Josh Hamilton and the Last Five 4-HR Games in MLB History
Tonight, nobody cares that Josh Hamilton hasn't played more than 135 games but once in his career. Nobody cares that his past alcohol and drug abuse may shorten the career of one of the most talented players of his generation.
Tonight, May 8, 2012, Josh Hamilton is just the 16th player in major league history to hit four home runs in a single game—and just the fifth since 1986.
Fun fact about the accomplishment: Three of the last four occurrences have been in the month of May, but before that, it hadn't been done in May since Bobby Lowe became the first player ever to hit four jacks in a game on May 30, 1894.
Mark Whiten, September 7, 1993
As a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1993, Mark Whiten hit four home runs, knocking in 12 RBI in the second game of a day-night double-header against the Cincinnati Reds.
Whiten hit a career-high 25 home runs in 1993, but only topped 15 in one other season, finishing with 105 home runs over 11 years and a career .259 average.
Later that year, Whiten also became the first visiting player ever to reach the right field overhang of Three Rivers Stadium with a 464-foot upper deck home run.
Mike Cameron, May 2, 2002
Mike Cameron hit his four home runs as a member of the Seattle Mariners in 2002 while facing the Chicago White Sox. Cameron hit 25 home runs in the season but batted .239 and led the league with 176 strikeouts. He would play one more year with Seattle before bouncing around over the next eight years.
Cameron most recently played for the Red Sox and Marlins in 2011, combining to play in 78 games and bat .203. He is a career .249 hitter and was voted to the All-Star Game in 2001. In that year, he hit 25 HR, had 110 RBI, 34 SB and 99 R in his best season.
Shawn Green, May 23, 2002
Shawn Green, just three weeks after Cameron played long ball four times, turned in his own version of the achievement, as a member of the Dodgers. Green homered four times against the Milwaukee Brewers. He added a double and a single in the same game to set the major league record with 19 total bases in the game.
Green was one of the best hitters in the game in the early 2000s, coming off a 49 HR, 125 RBI, 121 R season in 2001, Green excelled to a total of 42 HR, 114 RBI and 110 R with a .285 batting average in 2002. It was the end of a four-year stretch in which he topped 35 home runs and 110 RBI three times.
Carlos Delgado, September 25, 2003
As a member of the Toronto Blue Jays, Carlos Delgado had a night to remember versus the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
It was a career year for the now-39-year-old slugger with 473 home runs to his name. Delgado finished 2003 with 42 home runs, a league-leading 145 RBI and a league leading 1.019 OPS. He added a .302 average and 119 runs scored to the tally for that year.
2003 fell right in the middle of a stretch of 10 straight years and 11 out of 12 in which he hit over 30 home runs. It was also the sixth of a nine-year stretch in which he had 99 or more RBI every season. Delgado retired as a career .280 hitter with 473 HR and 1,512 RBI.
Josh Hamilton, May 8, 2012
Josh Hamilton hit the first Jake Arrieta offering he saw over the center field wall for a two-run bomb in the first inning against Baltimore. In the third inning, Arrieta fell behind 2-0 before dealing Hamilton a sinker up in the zone, which he deposited into right-center field.
Hamilton tallied a double off Arrieta in his last at-bat against the Orioles starter.
Hamilton batted for the third time with Elvis Andrus on base ahead of him, and Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in left-hander Zach Phillips to face him. Hamilton hit the second pitch from Phillips over the center-field wall for his third bomb of the night.
Batting in the eighth against Orioles right-handed reliever Darren O'Day, Hamilton hit an 0-2 pitch over the center-field wall for his fourth jack of the evening. Hamilton is now batting .406 with 14 HR and 36 RBI for the season.
One last ironic note, the last three men to hit four homers in a game before Hamilton all spent time in their careers with the New York Mets, and they all had their four-homer nights for other teams.