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Juan Soto home run cannot be held by ballpark, time

WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 18: Juan Soto #22 of the Washington Nationals celebrates hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning during game one of a doubleheader against the New Yankees at Nationals Park on June 18, 2018 in Washington, DC. Game one is the completion of a game that was suspended on May 15th due to rain. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON – Years from now, some poor, intrepid baseball fan will be trying to piece together Juan Soto’s rookie season and will be very, very confused.

On Monday afternoon, the Nationals and Yankees resumed their May 15 game that was suspended by rain, the score tied 3-3. Soto didn’t make his big league debut until May 20, five days after the suspended game. So when he entered Monday’s game, he did so as a pinch-hitter, and immediately did this.

As those who understand the geography of Nationals Park are well aware, that ball was one set of bleacher bum’s hands away from bouncing up against the wall that separates Shake Shack and Blue Smoke up along the scoreboard walk. The Home Run Tracker put it at 433 feet, which seems woefully underestimated. But the round-tripper did more than just drop jaws and win the game for the Nats — it broke baseball’s record-keeping system.

It was actually Soto’s sixth home run of the year, but with the box score listed as May 15, the stat-keeping software logged it as his first. The machines … they do not understand.

It turns out, Soto joined some pretty elite company with his feat.

Soto’s appearance will likely appear in the record books as Bonds’ did, as having happened on the originally scheduled date of the game. But when it comes to homering, he stands alone.

Oh, by the way, the 19-year-old slugger’s emerging nickname? Childish Bambino, a mashup play on Donald Glover’s rap alias and, of course, Babe Ruth. So who else did he break the record books against — literally — than the Yankees.


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