Dominguez gets unique ball after first homer

Giants rookie's initial MLB hit marked up before return

Dominguez gets unique ball after first homer

SAN DIEGO -- Maybe Chris Dominguez should smear the ball he hit for his first home run with dabs of ice cream and cake.

The Giants rookie made Sunday a day to remember for himself by starting his first Major League game and clobbering a two-run homer off Padres right-hander Ian Kennedy in the seventh inning for his first big league hit. Dominguez's milestone accounted for the Giants' scoring in their 8-2 loss.

It also was a memorable afternoon for a young girl who came up with the ball and presented it to her sister as a birthday present before they realized it actually meant more to Dominguez. Consistent with big league custom, Dominguez received the ball as a souvenir. But it obviously had been gifted first.

"Happy Birthday / Love M" was scrawled on one side of the ball. On the other, somebody had traced the shape of a heart and wrote, "Congratulations Estella."

Dominguez, 27, probably wouldn't have cared if somebody had stuck a birthday candle in the ball.

"That's all right," he said. "It's a good memory."

Having played extensively at the infield and outfield corners during six Minor League seasons, Dominguez looked comfortable as he handled three putouts in left field.

"Wherever they want to stick me is fine with me," said the 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, San Francisco's third-round selection in the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.