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San Diego Padres’ Jackson Merrill Hits Residence Run to Be a part of Willie Mays in Historical past Books

Willie Mays spent his entire career making history.

Two days after the San Francisco Giants legend died at the age of 93, someone matched one of his countless records.

San Diego Padres outfielder Jackson Merrill went back-to-back with shortstop Manny Machado on Thursday night, blasting a solo home run in the bottom of the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers. It marked the 21-year-old’s ninth home run of the season and his sixth in his last eighth games.

According to OptaSTATS, Merrill now joins Mays as one of two center fielders in MLB history to hit six-plus homers in an eight-game span before turning 22 years old. Mays did so from July 15 to July 22 in 1951.

Merrill is now batting .279 with a .742 OPS in 2024, more than holding his own as the second-youngest active player in the league. The former top prospect already boasted a 2.0 WAR entering Thursday, which put him among the top 50 in all of baseball.

Joining Mays on any list is quite the accomplishment as well, and the timing is certainly meaningful.

The entire baseball world has been mourning the loss of Mays all week long, while also celebrating his life and achievements. He was supposed to be a guest of honor at the game between the Giants and St. Louis Cardinals at Rickwood Field on Thursday night, which was held to pay tribute to the Negro Leagues and their own storied history.

It would obviously be a stretch to call Merrill the next Mays – considering the latter is widely considered to be among the five greatest players in MLB history – but the youngster matching The Say Hey Kid is no small feat.

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