Mon. May 16th, 2022

With just ten games and four homers to go, baseball fans are waiting for Ryan Howard to reach the 62 home run mark. If Howard manages to get past the magical number of 61, he would spark a debate that would shake the foundation of Major League Baseball- what is the actual single season home run record? All of this is merely speculation of course. There still is not any certainty that record breakers Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds are in fact rule breakers. So the question remains, what if Howard hits 62 or more? What should happen? What will happen?

The answer is nothing. Unfortunately there really is nothing that the keepers of baseballs hallowed records can do. Mark McGwire’s number will stand for the sole reason that it will never be proven that he did in fact take something that was illegal at the time. They know he took Andro. The problem is that Andro was not illegal at the time. Some people believe that the Andro was a masking agent for a substance more potent illegal, but at this being so far removed from any drug testing, it is all hearsay. With McGwire’s magical season coming in the heels of a debilitating labor strike, he and Sammy Sosa put baseball on their backs and renewed interest in a game being left in the dust by the most powerful and popular sports league in history, the NFL. So without a doubt, baseball will cover up for their saviors if need be.

Barry Bonds’ record will stand. The single season home run mark is currently his. Currently playing semi-healthy, Bonds is gaining on Hank Aaron’s career mark very quickly. With the two biggest records in his back pocket, baseball will again be forced into buying the validity of his actions.

This does affect Ryan Howard in a manner of speaking. Performance-wise this is a meaningless argument. What it does do however is cheat him out of the spotlight which is rightfully his. People around baseball understand what he has done. His name is even become synonymous with the long ball, so much so that the Dodgers back-to back -to back- to back home runs was called by Dodgers GM Ned Colletti as “going all Ryan Howard like.” The accolades he is receiving within the baseball community rightfully belong to him, but what he lost out on was the average baseball fan in Oklahoma knowing who he is, or having the drones of fans coming to the ballpark every night to catch their piece of history. Ryan Howard’s at bats come and go without the ESPN breakaways for the country to view. We, as a local fan base, are the only ones that care.

Yes, this is a special season for Philadelphia fans as much as it is for Howard. We have a team who is winning when it counts on the broad shoulders of a man who thrives in the clutch. A man whose smile and courtesy toward the ticket buying fans are as big as his swing, whose majestic homeruns are as beautiful to watch as they sail deep into the Philadelphia night toward Ashburn Ally. So move over Jimmy “Double X” Foxx, Ryan Howard is the home run king in Philadelphia.

This definitely is an extraordinary time to be a baseball fan in Philadelphia. Nationally, Ryan Howard in ’06 will be talked about, but not remembered. Locally, this will be talked about and remembered for a very long time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.