Bjarkman: Rarest home run feats in the Cuban League

From SABR member Peter C. Bjarkman at on May 15, 2012:

The recent four-homer-game performance by Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers – the sixteenth in the history of professional North American major league baseball – brings to mind the much rarer four-homer-game outings in Cuban League annals. The four-homer feat has been rarely achieved during big-league games, occurring only 14 times in the post-1903 modern era (109 seasons); but it has not actually been among the very rarest of slugging feats, since it has now happened eight times in the approximate half-century since Willie Mays turned the trick in April 1961. Far rarer is a hitter stroking two grand slams in the same inning of a game (only once in MLB and once in Cuba), or even hitting two “salamis” in a single game, or two homers in a single inning. Over the same half-century (1961-2011) the modern-era Cuban League has witnessed only three such slugging explosions (admittedly in seasons generally only half as long as the major league campaigns), but Cuba also did not have a single occurrence until December 1989, when Leonel Moa struck four in a single National Series contest for Camagüey. Moa’s exceptional feat has only twice been duplicated, first by light-sticking Matanzas shortstop Alberto Diaz in December 1996 (National Series #35) and later by Omar Linares in April 1997 (during the short-season 30-game Revolutionary Cup tournament).

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Related link: View SABR’s list of every known player in professional baseball history to hit 4 home runs in 1 game

Originally published: May 15, 2012. Last Updated: May 15, 2012.