Young Cody Bellinger is now in some hallowed territory.
Playing in just the 49th game of his career Saturday in Cincinnati, the Los Angeles Dodgers rookie blasted his 19th career home run to give the Dodgers a 5-1 lead. The home run off Reds starter Asher Wojciechowski tied the major-league record held by New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez for the most homers hit in his first 50 career games, according to ESPN’s Christina Kahrl.
One year ago, Sanchez burst onto the big-league scene by hitting 19 homers in his first 45 big-league contests, breaking a record that had stood since 1930. Now there’s a chance he could lose his spot in the record books by the end of this weekend, as Bellinger will break Sanchez’s barely year-old mark if he hits a second homer on Saturday or goes deep Sunday in his 50th career game.
Sanchez and the man whose record he broke, Boston Braves outfielder Wally Berger, remain tied as the fastest two players to reach 20 homers in history, having both done so in their first 51 games.
Bellinger’s blast also moved him into a tie for second place among the National League home-run leaders, one behind Eric Thames for the Senior Circuit lead. The 21-year-old added an RBI double in the first inning and is now hitting .260/.335/.635 on the season.