The anguish of losing a homer because you forgot to touch home plate is painfully relatable
No matter how little you might know about baseball, one rule is simple: Hitting the ball over the fence is good! That's a homer, no matter if you're playing in the Majors, the Minors, Little League or your company's goofy corporate retreat game, where the CEO's nephew is calling strikes on pitches 5 inches off the plate. Easy enough, right?
Well, you'd think so, but there is an exception. You have to touch all the bases. Mark McGwire almost skipped first base on his record-breaking 62nd homer of 1998 and had to go back to tag the bag. It's a slightly odd rule, but it's a rule nonetheless ... as Astros prospect Miguelangel Sierra learned on Wednesday with the Fayetteville Woodpeckers.
Sierra launched a fifth-inning pitch over the left-field wall for an apparent dinger. Everything proceeded normally as he rounded the bases and jumped onto home plate. The only problem was that he never actually landed on home -- and was called out after the other team appealed.
It is quite confusing to watch this all unfold. It doesn't seem real. I've probably seen over 5,000 homers in my life and have no recollection of anything like that happening.
Everyone involved with Fayetteville was stunned. The next batter, Scott Manea, was baffled. So was the announcer. Even the mascot couldn't believe it.
As for Sierra himself? What must that feel like? It's like when golfer Roberto De Vicenzo accidentally signed an inaccurate scorecard and subsequently lost the 1968 Masters.
For lower stakes, though? I know that there have been times while competing in trivia competitions where I immediately realized that I turned in the wrong answer. Or when I closed my car door and, to my horror, discovered that the keys were sitting right on the seat, locked inside. It's a dreadful feeling of instant regret.
Well, maybe not that dramatic, Anakin. But yes, it feels pretty bad.
A PSA to Miguelangel Sierra. If our paths ever cross, your first beer is on me. I feel you.
Andrew Mearns is a writer for Cut4 whose baseball obsession was born from the shattered dreams of Mike Mussina's perfect game attempt in 2001. He has a startling memory of World Series highlights that barely functions as a party trick.