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Scooter's Name Joins Short List of Others with 4-Homer Games

Updated on June 7, 2017

I have to admit, I had never heard of Scooter Gennett before Tuesday night, or if I had, it certainly wasn’t memorable enough to stick with me. Maybe I should have, since he was a regular with Milwaukee last year, but that also probably explains why I didn’t. Milwaukee hasn’t exactly been at the top of my radar.

In any event, Gennett made sure that he will always be remembered in some way by bashing four home runs for the Reds in Tuesday night’s 13-1 rout over St. Louis. He became only the 17th player to accomplish the feat, the first Cincinnati player to do it.

He did in grand style, too, hitting a grand slam to right, a 424-foot drive to center, and one down each line. For good measure, he added a single for a 5-for-5 night with 10 RBI. It was definitely unexpected since he had hit only 38 homers in his career before Tuesday.

15 Years Since Last NL 4-Homer Game

The last time someone hit four homers in a game was May 8, 2012 when Josh Hamilton went deep four times in Texas’ 10-3 win over Baltimore. He also went 5-for-5 and drove in eight of the 10 runs. The last National League player to hit four was Shawn Green for the Dodgers in a 16-3 win over Milwaukee on May 23, 2002. He was 6-for-6 in the game, with seven RBIs.

Gehrig was First Modern Player to do it

Of the now 17 players on the list, two came performed the feat in the 1800s when playing conditions were quite different. The first player in the modern era to hit four homers in a game was Lou Gehrig on June 3, 1932. (Side note: One of Gehrig’s nicknames was Biscuit Pants. I have no idea what to make of that.)

In that game against the A’s in Philadelphia, Gehrig hit homers in his first four at bats. He then grounded out in his next at bat. He came up again in the ninth with the bases loaded and hit a deep drive to centerfield but the centerfielder made a spectacular catch on the warning track – centerfield in Shibe Park was 468 feet, so it was a ball that undoubtedly would have been out in any current stadium. Although a run scored, he was not credited with a sacrifice fly. The Yankees scored six runs in that inning and won 20-12.

The Players With 4-Homer Games

Player
Date
Score
RBIs
Career
Scooter Gennett, Cin.
6/6/2017
Cincinnati 13, St. Louis 1
10
42
Josh Hamilton, Tex.
5/8/2012
Texas 10, Baltimore 3
8
200
Carlos Delgado, Tor.
9/25/2003
Toronto 10, Tampa Bay 8
6
473
Shawn Green, LAD
5/23/2002
LA 16, Milwaukee 3
7
328
Mike Cameron, Sea.
5/2/2002
Seattle 15, Chicago 4
4
278
Mark Whiten, StL
9/7/1993
St. Louis 15, Cincinnati 2
12
105
Bob Horner, Atl.
7/6/1986
Montreal 11, Atlanta 8
6
218
Mike Schmidt, Phi.
4/17/1976
Philadelphia 18, Chicago 16*
8
548
Willie Mays, SF
4/30/1961
SF 13, Milwaukee 4
8
660
Rocky Colavito, Cle.
6/10/1959
Cleveland 11, Baltimore 8
6
374
Joe Adcock, Mil.
7/31/1954
Milwaukee 15, Brooklyn 7
7
336
Gil Hodges, Brook.
8/31/1950
Brooklyn 15, Boston 3
9
370
Pat Seerey, CWS
7/18/1948
Chicago 12, Philadelphia 11*
7
86
Chuck Klein, Phi.
7/10/1936
Philadelphia 9, Pittsburgh 6*
6
300
Lou Gehrig, NYY
6/3/1932
New York 20, Philadelphia 13
6
493
Ed Delahanty, Phi.
7/13/1896
Chicago 9, Philadelphia 8
#
101
Bobby Lowe, Bos.
5/30/1894
Boston 12, Cincinnati 11
#
71
 
 
*4th homer in extra innings
# RBI total unknown
 

Pat Seerey's Big Game

Most of the players on the list are well known, or were well known at the time, for their power. Probably the least known among those was Pat Seerey, who bashed four homers in a game for the White Sox on July 18, 1948. Seerey was 5-9 and weighed in excess of 220 pounds and was known for two things – striking out and hitting prodigious homers.

He almost accomplished the feat in 1945 in Yankee Stadium while playing for the Indians. He tripled, then hit three homers before lining out his last at bat. Then in the 1948 game, the first of a doubleheader, he homered three times in the first nine innings, then hit his fourth homer, the game winner, in the 11th.

After that game, he hit only eight more homers in 188 at bats that season, and had only four at bats in 1949 before being sent to the minors. He never came back to the majors but was a slugging sensation in the minors. He had 86 lifetime homers.

Schmidt Did it in Extras

Mike Schmidt also accomplished his four-homer feat in extra innings, a game I listened to on the radio. It was a wild game at Wrigley Field, and the Cubs were tied with the Phillies, 15-15, when Schmidt came up in the 10th. He’d already hit three homers. I’ll never forget the call by Lou Boudreau, the Cubs announcer. He had just been talking about the possibility of a fourth homer. Then I heard the crack of the bat and Boudreau’s call: “Don’t tell me,” in an utterly dejected tone.

A Least-Likely Duo

Next to Gennett, the next least-likely player to homer four times in a game was Mark Whiten. Not only did he crack four homers in the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 7, 1993, he also drove in 12 runs, tying the all-time single game record. Whiten had only hit only 38 homers – the same number as Gennett – before his outburst, and finished with a mere 105 in his career. Interestingly, the only other player with four homers and double-digit RBIs in a single game is…Gennett.

And, in another weird connection between Gennett and Whiten – Whiten did it for St. Louis against Cincinnati, Gennett did it for Cincinnati against St. Louis.

Of the others on the list, all hit at least 200 career homers except for the two players in the 1890s.

More for Scooter?

The four homers on Tuesday give Gennett 42 for his career. It’s still unknown where he’ll end up; perhaps in another few years this will look like just the beginning of a home run-hitting career. Playing in Cincinnati’s home run friendly park should certainly help with that.

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    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 6 weeks ago from Louisiana, USA

      A lot of these I was able to witness on television. It seems like you would see it more from your prototypical sluggers, however some of the list are just your average ball players. I remember when Adam Kennedy did it in the postseason. Great and fun hub.

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