Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Philadelphia Phillies' Ed Delahanty Hits Four Home Runs

On July 13, 1896, Philadelphia Phillies Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty, becomes just the second major leaguer to hit four home runs in a game.

The feat now has been reached 16 times, with Josh Hamilton being the last to do so on May 8, 2012.
In chronological order of players hitting four home runs in a game: Bobby Lowe (1894), Delahanty (1896), Lou Gehrig (1932), Chuck Klein (1936), Pat Seerey (1948), Gil Hodges (1950), Joe Adcock (1954), Rocky Colavito (1959), Willie Mays (1961), Mike Schmidt (1976), Bob Horner (1986), Mark Whiten (1993), Mike Cameron (May 2, 2002), Shawn Green (May 23, 2002), Carlos Delgado (2003) and Hamilton (2012).
Of the players who hit four home runs in one game Delahanty, Gehrig, Klein, Mays and Schmidt are in the Hall of Fame, and only Hamilton is still an active player.
The gap of time between Cameron’s four home run day and Green’s four home run day is the shortest being only 21 days apart, while the gap between Delahanty and Gehrig, 36 years is the longest between such feats.
Almost every player who hit four home runs in one game on this list helped their team win except for Delahanty, as his Phillies lost to the Chicago Colts 9-8, and Homer’s Atlanta Braves lost to the Montreal Expos 11-8.
Of the players to hit four home runs in a single game Lowe has the lowest career total for home runs with 71, follower by Seerey, 86, and Delahanty 101. The most home runs on the list for a player to hit four home runs in one game is Mays with 660, followed by Schmidt with 548, and Gehrig with 493.
While Delahanty was not the first player to complete the feat he was just the second, and had a Hall of Fame career in doing so. Delahanty, nicknamed "Big Ed", was a Major League Baseball player from 1888 to 1903 for the Philadelphia Phillies, Cleveland Infants and Washington Senators, and was known as one of the game's early power hitters. Delahanty won a batting title, batted over .400 three times, and has the fifth-highest batting average in MLB history with a .346 average, behind only Ty Cobb (.366), Rogers Hornsby (.359), Joe Jackson (.356). and Lefty O'Doul (.349).
Delahanty led the league in batting average twice in 1899 with a .410 average, and in 1902 with a .376 average. He led the league in home runs twice, in 1893 with 19 home runs, and in 1896 with 13 home runs. Of those 13 home runs, four of those came in a single game. He led the league in RBIs three times, 1893 with 146, 1896 with 126 and 1899 with 137. Delahanty also led the league in stolen bases once with 56 in 1898.
Delahanty finished his career with a life time .346 batting average, 2,597 hits, 522 doubles, 186 triples, 101 home runs, 741 walks, 1464 RBIs, 1600 runs, 455 stolen bases, and a career on base percentage of .411.
He was elected to the Cooperstown Major League Baseball Hall of Fame in 1945 by
A fun fact in Delahanty’s career was that he was also the victim behind one of "The Most Shameful Home Runs of All Time" according to the third edition of Bruce Nash and Allan Zullo's series, "The Baseball Hall of Shame."
In July 1892, when Delahanty's Phillies hosted Cap Anson's Chicago White Stockings at Philadelphia's Huntingdon Street Grounds (aka National League Park), Anson hit a fly ball to center in the top of the eighth inning. The ball hit a pole and landed right in the "doghouse," a feature unbeknownst to everyone then until that moment; it was used to store numbers for the manually run scoreboard.
Delahanty tried to get the ball (it was still in play) by first reaching over the doghouse, then crawling down into it, but on the latter attempt, he got stuck, and by the time teammate Sam Thompson had freed Delahanty from the area, Anson crossed home plate on what the "Baseball Hall of Shame" book calls an "inside-the-doghouse home run."