Rustin Dodd wrote a nice feature on Eric Hosmer, who made his debut with the Royals five years ago on Friday (May 6, 2011).
This is a perfect time to look back at five of the top moments in his career*.
* All lists are subjective, but since this is my list, take it as fact
5. Two-run homer against the Twins on July 15, 2011
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Two of Hosmer’s first seven career home runs were solo shots in the ninth inning that tied a game. Career homer No. 9 came off the Twins’ Matt Capps. The Royals trailed 1-0 with two outs, but had Melky Cabrera on base. Hosmer jacked a two-run shot to center field and the Royals won 2-1 at Target Field. The next day, Joe Nathan took over for Capps as the Twins closer.
4. First career home run at Yankee Stadium
This is special for a lot of reasons. Hosmer’s first big-league homer. At Yankee Stadium. In front of his parents. Hosmer crushed a shot into the second deck off A.J. Burnett on May 11, 2011. The Royals trailed 2-0 at the time, but rallied for a 4-3 win in 11 innings.
3. Mad dash home in Game 5 of the 2015 World Series
All apologies to those who love Alex Gordon’s home run in Game 1 of the World Series, but this is the iconic moment from last year’s Fall Classic. That play summed up what made the Royals so tough to beat: it was gutsy, forced the Mets to make a play (which they didn’t), advancing scouting was key and it was fun. Man, that play had it all. For Mets’ fans, it was a front row to misery. It won the MLB Network’s Best Moment of The Year award.
2. Home run vs. Angels in Game 2 of the 2014 ALDS
For a lot of fans, this is the top moment in Hosmer’s career (to date). There’s no denying it was a huge. The Royals took Game 1 of the American League Division Series, so the Angels really needed to win Game 2. The game was tied 1-1 in the 11th inning, and Lorenzo Cain was on first when Hosmer hit a blast to right field and the Royals went on to a 4-1 win. Twelve days later, the Royals had wrapped up the American League pennant. Here’s something I didn’t remember until writing this: Hosmer had just nine home runs during the regular season. This was No. 10 and it was mammoth. The bat flip was special, too.
1. Triple vs. the A’s in the 2014 Wild Card Game
A controversial choice? Perhaps. But this was the game that started the Royals on their joyous two-year run of playoff success. When Hosmer stepped to the plate in the bottom of the 12th inning of the 2014 Wild Card Game, the Royals had mounted a furious rally to get the game to extras only to see the A’s take an 8-7 lead. Two outs from seeing their season end, Hosmer drilled a ball to left field that just missed being a home run. Hosmer scored on Christian Colon’s chopper and minutes later, he scored on Salvador Perez’s single. In my opinion, that triple was the biggest play in Hosmer’s career.