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'Kraken' fastest catcher, AL player to 100 homers

Sanchez celebrates Players' Weekend with milestone big fly
@BryanHoch
August 24, 2019

LOS ANGELES -- Within the walls of a facility where so many noteworthy accomplishments have transpired over the years, Gary Sánchez grabbed his own slice of history by leaving the yard at Dodger Stadium in a 10-2 Yankees victory. Wearing “Kraken” on his Players' Weekend jersey, Sanchez dropped to a

LOS ANGELES -- Within the walls of a facility where so many noteworthy accomplishments have transpired over the years, Gary Sánchez grabbed his own slice of history by leaving the yard at Dodger Stadium in a 10-2 Yankees victory.

Wearing “Kraken” on his Players' Weekend jersey, Sanchez dropped to a knee as he slugged a third-inning home run off the Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu on Friday, becoming the fastest catcher in Major League history -- and the fastest American League player regardless of position -- to collect 100 home runs.

The milestone came in Sanchez's 355th career game; the next fastest catcher was Mike Piazza, who did it in his first 422 games while with Los Angeles. The Rangers' Joey Gallo previously held the AL mark, reaching the milestone in 377 games.

"It’s special to be the catcher who gets there the fastest," Sanchez said through a translator. "I feel happy about that. It’s special, but there's probably another catcher who is going to come up and break that record."

The drive followed an Aaron Judge (“BAJ”) homer earlier in the inning and marked Sanchez's 29th deep drive of the season, giving the Yankees a 2-0 lead.

Piazza holds the Major League record for home runs hit by a catcher, having hit 396 of his 427 blasts while serving as his club's backstop. Sanchez has now hit 80 home runs while catching, 19 as a designated hitter and one as a first baseman.

"Special talent. When he's controlling the strike zone, he's elite," manager Aaron Boone said of Sanchez. "It's good to see him continue to swing the bat as well as he is and building that confidence. Hopefully he will continue with the momentum he's got going."

Bryan Hoch has covered the Yankees for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and Facebook.