He stood six foot six, a look perpetually on his face that was equal parts I’d love some huevos rancheros and I can throw a football over them mountains. There was no serve and volley to his game - he was a pure, unadulterated acer who tried to serve it past you at 160 mph and was always, always willing to double-fault and die trying.
Adam Dunn swung lumber the length of the Brent Spence Bridge, the weight of Corky Miller carrying Jumbo Diaz on his back, a bat more titanoboa than Louisville Slugger. And when he made contact with any given meatball, well, it had a tendency to erupt in flight in ways we’ve rarely seen in physics books anywhere.
On August 10th, 2004, the Cincinnati Reds were right where you’d predict they’d be - a trio of games under .500, mired in 4th place, and a half-season away from changing managers (again). Dunner, though, was on a heater, and by day’s end boasted a robust 1.015 OPS, a number that barely, if at all, reflected the degree to which his home run pummeled the spreadsheet that produced it. His home run that day off veteran right-hander Jose Lima (RIP) exited Great American Ball Park at mach 1, breaking the speed of sound and our little brains in the process.
Here is said homer, in full glory, traveling an estimated 535 feet purely because the distance estimators were not properly programmed to expect anything to travel that far in the first place:
In honor of Adam Dunn's birthday, enjoy this 535-foot homer. pic.twitter.com/6XJNu2TQVU— MLB (@MLB) November 10, 2019
The Cincinnati Reds lost that game to the Los Angeles Dodgers by the score of 5-2, as they were wont to do. Dunner’s blast, though, deserves mention around these parts once or twice a year, at bare minimum, and it was long overdue for mention once again today.
Double cheers, Big Donkey!