Rangers rookie Adolis García thought he had hit the first home run of his young career. So did most everyone else who watched it, including the announcers and the Rays’ outfielders at Tropicana Field. Not so fast.
In the top of seventh inning during the Rangers’ 5-1 victory over the Rays, García’s drive plunked off the yellow line and a screen atop the right-center-field fence, just in front of the first row of seats. Thinking he had a homer, García took his time rounding first base. But when he reached second and saw that the left fielder had chased after the ball — which bounced back into play — García turned his motor on, now believing he had an inside-the-park homer in sight.
García reached a 28.9 ft/sec sprint speed, well above the average of 27, but it wasn’t quite enough. Shortstop Willy Adames’ relay throw home came in at 91.2 mph and just barely beat the sliding García, although the umpire originally called him safe.
The wild play took two challenges before finally reaching a conclusion. First the original call of no home run was confirmed, because the ball had hit an area of the field that is in play at the Trop, just another of the ballpark’s quirks. Then the safe call at home was challenged and overturned, meaning García was denied not once but twice at a chance for his first career home run.