All of the team home run celebrations, ranked

May 7th, 2023

The 2023 Major League season has brought us all sorts of new experiences, from pitch timer violations to enlarged bases to whatever in the world is happening in St. Louis right now. But perhaps the most memorable, purely enjoyable discovery of the 2023 season are the dugout home run celebrations.

This trend started to pick up steam a couple of years ago, and it has really taken hold this season, with more than one-third of teams doing one. Whether there are props, choreographed routines or just a bunch of players being absolutely joyous after a big fly, the celebrations have added an extra level of happiness at the ballpark so far. They really are like kids out there.

They’re all great … but which is the best? Let’s quantify some joy out there, and let’s rank the home run celebrations. (And while something has to rank last in any ranking, that should not necessarily be taken as an insult in this case. These are all great in some way. This is like ranking ice cream flavors. Some flavor has to be last, but it’s still ice cream after all.)

1. The Trident, Mariners
It’s important that your home run celebration be fun, but what is most important is that the person who just hit the homer feels awesome. This is why the trident, which is held like the home run hitter is Aquaman himself, is our favorite celebration. You just look cool posing with that thing, as if you have vanquished some grand sea beast and showing off your victory to the villagers you have just saved from its terrors. is obviously the perfect model for this one, but honesty, it is impossible not to look like a conquering hero when you’re holding a trident.

2. Samurai Warrior, Angels
The World Baseball Classic was so riveting in so many ways that will continue to ripple out across the baseball world for years to come. (Put it this way: Everyone’s going to want to play in that thing in 2026.) But Team Japan’s thrilling run to the title continues to put its stamp on the league, essentially on a daily basis. The Samurai Warrior helmet that the Angels have broken out is a logical extension of everything that Shohei Ohtani and company did in the WBC, and there’s even an element of good sportsmanship to it. After all, Mike Trout -- the guy Ohtani famously struck out in the final at-bat in the Classic -- looks just as good wearing it as Ohtani does.

3. The Mobster Jacket, White Sox
Let me be as clear as possible here: Organized crime is bad, we shouldn’t glorify criminals, Tony Soprano was charismatic and fascinating but also a terrible person. We all clear on that? Cool. Because the White Sox new “Chicago-mobster style outfit” -- in the words of Jake Burger -- is fantastic. It’s funny, it looks cool and it ties into the city in which the team plays (which has a notorious history of organized crime). Credit Elvis Andrus with the idea. Of all the outfits on this list, this would be the funniest to watch a team actually try to play in on the field.

4. Powder Power, Nationals
The best celebrations, I’d argue, are team-specific: They’re something your team can do that no other could. Now while I’m sure every other team in baseball is patriotic, there’s nothing quite like the Nationals: the team in our nation’s capital, donning powdered wigs and breaking out miniature American flags when they get in the dugout. The best part about the celebration is that it goes hand in hand with the President’s Race at Nationals Park, it’s thematically consistent: It really does feel like 'Merica at Nats games right now. The only question I have: Can they fit those powdered wigs under their hats?

5. Gone Fishin’, Twins
Technically speaking, even in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it feels like the fishing gear should be a little warmer: Ice fishing is half the fun of fishing in Minnesota. That said, you’ve got to love the fishing vest that the Twins wear after homers, complete with reel and rod. (It’s probably not a good idea to have a lure in the dugout: Those things are sharp.) Like with the Nationals, this one works because it’s region-specific: People fish everywhere, but everybody fishes in Minnesota.

6. Lifting the Weights, Red Sox
The thing about hitting home runs is that it makes you feel strong. What better way, then, to show off that strength than by doing some curls in the dugout? The only downside to this one is that the Red Sox are using inflatable, pretend weights. Obviously, that’s the smart thing to do: The last thing you want from a dugout celebration is someone dropping a heavy weight on someone’s foot. But it still feels weirdly artificial, after a home run, to lift something that weighs less than a piece of paper.

7. The Swashbucklers, Pirates
All told, it’s a little strange the Pirates haven’t had a prop sword to wield after homers for years now: They should have been doing it back in the Willie Stargell days. But the vibes are so good in Pittsburgh right now that whatever they’re doing, by definition, works.

8. The Hockey Helmet, Tigers
People in Detroit love hockey -- even though the Red Wings haven’t made the playoffs in seven years, a truly shocking drought for a franchise that, before that, had made the playoffs 25 consecutive seasons -- so it’s perfectly natural that the Tigers would put on a hockey helmet after they hit a homer. But this one loses points if just for its simplicity: You’re just taking off one helmet and putting on another one -- one that, honestly, it’s easier to put on than a baseball helmet in the first place. (At least the warrior helmet is heavy.)

9. The Cheesehead, Brewers
While it is undeniably amusing to see someone put a piece of cheese on their head -- a piece of cheese … on their head! -- in the dugout, the cheesehead is such an inextricable part of Wisconsin culture at this point that it’s hardly a surprise to see the Brewers use it. If anything, it would be a surprise if they didn’t.

10. Viking Helmet, Reds
The Reds wear the Viking helmet because Luis Cessa told  that he “looks like a Viking.” Which, sure, I guess he sort of does. But this is baseball. Lots of players look like Vikings. But there were never Vikings in Cincinnati, were there?

11. Everybody Smile, Padres
The Padres keep it simple: They pose for a photo in the dugout. That’s fine and dandy, one supposes, but photo-related celebrations have been done before: Heck, NFL teams have been pretending to take selfies after they score touchdowns for years.

12. A Catcher’s(?) Mask, A’s
This one debuted on Thursday, and it appears to be a catcher’s mask, though possibly a lacrosse mask. Even if it is a lacrosse mask, it looks too much like a catcher’s mask to stand out. Also, they don’t even get the Tigers’ credit for the hockey mask: It’s not like lacrosse is particularly huge in Oakland.

13. Gladiator Mask, Royals
This one isn’t inherently terrible, but it finishes in last because it wasn’t actually the Royals’ first choice: They wanted a crown (reasonably), but it showed up dented. Thus, the gladiator mask. Let’s see what the undented crown looks like when it gets here.