By Mike Harrington
All Mike Hessman has done in a minor-league career that dates to 1996 is hit home runs. In pretty much every stop he's made. Eleven stops in the minors -- including 18 longballs in 64 games for the Bisons in 2010 -- as well as three stops in the majors (Atlanta, Detroit, New York Mets) and even 48 games in Japan in 2011.
Hessman went deep Tuesday in the first inning of Toledo's 3-0 win over Rochester in Frontier Field and it was the 400th home run of his minor-league career.
MILB.com has been keeping this rotating graphic of Hessman's power numbers and now has it updated with No. 400. Here's the video of the shot, with the call by Rochester announcer Josh Whetzel, who is also the voice of University at Buffalo basketball.
(Memo to the Rochester TV crew: Whetzel is word-picturing a great scene of teammates congratulating Hessman and Red Wings fans standing and applauding behind the dugout and you missed all of it showing replays of him jogging around the bases. Just plain terrible. You gotta be better.)
Now Hessman has another quest: He has 255 career home runs in the International League -- just three shy of all league's all-time record of 258 set by Bisons legend Ollie Carnegie (1931-41, 1945). Carnegie is one of just three players to have his number retired on the left-field wall at Coca-Cola Field.
Hessman has 12 games to go before a four-game set in Buffalo between the Bisons and Mud Hens opens here June 3. He might already have the record by then, but it would make for a pretty interesting backdrop if he was on the verge of it when he hit town. Bears watching.