A home run is scored by either:
a) Hitting the ball in the park, but running really, really, really fast.
b) Hitting the ball over the fence.
c) Hitting a ball over the fence thanks to some outfield "help."
While all home runs are exciting, it's the last option that brings the most joy. After all, it combines everyone's favorite thing -- dingers -- with "America's Funniest Home Videos" style whoopsies.
After Jose Ramirez hit two outfielder-aided home runs on Sunday, it's time to rank some of the best home run assists in Major League history. Naturally, we'll be ranking them on the Jose Canseco Head rating system, as the home run that bounced off Canseco's head is the gold standard by which all home run assists are judged.
One Jose Canseco is fun, but five? That's divine.
In the first inning, Ramirez hit a blast to left field. Preparing to grab it as it bounced off the top of the wall, Mahtook leapt into action, looking every bit like he was going to do a 360 slam. Unfortunately for Mahtook, his leaping barehand was not the "Like Mike" moment he probably envisioned and he dropped a layup across the fence for a home run.
Alex Presley's outfield incident
Later in the same game, Ramirez hit a drive to the other side of the field. This time Presley tried to make the grab and failed. Though Presley came close to robbing Ramirez before helping it over the fence, he lacks the stylistic glory of Mahtook's effort. The fact that this was the second one in the same game -- hit by the same player -- is certainly bizarre, though.
The employee assist
I guarantee that you won't see this one again. On May 3, 1899, the Pirates were playing the Louisville Colonels. Entering the ninth inning trailing 6-1, the Pirates stormed back to tie the game. With two outs, Jack McCarthy hit a deep blast to right field. Here's where he got some help.
According to Jonathan Weeks in "Mudville Madness," McCarthy's drive rolled to the right-field gate and "an unnamed employee opened the doorway to assure the ball's entry and then closed it in immediately afterward, barring access to Charlie Dexter, who was in hot pursuit. McCarthy circled the bases with the winning run."
All this chicanery went for naught, though: The Colonels lodged a formal protest and league officials demanded the game be replayed.
Ryan Raburn goes sprawling
Six years before Mahtook tossed the ball over the fence, Raburn was felled in nearly the same spot. The Mariners' Miguel Olivo sent a drive to deep left field. If not for the heel of Raburn's glove, the ball would likely have landed on the warning track.
Instead, a sprawling Raburn sent the ball shooting back up in the air and over the fence. And Raburn? All he could do was look around in confusion as it momentarily appeared that the baseball had simply disappeared.
Miguel Cabrera gets a little help
Another one involving the Tigers, though this time they'd come out on top. With a two-run lead in the top of the ninth against the Indians, Cabrera sent a deep drive to center field, where Michael Bourn looked to have an easy catch. But Bourn hit the wall just as the ball fell in his glove, and the impact was just enough to jar the ball loose and up into the stands.
The joy upon Cabrera's face was the exact opposite of Bourn's weary frustration:
Wil Myers' glove-to-head combo
Making a unique take on the classic Canseco play, Wil Myers gifted Evan Gattis a home run with a bit of a deflection. Sure, it's not breaking new ground, but like jazz, it's the improvisation atop the classic that makes it special.
Just like Myers, D-backs Minor Leaguer Zach Borenstein did his own version of the head-assisted homer. Chasing Alex Verdugo's fly ball, the Reno Aces outfielder missed the ball and it bounced off his head. As it skied over the fence to give Verdugo a home run, Borenstein spun around like he was in a dizzy bat race. Unfortunately for him, the only winner this time was Verdugo.
They've got the teamwork to make the dreamwork
When one player helps knock a ball over the fence, it's special. But when two players team up together, it becomes true magic. That was the case when two Kannapolis Intimidators outfielders teamed up to try and catch Alex Jones' deep fly. Only problem: The two White Sox Minor Leaguers were briefly moonlighting as a volleyball team.
Brad Komminsk crosses over to the other side
Most of the homers on this list would never have left the park without a little boost. Not so for Brad Komminsk's robbery of Cal Ripken Jr. In a way, that makes this one the most depressing. After all, Komminsk went from the highs of robbing a Future Hall of Famer, to the lows of giving it away -- literally.
Komminsk learned that gravity doesn't care for your highlight-reel plays:
Have a favorite that didn't make the list? Let us know @Cut4.