Golden sombrero

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In baseball, a golden sombrero is a player's inglorious feat of striking out four times in a single game.

Origin of the term[edit]

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.[1] The "Olympic Rings" or platinum sombrero applies to a player striking out five times in a game,[2] while a horn (after Sam Horn of the Baltimore Orioles, who accomplished the feat in an extra-inning game in 1991),[3] titanium sombrero or double platinum sombrero is bestowed upon a player who strikes out six times in a single game.[4]

The term was coined by San Diego Padres player Carmelo Martínez in the 1980s[citation needed] and first appeared in print when Leon Durham was quoted as using it in 1984.[5] The term "Horn" for a six-strikeout game was coined by Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan after Horn's six strikeout game.[6]


Sammy Sosa and Ray Lankford are the only players to hit for a platinum sombrero more than twice.[3] Only eight players have had six strikeouts, listed below.[3] All eight players who accomplished a "Horn" needed extra innings to do it; the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game is five.[7]

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 also accomplished by Brandon Moss of the Oakland Athletics on April 30, 2013 in a 19-inning game against the Los Angeles Angels.[8] 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 29, 2014, in a game against the New York Mets, Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies earned his 24th career Golden Sombrero, surpassing Reggie Jackson to take the all-time MLB lead for this statistic.

On May 29, 2015 San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris struck out swinging in his first four plate appearances, then hit a walk-off grand slam, becoming the first MLB player to achieve a golden sombrero and a walk-off grand slam in the same game, in the modern era.[9]

On July 30, 2016 New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez became the first MLB player to earn a Golden Sombrero after the age of 40 while having earned one before the age of 20. [10]

The record for strikeouts in a game in all of professional baseball belongs to minor league baseball player Russ Laribee of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who in 1981 struck out seven times in a thirty-three inning baseball game.[citation needed] 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 most four-strikeout games [11][edit]

dagger Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
double-dagger Denotes player who is still active
Player Games Major teams
Howard, RyanRyan Howarddouble-dagger 27 Philadelphia Phillies
Jackson, ReggieReggie Jacksondagger 23 New York Yankees, Oakland Athletics
Thome, JimJim Thome 20 Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies
Dunn, AdamAdam Dunn 19 Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds
Jackson, BoBo Jackson 19 Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals
Deer, RobRob Deer 17 Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers
Sosa, SammySammy Sosa 17 Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers
Canseco, JoseJose Canseco 16 Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics
Reynolds, MarkMark Reynoldsdouble-dagger 16 Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals
Allen, DickDick Allen 15 Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox
Galarraga, AndrésAndrés Galarraga 15 Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies
Kingman, DaveDave Kingman 15 New York Mets, San Francisco Giants

Major league players with six strikeouts in a game[edit]

Player Date Innings Team Box score
Weilman, CarlCarl Weilman July 25, 1913 15 St. Louis Browns [12]
Hoak, DonDon Hoak May 2, 1956 17 Chicago Cubs [13]
Reichardt, RickRick Reichardt May 31, 1966 17 California Angels [14]
Cowan, BillyBilly Cowan July 9, 1971 20 California Angels [15]
Cooper, CecilCecil Cooper June 14, 1974 15 Boston Red Sox [16]
Horn, SamSam Horn July 17, 1991 15 Baltimore Orioles [17]
Gonzalez, AlexAlex Gonzalez September 9, 1998 13 Toronto Blue Jays [18]
Jenkins, GeoffGeoff Jenkins June 8, 2004 17 Milwaukee Brewers [19]


  1. ^ "Baseball Reference – "Golden Sombrero"". 
  2. ^ Michael, Matt (April 9, 2005). "Extra bases". Syracuse Post-Standard. 
  3. ^ a b c Rob Neyer article at Baseball Nation
  4. ^ "ESPN – More amazing stories to watch for – MLB". 
  5. ^ The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, third edition, p. 374
  6. ^ Tom Verducci article, Sports Illustrated, July 29, 1991
  7. ^ "Strikeout Records for Hitters by Baseball Almanac". 
  8. ^ "Jayson Stark Blog". 
  9. ^ "Derek Norris hits walkoff grand slam after striking out four times". 
  10. ^ Feinsand, Mark. Alex Rodriguez sports Golden Sombrero in return to Yankees’ lineup. New York Daily News Accessed August 1, 2016
  11. ^ Ryan Howard extends K record May 27, 2015. Accessed May 28, 2015.
  12. ^ "July 25, 1913 St. Louis Browns at Washington Senators Box Score and Play by Play -". 
  13. ^ "May 2, 1956 New York Giants at Chicago Cubs Play by Play and Box Score -". 
  14. ^ "May 31, 1966 Cleveland Indians at California Angels Play by Play and Box Score -". 
  15. ^ "July 9, 1971 California Angels at Oakland Athletics Box Score and Play by Play -". 
  16. ^ "June 14, 1974 Boston Red Sox at California Angels Play by Play and Box Score -". 
  17. ^ "July 17, 1991 Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Box Score and Play by Play -". 
  18. ^ "September 9, 1998 Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays Play by Play and Box Score -". 
  19. ^ "June 8, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers at Anaheim Angels Play by Play and Box Score -". 

External links[edit]