It was an ebullient Josh Donaldson who finally presented himself to the media member hangers-on looking to get his thoughts on the monster home run he stroked during the Toronto Blue Jays 6-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday night.
“Good?” Donaldson said when he finally entered the clubhouse, thrusting his face towards a startled reporter and grinning like a mad scientist, wanting to ensure there was no debris stuck in his teeth.
When he was told all was clear with the pearly whites, the Blue Jays steady-as-a-rock third baseman was ready to address his public.
And he admitted it felt pretty good to be standing in his shoes at this moment, now a card-carrying member of a pretty exclusive Rogers Centre club.
In the fourth inning, with his team trailing the Reds 2-0, Donaldson launched a moon shot to left field off Cincinnati starting pitcher Asher Wojciechowski. And the ball did not slow down until reaching the 500 level in the upper reaches of the stadium.
The jack, coming with Kevin Pillar on base, knotted the score at 2-2 and was one of three home runs the Blue Jays tallied in the inning with Jose Bautista and then Russell Martin also going deep.
Donaldson’s shot was measured at 435 feet and marked the 11th time a Blue Jay has hit a home run into the fifth deck, the ninth different Toronto player to do so.
It is baseball’s version of the mile high club and Donaldson’s rocket was only the 20th time a player has been able to muscle a hit that far since the stadium first opened in 1989.
Jose Canseco hit the fabled first one into the fifth deck back on Oct. 7, 1989, in game four of the American League Championship series against the Blue Jays when Canseco was a member of the Oakland A’s.
His brother in arms in Oakland, Mark McGwire, was the second player to go so far on July 25, 1996.
For the Blue Jays, the dearly departed Edwin Encarnacion has done it twice – the last time on April 21, 2015 against the Baltimore Orioles. Josh Phelps has also done it on two occasions.
The other Blue Jays to do so are Joe Carter, Carlos Delgado, Shawn Green and Raul Mondesi.
Donaldson was asked if he checked the distance on his home run after the game had concluded.
“Well, did you check it?” he shot back playfully. “You got to have the distance if you’re going to ask the question.”
When told that his hit travelled 435 feet, he nodded.
“I had a couple that were 460-plus but I feel like that one was pretty good,” he said.
Donaldson said he had seen replays of the famous drives that Canseco and McGwire had launched before him and it was nice to have something in common with those two free swingers.
“Ultimately I thought it was possible [to hit one that far],” he said. “I didn’t think it was out of reach. But Jose Canseco and those guys, those are some pretty big guys.”Report Typo/Error
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