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Most HR In 1st 6 Games Of Season Since 1919

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 2, 2011

Since 1919, who has hit the most homeruns in the first 6 games of his team's season?

If I did this correct, here's the leaderboard for this one:

Rk Player Year #Matching   PA AB H 2B 3B HR 6 RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SH SF IBB HBP GDP
1 Willie Mays 1964 5 Ind. Games 21 20 9 0 0 6 13 1 0 .450 .476 1.350 1.826 0 0 0 0 0
2 Larry Walker 1997 4 Ind. Games 18 17 10 2 0 6 11 1 4 .588 .611 1.765 2.376 0 0 0 0 2
3 Mike Schmidt 1976 3 Ind. Games 16 15 7 0 0 6 12 0 1 .467 .500 1.667 2.167 0 0 0 1 1
4 Billy Williams 1964 4 Ind. Games 19 18 9 2 0 5 7 1 2 .500 .526 1.444 1.971 0 0 0 0 0
5 Alex Rodriguez 2007 4 Ind. Games 19 16 7 1 0 5 12 3 1 .438 .526 1.438 1.964 0 0 0 0 0
6 Kevin Mitchell 1991 4 Ind. Games 16 13 7 0 0 5 9 2 1 .538 .625 1.692 2.317 0 0 0 1 0
7 Mark McGwire 1992 4 Ind. Games 17 13 6 1 0 5 8 4 0 .462 .588 1.692 2.281 0 0 0 0 0
8 Evan Longoria 2009 4 Ind. Games 19 19 10 3 0 5 8 0 2 .526 .526 1.474 2.000 0 0 0 0 2
9 Gabby Hartnett 1925 4 Ind. Games 17 16 8 1 0 5 12 1 0 .500 .529 1.500 2.029 0 0   0  
10 Ken Griffey 1997 4 Ind. Games 19 14 6 0 0 5 8 4 2 .429 .579 1.500 2.079 0 0 2 1 0
11 Luis Gonzalez 2001 4 Ind. Games 20 19 7 0 0 5 9 1 3 .368 .400 1.158 1.558 0 0 0 0 2
12 Dante Bichette 1994 4 Ind. Games 20 19 11 4 0 5 11 1 3 .579 .600 1.579 2.179 0 0 0 0 0
13 Chris Shelton 2006 3 Ind. Games 13 11 8 1 0 5 6 1 1 .727 .769 2.182 2.951 0 0 0 1 0
14 Andy Pafko 1952 3 Ind. Games 15 11 8 1 0 5 7 4 1 .727 .800 2.182 2.982 0 0 1 0 0
15 Ken Keltner 1948 3 Ind. Games 17 16 6 0 0 5 9 1 3 .375 .412 1.313 1.724 0 0   0 0
16 Juan Gonzalez 1993 3 Ind. Games 12 11 5 0 0 5 7 1 0 .455 .500 1.818 2.318 0 0 0 0 0
17 Nate Colbert 1971 3 Ind. Games 13 10 5 0 0 5 10 3 0 .500 .615 2.000 2.615 0 0 0 0 0
18 Dolph Camilli 1935 3 Ind. Games 15 14 6 0 0 5 12 1 1 .429 .467 1.500 1.967 0 0   0 0
19 Jeromy Burnitz 2000 3 Ind. Games 15 13 7 1 0 5 5 1 3 .538 .600 1.769 2.369 0 0 0 1 0
20 Lou Brock 1967 3 Ind. Games 16 16 10 0 0 5 11 0 0 .625 .625 1.563 2.188 0 0 0 0 0
21 Barry Bonds 2002 3 Ind. Games 13 9 6 0 0 5 11 4 0 .667 .769 2.333 3.103 0 0 1 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/2/2011.

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So, which one of these hot power starts do you remember the most?

This entry was posted on Saturday, April 2nd, 2011 at 3:59 pm and is filed under Game Finders. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

16 Responses to “Most HR In 1st 6 Games Of Season Since 1919”

  1. It's definitely Jeromy Burnitz. Of course, I was thirteen and living in Milwaukee, which would make it easy to remember. And, although I knew Burnitz couldn't keep up that pace for the whole season, McGwire's 70 seemed in reach. He had been great in limited duty the previous year (142 OPS+ in 130 games). Home runs were hit all the time in the NL Central (Sosa and McGwire had each hit 60+ each of the last two years). Oh well. Frankly, the hot start probably ruined his bat the rest of the year - he had a disappointing season.

