Baltimore — The text message from his father was waiting for him when he got back to the clubhouse Friday night.
Tigers right fielder Jim Adduci hit his first home run as a Tiger in the 5-2 win over the Orioles. It came a mere 1,090 days after his first big-league homer back in 2014. And it put him ahead of his father, former big-leaguer Jim David Adduci, in the family’s personal home run derby.
“Finally,” the younger Adduci said after the game. “Now I don’t have to pay attention to him when we hit in the cage. I’ll say, ‘No, uh-uh. I’ve got more homers than you now.’”
The senior Adduci hit his lone big-league home run in 1988, also against the Orioles.
“He texted me,” Adduci said. “He joked about it, saying he was just happy that we have more than one home run together.”
There have been some lively and spirited discussions (debates, arguments, depending on the day) on the topic of hitting between father and son over the years. Jim David played parts of four big-leagues seasons (1983-1989) with the Cardinals, Brewers and Phillies. After his playing career, he became an instructor with the Bulls/White Sox Youth Academy in Chicago.
Every offseason, whether his son was still living in Chicago or not, the Adducis would convene at a batting cage inside the academy and renew their debates.
“We’d both have our own theories, put it that way,” the younger Adduci said. “Nothing different than between anybody — father and son, sports and baseball, and how to do things. We’d get into it from time to time.
“We’re just trying to figure out, you know, everyone is trying to figure out the swing, trying always just to be ahead.”
The older Adduci played in pre-analytics baseball. The way hitting was taught in his day was vastly different than the instruction his son was getting both in the minor leagues, big leagues and especially during his two seasons in Korea.
“He’s definitely very old school,” Adduci said of his father. “He believes in hand path and hitting down on the ball and hitting line drives. The things that go on today, things that people talk about is hitting the ball more in the air.
“Which is understandable for guys who have the ability to do it. But in that era, it was all about line drives.”
The younger Adduci agrees with his dad on that part of it. He’s not a home run hitter and he’s not trying to change his launch angle so he can fly out to the warning track every other at-bat. His home run Friday was a line drive to the opposite field.
“We do agree on that,” Adduci said. “It’s just a matter of how we get there.”
Some of their batting cage battles would get pretty intense, as you would expect from two head-strong professional athletes with the same hot blood running through their veins.
“He’d want to argue every little thing, and it’s no different now,” Adduci said, laughing. “I’m 32 years old and we still argue.”
The arguments will have a different tenor now, though.
“Yeah, I got one (home run) up on him,” he said. “I’ve got more service time on him, too.”
If you are a father, you know that Jim David Adduci will be happy to continue “losing” arguments to his son.
“He was proud,” Adduci said.