Four home runs? One game? I’m not joshin’! Well, actually, I guess I am.
Texas Rangers center fielder Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in one game on Tuesday night against the Baltimore Orioles. Hamilton became the 16th player to accomplish one of baseball’s rarest feats. The last to do it was Carlos Delgado as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays in 1993.
You have to feel good for Josh who’s been in a constant battle with drug and alcohol addictions. He’s having an historic start to the 2012 season; leading the league with a .406 batting average, 14 home runs and 36 RBIs.
Hitting four home runs in one game should be right up there with throwing a perfect game (an accomplishment that has been reached 21 times). It’s a batter being perfect during all four of his at-bats. Four at-bats against submarine-throwing southpaws, flame-throwing righties, 88-mile per hour sliders or falling off the table forkballs. The hardest thing to do in professional sports is hitting a baseball. To make perfect contact in every at-bat during one game is just that. Perfect. By the way, Hamilton ended the game with five hits, eight RBIs and 18 total bases.
Nine of the 16 players on the esteemed four homer/one game list have 300 or more home runs. Five are Hall of Famers including Ed Delahanty, Lou Gehrig, Chuck Klein, Willie Mays and Mike Schmidt. Delgado had a great career and still has a shot to get into the Hall in a few years. Think we can probably close Cooperstown’s doors on two other recent additions to the list: Shawn Green and Mike Cameron. Green and Cameron were both offensive forces until their time with the New York Mets, a place where great players go to die an awful, miserable death.
Hamilton couldn’t have picked a better time for his historic moment as 2012 is his contract year. The 30 year-old slugger, who some have compared to Mickey Mantle, should get plenty of play this offseason. Me? I’d love to see him sign with the Rangers. Not just because it’s a hitter’s ballpark but I’d also miss seeing Josh and the crew throw up the claw and antlers come playoff time.