Welcome to the roundup of must-see sports headlines from Friday, highlighted by Texas Rangers’ Nomar Mazara hitting a massive 505-foot home run that tied a Statcast era record and has probably yet to land.
We also take a look back on Albert Pujols getting an ovation fit for a king in his return to St. Louis after 8 years since playing his last game with the Cardinals, and New York Knicks’ first-round draft pick RJ Barrett already handling the New York media with style.
All this and more as we get you up to speed with the sports world on this Saturday!
MUST-SEE PLAY OF THE NIGHT: Texas Rangers’ Nomar Mazara Launches Record-Tying 505-Foot Home Run
Think of all the power hitters that have come through the home of the Texas Rangers, Globe Life Park, in its 26 years of existence, and on Friday night Rangers’ Nomar Mazara surpassed them all in distance. The 24-year-old outfielder blasted a 505-foot home run halfway up the second deck in right field, which tied for the longest homer in the big leagues since Statcast began calculating distances in 2015. Trevor Story of the Rockies had hit one 505 feet at Coors Field in 2018.
Mazara’s moon shot was the first 500-foot home run in Globe Life Park. Since we live in the era of statistics, we can’t leave out the exit velocity of 109.7 mph that the ball jettisoned out with. Mazara now has 71 hits on the season, 10 of which are long balls.
TOP MOMENT OF THE NIGHT: Albert Pujols Receives Long Standing Ovation in Return to St. Louis
It’s hard to believe it’s been eight years since Albert Pujols suited up in a St. Louis Cardinals jersey. It’s even harder to believe that he hasn’t stepped foot in his old stomping grounds since he played his last game for the Cardinals in 2011. Playing for the Angels in the first interleague series in St. Louis since he left, Pujols received a rousing ovation before his first at-bat that lasted about 1 minute and 20 seconds. He ended up tipping his helmet to the crowd and hugged former teammate Yadier Molina.
Pujols was drafted by the Cardinals where he’d become the face of the franchise, leading them to nine postseason appearances and two World Series titles. He remarkably hit more than 30 home runs in all 11 seasons played with the Red Birds and won three MVP awards.
Pujols would play his final game with the Cardinals in October of 2011 when St. Louis beat the Texas Rangers in Game 7 of the World Series. He would go on to sign a 10-year, $240 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels that offseason.
Welcome to New York! RJ Barrett Tackles Tough Question Like Seasoned Pro in Day 1 Press Conference
Some players are just not cut out for the big stage of New York with the lights, cameras, and constant media pressure. After watching his first press conference on Friday, I’ve got a feeling RJ Barrett will have no problem at all tackling the big City and all it has to offer.
The New York Knicks #3 overall pick in Thursday night’s NBA Draft met with the media at Madison Square Garden and was faced with a tough first question out of the gate: “Do you have big enough shoulders to carry this franchise?”
RJ fielded the question like a seasoned vet, laughing it off and saying: “That’s funny. Carry? I wouldn’t say carry, I’d say it’s going to be a great group of guys that are going to be together…This is the biggest stage, so yeah I’m excited to be here, I’m excited to play. But I haven’t even played a game yet so how you going to ask me a question like that?”
Welcome to New York RJ!
DON’T MISS THESE STORIES: Rounding Up the Top Sports Headlines
- Oakland A’s starting pitcher Frankie Montas suspended for 80 games for PEDs
- Devils select Jack Hughes number one overall, Rangers land Kaapo Kakko with number two pick in NHL Draft
- MLB announces finalists for first-ever All-Star Starters Election
WHAT’S ON TAP
FIFA Women’s World Cup (Round of 16): U.S. vs. Spain
The U.S. Women’s Soccer Team will face Spain in the round of 16 on Monday afternoon, with a spot in the quarterfinals on the line.
Date: Monday, 6/24
Time: 12pm ET
PGA Tour: The Travelers Championship
A sponsor’s invite for this week, Zack Sucher, takes a two-shot lead into the third round at the Travelers but will be tested by Jason Day, Paul Casey, Tommy Fleetwood and defending champion Bubba Watson, who are all in contention heading into the weekend.
Third Round: Saturday, 6/22 (1-2:45pm ET, Golf Channel; 3-6pm, CBS)
Final Round: Sunday, 6/23 (1-2:45pm ET, Golf Channel; 3-6pm, CBS)
FIFA Women’s World Cup (Round of 16): France vs. Brazil
France, one of the pre-tournament favorites, draw Brazil in an elimination game on Sunday. Will the hosts be able to survive a rough road to the quarters?
Date: Sunday, 6/23
Time: 5pm ET