This year’s first World Series game made history in several ways, like being the longest World Series game ever and Fox experiencing a seven-minute broadcast outage that they didn’t blame on Beyonce, Taylor Swift or Obama.
The game also saw the first inside-the-park home run to lead off a World Series since 1903–the first Series. Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar took the Mets’ Matt Harvey’s first pitch and sent it to deep left-center field, where it bounced off outfielder Yoenis Cespedes’ leg and continued to the wall. As the outfielders chased it down, Escobar rounded all the bases to score.
Meanwhile, Cespedes’ efforts were not ruled as an error. Runners often reach extra bases, even score, when the defense makes a mistake. These I’ve seen. And my friends (aka Guys Who Think They Are Sports Smarty Pantses) and I debated whether that is what happened, thereby scoring Escobar merely as advancing on an error (also known as a “Little League home run” if multiple errors are involved).
But in this case, Escobar scored on his own efforts (aka I WAS RIGHT). And having never seen an inside-the-park home run before, I wanted to make sure I was clear on just what it was.
By definition, it means the batter hits a home run without actually hitting the ball outside the field of play–the ball doesn’t clear the wall. Instead, it takes a lucky path far enough from the outfielders to give the batter time to make it home.
Luckily for the Mets, no one was on base yet–inside-the-park grand slams happen too, most recently against my Washington Nationals in September, even though they were SUPPOSED TO WIN THE WHOLE DAMNED WORLD SERIES AND BE LIKE THE BEST TEAM EVER ON THE PLANET BUT THE METS KNOCKED US OUT OF CONTENTION!
But I’m not bitter at all.