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Strange happenings at AT&T Park

- September 28, 2008


Bengie Molina homering in a game earlier this season

I have a friend who likes to say that every time you go to a baseball game, you see something you’ve never seen before. That’s literally true, of course, but you know what he means: Strange things happen at the old ball game.

Here’s the latest strange thing.

San Francisco’s Molina Makes Bizarre History
Washington Post
Sunday, September 28, 2008; D05

Nothing in baseball is impossible anymore. Not after what Bengie Molina did in the sixth inning Friday night in San Francisco.

For the first time in the grand history of this game, a player hit a home run — without actually scoring a run.

Molina’s home run trot never began. He stopped at first base with an apparent single after his deep drive off RHP Scott Proctor hit where the bricks intersect with the green metal roof of the right field arcade.

As pinch runner Emmanuel Burriss ran onto the field to replace Molina, Omar Vizquel, who was sitting in the dugout, told Giants Manager Bruce Bochy that he heard the ball strike metal.

According to the AT&T Park ground rules, a ball that strikes the roof is a home run. Bochy immediately requested an instant replay challenge and told crew chief Bill Welke that he didn’t want Burriss in the game.

Umpires emerged from the tunnel after a brief delay, Welke signaled a two-run home run, and Burriss laughed uproariously as first base coach Roberto Kelly gave him a push to round the bases. Official scorer Michael Duca consulted with the Elias Sports Bureau and confirmed that Molina would be credited with a home run but Burriss would be credited with the run scored. And Molina got credit for driving in two runs, even though they scored when he technically wasn’t in the game.

You can watch a very fuzzy video of the celebration after the umps reversed their call here.

[Hat tip to Chris Deering]

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