Sheffield appreciates response to 500
Mets slugger receives numerous congratulatory messages
NEW YORK -- Two days after Gary Sheffield hit his historic 500th home run, the Mets' outfielder's phone was still buzzing with congratulatory messages and an overflowing inbox.
"I haven't had much sleep," Sheffield said of the time following Friday night's seventh-inning solo shot.
Sheffield says he got 109 text messages and approximately 20 phone calls on Friday night, and another 72 texts after Saturday afternoon's game.
During Saturday's game, the Mets also broadcast congratulatory videos on the Citi Vision screen. Fellow 500 home run club members Jim Thome and Ken Griffey Jr. were among those to offer their congratulations.
"It made me feel good because of how my friends, family, ex-teammates -- all the people I've dealt with over my 22 years -- how they responded to this event," Sheffield said. "And I thanked each and every one of them."
Chief among Sheffield's well-wishers were the Tigers, who released him March 31. Sheffield said he heard from the entire organization and was grateful for their support.
"It's overwhelming that that many people responded to me," he said. "I'm on an adrenaline rush right now."
Given that Sunday marked his second straight start in the outfield, Sheffield is going to need all that extra energy.
"I think my mind is running 100 miles an hour," he said. "I'm just trying to settle in here at the same time. I've got a lot going on."
The veteran slugger's start Saturday marked Sheffield's return to the outfield for the first time since May 2008.
"I didn't expect to feel this good," Sheffield said. "I've been putting in a lot of extra work early, staying late. And [my body has] responded pretty good."
Brittany Ghiroli is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.