Alfredo Despaigne’s Cuban League record-setting home run number 34 last night in Latin American Stadium was special in more ways than one. The fastball thrown to him by Industriales southpaw Ian Rendon sawed the bat off in Despaigne’s hands and yet he still muscled the ball more than 400 feet into the left field bleachers for the historic blast breaking the record previously held by Abreu and Cespedes. The below photos capture Despaigne’s swing (and what is left of his bat) seconds after making contact with Rendon’s ill-fated pitch.
I have seen one or two big league homers hit with broken bats, although none where the batter was left clutching the bat handle only. And none where the ball traveled quite so far. And certainly none where the blast was quite so historically signficant. Despaigne is indeed a very special slugger. I have witnessed a ton of international baseball games and a ton of big league professional games but rarely have I seen a batter with quicker hands or more raw power than Granma’s Alfredo Despaigne. If you missed it last night, be sure to check out the video of the broken bat homer posted last night on www.BaseballdeCuba.com.