It’s safe to say rookie Yermín Mercedes learned not to break an unwritten rule of baseball around Tony La Russa, even if the play would be record breaking.
The White Sox were up late in the game, 15–4 in the ninth, and Minnesota had utilityman Willians Astudillo pitching. By the time Mercedes stepped up to bat, Astudillo was 3-0.
The unwritten rule is that you shouldn’t swing on a 3-0 pitch when your team is up late in the game, especially when a position player is pitching. But, the rookie couldn’t resist slammed the 47.1 mph pitch, hitting a home run with the ball traveling 429 feet.
Since 2008 (as far back as MLB’s pitch velocity data goes), no one has hit a dinger on a pitch thrown slower than the one Mercedes walloped.