AP Photo/Eric Gay
It took the Atlanta Braves exactly one batter to make history in the 2021 World Series.
Jorge Soler launched a solo home run off Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez in the top of the first inning in Tuesday’s Game 1. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the slugger became the first player in league history to lead off a World Series with a long ball.
JORGE SOLER LEADS OFF THE #WORLDSERIES WITH A HOMER! pic.twitter.com/iuC8zkP53y
MLB Stats noted Chris Taylor (2017), Alcides Escobar (2015), Dustin Pedroia (2007) and Don Buford (1969) all hit home runs in their team’s first at-bat of a Fall Classic, but each of them came to the plate in the bottom of the first inning.
The historic home run underscores how much of a presence Soler can be in Atlanta’s lineup.
He missed much of the National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers because he was on the COVID-19 list but gives Atlanta a power bat that isn’t far removed from leading the league with 48 home runs in 2019.