One week removed from belting a grand slam that broke Minor League Baseball’s all-time home run record, Toledo Mud Hens slugger Mike Hessman will now return to one of the stepping stones from his career-long-journey to becoming the “Home Run King” — Victory Field, where he first became the International League’s home run leader en route to his MiLB-wide crown.
Hessman eclipsed the IL’s 70-year-old mark on June 30, 2014, clearing Victory Field’s fences with one of his 31 career homers against Indians pitching.
Roughly one year later, with Toledo hosting Lehigh Valley last Monday (Aug. 3), he officially claimed the title of Minor League Baseball’s “Home Run King” when his grand slam sailed into the bleachers for the 433rd home run of his Minor League career. The 37-year-old Hessman broke a record originally set by Oakland Oaks heavy-hitter, Buzz Arlett, more than six decades ago.
Since his professional debut in 1996, Hessman has batted .233 with 1,740 hits (852 extra-base hits), 433 home runs, 1,080 runs scored and 1,200 RBIs in 2,077 Minor League games. He also has 14 big-league homers in 109 games between three different organizations, but has not appeared in the Majors since a stint with the New York Mets in 2010.
The Tribe will host Hessman and the Toledo Mud Hens for a three-game series Aug. 11-13.