10 Most Mind-Blowing Single-Game Feats in MLB History

Zachary D. Rymer@zachrymerMLB Lead WriterMay 1, 2012

10 Most Mind-Blowing Single-Game Feats in MLB History

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    Milwaukee Brewer Ryan Braun did something pretty remarkable at Petco Park on Monday night. The left fielder blasted three home runs and hit a triple, resulting in six RBI and 15 total bases.

    We've seen players hit three home runs in a game before. Heck, Curtis Granderson did it less than two weeks before Braun.

    What makes Braun's big night on Monday slightly more remarkable is the triple he tacked on in his final at-bat. According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via the Associated Press), Braun is the first hitter since Fred Lynn in 1975 to hit three homers and a triple in the same game.

    Pretty mind-blowing, am I right?

    Here's a list of 10 single-game feats that are even more mind-blowing than what Braun did in San Diego on Monday night.

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10. Shawn Green Compiles 19 Total Bases in One Game, 2002

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    Ryan Braun had an outstanding game on Monday night, but it pales in comparison to the day then-Los Angeles Dodger outfielder Shawn Green enjoyed on May 23, 2002 at Miller Park.

    In that game, Green hit four home runs, a double and a single. That's 19 total bases, which is a major league record for a single game.

    To put that in perspective, it took A's outfielder Seth Smith 24 games and over 60 at-bats to reach that mark this season. 

9. Toronto Blue Jays Hit 10 Home Runs in One Game, 1987

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    If you like home runs (and I know you do), you should sit back and imagine how awesome life would have been if you had been at the game between the Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays at Exhibition Stadium on September 14, 1987.

    That day, the Blue Jays hit 10 home runs, an MLB-record for a single game. George Bell (pictured) hit two, as did Rance Mulliniks. Ernie Whitt, however, stole the show by hitting three.

    Also going deep in that game was a young Fred McGriff. Light-hitting Mike Hart added a homer for the Orioles, to add at least some semblance of balance.

    Jack O'Connor was the only O's pitcher (there were six total) that did not allow a home run that day.

8. Robby Thompson Is Caught Stealing Four Times in One Game, 1986

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    Robby Thompson was a decent base-stealer during his 11-year career. He ended up with 103 swiped bags, with a career-high 16 in 1987.

    Thompson learned to be careful on the bases the hard way during his rookie year in 1986. In a game against the Cincinnati Reds on June 27, 1986, Thompson was caught stealing four times.

    That, by the way, is a single-game MLB record, and it's probably not one that Thompson is proud of.

    He ended up getting caught trying to steal 15 times that season, and 11 times the season after. For the rest of his career, he was never caught stealing more than nine times in a single season.

    Looks like Thompson learned his lesson—well, sort of.

7. Minnesota Twins Turn Two Triple Plays, 1990

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    Triple plays are a relative rarity in baseball. They are awesome when they happen, but they just don't happen very often. 

    Anyone who got to see the Minnesota Twins play the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 17, 1990, should consider themselves lucky.

    The Twins turned two triple plays that day, the only time that's happened in the same game in baseball history.

    Scott Erickson (pictured) was on the mound for the first one, which came in the bottom of the fourth. He walked Wade Boggs, gave up a double to Jody Reed and then walked Carlos Quintana. He saved himself by getting Tom Brunansky to ground into a triple play, third to second to first.

    The next triple play came in the bottom of the eighth inning with John Candelaria on the mound. He gave up a double to Tim Naehring, walked Boggs, and then got Reed to ground to third for yet another around-the-horn triple play.

    Guess what? The Twins still lost the game 1-0.

6. Fernando Tatis Hits Two Grand Slams in the Same Inning, 1999

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    Back in 1999, it was Fernando Tatis' job to provide protection for Mark McGwire in the St. Louis Cardinals' lineup. It's something he did quite well, as he hit 34 homers with 107 RBI that year.

    Tatis was constantly overshadowed by Big Mac, but on April 23, 1999, he momentarily stole the spotlight.

    That day, Tatis stepped to the plate in the top of the third and cranked a grand slam off of Los Angeles Dodgers hurler Chan Ho Park, giving the Cardinals a 4-2 lead. 

    Later in the inning, the bases were again loaded for Tatis, and Park was still on the mound. Tatis got him again, launching his second grand slam of the inning.

    He remains the only baseball player in history to hit two grannies in a single inning.

