This Day In Sports: But of course Scooter Gennett hits 4 homers

June 6, 2017: It rarely happens in baseball, and it almost never happens with a guy like this. But Scooter Gennett makes history, becoming the first Cincinnati Reds player ever to hit four home runs in a game in a 13-2 win over St. Louis. One of the homers was a grand slam, as Gennett went 5-for-5 on the night with 10 RBIs. Gennett hit his round-trippers in four consecutive at-bats, only the seventh major leaguer ever to accomplish that.

Gennett was one of the most unlikely players to join the four-homer club. He was a utility man who had been cut at the end of spring training by Milwaukee. He did hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth against Philadelphia on Opening Day in an eventual loss to the Phillies. But Gennett was mired in a 1-for-20 slump coming into the contest. He came out as just the 17th player in big league history with a four-homer game. J.D. Martinez of the Arizona Diamondbacks became the 18th in September of that year, but nobody has done it since.

The 2017 season ended up being the best of Gennett’s seven-year big league career with 27 homers, 97 runs batted in and a .295 average. The following year was just as good—his average rose to .310 with 23 homers and 93 RBIs. But Gennett faded in 2019 and was dealt to San Francisco at the July 31 trading deadline. He struggled with the Giants and was released less than three weeks later. Gennett was not picked up during the COVID season in 2020 and did not play again.

Here are the 16 players who preceded Gennett on this exclusive list, post-1900: Lou Gehrig (1932), Chuck Klein (1936), Pat Seerey (1948), Gil Hodges (1950), Joe Adcock (1954), Rocky Colavito (1959), Willie Mays (1961), Mike Schmidt (1976), Bob Horner (1986), Mark Whiten (1993), Mike Cameron (2002), Shawn Green (2002), Carlos Delgado (2003), and Josh Hamilton (2012). How many have you heard of?

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)

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