Wednesday May 28th, 2014

Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI It took Phillies OF Ben Revere four years, but he finally cracked the home run code. (Derik Hamilton/Icon SMI)

On Tuesday night, Ben Revere finally homered, ending a drought of epic proportions. The 26-year-old Phillies centerfielder had gone longer without connecting for his first major league shot than any player since the end of World War II.

Revere collected his first homer against Rockies lefty Boone Logan in the seventh inning. With a 1-1 count, Logan put a 91 mph fastball on the inside corner of the plate, and Revere didn't miss it. Here's a GIF of the long-awaited dinger.

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Here you can hear that Phillies play-by-play announcer Tom McCarthy was well aware of the drive's significance: "In the air to right field. Could it be? Cuddyer going back — and the first career home run in the big leagues for Ben Revere is finally on the board!"

As with most occasions when Revere — who came in batting a thin .291/.304/.323 for a 75+ OPS this season — swings the bat, the solo homer didn't do a whole lot of damage. It cut the Phillies' deficit to 4-2; they would give back the run in the next half-inning and wind up losing 6-2. Coming in the 1,566th plate appearance of a major league career that stretches back to September 2010, it did remove him from the post-1900 Top 10 list of players with the most plate appearances without a homer. Here's where he stood when the day began:

Rk  Player  PA  Years
1 Jack McCarthy 2470 1901-1907
2 Tom Oliver 2073 1930-1933
3 Irv Hall 2052 1943-1946
4 Roxy Walters 1602 1915-1925
5 Ben Revere 1562 2010-2014
6 Don Sutton 1559 1966-1988
7 Waite Hoyt 1421 1918-1938
8 Tim Johnson 1408 1973-1979
9 Luis Gomez 1391 1974-1981
10 Joe Sugden 1381 1901-1912

Some asterisks are necessary in that McCarthy actually homered eight times in 1898 and 1899 before deciding that the longball didn't agree with him, and likewise for Sugden, who hit three in 1894 and 1895. Revere had just passed Sutton on the all-time list on Monday; of course, Sutton was a pitcher, and a Hall of Fame one at that, and the same is true of Hoyt. The rest don't have excuses that are nearly as good. Oliver was a centerfielder for the Red Sox in the high-offense 1930s, Hall a wartime utility-man for some terrible Philadelphia A's squads, Walters a catcher whose career straddled the end of the Deadball Era and the start of the live ball one. Johnson and Gomez were futility-men whose careers intersected with the 1978 and 1979 Blue Jays; the former later managed them in 1998, but met his demise for lying about having served in Vietnam.

Revere surpassed Johnson on April 2. As Cliff Corcoran noted at the time, he had yet to surpass the homerless droughts of a few post-1946 players who eventually did hit one, namely Alex Cole (1,508 PA from 1990 to 1994), Duane Kuiper (1,532 PA from 1974 to 1977), and Greg Gross (1,887 PA from 1973 to 1977). With his homer in the books, he can now take aim at the legendary Kuiper, who hit one in 3,754 plate appearances from 1974-1985 and is still dining out on the distinction when he's not calling games for the Giants. They threw a bobblehead night for him earlier this year to celebrate his moment of glory.

On a list of players with the most plate appearances and one homer, Revere needs another 527 plate appearances to crack the top 10, none of whom are pitchers:

Rk  Player  PA  Years
1 Duane Kuiper 3754 1974-1985
2 Emil Verban 3109 1944-1950
3 Johnny Bassler 2864 1913-1927
4 Floyd Baker 2692 1943-1955
5 Joe Gedeon 2446 1913-1920
6 Woody Woodward 2423 1963-1971
7 Al Newman 2409 1985-1992
8 Ed Hahn 2405 1905-1910
9 Freddie Maguire 2330 1922-1931
10 Jimmy Burke 2093 1901-1905
Revere's home run drought was the longest stretch to begin a Major League Baseball career since Frank Taveras went 1,594 at-bats from 1972-1977.

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