It took 1,002 games, but Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Garrett Jones did it first. Jones became the first Pittsburgh Pirates player to hit a ball into the Allegheny River against the Cincinnati Reds. Meanwhile, a leisurely late afternoon ride for a cyclist almost became life changing. It appears that the blast from Jones missed the cyclist by a few feet.
It’s hard to imagine the pain if Jones would have connected with the cyclists on the tandem bike. At least they were wearing helmets.
With the crime scene avoided, we can get back to staring at that GIF from Cork Gaines a few more times. Damn, that ball was crushed. The 6’4″ home-run hitting Jones has now crushed 92 homers as a Pirate.
When PNC Park opened most Buccos fans that homers would be launched with regularity into the river. It soon became evident that it’s a lot more difficult than it looks.
We’ve all seen a lot of bombs from GFJ, but nothing as memorable or as crucial in his Buccos career than the blast yesterday. Without it, the Bucs wouldn’t have been able to grab the victory– which was crucial with a very difficult June schedule ahead.
Since being signed out of the Twins organization, Jones has regularly supplied the Pirates with big time power. Jones hit 21 bombs in his rookie year in 2009. He followed that up with 21 more in 2010 and then 16 in 2011. Jones was one of the few Pirates hitters to keep on slugging during the 2012 collapse as Jones crushed 27 homers for a career high.
GI Jones is being used in a platoon with Gaby Sanchez in 2013 and the monster river shot was his fifth homer of the season. The two-run bomb tied the game and the Bucs would go on to win in extra innings on a Travis Snider walk-off single.
And thankfully didn’t create a possible tragedy.
A certain Father of the Year candidate who wanted to throw his child into the Allegheny to retrieve the historic baseball.
The search is on for the ball!