On Tuesday night, Mitch Haniger of the Seattle Mariners bashed his 38th home run of the season, extending Seattle’s lead over the Oakland Athletics by one run in an eventual 4-2 victory. Haniger’s home run not only extended his career high single-season home run count and helped the Mariners win their third game in a row; it was also his 100th career home run, a major milestone in Haniger’s career.
Mitch Haniger has overcome several injuries in his career, and has finally reached the 100 home run mark.
Haniger, acquired by the Mariners in 2016 from the Arizona Diamondbacks, has dealt with multiple injuries during his Mariners tenure: he was hit in the face by a fastball early in his rookie season in 2017, fouled a pitch off of his groin in the middle of the 2019 season and ruptured a testicle, then missed all of the 2020 season due to a lumbar surgery.
These injuries haven’t been your typical mishaps that send a player to the Injured List for ten days; they have all had significant physical and psychological effects on Haniger. However, he has stayed the course and worked incredibly hard in the past two offseasons to rehabilitate and recover, so his emergence this year as one of the best outfielders in the American League has come as a surprise to very few Mariners fans.
A 30-year-old player hitting their 100th career home run typically doesn’t make the headlines, but Mitch Haniger deserves a major tip of the cap for reaching the milestone after overcoming the amount of bodily turmoil he’s been put through so far in his young career.
At the pace he’s currently at, Haniger may be on track to double that total in the next few seasons; now that’s an achievement that would make some headlines.