You could count on the Say Hey Kid to hit a home run in just about any inning.
Willie Mays holds the record for hitting home runs in the most different innings. Mays hit at least one home run in every inning from one to sixteen. His first-inning and sixteenth-inning home runs, both off Warren Spahn, are the most noteworthy. The one in the first inning was the first of Mays’s career, and the sixteenth-inning blast broke up one of the all-time great pitching duels and provided a 1-0 victory for Juan Marichal.
The following list shows the first home runs Mays hit in innings 1-13, and the only one he hit in innings 14-16. (The data comes from SABR’s Home Run Log.)
|7||6-18-1951||Joe Presko||St. Louis|
|8||6-17-1951 (1G)||Howie Pollet||St. Louis|
|9||7-22-1951 (1G)||Ken Raffensberger||Cincinnati|
|11||7-4-1955 (2G)||Lino Donoso||Pittsburgh|
(This article first appeared in the Baseball Records Committee’s August 2010 newsletter.)