As Giancarlo Stanton gets closer to 60 home runs, it’s worth looking back at the last National League player to get near that mark: Ryan Howard. Eleven seasons ago Howard, in his MVP year, had 58 jacks for the Phillies.
He hit one on opening day. He hit 12 on the first pitch, 23 with two strikes, 19 with two outs and 13 when behind in the count. He hit three off Tim Hudson in one game.
So what’s Ryan Howard up to now? Oh, just hitting walkoff home runs (in the minors).
Last night, Howard broke a four-all tie with a two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth inning in the first game of a doubleheader. (Minor league teams can opt to play two seven-inning games for doubleheaders.) It was Howard’s 497th home run at all levels of professional baseball.
Howard joined Isotopes, the Triple A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, earlier this month; the 37-year-old is hitting .222 with 2 homers and a .500 slugging percentage in 12 games with the team.