Gerut makes history in New York minute
Friars leadoff man is first batter to open new park with homer
NEW YORK -- Padres manager Bud Black was asked before Monday's inaugural game at Citi Field if he had given thought to any significant firsts that might occur, like if, say, leadoff hitter Jody Gerut were to get the first hit in the stadium.
Black acknowledged that he did, though he didn't think Gerut was the type to get very excited about such a historical feat.
He still might be right, even if Gerut did Black one better in the Padres' 6-5 victory over the Mets before a sold-out and quickly disappointed crowd of 41,007.
Gerut drilled the third pitch of the game over the wall in right field for a 1-0 advantage. That hit, no doubt, will leave Gerut as the answer to many a trivia question over time. With one swing, he had the first hit, home run, run scored and RBI.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, it's the first time in Major League history that the first batter of the first regular-season game at a new ballpark has hit a home run.
After the game, Gerut's bat was quickly gathered and packaged for a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y.
Gerut appeared unimpressed.
"That's probably the only place in the yard [right field] where I would have hit one," Gerut said of his first home run of the season.
Gerut had two hits and scored two runs in the game for the Padres, who have won five consecutive games and lead the National League West.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.