PHILADELPHIA -- Darick Hall finished his third day in the big leagues with more fireworks.
It has been mostly fun and fireworks for the man that teammates and fans in Triple-A Lehigh Valley affectionately and accurately call “Long Ball Hall.” Hall hit a home run to right field in the sixth inning Friday night to give the Phillies a one-run lead in a 5-3 victory over the Cardinals at Citizens Bank Park. He celebrated afterward, watching the Phillies’ postgame fireworks show on the field with his wife, Ashley, and his mother, Lynette Andrade.
“It’s awesome,” Hall said, smiling. “Just being there with my mom, she’s been with me through it all. Just to have that moment was super cool.”
Hall homered twice Thursday for the first two hits of his big league career. Hall’s homer Friday was his third. He is one of only nine players in the expansion era (since 1961) whose first three hits were homers. It last happened last season, when Pittsburgh’s Rodolfo Castro homered for each of his first five hits.
“I’ve just been happy, putting some good swings on some balls and having good results,” Hall said.
Hall joked Thursday that he could not feel his feet as he ran the bases.
“They were a little heavier today, but it’s still great, I’ll tell you,” Hall said.
Hall is only the second Phillies player in the modern era (since 1900) whose first three hits in the big leagues were homers. Ed Sanicki hit three homers for his first three hits with the Phillies in September 1949. Sanicki played 13 more games in 1951, but never played again in the big leagues.
Sanicki still has the highest career slugging percentage (.882) of any player in baseball history with 20 or more career plate appearances.
Hall plans to stick around a while longer. The Phillies selected Hall’s contract Wednesday from Triple-A because the middle of the lineup lacked pop following Saturday’s news that Bryce Harper suffered a broken left thumb. Harper had surgery Wednesday. He is unlikely to return until mid-August at the earliest.
Phillies interim manager Rob Thomson immediately hit Hall cleanup on Wednesday because he thought he could handle it.
“He’s here, he’s just having fun,” Thomson said. “I told him when he got here, don’t change your routine. Just nice and relaxed, do everything you did in Lehigh Valley. Just go out and play. That’s what he’s doing.”
So, yeah, just keep hitting the ball hard.
“To be able to come up and perform and be able to help the team is everything,” Hall said.
Rhys Hoskins added an insurance homer in the seventh. He is one of a few players who could possibly know what Hall is feeling right now. Hoskins started his career in 2017 with 18 homers in his first 34 games.
“We were just talking about the debut,” Hoskins said. “What you feel, the emotions that you go through throughout the day. This is something that we work for our whole life. Probably ever since we could walk, we had a bat in our hands, dreaming about being in the big leagues. He’s got to be on top of the world right now. A big homer, late in the game against a really good team in the middle of the year, I don’t know how much more you could script. I’m happy for him. It’s a big swing. It’s a powerful swing. And I think we’re going to learn that.”
Mickey Moniak, who doubled in the fifth to score a run, knows Hall’s swing well. They have played together throughout the Minor Leagues, beginning with Class A Lakewood in 2017.
“Long Ball Hall?” Moniak said. “No surprise to me, but I’m glad everyone gets to see it on a national level. I’ll tell you what, I’ve been with D-Hall every single level coming up through the Minor Leagues. He’s been the same guy every level. He hasn’t changed since he got here. It’s just a testament to his character. I consider him one of my closest friends. I was in his wedding. To see him come through the Minor Leagues and to work his [butt] off and ultimately get up here and do what he’s done the last two days has been special.”