Friday, July 3, 2009

Pure Magic at RAP

Jamar Hill had a great week at the plate on Thursday night: 4/5 with 4 consecutive homers and 8 RBIs. He had a shot at smacking his fifth in a row in the eighth inning, but he hit into a fielder's choice in his final at-bat of the night.

It was truly something to behold on this warm Victoria evening. Personally, I found his third homer to be the most impressive even though it was not the longest. He didn't seem to even take a full cut at the Lorenzo Barcelo offering; he just flicked his wrists and the ball sailed effortlessly over the fence. None of his homers were wind-aided either; it was an unusually still evening at Royal Athletic Park.

Unfortunately, there were only 1,205 fans in attendance to witness Hill's amazing feat. After he thrilled the crowd with his fourth consecutive round-tripper, someone in the Seals dugout passed a batting helmet to Darrell Evans' wife and she revived an old baseball tradition by passing the hat for "money for Jamar's homers".

Passing the hat for Jamar

This tradition dates back to the 19th century -- I even found a reference to a 13-year-old "Shoeless" Joe Jackson receiving money for his homers in this manner when he played for a local team in South Carolina (this would have been in 1901). At the height of minor-league baseball's popularity in the 1940's and 1950's passing the hat for a player's home run was apparently a regular occurrence.

Counting up the collection

Jamar settles in for his 5th plate appearance

On this night, the appreciative crowd chipped in close to $300 for Jamar's efforts. Jamar, you earned every penny and then some. Congratulations!

Post-game interview with the A Channel

In case you are wondering, the major-league record for home runs in a game is four. In the entire history of the major leagues, only 15 players have done it:

  • Bobby Lowe, Boston, 05/30/1894
  • Ed Delahanty, Philadelphia, 07/13/1896
  • Lou Gehrig, New York, 06/03/1932
  • Chuck Klein, Philadelphia, 07/10/1936
  • Pat Seerey, Chicago, 07/18/1948
  • Gil Hodgers, Brooklyn, 08/31/1950
  • Joe Adcock, Milwaukee, 07/31/1954
  • Rocky Colavito, Cleveland, 06/10/1959
  • Willie Mays, San Francisco, 04/30/1961
  • Mike Schmidt, Philadelphia, 04/17/1976
  • Bob Horner, Atlanta, 07/06/1986
  • Mark Whiten, St. Louis, 09/07/1993
  • Mike Cameron, Seattle, 05/02/2002
  • Shawn Green, Los Angeles, 05/23/2002
  • Carlos Delgado, Toronto, 09/25/2003