An Offbeat Record Held By Willie Mays

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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.)

Inning Date Pitcher Team
1 5-28-1951 Warren Spahn Boston
2 6-6-1951 Willie Ramsdell Cincinnati
3 4-18-1954 Carl Erskine Brooklyn
4 6-27-1951 Don Newcombe Brooklyn
5 8-30-1951 Vern Law Pittsburgh
6 6-23-1951 Turk Lown Chicago
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
10 6-22-1951 Dutch Leonard Chicago
11 7-4-1955 (2G) Lino Donoso Pittsburgh
12 6-4-1955 Warren Hacker Chicago
13 7-3-1951 Jocko Thompson Philadelphia
14 4-30-1954 Warren Hacker Chicago
15 9-27-1968 Ted Abernathy Cincinnati
16 7-26-1963 Warren Spahn Milwaukee


(This article first appeared in the Baseball Records Committee’s August 2010 newsletter.)