Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pujols vs Musial - Triple and HR in same game?

Yesterday marked the third time in his career Albert Pujols tripled and homered in the same game. Since the only other Cardinal (in my mind) he can be compared with, in terms of sustained superior hitting, is Musial, how many times did Musial do it?

When pondering a statistical question of any type, the place to go is Baseball Reference. However Baseball Reference is limited to games from 1954 to the present, so we can only look at the last 10 years of Musial's career. I'll add the game in 1949 he hit for the cycle, however (July 24 to be exact), since that's documented.

Musial tripled and homered in the same game 5 times from 1945-1963. Here are the dates, locations, and pitchers:

May 20, 1954 - Forbes Field (Pittsburgh) - 1st inning, off Bob Purkey
June 8, 1954 - Sportsman's Park - 4th inning, off Carl Erskine (Dodgers)
June 22, 1955 - Sportsman's Park - 8th inning, off Robin Roberts (Phillies)
June 27, 1957 - Sportsman's Park - 2nd inning, off Jack Sanford (Phillies)
July 4, 1961 - Sportsman's Park - 1st inning, off Don Ferrarese (Phillies)

Musial picked on the Phillies a lot.

In the 1955 game he homered twice. In the June 1954, 1955, and 1957 games he homered in his first at bat.

Since Musial hit 177 triples and 475 home runs in his career, I'm sure he did both in more games than just these 6. However, 5 games in 10 years highlights how difficult, and rare, this is to do.

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