On June 10, 1959 Rocky Colavito pounded out four home runs in an 11-8 Indians victory over the Baltimore Orioles in front of 15,883 fans at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. Since 1918 only five other men had hit four home runs in a game, and Rocky became the second player to swat his home runs in four consecutive plate appearances (Lou Gehrig was the first). He ended the night having hit 18 homers after the Indians’ first 51 games. Apparently he didn’t even try for No. 4:
“Honest, I was just trying to meet the ball. No, I wasn’t going for a fourth. I thought I had a pretty good night already, hitting three.”
Last night Josh Hamilton clubbed four homers and a double to lead the Texas Rangers to a 10-3 victory over the Orioles 10-3 in front of 11,263 at Camden Yards in Baltimore. Hamilton fell one short of Shawn Green‘s record for total bases in a game (19) set on May 23, 2002. All four of his home runs were two-run shots, and he ended the day 5-for-5 with eight RBI and four runs scored.
Until the first pitch of the Rangers’ game tonight, we will undoubtedly hear such lines as “Hamilton certainly is locked in” and “Is there a hotter hitter on the planet?” and “If he keeps hitting like this he’ll have a shot at the triple crown.” Of course, these statements will be constantly mixed with other questions: Can the Rangers afford to keep him? Can they afford not to keep him? What would he be worth on the open market? Can you imagine him in pinstripes playing at Yankee Stadium with that short porch
For now, let’s just take a quick look back at how the previous 13 members of the four home run club performed the day following their historic performances. Overall, the group hit .280 (14-for-50) with three walks, four doubles, and seven RBI the next day. Only two players followed up their four-homer performances with long balls the next day: Mike Schmidt and Shawn Green.
Charter Member: Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees (June 3, 1932)
Gehrig went 4-for-6 with 6 RBI as the New York Yankees bombed the Philadelphia Athletics in front of 5,000 fans at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The following game he went 2-for-5 with a double and a RBI as the Yankees fell to the A’s, 10-7.
Member #2: Chuck Klein, Philadelphia Phillies (July 10, 1936)
Klein went 4-for-5 with 6 RBI as the Philadelphia Phillies defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-6, at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh (attendance unknown). The following game he went 2-for-4 with a double and a RBI but the Phillies lost to the St.Louis Cardinals, 3-2.
Member #3: Pat Seerey, Chicago White Sox (July 18, 1948)
Seerey went 4-for-6 with a walk and 7 RBI as the Chicago White Sox downed the Philadelphia Athletics at Shibe Park in Philadelphia (attendance unknown) in the first game of a doubleheader. In the nightcap he went 0-for-2 with a walk and a run scored in a five-inning affair which the White Sox lost to the Athletics, 6-1.
Member #4: Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers (August 31, 1950)
Hodges went 5-for-6 with 9 RBI and 5 runs scored as the Brooklyn Dodgers defeated the Boston Braves 19-3 in front of 14,226 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The following game he went 0-3 with a walk and the Dodgers were defeated by the New York Giants, 4-1.
Member #5: Joe Adcock, Milwaukee Braves July 31, 1954
Adcock went 5-for-5 with a double, five runs scored, and 9 RBI as the Braves beat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 15-7, in front of 12,263 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. The following game he went 1-for-2 with a double before being removed for a pinch runner ran the Braves beat the Dodgers, 14-6.
Member #6: Rocky Colavito, Cleveland Indians (June 10, 1959)
Colavito went 4-for-4 with a walk, five runs scored, and 6 RBI as the Indians defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 11-8, in front of 15,883 fans at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore. The following day he went 1-for-4 with an RBI as the Indians defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 2-1.
Member #7: Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants (April 30, 1961)
Mays went 4-for-5 with 8 RBI as the Giants defeated the Milwaukee Braves, 14-4, in front of 13,114 fans at County Stadium in Milwaukee. The Giants had an off day on May 1, but Mays went 0-for-4 as the Giants were defeated by the Cubs, 9-4, on May 2.
Member #8: Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia Phillies (April 17, 1976)
Schmidt went 5-for-6 with 8 RBI as the Phillies defeated the Chicago Cubs, 18-16, in front of 28,287 fans at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The following day he went 1-for-5 with a two-run homer as the Phillies beat the Cubs, 8-5.
Member #9: Bob Horner, Atlanta Braves (July 6, 1986)
Horner went 4-for-5 with 6 RBIs but the Braves lost the game to the Montreal Expos, 11-8, in front of 18,153 fans at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. The following day he went 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI but the Braves lost to the Phillies, 7-3.
Member #10: Mark Whiten, St.Louis Cardinals (September 17, 1993)
Whiten went 4-for-5 with 12 RBI as the Cardinals defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 15-2, in front of 22,606 fans at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. The following day he went 2-for-4 with a run scored but the Cardinals were defeated by the Reds, 6-2.
Cameron went 4-for-5 with four solo homers as the Seattle Mariners defeated the Chicago White Sox in front of 12,891 fans at Comiskey Park II in Chicago. The following day he went 0-for-4 with a walk and a run scored as the Mariners lost to the Yankees, 6-2.
Member #12: Shawn Green, Los Angeles Dodgers (May 23, 2002)
Green went 6-for-6 with six runs scored and 7 RBI as the Dodgers defeated the Milwaukee Brewers, 16-3, in front of 26,728 fans at Miller Park in Milwaukee. The following day he went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two runs scored but the Dodgers lost to the Diamondbacks, 14-3.
Delgado went 4-4 with 6 RBI as the Blue Jays defeated the Devil Rays 8-6 in front of 13,408 fans at Sky Dome in Toronto. The following day he went 0-4 as the Blue Jays were defeated by the Indians 2-1.
Two players hit four home runs in a game in the dead ball era and are not included in the club: Bobby Lowe of the Boston Beaneaters in 1894 and native Clevelander and Hall of Fame Member Ed Delahanty of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1896.