Late one night in the 90's, a professional hitting coach explained to me what it means to "pimp a home run". We stood in a sports bar, watching a bank of televisions, as he explained that "pimping" is simply showboating after connecting on a round-tripper. "Pimping" is hitting the home run and then going through a rehearsed, choreographed mini-dance or routine, he said.
"Pimping" was made popular on TV during the 90's, by guys such as Sammy Sosa, who did the leap across home plate. Barry Bonds would drop the bat and stare, as he took a few slow, pronounced steps toward first base. Jeffrey Leonard rounded the bases with "one flap down" as his left arm hung limp.
Perhaps the best long-ball pimper of the era was Rickey Henderson, who would do a quick two-step and give a quick tug at the chest of his jersey. The coach even shared that he would attend Rickey's "pimping practice" sessions back in Oakland, where Henderson would "teach" young players a series of "pimp moves". In fact, Henderson had so many he had to name them...routine number one, routine number two, etc.
As the coach explained this to me, he glanced casually up at a TV showing a home run during the evening baseball highlight show. "See, that's a number two," he quipped, matter-of-factly.
In honor of the great Rickey Henderson, we'd like to share this over-the-top, unbelievable act of pimping a home run....enjoy!
And now Rickey himself....