April 30th-Mays joins prestigious group

DSCN21301961 | MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – Here’s something you don’t see everyday – 4 home runs by the same guy in a 9-inning game. On this date in 1961, Willie Mays became just the 5th player in major league baseball’s modern era (since 1901) to do it, as his San Francisco Giants beat the Milwaukee Braves (today’s Atlanta Braves) 14-4.

Baseballs flew out of Milwaukee County Stadium on that Sunday afternoon in Wisconsin. Besides Mays’ 4 round-trippers, teammate Jose Pagan hit 2 home runs, as did Henry Aaron of the Braves. Solo shots were hit by the Giants’ Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou.

As of this writing [April 29, 2017], 11 players have hit four home runs in 9-inning games in the modern era:

Lou Gehrig, New York Yankees June 3, 1932  (9)
Gil Hodges, Brooklyn Dodgers August 31, 1950  (9)
Joe Adcock, Milwaukee Braves July 31, 1954  (9)
Rocky Colavito, Cleveland Indians June 10, 1959 (9)
Willie Mays, San Francisco Giants – April 30, 1961 (9)
Bob Horner, Atlanta Braves – July 6, 1986 (9)
Mark Whiten, St. Louis Cardinals – September 7, 1993 (9)
Mike Cameron, Seattle Mariners – May 2, 2002 (9)
Shawn Green, Los Angeles Dodgers – May 23, 2002 (9)
Carlos Delgado, Toronto Blue Jays – September 25, 2003 (9)
Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers – May 8, 2012 (9)

Several years usually pass between 4-home run games, but only 21 days separated Mike Cameron’s and Shawn Green’s displays of power in 2002.

Chuck Klein (1936), Pat Seerey (1948) and Mike Schmidt (1976) have also each hit 4 home runs in one game, but they needed extra innings to do it.

No one has ever hit 5 home runs in one game.

CONTRIBUTING SOURCES:
MLB hitting leaders
Baseball-Almanac