B-R reader Zuke posed the following question in a recent thread:
"The Padres' Anthony Rizzo has four career hits: a single, a double, a triple and a home run. Is he the first player to do that? Is that even searchable?"
Now, if the question means, "Has anyone ever gotten a single, double, triple and HR as his first 4 hits?", I cannot answer. But if it means, "Is Rizzo the only player with exactly 4 career hits, including one of each kind?", then it is searchable, and the answer (as first reported by reader Spindlebrook) is "no". Here are the two players who, as of this moment, have exactly one of each type of hit in their careers:
As I looked at Rizzo's game log, related questions came to mind:
How many others have had exactly 1 of each flavor of hit in a season?:
Matt Diaz, a September callup for Tampa in 2004, went 0 for his first 12 before ticking off the cycle one by one in his last 4 games that year (HR, 2B, 1B, 3B).
I also noticed that Rizzo collected the hits in inverse order of their general frequency: first the triple (in his June 9 debut); then the HR and the double (in his 3rd game); and finally, after an 0 for 13 stretch, the single. I have no way to check the rarity of that; but it did occur to me that, had Rizzo been sent back down to the minors when his average fell to .176, he could have become just the 2nd player ever to have a season with at least one of each extra-base hit, but NO singles:
Which leads to our accustomed tangent. Take a deep breath or turn back now; the cave is vast, and there is little air below....
Dixie Howell, from Harold, KY, was a pitcher who had an unusual MLB career, mostly in relief and mostly from the ages of 35 to 37. He is not to be confused with the catcher Dixie Howell, from Louisville, KY, who was active in some of the same seasons. Dixie the pitcher started sooner and stayed later, but Dixie the catcher got more playing time. It's confusing.
Anyway, Dixie Howell the pitcher was just OK at his primary task, with a career 106 ERA+. But he was one of the best-hitting pitchers in a short career that MLB has ever seen. Howell and Micah Owings are the only pitchers with at least 50 career AB and a slugging percentage of at least .500:
And now for the minutiae....
Howell hit 3 HRs in 1957, all in Comiskey Park, which was quite a feat. The rest of the White Sox hit just 37 HRs in Comiskey that year in over 2,500 AB, a rate of 1 HR per 69 AB; Howell did all his damage in just 14 AB, including the 3 HRs, a triple and a double. On the road, he went 0 for 13.
Two of those HRs came in one game, on June 16, 1957, the nightcap of a doubleheader that the 1st-place ChiSox swept from the last-place Senators. Howell relieved starter Jack Harshman in the 5th, an inning that ended with the Senators ahead, 6-0. Howell led off the home 6th with a home run off Tex Clevenger. The Sox scored twice more that inning, but trailed, 6-3, when Howell came up again in the 6th with 2 out and none on, and hit another HR, off Bud Byerly. Chicago scored 4 in the 8th, the last 2 runs scoring on walks, and won the game, 8-6; Howell earned the win, charged with no runs in 3.2 IP.
Howell's other HR that year was a walk-off job against the Athletics on Sept. 6, 1957. He came on in relief to start the 8th with the A's ahead by 2 runs, and gave up a leadoff triple to Joe DeMaestri, but Howell struck out Gus Zernial, then retired Lou Skizas and Billy Martin to strand the runner. Chicago tied it in their 8th, and after Howell worked out of another jam in the 9th (snaring a 2-out liner by Vic Power with 2 runners in scoring position), he came up with 1 out in the home 9th and hit a blast off Wally Burnette. (Burnette, incidentally, holds the unique distinction of having once been traded for Tommy Lasorda.)
