History! Wade Jr. blasts Oracle Park's 100th Splash Hit

LaMonte Wade Jr. launched Oracle Park's 100th Splash Hit against the Baltimore Orioles in the bottom of the first inning on Friday.

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​SAN FRANCISCO -- It took 23 years, hundreds of left-handed hitters, four different ballpark names and an internal review, but the Giants finally reached 100 Splash Hits at Oracle Park.

LaMonte Wade Jr. blasted the first pitch of Friday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles into McCovey Cove, getting the Giants to the landmark after several weeks of waiting. The Splash Hit was the fifth of Wade's career and the second of the season. The Giants celebrated by setting off streamers after the first inning as the ticker hit triple digits for the first time. 

The Giants entered this season at 97 and got one from Wade on the first homestand. The homer that got them within one swing of 100 was a fascinating one, and was only confirmed to be a Splash Hit after a review by ballpark officials. 

Brandon Crawford's three-run homer on April 22 had the right trajectory and ended up in the water, but FOX was broadcasting that game and decided not to use the McCovey Cove camera that is part of the usual broadcasts. The splash was not caught by cameras, but the ballpark operations staff reviewed security footage from the arcade section and port walk. A day later, Crawford was given his fourth splash hit and the ticker went up to 99.

The Giants had to wait a while after that one, but Wade opened Friday night's game with fireworks, jumping on a first-pitch fastball from Dean Kremer.

The homer went an estimated 385 feet and was scooped up by a man in a kayak. 

The Giants only count balls hit into the water by their own players, and the first came a few months after the park opened, when Barry Bonds went deep to right on May 1, 2000. The all-time home run king did most of the work over the next decade. 

Bonds had the first nine Splash Hits and 23 of the first 25, with Felipe Crespo getting the other two.

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Bonds hit 35 of them overall in eight seasons, a mark nobody else has approached. Brandon Belt is the only other player in double-digits, having hit 10 into McCovey Cove in 12 seasons in orange and black. Pablo Sandoval (8), Denard Span (5), Mike Yastrzemski (5) and Joc Pederson (5) have also done some heavy lifting.

All 100 homers were hit by left-handed hitters, although one of the best players in franchise history nearly broke that streak. Buster Posey's final home run in the big leagues was a blast in the 2021 NLDS that had the right trajectory but was knocked down by the second water cannon. 

"The dang column kept me from a Splash Hit," Posey said that night, laughing. 

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