VICTOR DIAZ breaks the Dominican single-season Home Run Record!
Professional baseball returned to the Dominican Republic in 1951 after a 13-year absence, and nobody hit more than 14 home runs in any winter league season…until now.
Last night in Puerto Rico (during an interleague contest against Santurce), Victor Diaz of the Aguilas Cibaenas smashed his 15th long ball of the season to establish a new record. Dick “Dr. Strangeglove” Stuart’s mark of 14 dingers in the winter of 1957-58 stood for half-a-century, matched only by native Dominican Freddy Garcia in 1998-98. Now, that pair of former Pittsburgh Pirates will have to settle for second place.
Diaz may set the new record far out of reach before he’s finished, as his ballclub still has more than a week’s worth of games remaining in the regular season. The Aguilas are making lots of history in pursuit of their league record 21st title, with Luis Polonia becoming the circuit’s all-time hit leader last month and Mendy Lopez needing just three more dingers to become the Dominican’s all-time home run champion.
Here’s a blow-by-blow look at Victor Diaz’ record:
1 – Pinch-hit two-run homer to tie season opener off southpaw Neal Musser (Escogido/Royals)
2 – two-run blast off big league veteran Victor Santos (Escogido) in 15-6 victory
3 – solo blast of RHP Franklin Nunez (Gigantes)
4 – Third straight day with HR: two-run shot off reigning league strikeout king Joselo Diaz (Toros/Royals)
5 – solo bomb in losing cause on Halloween off lefty Dusty Hughes (Escogido)
6 – Ninth inning shot off league’s save leader, ex-big league Julio Manon (Toros), to tie score
7 – solo shot in blowout win off former White Sox RHP Agustin Montero (Escogido)
8 – Takes Cuban RHP Amaury Sanit (Licey) deep with the bases empty
9 – Two-run shot in first inning off former Rays & A’s RHP Ruddy Lugo (Toros)
10 – Takes youngster Henry Sosa (Giants/Estrellas) deep with two aboard
11 – RHP Joe Bateman (Toros) serves up this three-run bomb
12 & 13 – Victimizes Henry Sosa (Estrellas) two more times with a man aboard on each
14 – Equals record off Spike Lundberg (Estrellas) with a solo shot that puts the Aguilas ahead by a run
15 – Dominican record falls in Puerto Rico versus ex-Pirates lefty Shane Youman (Santurce)