“Touch ’em all” means a home run. “Touch ’em all” also means, well, touch ’em all.
Milwaukee Brewers Khris Davis blasted a first inning home run off San Francisco Giants starter Tim Lincecum on Monday. But Giants manager Bruce Bochy didn’t think Davis touched ’em all. So, he appealed the home run and home plate umpire Will Little called Davis out.
“It was close,” Brewers skipper Craig Counsell noted. “It was really close.”
Counsell appealed the call, and the replay confirmed his hunch (hope?) that Davis contacted the plate. The umpires ultimately decided that the back of Davis’ cleat touched the far corner of home plate.
Days removed from umpire James Joyce throwing Brewers reliever Will Smith out of the game for exhibiting a foreign substance on his right arm, Little’s call pleased the Miller Park faithful in no mood for further intrusions into the game by the impartial arbiters.
“It was so close,” Bochy told reporters. “I want to have that option. Even though you’re right there, there’s a human error factor.”
The defending World Series Champions lost the appeal but beat the worst team in the National League 8-4. Davis, after his first-inning solo shot, went yard again in the third.
If the umps had ultimately determined that Davis overstepped home, they would have ruled his home run a triple and called him out at the plate. The famous evangelist Billy Sunday, for instance, hit a home run that resulted in an out on July 12, 1884 because the White Sox player failed to touch second base. A few years earlier, Worcester Worcesters pitcher Fred Corey forgot to “touch ’em all” on two separate home runs. Retrosheet points out, “These would have been the first two homers in his career, which ended up with a total of seven.”