Another Look at the Rare Feat of Four Home Runs in a Game: Ed Delahanty

Another Look at the Rare Feat of Four Home Runs in a Game: Ed Delahanty

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 Another Look at the Rare Feat of Four Home Runs in a Game: Ed Delahanty

“When you pitch to Ed Delahanty, you just want to shut your eyes, say a prayer and chuck the ball. The Lord only knows what’ll happen after that.” – Crazy Schmidt, pitcher for the Giants and Orioles

Some of you might remember my post from a couple weeks ago about the 17 players who have hit four home runs in a single game. This week marked the 121th anniversary of the second time it happened: Hall-of-Famer Ed Delahanty accomplishing the feat in a game on July 13, 1896 while a member of the Philadelphia Phillies.

In the great featured photo above, we see the 1882 Philadelphia Phillies with Ed Delahanty in bottom row second from left.  

There were a couple unusual things about Delahanty’s feat: First he did it in a losing effort, as his Phillies lost the game 9-8 to the Colts. Second, two of the home runs were inside-the-park shots. The next year, 1899, Delahanty hit four doubles in the same game; becoming only player in major league history with a four-homer game and a four-double game. In the same year he collected hits in 10 consecutive at-bats. He also tallied six-hit games in 1890 and 1894.

One of the games early power hitters, “Big Ed” Ed Delahanty played 16 seasons in the major leagues (1888-1903). Often described as one of baseball’s first five-tool players, Ed played for the Quakers (1888-’89), Infants of the Players’ League (1890), Phillies (1891-1901), and Senators (1902-’03). Over his career, Delahanty hit .346, with 2596 hits, 101 home runs, 1464 RBIs, 455 stolen bases, 522 doubles, 185 triples, a .441 on-base percentage, and a .505 slugging average. His OPS of 152 places him well above the average of his contemporaries (100 being the major league average).

The Cleveland native was a two-time batting champion and home run leader, three-time RBI leader; and once led the league in stolen bases. He batted over .400 three times, has the fifth-highest batting average in history, and  is the only player to win batting titles in both the American and National Leagues.

Four of Delahanty’s brothers, FrankJimJoe, and Tom, also made it to the majors. When asked to account for the upbringing that produced five major leaguers, Ed replied:  “Early on we were given bats instead of rattles!”

Ed Delahanty was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945. He died falling into the Niagara River after being kicked off of a train in an apparent alcohol-related incident in 1903, aged 35.

Player Identifications: The 1892 Philadelphia Phillies. Top Row, L-R: Charlie Reilly (3B), Sam Thompson (RF), Harry Wright (Mgr.), Roger Connor (1B), Bill Hallman (2B). Bottom Row, L-R: Bob Allen (SS), Ed Delahanty (CF), Gus Weyhing (P), Jack Clements (C), Tim Keefe (P), Lave Cross (utility), Billy Hamilton (LF). Seated: Kid Carsey (P)

Gary Livacari

Photo Credits: All from Google search

Information: Excerpts edited from the Ed Delahanty Wikipedia page.

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I'm a baseball historian who also loves to write. My forte is identifying ballplayers in old photos, and my specail interest is the Dead Ball Era.

1 Comment

  1. Deno Lorenzo · July 22, 2017 Reply

    I believe a former Cleveland Indian by the name of “Rocco” Domenico Colavito hit 4 consecutive home runs in a game on June 5, or 6th, 1959, at the old Baltimore Memorial Stadium. I was 6 years old at the time and saw it on a RCA Black and White T.V. I remember it like it was yesterday because I had a #6 (Rocky’s number at that time – after he got traded to the Tigers for Harvey Keunn and returned later, he then was #21), sewn on my baseball cap. That trade was made by Cleveland’s JackAss G.M., Frank Lane, which has to be one of the worst trades in the history of professional sports!

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