    Bonds in '02 would be a good second pick, though, simply because his pace practically didn't slow down. He averaged over half a homer per game by season's end, and in process broke the home run record, as we all remember.

  2. I remember a lot of "is Chris Shelton for real?" articles in 2006 and I definitely remember tracking McGwire's HR progress in 1992. (I have been an A's fan for a long time.) The most surprising name on this list to me (other than Shelton) is Lou Brock. Almost all of the rest were legitimate power threats.

    Bonds broke the HR record in 2001, btw.

  3. @2

    Good call. Whoops (I had been looking at Bonds' Games Played for '02 before, but his HR from '01). But regardless, his pace in '02 was ridiculous, as well - 46 HR in 143 games. Not quite as good as '01 (73 in 153).

    Also, regarding Bonds, does anyone remember which year it was that he had some truly ridiculous swing-and-miss stats? It was like a month into the season, and he had more HR than he had swings-and-misses! I remember being flabbergasted. If anyone can remember, I'd appreciate the reminder.

  4. I remember Schmidt's in 1976.

  5. This brings back memories of Scott Servais' hot start to the 1996 season: four homers in the first seven games.

  6. PhilsPhan Says:

    Was one of these games when Schmidt hit 4 in one game?

  7. chris sheltons caused the "who is this guy and why is he so good??" quote to go around for like a month, until he returned to his regular below average self

  8. The expanded version of the table stopped at 300. I wonder if any player alphabetically before Baker had 3 HR in his team's first six games. If the list is shortened to the first three team games, this list would be rearranged (I was at the end of the game where Fernando Tatis extended his HR streak to 3 games in 1999, so I missed the homer. Darn 12:30 start!)

    It was during McGwire's 4-game HR streak to open the '98 season that I started listening to baseball regularly again.

    @6: According to his player page and game log here, Schmidt hit 4 in game 5, an 18-16 extra inning win over Chicago (out of the #6 slot in the order!). It was his only 3-homer game of the season and started a 4-game homerun streak that included career homerun #100. He finished April with 11 HR in 14 GP, and hit another on May 1 (first game).

  9. Chris Shelton's sticks out. I'll never forget his hot start before he fell back into obscurity.

  10. I remember Brock's homer-happy first week of the 1967 season. The Cardinals won their first six games that year. That week also saw Larry Jaster finally give up a run to the Dodgers, after shutting them out five times in 1966. I was in the fourth grade, and heard it all on KMOX radio, courtesy of Harry Caray and Jack Buck.

  11. John Autin Says:

    @2 -- Lou Brock wasn't a slugger, but he was no slapper either. He hit 21 HRs in '67, and averaged 14 a year over the 7 years 1964-70, hitting at least 12 in 6 of those seasons. In '68, when he hit only 6 HRs, he led the majors with 46 doubles and 14 triples.

    With 149 career HRs, Brock ranks 44th in MLB in power-speed number

    BTW, Brock in '67 was the first player ever with at least 20 HRs and 50 SB, a feat achieved by only 10 players in modern history.

  12. Chris Shelton, largely because I had actually drafted him in fantasy before the season because I think he had a hot spring training or something, tried to aggressively shop him, failed, and ultimately got nothing except the hot start and dismal month that followed.

  13. John Autin Says:

    So, now we know why Babe Ruth wasn't able to sock that HR record away to an unreachable level. In his 16 years as an everyday player, he hit a total of 24 HRs in the first 6 games of the season, out of a total of 80 games in which he had at least 2 PAs -- an average of just 0.3 HR per game.

    In that same span, Ruth hit averaged 0.32 HR per game when he got at least 2 PAs (687 HRs in 2,159 G).

    Why, if the big galoot had taken opening week seriously, he would have finished with 716 HRs!

    I'm kidding, of course, but April truly was Ruth's worst month, by far. In the 17 years for which we have splits, he hit just .323/.459/.655 over 169 games. In those years overall, he hit .346/.481/.705. In July alone (472 games), he hit .369/.498/.728

  14. Poor Billy Williams. He wakes up to check the morning paper after 6 games and sees he's second in the league with 5 HRs in '64.

  15. Interestingly, Nelson Cruz had 4 HR in his first six games last year and has 3 already this year.

  16. Cruz now has 4 homers in the first 4 games!