The baseball-writing world spent most of the past week celebrating Tuesday’s unexpectedly wonderful four-homer game by Cincinnati Reds utilityman Scooter Gennett. And rightfully so.
But here in this corner of the baseball-writing world, we pondered a different question: Is Gennett the worst (or to be more kind, the least-accomplished) player of the 17 men who have hit four home runs in a big-league game?
Gennett, who had 38 career home runs going into Tuesday, is 27 and was playing in his 503rd game in five seasons with Milwaukee and Cincinnati. Going into Friday, he was a career .281 hitter and had a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) of 6.1 as per baseball-reference.com.
Remember, WAR is a cumulative stat that could go up or down during the rest of his career based on his performance.
Here’s how Scooter stacks up against baseball’s other four-homer wonders, none of whom is active. Josh Hamilton, the last player to hit four homers in a game before Gennett, was released by Texas in April and has not officially retired but is not expected to play again.
We’ll do this by career WAR (just to show you what it’s good for):
1. Willie Mays SF Giants
156.2 WAR April 30, 1961
Mays, fifth in career home runs, is the only player in the top 15 with four in a game.
2.Lou Gehrig Yankees
112.4 WAR June 3, 1932
The attendance at Philly’s Shibe Park was an estimated 5,000.
3.Mike Schmidt Phillies 106.5 WAR April 17, 1976
The first two homers were off Rick Reuschel, the fourth was off brother Paul Reuschel.
4.Ed Delahanty Phila NL
69.5 WAR July 13, 1896
All four homers were inside the park.
5.Mike Cameron Mariners 46.5 WAR May 2, 2002
In his fifth at-bat, he flied out to the warning track.
6.Gil Hodges Dodgers
45.0 WAR Aug. 31, 1950
His first homer was off Hall of Famer Warren Spahn.
7. Rocky Colavito Indians
44.9 WAR April 30, 1961
Billy Martin played second for the Indians and homered.
8.Carlos Delgado Blue Jays 44.3 WAR Sept. 25 2003
Delgado, who led the AL with 145 RBIs, had six in this game.
9.Chuck Klein Phillies
43.6 WAR July 10, 1936
His fourth homer, in the top of the 10th, was the eventual game-winner.
10.Shawn Green Dodgers
34.5 WAR May 23, 2002
He set the MLB record with 19 total bases.
11.Joe Adcock Braves
33.5 WAR July 31, 1954
He set the NL record at the time with 18 total bases.
12.Josh Hamilton Rangers 28.1 WAR May 8, 2012
He set the AL record with 18 total bases.
13.Bob Horner Braves
21.7 WAR July 6, 1986
The Braves lost, 11-8.
14.Bobby Lowe Boston NL 20.1 WAR May 30, 1884
It was the first four-homer game in major-league history.
15.Mark Whiten Cardinals 14.0 WAR Sept. 7, 1993
He tied the all-time record
with 12 RBIs.
16.Scooter Gennett Reds
6.1 WAR June 6, 2017
His real first name is Ryan.
17.Pat Seerey White Sox
4.3 WAR July 18, 1948
His fourth HR, in the top of the 11th, was the eventual game-winner.
So there you have it! Scooter is not the worst player ever to hit four home runs in a game. Seerey, who played for the Indians and White Sox from 1943-49, was a righthanded-hitting outfielder who hit .224 with 86 homers in 561 games. Although he was only 5-9, Seerey weighed 220 pounds. One of his nicknames was “The People’s Choice.” Another was “Fat Pat.”
Sources: Baseball-reference.com, Newsday.com research