With less than two weeks left in the regular season, who will be crowned the home run champion?
293 to 292. That’s the race as of September 20, 2019. The race I’m alluding to is for the MLB’s all-time record for home runs by a team in a single season. The contenders? The Minnesota Twins and the New York Yankees.
Back on August 31, the Twins broke the record previously of 267 set by none other than last year’s Yankees on a 402-foot left-field boomer by Mitch Garver. That was two weeks ago, and since then the team has had a chance to leave the previous record in the rearview.
Hot on their trail? The previous record holders, the Yankees. Warning to the Twins: objects in the mirror are closer than they appear. Right now, the Twins have the one home run lead on the Yankees, but with each team having ten and nine games left respectively, there are plenty of chances for a back and forth tug-of-war for the title.
The race began back in March. In the Yankees first game of the season, a home opener against the Orioles, the crack of a bat signaled like a starting gun. 428 feet later, the Yankees had taken their first step in the race. The hit came from Luke Voit, a 28-year-old 1st baseman from Missouri. His three-run home run would be the first of many for the Yankees who would have six by the end of the first week.
The Twins waited a few days before getting their first homer. In a home series against the Cleveland Indians, 39-year old, Nelson Cruz got the ball rolling, or in this case flying, for the Twins. On a 427 foot, two-run home run in the bottom of the fifth, the Twins got their historic start.
The two teams continued to cruise along, and they had their first matchup on May 3. The home runs didn’t stop there. By then, of a three-game series in Minnesota, the two had both tacked four more to their total.
Along the way, the Twins also broke another record, the most players over 20 home runs. The Twins took this title in late August, similar the total home run record. A homer from Jonathan Schoop made him the seventh Twins player to have 20-plus home runs this season. This beat the record six previously held by the 2018 Los Angeles Dodgers.
With under two weeks left of regular season play, this will be one of the top stories to watch in the MLB. A lot is on the line, especially for the Twins. Tacking on this record on top of their other one could make them one of the most prolific home run teams in baseball history.