Jun 7, 2022; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) reacts after hitting a home run against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Superstar Ronald Acuña Jr. made a big impression early in Tuesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics, doing something that hasn’t been done in over a decade.

The A’s scored twice against Acuña’s Atlanta Braves in the top of the first inning. But leading off the bottom of the second, Acuña quickly cut that deficit in half.

The Braves were still trailing 2-1 when Acuña led off the bottom of the third inning. His second at-bat produced a strikingly similar result to his first.

Aside from the tribute to Trae Young, something else stands out about those homers.

These weren’t exactly wall scrapers, going a combined 899 feet. The first blast went 435 feet, while the second went 464. This was the first time in more than a decade that a leadoff man hit two home runs beyond 430 feet in his first two at-bats of the game.

MLB fans heaped praise on Acuña for the pair of bombs that came off of his bat.


This feels like an oddly specific, random stat, something other observers will quick to point out.

To an extent, that’s fair. But we have to consider two things.

One, George W. Bush was still the President of the United States when this happened last. An awful lot of baseball has been played since September of 2008. A full season of baseball is 2,430 regular-season games, after all.

Now, even that may not have been such a big thing in bygone eras. For most of Major League Baseball’s history, leadoff hitters were not known for their immense power. Even when they did hit home runs, they generally landed in the first few rows of seats. A hitter like Acuña batting leadoff would have been unique, and he would have naturally done things that none of the other leadoff men did.

More recently, though, teams have begun to put power hitters at the top of the lineup, increasing their number of plate appearances.

Despite that, nobody in nearly 14 years had done what Acuña accomplished in his first two at-bats on Tuesday. We’d call that an impressive achievement.

About Michael Dixon

About Michael:
-- Writer/editor for thecomeback.com and awfulannouncing.com.
-- Bay Area born and raised, currently living in the Indianapolis area.
-- Twitter:
@mfdixon1985 (personal).
@michaeldixonsports (work).
-- Email: mdixon@thecomeback.com
Send tips, corrections, comments and (respectful) disagreements to that email. Do the same with pizza recommendations, taco recommendations and Seinfeld quotes.