Rounding the bases after hitting the ball over the wall is probably pretty great whenever it happens, but in October? Chills.
Imagine, if you will, doing so in your first postseason at-bat? That's the stuff Little Leaguers dream of throughout their childhoods (and most adult Major Leaguers probably do, too).
Thursday night's American League Division Series-opening battle between the Red Sox and Indians at Progressive Field was a back-and-forth power display, with the two clubs combining for four homers in the first three innings. As seen atop this post, Boston rookie Andrew Benintendi connected on a 3-1 pitch from Trevor Bauer for a laser of a homer in the third inning ... and landed in some pretty rare company in Boston:
Red Sox to homer in 1st career postseason PA:- Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) October 7, 2016
Jose Santiago (1967 WS g1)
Todd Walker (2003 ALDS g1)
Andrew Benintendi (2016 ALDS g1)
Benintendi's muscle job also, by the way, confirmed the 22-year-old as the youngest member of the Red Sox to homer in a postseason game (replacing Reggie Smith in 1967).
In fact, Perez now holds a spot in Indians lore that was previously vacant:
Catcher Roberto Perez is the first Indians batter in team history to homer in his first career postseason at-bat.- Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) October 7, 2016
These two blasts on Thursday night are the latest examples of batters staring right into the intense eyes of the postseason, laughing, and walloping a dinger. Some other examples of batters going deep in their very first taste of postseason baseball include Evan Longoria in the 2012 ALDS, Randal Grichuk in the '14 NLDS (off a guy named Clayton Kershaw, no less), and J.D. Martinez (as part of a back-to-back with Victor Martinez) in the '14 ALDS.
All of these men have one thing in common: they stepped up on baseball's biggest stage and came through in about the biggest way possible.
Fun note from Thursday night: once Brock Holt hit his own in the eighth inning, ALDS Game 1 hit the record books as the second-ever postseason game to feature six home runs (tying last October's Cubs, who hit six of their own in a Game 3 win over the Cardinals).
By the time all six of the homers had landed and the dust had settled, the Indians took Game 1, 5-4, over the Red Sox.
Find out what these two clubs have in store for an encore in Game 2, airing on TBS at 4:30 p.m. ET on Friday afternoon.