When you think of all the great sluggers who have suited up for Cleveland since the inception of interleague in 1995, it’s hard to believe that the team’s historic feat was accomplished by a guy spending his first year with the Indians. It happened on July 21 when Edwin Encarnación hit a home run against the club from Toronto, the city he had called home for most of his major league career.
The Blue Jays had been the only ball team Encarnación hadn’t gone deep against, that is until Friday’s game. Most of his bursts against National League clubs came during his first four years when he played third base for the Reds, who traded him to the Blue Jays in 2009.
His historic hit came in the second inning against former teammate Marco Stroman, making Encarnación the first player in a Cleveland uniform to reach the milestone of hitting a home run against all clubs.
Albert Belle, a perennial All-Star slugger for Cleveland who racked up 381 career home runs, never did it against every team. He couldn’t go deep against the Chicago Cubs, Pittsburgh Pirates and Montreal Expos/Florida Marlins.
Another Cleveland outfielder, Manny Ramirez, accomplished the feat when he shot up Chavez Ravine against the Dodgers, only he wasn’t wearing a Cleveland Indians uniform at the time. No, Manny was a member of the Chicago White Sox the night he reached the milestone of hitting home runs against all teams.
One of Ramirez’s longtime teammates, Jim Thome, also went deep against each club, but like Manny, he claimed his latest victim outside of a Cleveland uniform. Thome finally felt one over the fence against the San Diego Padres, while he was suiting up for the Philadelphia Phillies.
Interestingly, Thome homered in all but one park. Although he played in ten games at the notoriously hitter-friendly Coors Field in Denver, Thome never hit a home run there.
Longtime Cleveland shortstop Jhonny Peralta has hit more than 200 home runs, but there are still three teams that have kept him in the park during his career. An obvious choice is the St. Louis Cardinals, the club Peralta spent his career with after leaving the Indians. The other two teams that remain on his wish list are the Washington Nationals and the Houston Astros.