Heyward youngest in 60 years to homer in 1st AB

20 – the age of Jason Heyward, who on Monday became the youngest player in 60 years to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat.

The Braves right fielder was the youngest to perform the feat since 1950, when 19-year-old Ted Tappe hit a pinch-hit homer for Cincinnati at Ebbets Field.

“He’s only 20? That’s awesome,” Cubs first baseman Derrek Lee said Wednesday, when someone mentioned to him that Heyward had been compared to Lee, among others. “I think he looks like Cliff Floyd [a former teammate of Lee's with the Marlins and Cubs]. That’s who he reminds me of. And he hits the ball hard.”

When told that the 6-foot-5, 245-pound Heyward never played organized football because his father didn’t permit it, Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster could hardly believe it.

Dempster told Lee, who said, “He made a good decision.”

Heyward became the sixth player in Atlanta Braves history to homer in his major league debut and third in six years. Jeff Francoeur did it in 2005 and Jordan Schafer in 2009. Like Heyward, Schafer homered in his first major league plate appearance.

Heyward did it on the first swing of his career, driving an 0-2 pitch from Carlos Zambrano to the back of the Braves’ bullpen beyond right field. The ball traveled an estimated 465-470 feet.

Here’s a link to a diagram of Turner Field that indicates the distance of the Heyward homer. (Replays indicated the ball actually hit at least 10 feet in front of the spot indicated by the blue dot in the diagram.)

8 comments Add your comment

Adam

April 7th, 2010
7:09 pm

First! Jhey is the man!

Adam

April 7th, 2010
7:10 pm

DOB, I think it was a 2-0 pitch, wasn’t it?
I was in CF when he hit it!

jjschiller

April 7th, 2010
7:19 pm

Interesting stuff if Hittracker.com is to be believed.

Here are ALL the homeruns to LEAVE THE BAT at faster than 120 MPH since 2005 (when their data begins):

1.) 122.5 – David Ortiz – 09/06/05
2.) 122.3 – Vlad Balentien – 10/02/09
3.) 122.3 – Jeremy Hermida – 07/19/08
4.) 122.1 – Reggie Abercrombie – 04/19/06
5.) 121.9 – Hanley Ramirez – 07/04/08
6.) 121.6 – Wily Pena 04/17/05
7.) 121.3 – Alex Rodriguez 06/15/06
8.) 121.2 – Jonny Gomes 07/09/05
9.) 121.0 – Mark Reynolds 09/18/07
10.) 121.0 – Josh Phelps 08/20/07
11.) 121.0 – Prince Fielder 04/18/06

12.) 120.9 – Jason Heyward 04/05/10

13.) 120.8 – Adam Dunn 09/27/08
14.) 120.7 – Travis Hafner 08/20/06
15.) 120.5 – Ryan Braun MIL 09/23/07
16.) 120.5 – Travis Hafner 06/27/05
17.) 120.4 – Alex Rodriguez 05/27/06

So it wasn’t just your eyes… That’s some world class batspeed on J-Hey.

LuisG

April 7th, 2010
7:39 pm

DBO, it wasn’t 0-2. Heyward homered with a 2-0 count.

obomaisaclown

April 7th, 2010
11:54 pm

We ha a huge promblew at first, I have not seen the guy hit a foul ball yet

Runnin

April 8th, 2010
10:54 am

How many players have homered on their first swing in the bigs? And doing so hit one of the longest HRs of the year?

ATL22

April 8th, 2010
11:07 am

That diagram of Turner Field doesn’t make sense. It shows the bullpen only being about 20 feet long, but we all know it contains a mound and plate that are 60 feet, 6 inches from each other in length. Heyward’s ball hit back near the bullpen mounds just to the right of the 390 sign, so it seems to me that logically his ball had to travel at least 390 plus 60 feet, which means it went at least 450.

obi-wan

April 8th, 2010
11:25 am

actually, ATL22, it shows the bullpen to be between 80 and 90 feet long. if you look at the gray dotted lines, you’ll notice that they indicate every 50 feet, and that the bullpen ends almost halfway between the 450 ft line, and the 500 ft line. Very good estimate, DOB.

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