We asked major leaguers this week about their first career big league homers and if they still have the baseball.
Orioles Third Baseman — All-Star, Gold Glover
“Second game in the big leagues. I got a good pitch to hit, I hit it out and it’s really hard to explain what you go through. And then after I hit my second one in the same game, I got that curtain call and that was unbelievable.
“Same fan caught both balls. I met him right after the game. And we traded some (memorabilia) for the balls. Gave him a bat and a couple things. He was a young kid, maybe 14, 15. He caught both balls. That was unbelievable.
“Jeff Lantz (the Orioles media relations manager) wrote on it, ‘First career homer. Multi-homer game.’ I just keep them at my mom’s house. I keep all that valuable stuff there.”
Orioles first baseman — 53 homers in 2013
“The ball is still in circulation. It was my first big league start at home (playing for Texas). I was called up the day before, and actually pinch hit in Houston and hit a ball about 14 feet to the third baseman and beat it out for my first big league hit. We went home the next day and played the Phillies. Clay Condrey was on the mound, then I ambushed him. First pitch fastball away and I hit it to left field.
“My family was there. Mom and dad, grandmothers. For me, it was a unique feeling because I grew up watching the Rangers play. I grew up going to The Ballpark in Arlington. They always played the theme from ‘The Natural’ whenever somebody hit a home run. I remember going to the park when I was younger and thinking how cool that was because I had seen ‘The Natural.’ And I remember, after I hit the home run, I hit first base and I heard them (play) that and then they shoot the fireworks.”