Golden sombrero

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Ryan Howard had four strikeouts in a game a total of 27 times during his major league career.

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


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.[citation needed] Though one account credits San Diego Padres player Carmelo Martínez with inventing the term in the 1980s,[1] "sombrero" was already in use to describe a four strikeout game as early as 1977,[2] and "golden sombrero" appeared in print in a 1979 article about slang used by the minor league Jackson Mets.[3]

The "Olympic Rings" or platinum sombrero applies to a player striking out five times in a game.[4]

A horn refers to a player striking out six times in a game; the term was coined by pitcher Mike Flanagan after teammate Sam Horn of the Baltimore Orioles accomplished the feat in an extra-inning game in 1991.[5][6] Alternate names for this accomplishment are titanium sombrero or double platinum sombrero.[7]

Major League Baseball[edit]

Notable recent four-strikeout games[edit]

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]

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 in the modern era to achieve a golden sombrero and a walk-off grand slam in the same game.[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]

On July 25, 2017, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez went 0-for-5, recording a platinum sombrero. On the same day, Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz went 0-for-6 with five strikeouts, also recording a platinum sombrero. This marked the first time in major league history in which two players from two different games achieved platinum sombreros in the same day (although due to extra innings, Cruz's fifth strikeout technically occurred on July 26).

On October 11, 2017, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant went 0-for-4, recording a golden sombrero; on the same day as New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, who went 0-for-5 and recorded his own golden sombrero, his third in the ALDS and making him the only player since 1903 to accomplish this. Prior to the start of the 2017 World Series, golden sombreros in the 2017 postseason had already tied the record set in 1997. An increase in the use of starting pitchers as relievers has been suggested as a cause.[11]

On April 3, 2018, Giancarlo Stanton recorded a platinum sombrero in his home debut in his first season for the New York Yankees, following him leading the majors in home runs and winning the National League MVP the season before. Stanton left the field after his fifth strikeout to a chorus of home field boos. Just five days later he became the first player to ever record two platinum sombreros in one season when he went 0-for-7 and struck out for a fifth time with two runners and the Yankees down by one to end the game in extra innings versus the Baltimore Orioles. Stanton later recorded a golden sombrero in Game 1 of the 2018 American League Division Series, his second career playoff game.

Major league players with the most four-strikeout games[12][edit]

Player Games Major teams
Ryan Howard 27 Philadelphia Phillies
Chris Davis 26 Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles
Reggie Jacksondagger 23 Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, California Angels, Baltimore Orioles
Giancarlo Stantondouble-dagger 22 Miami Marlins, New York Yankees
Jim Thomedagger 20 Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins
Adam Dunn 19 Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds, Washington Nationals, Arizona Diamondbacks
Bo Jackson 19 Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox
Mark Reynolds 18 Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals, Colorado Rockies
Rob Deer 17 Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers
Joey Gallodouble-dagger 17 Texas Rangers, New York Yankees
Sammy Sosa 17 Chicago White Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers
dagger Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
double-dagger Denotes player who is active

Notable five-strikeout games[edit]

Sammy Sosa, Ray Lankford, Aaron Judge and Javier Baez are the only players to earn a platinum sombrero more than twice.[6]

On March 31, 1996, Ron Karkovice became the first (and so far only) player to earn a platinum sombrero on Opening Day.[13]

On June 22, 2016, Washington Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor recorded a platinum sombrero in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.[14] In a performance one sportswriter suggested might be "the worst game in baseball history",[15] Taylor went 0 for 5 with 5 Ks while leaving 5 men on base, and committed an error in the ninth inning that lost his team the game.[16]

On June 4, 2018, New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge earned a platinum sombrero and struck out a total of eight times over the course of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, setting an MLB record.[17]

On May 26, 2019, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story recorded a platinum sombrero in a nine-inning game against the Baltimore Orioles.[18] The next day, May 27, Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez also recorded a platinum sombrero against the Houston Astros, his second.[19]

On June 18, 2019, Boston Red Sox designated hitter J. D. Martinez recorded a platinum sombrero in a seventeen-inning game against the Minnesota Twins, going 0-for-8 in the game, along with Miguel Sano, also recording a platinum sombrero, going 0-for-7.[20]

On September 30, 2020, St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Harrison Bader earned his platinum sombrero in Game One of the 2020 National League Wild Card Series between the Cardinals and the San Diego Padres, joining George Pipgras of the 1932 New York Yankees and Reggie Sanders of the 1995 Cincinnati Reds as the only players in MLB history to accomplish this feat in the playoffs.[21] He finished 0-5 with 6 men left on base, though his Cardinals won 7-4.[22]

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

Only eight players have had six strikeouts in one game, as listed in the following table.[6] All eight instances occurred in games that were completed in extra innings; the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game is five.[23]

