4 Homerun Games
Writers of Sporting News described hitting four in a single Major League Baseball (MLB) game as "baseball's greatest single-game accomplishment". Fifteen players have accomplished the feat to date. No player has done this more than once in his career and no player has ever hit more than four in a game. Bobby Lowe was the first to hit four home runs in a single game, doing so on May 30, 1894. Fans were reportedly so excited that they threw $160 in silver coins ($4,000 in current dollar terms) onto the field after his fourth home run.
These games have resulted in other MLB single-game records due to the extreme offensive performance. Mark Whiten, for example, tied Jim Bottomley for the most runs batted in in a single game with 12 in his four-homer game. Shawn Green hit a double and a single along with his four home runs for 19 total bases, an MLB record. It surpassed Joe Adcock's mark of 18 which also came from a four-homer game. Chuck Klein, Pat Seerey, and Mike Schmidt each hit their four in a game that went into extra innings. Four home runs generate significant offense which generally allows a team to win, although Ed Delahanty's and Bob Horner's teams lost their respective milestone games. Warren Spahn pitched the ball which Gil Hodges hit for the first of his four, the only Hall of Fame pitcher faced during a four-home-run game. Mike Cameron hit his four on May 2, 2002, and Green matched the total 21 days later on May 23, 2002, the shortest span between such games. Lowe and Seerey each hit fewer than 100 home runs over the length of their career while Willie Mays, with 660, hit more than any other player in this group. Both Mays and Schmidt are also members of the 500 home run club.
Of the 11 players eligible for the Hall of Fame who have hit four home runs in a game, five have been elected. Players are eligible for the Hall of Fame if they have played in at least 10 major league seasons, and have either been retired for five seasons or deceased for at least six months. These requirements leave three players ineligible who are living and have played in the past five seasons, and one (Seerey) who did not play 10 seasons in MLB.