Inside-the-Park Homers

I could not help but notice that yesterday there were two inside-the-park homers hit, bringing to three hit among the 396 homers hit this young season. In Milwaukee, Norichika Aoki hit one for the Brewers, it was his first major league homer. Aoki became the first Japanese-born player to hit an inside-the-park home run since Kaz Matsui of the Mets (at San Diego) in exactly six years (April 20, 2006). The Brewers  lost 4-3, to the Rockies

In Pittsburgh, Alex Presley‘s IPHR was the only run in the Bucs 4-1 loss to the Cardinals.

Earlier, on April 11 Peter Bourjos of the Angels circled the bases in the Angels, 6-5 loss to the Twins.

These home runs got those of us in the newsroom discussing when was the last time each team had hit an inside-the-park home run, so we did some research and here’s what we found out:

Last season, of the 4552 home runs hit 16 were inside-the-park. No batter hit more than one.

Milwaukee led the majors with three, while the Rays and the Phillies had two apiece.

The Yankees, Orioles, Red Sox, Rangers, Giants, Dodgers, Reds,  Cubs, and Astros each hit one. Which means of the 12 teams, every team but the Jays in the AL East hit one, but no team in the AL Central hit one. The Phils were the only team in the AL East who had an IPHR.

In 2010, there were 17 homers hit inside the park, this time by 13 teams. We fill in some of the teams who did not hit one in 2011 as the Padres hit three, led by Tony Gwynn who hit a pair, and the Diamondbacks who also hit two. The Royals and Indians represented the AL Central and the Jays completed the AL East. No team in the AL West hit one in 2010. The Nationals, Marlins and Mets hit one each in 2010.

In 2009, there were only nine IPHR hit but our bingo board filled in a little more as the Rockies completed the NL West and the White Sox joined the AL Central group.

In 2008, there were 11 hit inside-the-park led by the Royals’ three, two by Mark Teahan, and the Rockies and Brewers who had two each. The Pirates joined the NL Central teams.

In 2007, there 15 IPHR hit by 15 teams. The Twins closed out the AL Central and the Angels and Mariners were added to the AL West. This meant that from 2007-2011 there were 68 homers hit inside the park by 27 teams.

Let’s hunt down our three outliers.

In 2006, the Oakland A’s had an inside-the-parker hit by Nick Swisher ironically in Yankee Stadium.

The last inside-the-park homer hit by the St. Louis Cardinals was on October 2, 2001, in Miller Park, by Fernando Vina against the Brewers’ Ben Sheets.

The last inside-the-park homer hit by the Atlanta Braves was on October 7, 2001, in Turner Field, by Wes Helms against the Marlins’ A.J. Burnett.