Hundreds of major league baseball players have hit three home runs in a game but only 15 major league players have managed to hit 3 home runs in a game at least 4 times. Six players have managed to hit 3 home runs in a game 5 times and two players have managed the feat 6 times. Here are the players but first a quick recap of 3 home runs in a game baseball statistics.
What are the odds a major league baseball player will hit 3 home runs in a game this season? Exceedingly high. Three home runs in a game has occurred 479 times since 1922 with a total of 332 players having accomplished the feat obviously some have done it multiple times. Twelve other players did hit 3 home runs in a game once each but all were prior to 1900 and the game they played was different. Since 1922 an average of 5.5 players have hit 3 home runs in a game each season.
Since 1922 when home runs became a much bigger part of baseball only one season has gone by without at least one player accomplishing the feat and that year was 1943 when the best talent in baseball was off fighting in WW II. The odds are almost as high that multiple players will hit 3 home runs in a game this season. Since 1922 only six years have gone by with just one player hitting 3 home runs in a game and three of those years were also affected by WW II – 1941, 1944 and 1945. Leaving out the war years every single baseball season since 1922 has seen at least one player hit 3 home runs and in 84 out of 87 baseball years multiple players have accomplished the feat.
In the last 10 years 84 players have hit 3 home runs in a game or 8.4 per season on average. In the 1990’s 89 players hit 3 home runs in a game so for the last 20 years an average of 8.65 players have hit 3 home runs in a game per season. Prior to 1990 the average number of players hitting 3 home runs in a game per season was 4.6. How big a role performance enhancing drugs like Steroids and HGH have played in the increase is an open question that will likely be answered by the players themselves over time.
The odds are very high at least five players and probably more than that will hit 3 home runs in a game this baseball season.
Players that hit 3 HR’s in a Game 4 times
No shock here. Babe Ruth is the greatest baseball player of all time and the greatest home run hitter per at bat who did not use steroids. Even with the steroids era only Mark McGwire has passed the Babe in home runs per at bats.
Ruth’s longtime teammate was a great hitter in his own right and is also one of only 13 players to have hit 4 home runs in a game since 1900.
Kiner was a great slugger on and off the field as he dated and was photographed in pictures with such Hollywood celebrities as Elizabeth Taylor and Janet Leigh of Psycho fame. Kiner retired at age 32 due to a bad back or he might have had even more games with 3 home runs. Kiner hit 369 home runs in his career and is in the Hall of Fame.
Ernie Banks was known as a slugging SS but actually played more games at first base in his Hall of Fame career. Banks hit 512 career home runs.
Pops Stargell hit 475 home runs in his career and is in the Hall of Fame.
Horner hit 218 home runs in a career that was over by age 28. He also managed to hit 4 home runs in a game too.
Bonds is the all time home run leader at 762 and he reportedly used steroids and every other performance enhancing drug he could find to get there.
Finley hit 304 home runs in 19 seasons but was not a home run hitter as his home run average is just 3.2%
Parrish was a big player but only hit 256 home runs in 6,792 career at bats. Not much better a home run average than Finley.
Players who hit 3 home runs in a game 5 times
Dave Kingman was a great home run hitter and not much else. He hit 442 home runs and if Mark McGwire ever gets into the Hall of Fame so should Dave Kingman.
Carter was a World Series hero for the Toronto Blue Jays and hit 396 home runs in his career.
McGwire finally admitted what everyone already knew – that he took steroids and performance enhancing drugs in his career which helped to him hit 583 home runs in just 6,187 at bats for the best HR average of all time ahead of even Babe Ruth.
Technically an active player but having hp surgery and probably his career is over with 473 home runs. Decent chance to make the Hall of Fame.
Player who hit 3 home runs in a game 6 times
Mize was a great home run hitter who lost over 3 years of his prime career to WW II. He still managed to hit 359 home runs but might possibly have hit 500 if not for the lost years to military service. He is in the Hall of Fame.
Sosa is yet another of the steroid cheats who have hit 3 home runs in a game many times. Sosa hit 609 home runs in 8,813 at bats in the major leagues while juiced.
Players who have hit 4 home runs in a game.