By the end of this season, Baltimore outfielder Nolan Reimold may be the only major league player to claim an impressive accomplishment.
On May 20, 2009, at Yankee Stadium, Reimold became the first and thus far only player to hit his first major league home run off of future Yankees Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera. Reimold’s blast wasn’t one of the cheap home runs that just barely clears the fence in shallow right field. His home run was a legit shot over the center field wall, more than 400 feet away from home plate.
Even if Reimold does nothing else in his career, he’ll always have that one night at Yankee Stadium against a legend. And that evening, Reimold defeated Rivera.
On a personal note, Reimold is one of two major league players that I have a personal connection (Don Kelly of the Detroit Tigers is the other). When I worked for tiny WEXC FM 107/WGRP AM 940 in Greenville, Pa., I had the opportunity to broadcast Greenville Little League games.
Reimold was arguably the best player in the league. Not only could he hit to all fields, but he also possessed the best curve ball I’ve ever seen a 13-year old throw. I knew Nolan would play in college, but I never thought I would see him play in a Baltimore Orioles uniform some 10 years later.