Anderson had feeling about record HR

September 29, 1992|By Milton Kent | Milton Kent,Staff Writer

Sometimes, you just know.

Brady Anderson hadn't homered in two weeks, and it seemed that the strength that had powered so many blasts earlier in the year had escaped him.

But Anderson said he had a feeling that he would launch his 20th homer of year last night, in the Orioles' final home game of the year against his old team, the Boston Red Sox.

And when he did connect, in the first inning, and again in the eighth, all sorts of milestones fell.

"I was nervous that first time up, but it's good to have the adren

alin flowing like that," said Anderson.

Anderson's first two-home run game of his career made him the first player in American League history to hit 20 homers, steal 50 bases and drive in 75 runs in the same season.

"Any time you're the first to do anything, it's a great accomplishment. I was well aware of it because they've [the media] been writing about it for a while," said Anderson.

Manager Johnny Oates said: "It's nice to see Brady reach that milestone. Just think of all the guys who have played this game. There had to be someone who did it. I guess not."

Heading into spring training, few gave Anderson, a career .219 hitter before this season, a chance to be a significant contributor.

Few, that is, except Oates, who told Anderson to try to capitalize on his speed by slapping the ball on the ground, rather than hitting for distance.

"I have to give Johnny credit for being confident in me, although he won't take it," said Anderson. "Being able to hit aggressively is the important thing. It's hard to change after 25 or 26 years of playing baseball just because you can run."

And so he didn't, and the results are there, though Anderson had to make his hardest run of the night after the game.

Anderson, understandbly, wanted his milestone 20th home run ball to mark the occasion.

A fan in the right-field season was more than willing to accommodate him and the left-fielder was primed to trade the fan a bat for the ball.

But the fan was after bigger game.

"He said he wanted All-Star tickets [for next year's game to be played at Camden Yards]. I told him to keep it," said Anderson.

As it turns out the ball in question was the 21st homer, not the 20th.

Sometimes, you just know.

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