Hitting a home run is a big deal, so it makes sense that when an MLB team hits a home run, players would want to celebrate their accomplishment.
However, not all home run celebrations are created equal, so it seems appropriate to rank the best ones we’ve seen so far in 2023.
Ranking any category requires clear criteria. Here are mine with the caveat that this is all highly subjective.
- Uniqueness: The celebration needs to be new and interesting, not just a rehash of something that’s been done before.
Team-appropriate: The celebration should be relevant to a team’s city or larger community.
Fun: Everyone should want to get in on the party.
Safety: This was a late addition, but while working through the choices, I came to understand the importance of safety first!
One thing I learned in the course of writing this is that home run celebrations are evolving quickly. So this list only considered celebrations revealed before May 1.
Atlanta: Big Home Run Hat
Originally, this celebration was fifth on the list. After all, who doesn’t love a celebration that centers extreme haberdashery?
HOMER HAT SZN 🧢
Our @Braves crew highlights Atlanta's newest home run celebration. @TreavorScales, @PeterMoylan and especially @gordonbeckham are on board.
(Wait for it… 😆) pic.twitter.com/21cOryE4jg
— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) April 12, 2023
Take another look.
The busiest Brave at the ballpark tonight is the homer hat.#ForTheA pic.twitter.com/aLYjGd7Sv2
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 15, 2023
Incidentally, those suggesting that the look originated last fall with Washington Commanders running back Brian Robinson Jr. have overlooked the influence of the iconic Jamiroquai.
Verdict: This one worked. It was original and fun — and a little odd. In the end, it was good.
But then New Era decided to put a stop to a perfectly good party.
MLB told the Braves they can no longer wear their oversized baseball hat to celebrate home runs after the league received complaints from New Era, per @joonlee pic.twitter.com/HaDoAJcRMk
— Sporting News MLB (@sn_mlb) April 27, 2023
So, rest in peace, Big Home Run Hat. We’ll be watching for your successor.
Milwaukee Brewers: Cheesehead
This one scores high on the team-appropriate scale because it is quintessential Wisconsin — plus, it ties the Brewers in with the Green Bay Packers, who first brought the cheesehead to fame in the mid-1990s. Is there a greater accolade in the Dairy State than being called a “Cheesehead”?
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) April 15, 2023
Verdict: That said, it’s just not very original. Cheesehead? Wisconsin? Been there, done that. Also, apparently, there are some sizing issues? Hear Rowdy Tellez explain why the Brewers need a “bigger cheesehead.”
It’s nice, but I’m just not feeling this one.
Detroit Tigers: Reppin’ the Red Wings
The Tigers recently revealed their new home run celebration. Like the Brewers’ cheesehead, this one is great in terms of tying the Tigers to their community and another sports team. Plus, in addition to the helmet, there’s a hockey stick involved.
Our new home run celebration is @DetroitRedWings approved. 🐙 pic.twitter.com/9boGb6ZI8R
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) April 23, 2023
Verdict: The idea is good, but the Red Wings haven’t made the NHL playoffs in seven years, which seems ominous for a baseball team in the early stages of the season. Also, I’m not sure how excited we’re going to be about hockey in, say, August.
Chicago White Sox: Gangster’s Paradise
The White Sox have not hit many home runs this season, but when they do, they know how to celebrate:
White Sox Celebration: https://t.co/307ZWU60W0
— Renee Dechert | firstname.lastname@example.org (@ReneeDechert) May 2, 2023
The new White Sox homer celebratory outfit is rather awesome pic.twitter.com/YSzB4QwucN
— Jason Collette 🗣️ (@jasoncollette) April 28, 2023
Verdict: Given Chicago’s history, it’s certainly appropriate with a black fedora and a jacket with some swagger. Plus, the City Connect uniforms will be fabulous with this look. This one just seems a little, well, obvious. So, it gets high marks for being team appropriate but could use some work on the uniqueness front.
Boston Red Sox:
Macho Man Inflatable Dumbbell
The Sox adopted this in honor of Masataka Yoshida, who had the nickname “Macho Man” in Japan.
Welcome to the big leagues, Masataka Yoshida! pic.twitter.com/0A4gdZXqjD
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 3, 2023
The Red Sox did not include any video of Yoshida doing the celebration, so here’s a photo. Click here to see some video of his teammates warming up the dumbbells for him following a grand slam.
MACHO MAN. pic.twitter.com/Q9xoh05BGg
— Red Sox (@RedSox) April 3, 2023
Verdict: It’s a great way to welcome a new teammate. Plus, it’s got that 1970s retro vibe going for it. That said, this celebration is no laundry cart ride. (Apparently, the Sox opted to drop the ceremony when its creator, Kevin Plawecki, left the team. This one is Justin Turner’s invention.) Look, these are some of the fittest men on the planet, and they’re lifting inflatable weights? I get the Red Sox not wanting their players to lift real weights — so kudos to them for keeping health and safety in mind — but this feels too lightweight for a professional baseball team.
