“Oh, goodness! That ball had a family!”
Reds’ commentator John Sadak had the perfect call for a legendary moment that captured rookie Elly De La Cruz’s first career homerun in the 1st inning of a 2-0 ballgame against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It was a tape-measure homerun.
The switch-hitting phenom from Sabana Grande de Boyá in the Dominican Republic launched a Noah Syndergaard elevated fastball approximately 458 feet into the red sea of bleachers in right field.
It nearly left Great American Ballpark.
“The hardest hit ball by a Red this year. That was nearly 115 [mph]. It brought everyone to their feet.”
The fan who caught the ball, or at least retrieved the ball after initially muffing and fumbling the 114.8 mph missile, sat atop the right field bleachers in the very last row. Yes, the ball reached the very top of the “nose bleeds.”
Alex French, the high school student who “caught” the homerun, said the ball left a bruise on his hand. French and his friends received souvenirs and VIP treatment from the Reds in exchange for the ball.
As he returned to the dugout, De La Cruz was greeted by teammate and 2021 National League Rookie of the Year Jonathan India, who became a momentary tailor, clothing the Dominican rookie in a viking robe, as he crowned him with a horned helmet.
It’s safe to say De La Cruz’s teammates are also fans of his otherworldly power at the plate. However, they would soon become aware of his superhuman, Flash-like speed in his ensuing at-bat.
De La Cruz roped a line-drive into the right-center field gap for an extra-base hit. Initially, it looked like a double, but he had three on his mind.
“Is he for real? He’s gonna go three! [He] easily has a triple!”
Sadak’s partner also had some great advice for local Cincinnati fans:
“Folks, you better come down to the ballpark. You better come down here in Cincinnati and watch this young man play. Look at him pick ‘em up and put ‘em down.”
He picked up everything Syndergaard threw that day, and put him down in both at-bats.
De La Cruz ran at 30.9 feet per second on his triple, registering the fastest sprint speed in all of baseball. The dude is an alien.
As for the Reds as a whole, they currently sit in 3rd in the NL Central at 29-35. However, it seems the tides are turning in Cincy with the recent additions of both De La Cruz and Matt McLain. McLain, who Cincy recently called up at the beginning of June, is hitting .350 with 35 hits and 8 walks in just 100 at-bats.
If All-Star first baseman Joey Votto can return from injury in a timely manner, the Reds could make a run at the division.
The Pirates currently sit atop the Central at 33-29, with the Brewers just slightly behind in 2nd at 34-30. Nevertheless, it would not be a mountainous feat to bring an NL Central title to Cincy for the first time since 2012.
From the youngsters De La Cruz, McLain, and India to a veteran leader in Joey Votto, the Reds may have something to play for in the upcoming years.
Maybe, just maybe, bring back the Cincinnati Buds?