Dylan: Vince Barton and the 5-home run game

From Paul Dylan at One For Five on October 20, 2013:

I was going through Google News Archives, researching the last month of Greenberg’s season, when I came across this little blurb in the Sept 9, 1938 edition of the St. Petersburg, FL Evening Independent:


Vince Barton was a slugger whose Major League career lasted 102 forgettable games between 1931 and 1932. He batted .233 with 16 homers for the Chicago Cubs in that time, but did manage to lead the National League in times hit by pitch (9) in 1931, despite playing in only 66 games.

According to “Outlaw Ballplayers: Interviews and Profiles from the Independent Carolina League” by R.G. Utley, though Barton’s career record was undistinguished, his rowdiness was infamous and it was this disposition that possibly kept Barton from ever cracking the big leagues again once an eye infection during Spring Training sent him back to minor league ball in 1933.

He hit 59 home runs over two seasons in the International League before William “Mr. Henry” Whitley brought the former Major Leaguer to the independent Carolina League in 1936.

Read the full article here: http://www.oneforfive.com/vince-barton-and-the-5-home-run-game/

Related link: View SABR’s list of all professional players with four home runs in a game

Editor’s note: According to SABR member Kevin Saldana, Vince Barton’s game is not included on the aforementioned list because the independent Carolina League was a semiprofessional “outlaw” league in 1938. This list does not include four or more home runs hit in amateur, college or semiprofessional games.

Originally published: October 23, 2013. Last Updated: October 23, 2013.