Howell had 4 games in which he homered as a reliever, tying him with 4 others for 2nd in the live-ball era.
|1||Chad Kimsey||6||Ind. Games||10||9||6||0||0||6||8||1||0||.667||.700||2.667||3.367||0||0||0|
|2||Ken Tatum||4||Ind. Games||5||5||4||0||0||4||6||0||0||.800||.800||3.200||4.000||0||0||0||0||0|
|3||Lou Sleater||4||Ind. Games||6||6||4||0||0||4||8||0||1||.667||.667||2.667||3.333||0||0||0||0||1|
|4||Mickey McDermott||4||Ind. Games||7||7||4||0||0||4||4||0||1||.571||.571||2.286||2.857||0||0||0||0||0|
|5||Dixie Howell||4||Ind. Games||6||6||5||0||0||5||6||0||1||.833||.833||3.333||4.167||0||0||0||0||0|
|6||Clint Hartung||4||Ind. Games||6||6||4||0||0||4||6||0||1||.667||.667||2.667||3.333||0||0||0||0||0|
Howell is also one of 4 relief pitchers with 2 HRs in one game since 1919, and the last to do so:
|1||Dixie Howell||1957-06-16 (2)||CHW||WSH||W 8-6||3||3||2||2||0||0||2||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.016||1.429||1.227||9||P|
|2||Babe Birrer||1955-07-19||DET||BAL||W 12-4||2||2||2||2||0||0||2||6||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.211||4.326||.785||9||P|
|3||Jack Knight||1926-06-24 (1)||PHI||NYG||L 7-12||4||4||2||2||0||0||2||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.000||0.000||9||P|
|4||Jess Doyle||1925-09-28 (2)||DET||NYY||L 6-7||2||2||2||2||0||0||2||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0.000||0.000||9||P|
Finally, for you intrepid few who have not yet lost the will to live, here are relief pitchers who have hit a home run since 2000:
|1||Gustavo Chacin||2010-05-31||HOU||WSN||L 4-14||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.094||1.000||.900||9||P|
|2||Micah Owings||2010-05-07||CIN||CHC||L 7-14||2||2||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||1||0.023||2.032||.207||9||P|
|3||Russ Ortiz||2009-05-19||HOU||MIL||L 2-4||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.157||1.000||1.360||9||P|
|4||Mark Worrell||2008-06-05 (2)||STL||WSN||L 9-10||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||3||0||0||0||0||0.121||2.603||.700||8||P|
|5||Carlos Marmol||2006-09-07||CHC||PIT||L 5-7||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.123||1.000||1.260||9||P|
|6||Jorge Sosa||2006-07-17||ATL||STL||W 15-3||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.000||1.000||.000||9||P|
|7||Adam Wainwright||2006-05-24||STL||SFG||W 10-4||2||2||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.072||0.626||1.255||9||P|
|8||Randy Keisler||2005-06-07||CIN||TBD||W 9-7||3||3||2||2||1||0||1||1||0||0||1||0||0.119||1.386||.650||9||P|
|9||Brooks Kieschnick||2003-09-12||MIL||SFG||L 2-8||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.019||1.000||.280||9||P|
|10||Brooks Kieschnick||2003-08-06||MIL||ATL||L 2-10||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0.001||1.614||.010||3||P|
|11||Guillermo Mota||2003-07-13||LAD||COL||W 9-3||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.081||1.000||.700||9||P|
|12||Brooks Kieschnick||2003-05-12||MIL||CHC||L 5-11||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0.041||1.873||.270||9||P|
|13||Mike Matthews||2001-08-21||STL||CIN||W 11-6||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.002||1.000||.020||9||P|
|14||Omar Olivares||2001-06-29||PIT||MON||L 3-12||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0.116||1.609||1.220||9||P|
|15||Danny Graves||2001-06-21||CIN||HOU||W 8-7||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||2||0||0||0||0||0.123||1.311||1.160||9||P|
|16||Felipe Lira||2000-07-08||MON||TOR||L 3-6||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.122||1.000||1.260||9||P|
|17||Gabe White||2000-06-10||COL||TEX||W 12-6||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.040||1.000||.270||9||P|
|18||Danny Graves||2000-05-12||CIN||HOU||W 7-3||1||1||1||1||0||0||1||1||0||0||0||0||0.025||1.000||.170||2||P|
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