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article imageJamey Carroll ends three-year home run drought

By James Bisson     Sep 4, 2012 in Sports
From August 9, 2009 to Sept. 2, 2012, Jamey Carroll hit as many home runs as the majority of the North American population - zero.
Carroll's run of ignominy ended Tuesday night, as he stepped up to the plate for the Minnesota Twins in the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox. The diminutive infielder took a pitch from White Sox left-hander Hector Santiago and drilled it into the left-field seats, beginning a home-run trot he hadn't performed in more than three years.
Making the moment even more special: The game marked 10 years of major-league service time for Carroll, who didn't reach the bigs until he was summoned by the Montreal Expos as a 28-year-old in 2002. Carroll, whose wife, children, father and brothers were in attendance, told reporters after the game that he couldn't believe he had made it this far:
"I just remember when I first got called up and thinking, 'Wow, I'll be 38 if I ever make it 10 years.' Honest to God, I'll tell you, I would have bet everything I had - not that I owned anything at that time - that that wouldn't be the case, and here we are."
Besides being a meaningful milestone for any professional athlete, reaching 10 years of service time has a practical benefit, as well. By making it to the 10-year plateau, Carroll will now receive full pension benefits when his playing career is over - a remarkable achievement for a man who began his major-league journey when the majority of players are already well underway in theirs.
The majors has traditionally been a difficult spot for players of Carroll's ilk - the light-hitting infielder who relies on brilliant fielding and smart baserunning to overcome a major lack of power. He fits the journeyman moniker well, playing for his sixth major-league team - never spending more than three seasons with the same one.
Twins left fielder Darren Mastroianni retrieved the home-run ball for a jubilant Carroll, who intended to give it to his son Cole. And given Carroll's track record - it was his first homer in 1,384 at-bats and just the 13th of his career - the ball may be one of the rarest pieces of sports memorabilia around.
More about jamey carroll, darin mastroianni, Home run, service time, Pension
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