Charlie Blackmon steamed around the bases Sunday like a runaway freight train. His effort should have been unnecessary. The Rockies’ all-star center fielder hit a home run, over the yellow line at New York’s Citi Field. But it bounced back onto the field and fooled nearly every one in the ballpark, including the umpires.
So Blackmon chugged and lugged from first base to second, as the ball bounced back toward the infield, and from second to third as the Mets’ outfielders chased the ball like a dog-track rabbit, then all the way home. It was a stand-up, inside-the-park homer that never should have been.
“I had no idea. I saw it bouncing around out there,” Blackmon said Monday at Coors Field before the Rockies played the San Diego Padres in the opener of a three-game series. “Off the bat, I didn’t know if I hit it well enough to get out. I was just running hard.”
The hit was a homer, and Blackmon should have been able to jog. Rockies outfielder Gerardo Parra suggested Blackmon deserved two home runs on his stat sheet.
“Yes. I need two home runs for that,” Blackmon said.
It’s unlikely Major League Baseball will change the inside-the-park homer to a traditional shot. A homer is a homer.
As it stands, Blackmon became the first player in the big leagues with two inside-the-park homers in one season since Brandon Barnes did it for the Rockies in 2014. Blackmon slid into an undisputed inside-the-park homer April 21 at San Francisco, where the outfield gaps play like canyons.