From Ackley to Zobrist, the 'I homered before Albert' club had 273 members
It's still hard to believe that Albert Pujols didn't hit his first 2012 home run until Sunday. It's still hard to believe that 273 other major leaguers hit a home run this year before Albert. Some of them aren't even major leaguers anymore.
There were two guys older than 40, and one who was barely 20.
There were a couple of guys who stand 6-foot-6, and one who is 5-foot-5.
There were six guys who debuted in the big leagues this year, including one who debuted just this week. And one guy who has already announced that this season will be his last.
There were a couple of guys who are hitting better than .400 this year, and one who is hitting .056.
There were guys who began the season on the disabled list, and guys who are on the DL now.
There were guys who began the season in the minor leagues, and guys who are in the minor leagues now.
There was a guy who later got released, and at least a couple who were claimed on waivers. One guy on the list, Clete Thomas, has already been on the waiver wire twice this season.
There were catchers, infielders and outfielders. But oddly, no pitchers.
But there were 25 ninth-place hitters. And 56 leadoff hitters. And 19 pinch hitters.
By the end, by the time Albert Pujols finally hit his first 2012 home run, a little after 5 p.m. ET on Sunday, the "I homered before Albert" club had grown to 273 members.
It was already quite a bit bigger than the "I didn't homer before Albert" club, which had shrunk to just 150 players who had even one 2012 plate appearance.
Dustin Ackley of the Mariners was the first member, homering on March 28 in Japan, back when no one would have believed that it would take Pujols until May 6. Mike Carp of the Mariners got in just in time, hitting his first home run on Sunday, a few minutes before Pujols ended his drought.
Alphabetically, they list went all the way from Ackley to Ben Zobrist. Thanks to Humberto Quintero, who joined Sunday and was the first "Q," the list included at least one player whose name began with every letter but "X."
There were four guys named Jones (Adam, Andruw, Chipper and Garrett), three guys named Cabrera (Miguel, Melky and Asdrubal), three guys named Gonzalez (Adrian, Alex and Carlos), three guys named Ramirez (Alexei, Aramis and Hanley), three guys named Young (Chris, Delmon and Michael) and three guys named Johnson (Chris, Elliott and Kelly). There were two Upton brothers, two Molina brothers, two Weeks brothers and two Hairston brothers.
The entire list is too long to put in one blog, but in case you're wondering, here are some of the guys referred to above:
Over 40: Chipper Jones and Jason Giambi.
Only 20: Mike Trout.
Tall: Adam Dunn and Corey Hart.
Short: Jose Altuve.
Debuted this year: Norichika Aoki, Freddy Galvis, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, Tyler Pastornicky, Yoenis Cespedes, Will Middlebrooks.
Final year: Chipper Jones.
Hitting .400: Chris Young, Jon Jay, Eric Hinske.
Hitting .056: Brandon Allen.
Released this year: Brandon Inge.