Inside-the-park home run

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In baseball parlance, an inside-the-park home run is a play where a batter hits a home run without hitting the ball out of play.

Discussion[edit]

To score an inside-the-park home run, the player must touch all four bases (in the order of first, second and third, ending at home plate) before a fielder on the opposing team tags him out. If the defensive team commits an error during the play, it is not scored as a home run, but rather advancing on an error.[1]

In the early days of baseball, with outfields more spacious and less uniform from ballpark to ballpark, inside-the-park home runs were common. However, in the modern era, with outfields less spacious, the feat has become increasingly rare, happening only a handful of times each season. Today an inside-the-park home run is typically accomplished by a fast baserunner hitting the ball in such a way that the ball bounces far away from the opposing team's fielders.

Statistics[edit]

Of the 154,483 home runs hit from 1951–2000, 975 (about 1 in every 158) were inside-the-park. The percentage has dwindled since the increase in emphasis on power hitting which began in the 1920s.

Career records[edit]

Single season records[edit]

  • Major League (and National League) – Sam Crawford – 12 – 1901[2]
  • American League – Ty Cobb – 9 – 1909[2]

Single game records[edit]

  • Major League and National League – Tom McCreery – 3 – 1897[2]
  • American League – 17 tied – 2[2]

In the World Series[edit]

Date Gm # Player Team Opponent
October 1, 1903 1 Jimmy Sebring Pittsburgh Pirates Boston Americans
October 2, 1903 2 Patsy Dougherty Boston Americans Pittsburgh Pirates
October 13, 1915 5 Duffy Lewis Boston Red Sox Philadelphia Phillies
October 9, 1916 2 Hy Myers Brooklyn Robins Boston Red Sox
October 11, 1916 4 Larry Gardner Boston Red Sox Brooklyn Robins
October 10, 1923 1 Casey Stengel New York Giants New York Yankees
October 3, 1926 2 Tommy Thevenow St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees
October 7, 1928 3 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees St. Louis Cardinals
October 12, 1929 4 Mule Haas Philadelphia Athletics Chicago Cubs

Rare occurrences[edit]

  • Ed Delahanty of the Philadelphia Phillies, on July 13, 1896, hit four home runs in one game (itself a rare feat), two of which were inside-the-park home runs. This event is the only time any homers in a four-homer game have been inside-the-park.[4]
  • Jimmy Sheckard hit inside-the-park grand slams in consecutive games on consecutive days in 1901 with the Brooklyn Superbas (later the Brooklyn Dodgers), the only person in Major League Baseball history to do so.
  • Pete Milne hit an inside-the-park grand slam for his only career home run on April 27, 1949. It gave the New York Giants an 11–8 lead over the Brooklyn Dodgers,[5] which was also the final score.[6]
  • On July 25, 1956, Roberto Clemente became the only MLB player to have ever scored a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam in a 9–8 Pittsburgh Pirates win over the Chicago Cubs, at Forbes Field.[7]
  • Johnnie LeMaster hit the only inside-the-park home run to be recorded in a first career MLB at-bat on September 2, 1975, against future Hall of Famer Don Sutton.
  • On August 27, 1977, Texas Rangers teammates Toby Harrah and Bump Wills hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs.
  • On May 26, 1997, Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs hit an inside-the-park home run in the top of the 6th inning in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. In the bottom of the same 6th inning, Tony Womack of the Pittsburgh Pirates also hit an inside-the-park home run, marking the unusual occurrence of opposing teams both hitting an inside-the-park home run in the same inning.
  • On June 17, 2007, Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers hit a popup to center field that became an inside-the-park home run when Minnesota Twins outfielder Lew Ford lost the ball after it struck a speaker on the ceiling of the Metrodome. Fielder weighed 262 pounds at the time, and became the 3rd heaviest player to hit an inside-the-park homer.[8] On June 19, 2008, he added a second inside-the-park-homer at Miller Park in Milwaukee versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
  • Ichiro Suzuki is the only player to ever hit an inside-the-park home run in an All-Star game;[9] he hit one in San Francisco in 2007, when he, playing for the victorious American League All-Stars, earned Most Valuable Player honors.
  • Emilio Bonifacio, Florida Marlins third baseman, in 2009 became the first person in 41 years to hit an inside the park home run on Opening Day.[10]
  • Kyle Blanks of the San Diego Padres on August 18, 2009, against the Cubs became the heaviest player to hit an inside-the-park home run at 285 pounds.[citation needed]
  • Adam Jones of the Baltimore Orioles hit a two-run inside-the-park homer against the Washington Nationals May 22, 2010, after Nationals center fielder Nyjer Morgan threw down his glove in disgust upon believing the ball cleared the wall on a failed jumping attempt to catch it. It was the first time since Minnesota in 2007 that two inside-the-park home runs occurred in the same ballpark in the same week, the first being Angel Pagan's just a few days before.
  • On July 18, 2010, Jhonny Peralta of the Cleveland Indians hit a three-run inside-the-park home run when Detroit Tigers outfielder Ryan Raburn crashed through the bullpen fence while trying to catch the ball. Peralta was one of the slowest runners currently on the Indians' roster, and would eventually be traded to the Tigers that year.[11] He took 16.74 seconds to round the bases, which was, at that point in the 2010 season, the slowest of any inside-the-park home run and slower than five regular home run trots.[12]
  • On April 20, 2012, Norichika Aoki of the Milwaukee Brewers hit his first Major League Home Run, which was an inside the park, stand up home run at Miller Park in Milwaukee, WI. On the same day, Alex Presley of the Pittsburgh Pirates also hit an inside-the-park home run, this one at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, PA.
  • On May 25, 2013, Ángel Pagán of the San Francisco Giants hit an inside-the-park home run at AT&T Park in San Francisco, a tenth inning, two-run walk-off home run, with teammate Brandon Crawford on base. That was the first walk-off inside-the-park home run since 2004, when Rey Sanchez of the Devil Rays hit one, also in the bottom of the tenth inning, also against the Rockies, albeit in a tie game. [13]
  • On September 13, 2013, Pedro Álvarez of the Pittsburgh Pirates hit his first home run in 16 games against the Chicago Cubs in the fourth inning at PNC Park. While the ball nearly left the park, it was a fan in right-center field that changed the trajectory of the ball back into the park.

Inside-the-park grand slams[edit]

An inside-the-park grand slam is the same event but, like a grand slam, features the bases loaded for an inside-the-park home run. There have been 224 inside-the-park grand slams in Major League Baseball history, 26 in the past 50 years, and only eight since 1990 (as of August 1, 2011). Honus Wagner has the most in MLB history with five.

References[edit]

External links[edit]