From SABR member Nick Diunte at Examiner.com on November 7, 2011:
Mark Whiten gained notoriety when, as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1993, he hit four home runs in a game against the Cincinnati Reds. While Whiten was the first Cardinal to achieve this feat, he wasn’t the first in the Cardinal family to do so. Long-time St. Louis farmhand Russell Rac set the single-game Venezuelan record when he hit four on January 8th, 1956 while playing for Pastora. At the time, he was only the eighth player in professional baseball history to reach that mark.
Rac passed away October 11th in his hometown of Galveston, TX, with little fanfare at the age of 81. Some 55 years ago; however, he sat among the top of the prospects in the Cardinals organization.
Rac’s power output in winter ball, combined with his .312 average at AA Houston in 1955, placed Rac on the cover of the March 1956 issue of Baseball Digest. The scout’s take on Rac read as follows, “Murders fast ball, pulls inside pitch, but weak on curve. His bat will have to carry him, as fielding, throwing and running are only average.”
Originally published: November 7, 2011. Last Updated: November 7, 2011.