Mon Jul 18 09:04am EDT
The old guys can still swing it a little bit. Maybe they don't connect as frequently as they used to, but when they do, they make it count. Of course we're talking about 40-year-old sluggers Jim Thome(notes) and Jason Giambi(notes), who each revisited the fountain of youth on Sunday, hitting tape-measure home runs in their respective home ballparks.
First, we go to Minnesota, where Thome's sixth inning three-run homer off Felipe Paulino(notes) traveled an estimated 490 feet, stunning fans seated above the right-center field scoreboard, and surpassing Thome's flagpole home run last September by 10 feet to become the longest in Target Field's short history. All you have to do is look at Delmon Young's(notes) face to know that we're not talking about your run-of-the-mill shot here.
If the actual distance is confirmed, that would also give Thome the longest home run in baseball this season according to Hit Tracker Online, moving him past Prince Fielder's(notes) 486-foot blast against the Houston Astros back on April 29.
Of course this home run was significant for reasons beyond the incredible distance. The most noteworthy of which is that it leaves Thome just four shy of becoming the eighth player to hit 600 for his career.
"It's always special," Thome said. "That feeling you want to kind of last forever. It went out, it put us ahead. And that's No. 1."
While the Twins wrapped up the victory in Minnesota, about 10 Thome home runs southwest in Denver, Jason Giambi was up to his old tricks with the Colorado Rockies.
Getting his weekly start in place of a resting Todd Helton(notes), Giambi would lead-off the sixth inning by depositing Shaun Marcum's(notes) first pitch eight rows deep into the third deck for career home run No. 425.
Giambi's home run was the second to reach the third deck at Coors Field this season. San Francisco Giants outfielder Nate Schierholtz(notes) accomplished it back on April 18. The cool side note there being Schierholtz's brother Vai was sitting 10 feet from where it landed, and actually ended up with possession of the ball after some negotiating. Unfortunately for Jason, his brother Jeremy was nowhere to be seen around the purple row on Sunday.