Sheffield Finally Joins The Club Print E-mail
Written by Fred Mitchell   
Saturday, 18 April 2009

Gary Sheffield became the 25th player to join the 500 Home Run Club when he went deep Friday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.

The 9-time all star, who signed with the New York Mets after being released by the Detroit Tigers at the end of spring training, blasted a 3-2 pitch an estimated 385 feet. 

 

"Just to join that 500 club, you know. Now I can say I'm in the club and, you know, it's like getting your degree. Nobody can never take that away from you," Sheffield told reporters after the Mets won 5-4

 

Sheffield's new teammates congratulated him after his historic homer, which was his first hit of the season.

 

"They were very happy. They've been very supportive ever since I got here," Sheffield said. "That's all we've been talking about, as well as winning a championship and what I bring to this team. ... They've been very special to me."

The homer tied the score at 4-4.

 

"He has been a great addition to the chemistry of the team. When he's not playing, he's talking to guys about hitting, what he looks for, those types of things," Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. "And, you know, every time you call on him, he seems to put together a pretty good at-bat. So to see him get that, to hit that at that time, to tie the game ... that was big for us."

Sheffield, 40, is the fourth-oldest player to hit 500 homers, behind Willie McCovey, Eddie Murray and Ted Williams.

Sheffield's wife and children were among the crowd of 36,436 on Friday night.

"It has been nerve wracking for them, especially not knowing when I'm going to get to play," he said.

Sheffield joins Ken Griffey Jr (613), Alex Rodriguez (553), Jim Thome (543) and Manny Ramirez (527) as the only active players to hit at least 500 homers.





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