Player Date Innings Team Box score
Carl Weilman July 25, 1913 15 St. Louis Browns [24]
Don Hoak May 2, 1956 17 Chicago Cubs [25]
Rick Reichardt May 31, 1966 17 California Angels [26]
Billy Cowan July 9, 1971 20 California Angels [27]
Cecil Cooper June 14, 1974 15 Boston Red Sox [28]
Sam Horn July 17, 1991 15 Baltimore Orioles [29]
Alex Gonzalez September 9, 1998 13 Toronto Blue Jays [30]
Geoff Jenkins June 8, 2004 17 Milwaukee Brewers [31]

Minor League Baseball[edit]

The professional baseball record for strikeouts in a single game belongs to Khalil Lee, who as a member of the minor league Lexington Legends, Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, struck out eight times in a 21-inning game in 2017.[32][33]

College Baseball[edit]

University of Texas catcher Cameron Rupp struck out 6 times in the Texas Longhorns record-setting[34] 25-inning game against the Boston College Eagles on May 30, 2009.[35]


  1. ^ "On Cans Of Corn And The Origin Of Baseball Terms". August 3, 2015. Retrieved October 24, 2017.
  2. ^ Johnson, Dave (August 6, 1977). "Who Has Canned Heat and Can Take It Downtown". The Evansville Press. Evansville, Indiana. p. 12. Sombrero—striking out four times in a game.
  3. ^ Lasswell, Barry (August 7, 1979). "Talking a Good Game". The Clarion-Ledger. Jackson, Mississippi. p. C1. If he strikes out three times in a game, it's a 'hat trick.' Four times is a 'sombrero' (bigger than a hat). Five is a 'golden sombrero.'
  4. ^ Michael, Matt (April 9, 2005). "Extra bases". Syracuse Post-Standard.
  5. ^ Tom Verducci article, Sports Illustrated, July 29, 1991
  6. ^ a b c Rob Neyer article at Baseball Nation
  7. ^ "ESPN – More amazing stories to watch for – MLB".[permanent dead link]
  8. ^ "Jayson Stark Blog". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  9. ^ "Yahoo Sports MLB". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  10. ^ Feinsand, Mark. "Alex Rodriguez sports Golden Sombrero in return to Yankees' lineup". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on November 5, 2018. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  11. ^ Baer, Bill (October 11, 2017). "There have been a lot of players wearing golden sombreros this postseason". NBCSports. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  12. ^ "Batting Game Finder". Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  13. ^ "Chicago White Sox at Seattle Mariners Box Score, March 31, 1996". Baseball Reference. Retrieved August 25, 2020.
  14. ^ "Where do Michael A. Taylor and the Nationals go from here?". The Washington Post. June 23, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  15. ^ "Nationals' Michael Taylor Might Have Had The Worst Game In Baseball History". June 23, 2016. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  16. ^ "Michael Taylor goes 0 for 5 with 5 strikeouts then loses the game with an error, a breakdown". Jomboy Media channel on YouTube. June 15, 2020. Archived from the original on December 21, 2021. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  17. ^ "Aaron Judge struck out 8 times Monday, setting new MLB record". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  18. ^ A. P. News. "Sports Illustrated". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  19. ^ A. P. News. "Sports Illustrated". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  20. ^ "Red Sox vs. Twins - Box Score". ESPN. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  21. ^ Yomtov, Jesse. "Cardinals' Harrison Bader strikes out five times, tying unfortunate postseason record". USA TODAY. Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  22. ^ "Cardinals 7, Padres 4 (Final Score) on MLB Gameday". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  23. ^ "MLB Strikeout Records for Hitters | Baseball Almanac". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  24. ^ "St. Louis Browns at Washington Senators Box Score, July 25, 1913". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  25. ^ "New York Giants at Chicago Cubs Box Score, May 2, 1956". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  26. ^ "Cleveland Indians at California Angels Box Score, May 31, 1966". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  27. ^ "California Angels at Oakland Athletics Box Score, July 9, 1971". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  28. ^ "Boston Red Sox at California Angels Box Score, June 14, 1974". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  29. ^ "Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Box Score, July 17, 1991". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  30. ^ "Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays Box Score, September 9, 1998". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  31. ^ "Milwaukee Brewers at Anaheim Angels Box Score, June 8, 2004". Retrieved October 24, 2021.
  32. ^ "July 13, 2017". Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  33. ^ Townsend, Mark (July 15, 2017). "Minor leaguer strikes out record eight times during 21-inning game". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  34. ^ "ESPN: Texas Wins Longest Game in History". May 30, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2021.
  35. ^ "May 30, 2009 box score and play by play". May 30, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2021.

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