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All-time minor league home run champ and former Met Mike Hessman retires

The minor league home run champ hit 433 dingers over 20 years in professional baseball.

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Former Met Mike Hessman retired on Saturday after a professional career that spanned 20 years between the minors, majors, and Japan. Over the course of 2,095 minor league games Hessman launched 433 home runs, 323 of those coming at the Triple-A level. Hessman became known as the real-life Crash Davis, Kevin Costner's character from the film "Bull Durham", who set the minor league home run record but never made it to the majors.

Hessman, 37, hit record-breaking home run number 433 while playing for the Toledo Mud Hens on August 3 off of former major league pitcher Dustin McGowan, who spent parts of eight seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays and Philadelphia Phillies. That home run, which moved Hessman ahead of Buzz Arlett on the all-time list, would be the final one of his historic career.

Hessman was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the 15th round of the 1996 draft. Unlike his fictional counterpart, he was able to make it to the major leagues on five separate occasions, first with the Braves in 2003 and 2004, then the Detroit Tigers in 2007 and 2008, and one last time with the Mets in 2010. He homered just once for the Mets that year in 65 plate appearances. He hit 14 home runs in all during his brief time spent in the big leagues.