Corey Hart notched a hat trick and a touchdown on Monday, hitting career home runs Nos. 99, 100 and 101 and collecting seven RBIs to lead the Brewers over the Nationals (MLB.com). "It was around 80 at-bats [without a home run] so I thought I lost my pop. [My teammates] have been giving me a lot of pushups and weak jokes so it was exciting to be able to shut them up a little bit," laughed Hart. (ESPN.com)
Nelson Cruz and reigning American League MVP Josh Hamilton returned to the Rangers lineup in style, celebrating with home runs (MLB.com). Across the league, Jim Thome took two trots around the bases (MLB.com), and Alexi Ogando hurled a five-hit shutout (MLB.com). Colby Rasmus showed off his ups (MLB.com), and Michael Bourn got down (MLB.com).
Well hello there, Mr. President! A.J. Pierzynski had a highlight reel moment Monday night, after his hustle to nab an Adrian Beltre foul ball nearly put him in the lap of former President George W. Bush. (MLB.com). So what did Pierzynski say to crack up the former Commander in Chief and First Lady? "I told him just 'cause he was the president doesn't mean I wouldn't jump on top of him. He and his wife got a good chuckle out of it." (AP)
The dream came true for Todd Frazier, who made his debut in The Show with the Reds in front of family and friends on Monday. The best part for Frazier? Calling his parents with the news that their son was a Major League baseball player. "My mom always goes to sleep early, so I knew my dad would answer the phone," said Frazier. "I was holding it back a little bit. We were both a little choked up. He said, 'Let me wake up your mother,' and he woke her up and she was just ecstatic. It was just a great feeling for the family." (MLB.com)
Every great closer needs a signature walk-up song. Gagne had "Welcome to the Jungle," Hoffman had "Hell's Bells, and no Mariano Rivera save is complete without "Enter Sandman." Here's why Angels rookie Jordan Walden chose Rob Zombie's "Dragula" as his. (Orange County Register)
Russell Martin is ready to unleash his freshly painted "magic fingers." (Twitter)
Tweet of the Day: "Just called down to the front desk & asked if they could send up someone to give me a Hug. *silence* ..." -- Marlins outfielder Logan Morrison (Twitter)
Quote of the Day: "I owe everything in my career, really, my whole life to Roberto Clemente. If not for him, I wouldn't be here today. I'd sure love to make him proud." -- Pirates second baseman Neil Walker.
Walker's father Tom, a former Major Leaguer and winter ball teammate of Clemente's, joined the legendary Hall of Famer on a 1972 earthquake relief trip to Nicaragua. According to Walker, his father was ready to fly back home when Clemente told him to stay and enjoy the night's New Year's Eve celebration, ultimately saving him from the fateful plane crash that killed the Pirates icon and four others. Walker plans to celebrate his upcoming December nuptials amidst the spirit and memorabilia of The Clemente Museum, saying that he wouldn't be alive if not for Clemente. (USA Today)
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.