Award-winning SABR member David Vincent's book, "Home Run's Most Wanted - the top 10 book of monumental dingers, prodigious swingers, and everything long-ball", lists every conceivable home run trivia
tidbit. [Vincent's book is available from Amazon.com]
As of 2008 there have been 1,693 career Major League catchers who hit 26,863 home runs. The all-time career catcher
leader is Mike Piazza with 427 dingers. The following describes just some of the home run feats accomplished by
catchers and mentioned in David Vincent's book.
FIRST EXTRA INNING HOME RUN
On June 29, 1876, catcher Pop Snyder of the Louisville Grays hit the first extra inning home run in major
league history off Joe Borden of the Boston Red Caps (now the Atlanta Braves). It came in the tenth inning of
a game played at Louisville Baseball Park and won the game for the Grays, 8-6. The Louisville franchise only
played two years before folding.
On August 14, 1998, catcher Chris Hoiles of the Baltimore Orioles hit two grand slams in one game at Cleveland's
Jacobs Field. He is one of 12 players to have done this. Hoiles continued the pattern of all previous double-slammers
by hitting his shots on the road as he smacked the two four-baggers in the third and eighth innings. The Birds beat the Tribe, 15-3.
UMP CALLS THAT WIPED OUT HOME RUNS
On July 21, 1975, catcher Ted Simmons hit a homer to lead off the fourth inning in San Diego. However,
Padres manager John McNamara claimed that his bat was illegal. Home plate umpire Art Williams agreed with McNamara
because there were grooves cut into the fat part of the bat, clearly further than the 18" limit from the handle.
Williams ruled Simmons out and the bat was confiscated by crew chief Ed Vargo. The Cardinals protested the game,
but then they won 4-0, thus making the protest moot.
In the bottom of the fifth inning at Comiskey Park on August 14, 1983,
Carlton Fisk hit a ball to left field that
third base umpire Greg Kosc ruled a home run. However, plate umpire Jim Evans over-ruled Kosc, calling the play
fan interference and a double for Fisk. The White Sox lost two runs and manager Tony LaRussa, who was ejected,
protested the game. Neither runner scored in the inning and the Orioles won the contest, 2-1.
On April 15, 1997, Scott Hatteberg of the Red Sox hit his first major league home run at Fenway Park but lost it
to an umpire's call. John Shulock ruled the ball in play and Hatteberg only got to second base on the play. The
hit came off Don Wengert of Oakland in the sixth inning and hit a TV camera in center field. (Two batters later,
Nomar Garciaparra hit a ball that was ruled a homer even though a fan seemed to reach over the right field wall,
touching the ball while it was still in play.)
SMACKING A 4-BAGGER IN THE 20th INNING OR LATER
On August 23, 1989, the Dodgers and Expos battled for 22 innings at Olympic Stadium in Montreal. In the bottom
of the eighth inning, Rick Dempsey entered the game as the Dodger catcher and caught the rest of the game. In
the 22nd inning, Dempsey led off against his former battery-mate with the Baltimore Orioles, Dennis Martinez,
and homered for the only run of the game.
BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER SAME GAME
Rick and Wes Ferrell, North Carolina natives, each played in the majors for multiple teams, including some
time as teammates. On July 19, 1933, the Indians were in Boston to play the Red Sox. Wes Ferrell, the starting
hurler for the Tribe, hit a two-run homer in the top of the fourth inning to extend the team's lead to 5-0.
In the bottom of the frame, Boston catcher Rick Ferrell hit his own two-run dinger -- off Wes! The Indians
won the contest, 8-7, in 13 innings. This is the only instance in which siblings homered in the same inning.
HIT A HOMER THEN LOST IT BY DOING SOMETHING
It was the bottom of the tenth in the first games of a Memorial Day doubleheader in Philadelphia on May 30, 1922.
batted with the score tied and runners on first and third. He hit the ball into the left field bleachers for a game-ending homer.
However, after Tilly Walker scored from third, Henline stopped at second. Thus he gave up a homer for a double. He might have
thought the old rule was still in effect where he did not get credit for a home run on this play -- that rule was rescinded
for the 1920 season and if Henline had completed running the circuit he would have another home run on his record.
A STAR IN THE SERIES, IN THE SERIES, IN THE SERIES
Sandy Alomar Jr. of the Cleveland Indians homered during the 1997 regular season, in the 1997 All-Star Game at Jacobs
Field in Cleveland, homered again (twice) in the Division Series against the New York Yankees (9/30/1997 & 10/5/1997),
then homered in the League Championship Series versus Baltimore on 10/12/1997 and capped off the season by clouting two
homers in the Word Series, one at Pro Player Stadium (now Dolphins Stadium) on 10/19/1997 and one at the Jake (now Progressive
Field) on 10/23/1997. He is the only player ever to have accomplished this feat.
On the day celebrated as the Bicentennial of the United States, July 4, 1776, catcher
Tim McCarver of the Phillies hit a grand
slam in the second inning of the first game of a doubleheader at Pittsburgh. The 375-foot homer came off Larry Demery and the
runner at first, Garry Maddox, retreated toward first thinking the ball might be caught at the wall. After rounding first base,
McCarver passed Maddox and was called out. He received credit for a single and three runs batted in.