I was busy experiencing one of the biggest thunderstorms Milwaukee’s seen in a long time this evening – a big enough thunderstorm that this Cadillac Escalade disappeared into a giant sinkhole in one part of town – so I didn’t realize the big news out of Yankee Stadium right away. But, thankfully, Twitter was there to educate me soon enough: in the third, the Yankees captain Derek Jeter hit his second career inside-the-park home run when Kansas City centerfielder David DeJesus couldn’t make the play after colliding with the wall. The official time on Jeter’s trot is 15.42 seconds.
It’s the fourteenth inside-the-park home run already this season, putting 2010 on pace for the highest inside-the-park home run total in over twenty years. If the current rate holds up, we’ll have 24 inside-the-parkers by the end of the season. Last year, there were only 12 inside-the-parkers all season. There were 20 inside-the-parkers in 1990 and 22 in 1997. There have not been more than 16 hit in a single season since then (three seasons: 2000, 2003, and 2008). Of course, inside-the-park home runs are almost exclusively the result of random goofs in the field, so there is no real reason to expect batters to maintain this rate into October.
Jeter’s inside-the-park trot time puts him smack dab in the middle of the pack, at seventh place. At 15.42 seconds, his trot was only a hair’s breadth slower than Tony Gwynn, Jr.’s first inside-the-park trot in June. It also puts him about a quarter-of-a-second faster than David DeJesus‘s own interesting inside-the-parker from April, where the ball cleared the fence but umpires didn’t realize it so DeJesus was forced to race around the bases. The quickest home run trot still belongs to the Mets’ Angel Pagan, who sped around the bases in 14.48 seconds on May 19. The slowest was just last week, when Jhonny Peralta was the beneficiary of Ryan Raburn‘s collision with the Progressive Field bullpen fence, clocking in at 16.74 seconds.