San Diego Padres: Strike a Polaroid Pose
The Padres continued their Polaroid tradition started by Joe Musgrove in 2022. (It resulted in 160-plus pics.)
The pose 👉 The polaroid pic.twitter.com/1dWMvJwIBl
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 19, 2023
I mean, if ever the Padres had a Polaroid moment this season, the return of Fernando Tatís Jr. would surely be it. Because, hey, when the moment is right!
The polaroid is here and it’s perfect 🥰#BringTheGold pic.twitter.com/iPkIsvYFyt
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 23, 2023
Verdict: Consistency is good — I get that. And professional baseball teams are busy folks, so who has time to devote to creating a new celebration? But you’d think that a team that’s spent so much money on so many new players would want something new and interesting. So, this one is fine, but we’ve been there, done that.
Cincinnati Reds: Viking Helmet and Robe
One thing about the Reds: They take their cosplay seriously.
WIL POWER x2 pic.twitter.com/5y130NLuoS
— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) April 15, 2023
The hitter is wrapped in a robe, given a Viking helmet, and honored at the end of the dugout with the presentation of a scepter.
Verdict: The look is cool. The Vikings’ history of raping and pillaging is less so. Plus, Cincinnati is not in Minnesota where the NFL Vikings are. Then again, the Reds have not hit many home runs this season, so when they do, they should at least enjoy the moment.
And now to the main event: The Top 5 Home Run Dugout Celebrations.
5. Minnesota Twins:
Land of 10,000 Rakes Fishing Jacket
The Twins revealed their celebration on Sunday, and it’s pretty good.
Welcome to the Land of 10,000 Rakes. 🎣#MNTwins pic.twitter.com/8vdg0fcpIo
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 30, 2023
Take another look.
Hook, line and sinker.#TwinsWin! pic.twitter.com/d2PuuIny9Y
— Minnesota Twins (@Twins) April 30, 2023
Verdict: This one works. It’s original and fun and very Minnesota. Twins, be careful with that fishing rod. Don’t poke someone’s eye out.
4. Pittsburgh Pirates: Cutlass
The Pirates are having themselves a season. Whether it will last, no one knows. For now, they’re making the most of it, and to celebrate home runs, they have a pirate-appropriate cutlass.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 21, 2023
Then they added the The Bucco jacket to complete the look.
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 27, 2023
Verdict: It seems a little violent, but very on-brand for a team of Pirates that has had little to celebrate for a long time. Plus, it makes sense, but guys, be careful with that cutlass. Raise it! The Pirates have a home run celebration that works.
3. Los Angeles Angels:
Samurai Warrior Helmet
The Angels started 2023 with a celebratory straw hat, which, well, whatever. But then they went next level with a samurai helmet. (Apparently, there were some early transportation issues, but those have been resolved.)
Shogun O’Hoppe 🗡️ pic.twitter.com/gU0DKCIVtG
— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) April 9, 2023
Verdict: The Angels not only have an original celebration that highlights one of the greatest baseball players of all time as well as his cultural history. Also, it’s just cool! I feel like the Angels should get points for improvement because what started out as a whatever party went next level — as it should for the team with Shohei Ohtani on its roster.
2. Baltimore Orioles: Home Run Hose
If there is a more exciting team in baseball right now than the Baby Birds, I am not sure which team that would be. Therefore, had they done a second-rate home run celebration, we all would have been disappointed.
Reader, they did not disappoint. I give you the Home Run Hose (or the “Dong Bong” as others have called it).
Come for the home run, stay for the celly. pic.twitter.com/WVtTCQYzRy
— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) April 10, 2023
Verdict: This one is absolutely original and totally fun. There’s not a clear connection to the Baltimore community in this one, but it makes sense that a young team should have a home run celebration with a decidedly frat-house vibe. So perhaps the community is youngsters everywhere?
However, points were deducted for safety concerns. Guys, be careful with that hose. It’s a choking hazard.
1. Seattle Mariners: Trident
Gaze upon this with awe and wonder.
this is an ELITE combo 🔱 pic.twitter.com/CfNTdhOXTI
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 22, 2023
A celebration this good deserves a second look.
.@jarredkelenic got the trident 🔱 pic.twitter.com/csYkpAq7Oa
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) April 23, 2023
Verdict: Where even to start? It’s original. It’s clever. It’s connected to the Emerald City. And is it ever fun. Plus, the Mariners are cognizant of the risks.
Scott Servais seems bemused by the trident, but he shrugs and says "let the kids play." He did express concern over the fact that it's pointed on the bottom as well as the top, presenting a more-than-marginal risk of impaling someone's foot.
— Lookout Landing (@LookoutLanding) April 22, 2023
This is hands down the best home run celebration.
Thus concludes this round of home run celebration rankings.
See everyone again after the All-Star Break.
Image Adapted by Chris Corr (@Chris_Studios on Twitter)
Great article! I love that baseball is becoming fun again!