- Harris, three bases before the piano jumped on him. (Photo: Associated Press)
It's always an extra special night at the ballpark when an inside-the-park home run happens, and that's exactly what Nationals fans saw tonight as Willie Harris hit just the second inside-the-park homer in Nationals history in the seventh inning of the Nats' 8-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves.
Below the jump, the home run in Harris's own words:
"I'd been hitting the ball pretty good and during the at-bat I was just thinking, 'stay up the middle'. I just happened to get a good pitch to hit, and I thought 'this could be [home run] number 10.' I saw it bang off the [center field] wall and I was like 'Man, I've got a shot here.' Then I hit third and saw [third base coach] Pat Listach waving me home, and I was like, 'Are you serious?'"
"I didn't want to go [home]. The piano jumped on me around third [base], and I was worried about a potential play at the plate. Luckily it worked out for us."
"My first thought [after sliding into home] was 'Wow! I made it!' Then I thought of my mother and grandmother watching back home [in Georgia. Harris was born in Cairo, Georgia]. They get every Braves game down there."
"I don't know how long it took me [to recover]. I was standing out in the outfield thinking, 'Can I do this?' Then we made a pitching change [Sean Burnett replaced Joel Peralta in the 8th inning] and then my legs came back."
For the record, the home run ball, already labeled and displayed in Harris's locker when the media entered the Nats clubhouse, is going to his mother, Geraldine. It is the first inside-the-park homer, at any level, of Harris's baseball career.