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Pirates @ Reds, August 12, 1966

Posted by Steve Lombardi on April 18, 2011

Or, otherwise known as Shamsky's big day off the bench...

Using PI's Game Finder, I wanted to see if anyone had ever hit 3+ homers in a game, since 1919, where they were not a starter in the game. And, it gave me this result:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IBB SO HBP SH SF ROE GDP SB CS WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 Art Shamsky 1966-08-12 CIN PIT L 11-14 3 3 3 3 0 0 3 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1.503 4.614 2.510 9 LF
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 4/18/2011.


Look at the boxscore from this game.

The Red scored two in the bottom of the 8th inning to take a 8-7 lead - only to allow the Pirates to tie the game, 8-8, in the top of the 9th inning.

Then, the Pirates went ahead by one in the 10th inning - and the Red tied it in the bottom of the 10th.  Next, the Pirates scored two in the 11th inning - and then the Reds matched that with two runs in the bottom of the 11th inning.

And, look at the role that Art Shamsky had in all that action.

He entered the game the top of the 8th inning, playing left field.

In the bottom of the 8th, he hits a 2-run homer to give the Reds an 8-7 lead. Then, in the bottom of the 10th inning, he hits another homer to tie the game at 9-9. And, finally, in the bottom of the 11th, he hits a two-run homer to tie the score at 11-11.

Even with the Reds losing this game, 14-11 in 13 innings, this has to be one of the greatest games coming off the bench in baseball history, no?

26 Responses to “Pirates @ Reds, August 12, 1966”

  1. Evan Says:

    Deron Johnson hit a HR in the 1st inning while playing LF, so the Reds got 4 HR from LF in the game.

    Also, Shamsky's WPA for the game, 1.503, is impressive.

  2. Gonzo Says:

    shamsky was the name of Robert Barrone's dog in Everybody Loves Raymond. i wonder if the writers had an attachment to the Reds.

  3. JoeC Says:

    Shamsky also played for the Miracle Mets. I think that's where the Everybody Loves Raymond connection comes from.

  4. Larry R. Says:

    In one of the episodes in Robert's room Shamsky's Mets #24 jersey was framed on the wall. Ray Romano grew up in Queens (he was in high school with my cousin) and was/is an avid Mets fan. The NY/LI references abound...Hofstra, Newsday, Lynbrook, yada yada...

  5. Ben Says:

    That might be the all-time WPA leader in a single game too.

    This search only returns one game with a greater that 1.500WPA and it included 3 HRs (sorry, not a PI subscriber). Can anyone want to verify this for me?

  6. Richard Chester Says:


    Ben: I am not a PI subscriber either but here is what you can do. In the search form enter sort by WPA. Then enter choose a stat WPA >= 1.11. Ruin the search in both ascending and descending order and you have the top 20 WPAs.

  7. Doug Says:

    These two games featured the most RBI by a sub, at 7. Both games were big-time blowouts, so no WPA winners here.

    John Mayberry:
    Roy Sievers:

    Interestingly, both players pinch-hit in the 6 spot in the order, and then finished the game at first base.

  8. Artie Z Says:

    @5 - I did a search on games with a WPA>=1.4 and found only the Shamsky game. The next highest is Jim Pagliaroni who had a 1.284 WPA.

    Pagliaroni went 3-4 with a BB and a walkoff HR in the bottom of the 9th.

    @6 - Looking at WPI>=1.1 there are 22 instances of this occurring (obviously only for the time period for which the data exists). The only player to do this twice was Hank Aaron. There are also two guys named Bonds on this list, but one is Bobby and the other is Barry.

  9. Johnny Twisto Says:

    There have been 68 batter games since 1919 with WPA of at least 1.0. Aaron, Toby Harrah, Jackie Jensen, and Raul Mondesi each had two.

    No one has reached 1.0 in a postseason game. The best is Kirk Gibson's 0.87 for his single AB against Eckersley.

  10. Johnny Twisto Says:

    The most games of at least 0.50 WPA:

    W. Mays - 26
    F. Robinson - 26
    H. Aaron - 23
    D. Winfield - 22
    H. Killebrew - 22
    M. Mantle - 22
    K. Griffey Jr - 22
    E. Murray - 21
    R. Jackson - 21
    M. Schmidt - 20
    B. Murcer - 20
    Bo. Bonds - 20

    Actually, these are only since 1950, not 1919 (or whenever the PBP accounts go back to now)

  11. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Huh, and coincidentally this was written today:

  12. Johnny Twisto Says:

    And the most postseason games with a WPA of at least 0.50? Well of course that's All-Time Clutch Dog Alex Rodriguez, with 3 (maybe he has an unfair advantage by getting to face Joe Nathan so many times). Brian Jordan is the only other player with more than 1. All-Time Clutch God David Ortiz has 1. (This does go back to 1903.)

