Mookie Betts hit the 200th home run of his career Saturday night to put a cap on a special week for the face of baseball. If he was not there already, there is now no doubt about Mookie Betts’ place on Major League Baseball’s Mount Rushmore of current best players as well as his spot on the front lines for promoting the sport to the next generation of fans.
The six-time All-Star got to participate in the event for the first time in his career as a representative of the Dodgers and was given the title of host for this year’s Mid-Summer Classic held in Los Angeles.
What an awesome moment!
— MLB (@MLB) July 20, 2022
He began by wishing a very special happy 100th birthday to Rachel Robinson, the widow of Jackie Robinson, before driving in the first run of the All-Star Game on a single in his only at-bat.
Thursday, when Betts’ Dodgers took on San Francisco in the most recent chapter of one of baseball’s best rivalries, Mookie made two plays at the end of that game that’s sure to be played on the video board at Dodgers Stadium during his future retirement ceremony.
— Baseball Today (@dailymlbtweets) July 22, 2022
First came his go-ahead three-run home run with two outs in the top of the 8th inning to cap off a five-run comeback victory.
MOOKIE BETTS WITH THE GAME WINNING CATCH!pic.twitter.com/msa6mUCUaF
— The Game Day MLB (@TheGameDayMLB) July 22, 2022
He then put the final dagger in the backs of the Giants with a game-ending diving catch on the warning track. He also added his seventh stolen base of the season to check off the final box of his five-tool display.
Over the last five plus years, Betts has scored runs around the clip of current Miami Marlins speedster Billy Hamilton, and has a defensive runs saved number close to Tampa Bay Rays Gold Glove center fielder Kevin Kiermaier.
That was home run No. 200 for Mookie Betts
His 61st with the Dodgers
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) July 24, 2022
Then came Saturday, where Betts became the newest member of the 200-home run club with a full count two-out homer to get the Dodgers on the board on their way to a 14th win in 15 games.
“All it means is I have a long way to go before catching Barry Bonds,” Betts told reporters postgame.
That adds another accolade to Betts’ already stacked resume.
Just months away from his 30th birthday, Betts has two World Series rings, an MVP, five Gold Gloves and four Silver Slugger awards. In addition to being poised for another postseason run, Betts is one of the few possible candidates for this year’s National League MVP race.
Entering Sunday, he sits just 10 homers shy of his career high 32 which he had during his 2018 MVP season with the Red Sox, and he also has a chance to lead the National League in runs scored this year.
Mookie Betts sends a message and talks about his DJ skills and his favorite rapper. pic.twitter.com/nnTdS1Pal7
— MLBbro.com (@MLBbrodotcom) July 23, 2022
The loudest message Betts sent this week was made without voicing a single word. During batting practice before the All-Star Game, he rocked a shirt that read “We need more Black people at the Stadium.”
Mookie Betts is one of a kind, and Black people should make an effort to see him play in person at least once per season, as well as some of the other MLBbros around the league.