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.
Juan Soto might have broken the space-time continuum. pic.twitter.com/A1sKseU6Dc
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) June 18, 2018
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.
Juan Soto – Washington Nationals (1) 2-run
— MLB Home Run (@MLBHR) June 18, 2018
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.
I have been alerted that this also happened to Barry Bonds. MLB debut came on May 30, but had an RBI single in the bottom of the 17th on April 20 (completed Aug. 11). I love this
— Jamal Collier (@JamalCollier) June 18, 2018
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.
#Nationals Juan Soto is the first player in baseball history to hit a home run in the continuance of a suspended game that would have otherwise been his debut had he been on the team when the game originally started.
— Ryan M. Spaeder (@theaceofspaeder) June 18, 2018
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.