  13. Richard Chester Says:


    I meant "Run the search..."

  14. Gerry Says:

    @10, is that really Bo. Bonds, not Ba. Bonds, at the bottom of your list?

  15. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Yup. Barry was two spots back, tied for 14th with 18 such games. Besides the slightly random nature of such a list, I'd guess Barry got walked in almost every big PA he had during his last several seasons, which probably limited his opportunities to pile up big-WPA events.

  16. Frank Clingenpeel Says:

    I have to admit that when the Reds traded Shamsky after the season, I thought it was a pretty good deal; Bob Johnson was a fair-to-middlin' hitter, and could actually not embarass himself in the field {like Shamsky actually did sometimes}. Whoda thunk it that Shamsky would fit in so well with the Mets.

  17. John Autin Says:

    In case the WPA question hasn't been answered....
    Shamsky's 1.503 WPA is the highest ever for a batter.

    The highest WPA ever was 1.675 by Vern Law on 7/19/1955. He allowed 2 runs in 18 innings ... and he didn't even get the win.
    Law started for the host Pirates (last place at 32-60) against the 2nd-place Braves. He left for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the 18th, with the game tied at 2; no one had scored since the 4th inning. The Braves took a lead in the 19th against Bob Friend, but the Pirates tied it on Dale Long's double. Then Frank Thomas singled to CF; Bill Bruton's throw had Long at the plate, but Del Crandall couldn't hold it, and the Pirates won on the error. The game took 4:44.

    Law allowed 9 hits and 2 walks in 18 innings. He started again 4 days later and pitched a 10-inning CG, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits and no walks. He had a 2.88 ERA at that point, but he had a 5.58 ERA in 69 IP the rest of the year.

  18. John Autin Says:

    Now I see that Artie Z had answered the WPA question. Kudos, Artie.

  19. Dvd Avins Says:

    It's fitting that the best game off the bench was by a player who went on to have a fantastic year as a fourth outfielder on a World Champion.

  20. Dave V. Says:

    @10 Johnny Twisto - its something else to see Bobby Murcer rank so highly in the list you compiled. Murcer is one of my favorites and its pretty cool to see him rank up there amongst a bunch of HOF'ers (as he and Bonds are the only non-HOF'ers...Griffey Jr will of course get in once eligible).

  21. Mike S. Says:

    I believe Shamsky had a HR in his last AB in the previous game or his first AB in the game following. Didn't he have 4 in row?

  22. John Autin Says:

    Mike S -- Yes, Shamsky homered his next time up after the famous 3-HR game, which came as a pinch-hitter 2 days later -- a 2-run shot in the 7th that gave the Reds a 2-1 lead. (They went on to lose that game, too.)

    That season, Shamsky hit 6 HRs in 32 AB as a substitute.

  23. Pirates @ Reds, August 12, 1966 | jpbaseball Says:

    [...] Source: [...]

  24. DoubleDiamond Says:

    My first thought was whether this represented the most home runs in a game by a Jewish player, but I immediately remembered that Shawn Green hit four on May 23, 2002. Green also had a three-homer game on August 15, 2001. Al Rosen hit three on April 29, 1952.

    Hank Greenberg never hit more than two homers in the same game.

  25. John Autin Says:

    DoubleDiamond, interesting point about Greenberg never hitting 3+ HRs in a game. That got me to checking into a few things.

    -- Hank Greenberg and Sammy Sosa share the season record of 11 multi-HR games, Greenberg in 1938 (58 HRs total) and Sosa in 1998 (66 HRs, including a 3-HR game). Babe Ruth holds the career record with 72 multi-HR games (one more than Barry Bonds).

    -- Sosa holds the season record with three 3-HR games, in 2001 (64 HRs). Sosa and Johhny Mize share the career record with six games of 3+ HRs.

    -- Willie Mays (1961) is the only player with a 4-HR game and a 3-HR game in the same season.

    -- Mike Piazza (1999) had the only 40-HR season without a multi-HR game.

  26. DoubleDiamond Says:

    Another Jewish player who had a three-homer game was Mike Epstein, who did it for the Washington Senators against the White Sox at old Comiskey Park on May 16, 1969. (Wasn't Comiskey supposed to be a tough place to homer?)