possibly the umpires, too – if they thought it was over the wall or to the right of it.
Only two players have previously cleared the center field wall in an official Triple-A game: A.J. Zapp did it at the tail end of the 2004 season, a year in which he hit 29 homers for Tacoma. Shin-Soo Choo accomplished the feat on a very windy day early in the 2005 season.
Others have cleared the wall during batting practice, most notably Jose Canseco who apparently did it when the gates were open, based on the number of people who claim to have seen it.
No matter how you look at it, this was an absolute gargantuan home run by Raleigh, who extended his hitting streak to 15 games with the blast.
YESTERDAY: Salt Lake hammered out 15 hits – eight of which went for extra bases – and won the opening game of Tacoma’s homestand last night, 10-5. Cal Raleigh hit a massive home run for Tacoma, and both Jose Marmolejos and Kennie Taylor has two hits. Taylor’s were his first career Triple-A hits.
TODAY: Salt Lake (10-15) at Tacoma (13-12), 7:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 5-2.
PITCHERS: RHP Jake Faria (1-1, 6.20) at RHP Darren McCaughan (1-1, 5.63)
No bullpen day today, as McCaughan is stretched out for a full load of starter’s work.
ROSTER MOVES: One additional move was announced prior to last night’s game: middle reliever Bernie Martinez is back from Advanced-A Everett.
HOT HITTERS: Cal Raleigh has a 15-game hitting streak, going 28-for-65 during the streak… Raleigh has reached base safely in 19 straight games… Dillon Thomas has hit four homers during a six-game hitting streak… Jantzen Witte has a six-game hitting streak, and both Shed Long and Jack Reinheimer have hit safely in five straight games… the Rainiers have clubbed 30 home runs over the past 12 games, with 13 different players going deep.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake just became the first team to get the worst of it in the new Triple-A West schedule format: the Bees were swept – at home – in a six-game series by the Round Rock Express… outfielder Jo Adell leads the league with 12 home runs… Luis Rengifo and Brennon Lund each have five-game hitting streaks… reliever Tim Peterson was born in Tacoma and graduated from Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- Jake Fraley launched a three-run homer to help the Mariners beat the Angels last night, getting the team back to the .500 mark.
- Hold the phone! We might be having playoffs in the Triple-A West after the season – which would be a change of plan. Baseball America has the story ($).
- If you like to dive into minor league baseball statistics, MiLB.com has a good primer on how to look at them.
Listen to every home and away Tacoma Rainiers game for free HERE. You can also download the MiLB First Pitch app for a free and easy one-click listening experience at home, work or in your car. Watch an HD video broadcast of every game with an MiLB.TV subscription. Use code: RAINIERS to save $10 on an annual subscription.
About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.
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