Origin of the term
The term derives from hat trick, and since four is bigger than three, the rationale was that a four-strikeout performance should be referred to by a bigger hat, such as a sombrero. The "Olympic Rings" or platinum sombrero applies to a player striking out five times in a game, while a horn (after Sam Horn of the Baltimore Orioles, who accomplished the feat in an extra-inning game in 1991) or titanium sombrero is bestowed upon a player who strikes out six times in a single game.
The term was coined by San Diego Padre Carmelo Martinez in the 1980s. and first appeared in print when Leon Durham was quoted as using it in 1984. The term "Horn" for a six-strikeout game was coined by Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan in the immediate aftermath of Horn's game.
Striking out five times in a game has been achieved 67 times, most recently achieved by Justin Upton on August 17, 2013 against the Washington Nationals. Sammy Sosa and Ray Lankford are the only players to hit for a platinum sombrero more than twice. Only eight players have had six strikeouts, listed below. All eight players who accomplished a "Horn" needed extra innings to do it; the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game is five.
On August 4, 2009, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria went 2 for 6, recording a golden sombrero and 2 home runs. The second home run was a walk off home run. This feat was reproduced by Brandon Moss of the Oakland Athletics on April 30, 2013 in a 19-inning game against the Los Angeles Angels. They are the only players to record four strikeouts and two home runs (the second a walk-off) in a single game in the live-ball era.
On May 6, 2012, Orioles third baseman Chris Davis had zero hits in eight at-bats as the designated hitter in 17 innings. His five strikeouts awarded him the rare platinum sombrero. In a bizarre twist, he also recorded the win in that game when called in to pitch two innings of relief, making him the first positional player from the AL to record a win since 1968.
On June 5, 2013, Seattle Mariners catcher Kelly Shoppach became the first player ever to strike out five times and record two hits. The Mariners lost to the Chicago White Sox in 16 innings.
The record for strikeouts in a game in all of professional baseball belongs to Russ Laribee of the minor league Pawtucket Red Sox, who in 1981 struck out seven times in a thirty-three inning baseball game. The record was tied on May 21, 2013 by Stockton Ports right fielder Dusty Robinson, in a 17-inning game against the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Major league players with six strikeouts in a game
|Carl Weilman||July 25, 1913||15||St. Louis Browns|
|Don Hoak||May 2, 1956||17||Chicago Cubs|||
|Rick Reichardt||May 31, 1966||17||California Angels|||
|Billy Cowan||July 9, 1971||20||California Angels|||
|Cecil Cooper||June 14, 1974||15||Boston Red Sox|||
|Sam Horn||July 17, 1991||15||Baltimore Orioles|||
|Alex Gonzalez||September 9, 1998||13||Toronto Blue Jays|||
|Geoff Jenkins||June 8, 2004||17||Milwaukee Brewers|||
- "Baseball Reference - "Golden Sombrero"".
- Michael, Matt (April 9, 2005). "Extra bases". Syracuse Post-Standard.
- Rob Neyer article at Baseball Nation
- ESPN - More amazing stories to watch for - MLB
- The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, third edition, p. 374
- Tom Verducci article, Sports Illustrated, July 29, 1991
- Baseball Almanac list of strikeout records
- Jayson Stark, ESPN.com
- Peter Gobis, in the Sun Chronicle
|Look up golden sombrero in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|
- Baseball Tips.com: Baseball slang
- Rocky Mountain News August 17, 2006 quoting Don Baylor
- Athlon Sports May 8, 2007: 4 leadoff hitters with golden sombrero.
- Baseball Reference - Most natural golden sombreros