It’s incredible enough that Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in one game Tuesday night — something that’s only been done by 15 other major league players.
But he came pretty close to hitting five, which no player has ever done in a single game, according to the Baseball Almanac. In the fifth inning, Hamilton’s long line drive to center field “one-hopped the wall for a [ground rule] double,” as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram‘s Foul Territory blog says.
And on top of all that, there’s the compelling story of Hamilton’s struggle with addictions. As ESPN.com writes:
“He went from first round draft pick in 1999 by Tampa Bay to out of baseball all together because of drug and alcohol addiction.
“He recovered and returned to the majors in 2007 with Cincinnati, and was traded to the Texas, where he has become a star — the AL MVP in 2010 — while still battling his addiction. He had a relapse before this season, but is off to a torrid start.”
We noted Hamilton’s pre-season relapse back in February.
After Tuesday’s game, he had this to say:
“Understanding that what I’m doing and what God’s allowed me to do coming back from everything I went through and allowing me to play the game at the level I play it, it’s pretty amazing to think about.”
And who has hit four homes in one game? Here’s the list, via the Baseball Almanac:
— Bobby Lowe; Boston Beaneaters; May 30, 1894.
— Ed Delahanty; Philadelphia Phillies; July 13, 1896.
— Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees; June 3, 1932.
— Chuck Klein; Philadelphia Phillies; July 10, 1936 (10-inning game).
— Patt Seerey; Chicago White Sox; July 18, 1948 (11 innings).
— Gil Hodges; Brooklyn Dodgers; Aug. 31, 1950.
— Joe Adcock; Milwaukee Braves; July 31, 1954.
— Rocky Colavito; Cleveland Indians; June 10, 1959.
— Willie Mays; San Francisco Giants; April 30, 1961.
— Mike Schmidt; Philadelphia Phillies; Aug. 17, 1976 (10 innings).
— Bob Horner; Atlanta Braves; July 6, 1986.
— Mark Whiten; St. Louis Cardinals; Sept. 7, 1993.
— Mike Cameron; Seattle Mariners; May 2, 2002.
— Shawn Green; Los Angeles Dodgers; May 23, 2002.
— Carlos Delgado; Toronto Blue Jays; Sept. 25, 2003.
— Josh Hamilton; Texas Rangers; May 8, 2012.
By the way, the Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles last night by a score of 10-3. And here’s something for you trivia buffs: Each of Hamilton’s dingers scored two runs — and each time the same player was on base at the time. It was Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus.