Monday, August 3, 2015

BREAKING: Toledo's Mike Hessman Breaks United States Home Run Record with Grand Slam

By Peyton Wesner

Although it may not be on front page of newspapers across the nation, Mike Hessman is finally the "Hank Aaron of Minor League Baseball."

Hessman, who was the fifteenth round selection of the Atlanta Braves in the 1996 MLB Draft, has been known for his power hitting ability since he was a 19-year old when he blasted 21 home runs with the Macon Peaches (Single-A affilate of Atlanta Braves). Since his first full professional campaign, the six foot, five inch third baseman has had 12 more seasons of 20 plus home runs, including three in which he recorded 30 or more long balls!

Despite Hessman never being able to stick in the Major Leagues with the Atlanta Braves, Detroit Tigers, or New York Mets due being unable to sustain a high batting average (.188 career BA), he has 14 Major League home runs to his name in 109 total games, complementing his MiLB home run record set this evening.

The Toledo Mud Hens' opponent on the night was the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (Triple-A affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies) and to start his night, the 37-year old singled in the second inning. 

Even though he headed back to the dugout empty handed in his next two at bats (fly out and ground out), Hessman stepped into the batter's box with the bases loaded in the seventh frame and smashed his 322nd Triple-A round-tripper for the 433rd of his career, which broke the tie for the United States-based Minor League home run record previously held by Buzz Arlett. 

"So what is next for 'MiLB HR King' to accomplish in his professional career?"

While it would most likely take two more seasons, Hessman is 51 home runs behind Hector Espino, who is the North American Minor League home run record holder with 484 dingers.

Only time will tell if he has enough "fuel in the tank" to capture the mark.

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