    "I can't believe it happened," said Tatis, according to Baseball-Almanac.com. "I did not expect to hit another one. I've never been a home run hitter. I just try to meet the ball. I'm not like Mark McGwire."

    You sure about that, Fernando? 

5. Tom Cheney Strikes out 21 in 16 Innings of Work, 1962

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    The major league record for strikeouts in a game, officially, is 20. It's been done by Roger Clemens (twice), Kerry Wood and (unofficially) Randy Johnson.

    Personally, I'm more impressed with what then-Washington Senators hurler Tom Cheney did on September 12, 1962 against the Baltimore Orioles.

    That day, Cheney pitched 16 strong innings, striking out a grand total of 21 hitters. He won the game, upping his record for the season to 6-8.

    Cheney wasn't overly dominant. He gave up 10 hits and an earned run, also walking four. But a 16-inning start with 21 punchouts isn't a bad day at the office by any stretch of the imagination.

    Somebody might strike out 21 in a game again. But in this day and age, nobody's ever going to pitch 16 innings ever again. Cheney's accomplishment will withstand the test of time.

4. Tom Seaver Strikes Out 10 Straight, 1970

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    Tom Cheney struck out 21 in 16 innings and Roger Clemens, Kerry Wood and Randy Johnson struck out 20 in nine innings, but none of them ever struck out 10 straight hitters in a single game.

    Tom Seaver did. He did it back on April 22, 1970 against the San Diego Padres, a game in which he struck out a then-record 19 hitters.

    The strikeout streak began in the top of the sixth when Seaver punched out Al Ferrara. From that point on, every out he recorded was a strikeout. His last ended the evening, against—you guessed it—Ferrara.

    Seaver's game score for that game was 97, in case you were wondering.

3. Allan Travers Allows 26 Hits and 24 Runs in Nine Innings, 1912

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    Look up Allan Travers on Baseball-Reference.com, and you will see that he pitched one major league game in his career (if you can call it that), and it wasn't a good one.

    On May 18, 1912, Travers took the mound for the Detroit Tigers against the Philadelphia Athletics. He went the distance, but he gave up 26 hits and 24 runs, while walking seven. His WHIP for the game was over 4.00.

    So what exactly was the story with this guy?

    Well, Travers wasn't a pitcher. SABR.org tells the story, which is about a young college student thrust into the spotlight due to extraordinary circumstances.

    A week before, Tigers star Ty Cobb had leaped into the stands during a game against the New York Highlanders and attacked a heckler. Appropriately named AL president Ban Johnson responded by suspending Cobb indefinitely.

    The Tigers went on strike in protest of Cobb's suspension, forcing the team to go out and find replacement players. Travers was the pitcher the team found.

    Tigers players returned to work soon after Travers' performance.

2. Tom McCreery Hits Three Inside-the-Park Homers in the Same Game, 1897

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    It's my opinion that the straight steal of home is the most exciting play not just in baseball, but in all of sports.

    However, I do like a good inside-the-park home run. As long as I live, I shall regret not being in attendance at the Louisville Colonels' game against the Philadelphia Athletics on July 12, 1897. 

    That day, Louisville outfielder/pitcher Tom McCreery hit three inside-the-park home runs, all off Jack Taylor, according to Baseball-Reference.com.

    The Colonels played their game at Eclipse Park in those days, and my presumption is that the park did not have outfield fences. A ball in the gap could have rolled forever.

    Outfield fences or no outfield fences, McCreery's record is one that will never be broken. Not bad for a guy who hit just 27 homers in a nine-year career.

1. Germany Schaefer Steals the Same Base Twice in the Same Inning, 1908

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    Stealing one base in an inning? That's been done.

    In fact, quite a few players have stolen second, third and home all in the same inning before. You would be surprised.

    But only Germany Schaefer could claim to have stolen the same base twice in the same inning.

    Wait, what?

    The story, according to 11Points.com, is that Schaefer, then with the Detroit Tigers, was on first base in a game against the Cleveland Indians with another runner on third. The plan was to do a double-steal, with Schaefer serving as bait while the other runner broke for home.

    Schaefer held up his end of the bargain, but the runner on third stayed put. It was legal back then to steal bases in backwards order, so Schaefer proceeded to steal first on the next pitch. On the next pitch, he broke for and successfully stole second base again.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and guess this will never be done again.

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