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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In baseball parlance, an inside-the-park home run or "leg home run" is a play where a hitter scores a home run without hitting the ball out of play.

Contents

Discussion

To score an inside-the-park home run the player must run, round, and touch all four bases before a fielder tags him out, the same as he would do for a double or triple. If the defensive team commits an error during the play, it is not scored as a home run, but rather advancing on an error per MLB Rules 10.06 and 10.12.[1]

In the early days of baseball, with outfields more spacious and less uniform from ballpark to ballpark, inside-the-park home runs were common. However, in the modern era, with outfields less spacious, the feat has become increasingly rare. Today an inside-the-park home run is typically accomplished by a fast baserunner hitting the ball in such a way that the ball gets away from any outfielders and into open space in the outfield. This can include a fielder misjudging the direction of the ball's flight, diving and missing, or colliding with a teammate; or the ball bouncing off the outfield wall, the playing field, or other in-play objects in the opposite direction from where the outfielder was expecting it to bounce.

Statistics

Of the 154,483 home runs hit from 1951–2000, 975 (about one in every 158) were inside the park. The percentage has dwindled over the years with the growing propensity toward power hitting and smaller parks.

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Career records

Single season records

  • Major League and National League – Sam Crawford – 12 – 1901[2]
  • American League – Ty Cobb – 9 – 1909[2]

Single game records

In the World Series

Date Gm # Player Team Opponent
October 1, 1903 1 Jimmy Sebring Pittsburgh Pirates Boston Americans
October 2, 1903 2 Patsy Dougherty Boston Americans Pittsburgh Pirates
October 13, 1915 5 Duffy Lewis Boston Red Sox Philadelphia Phillies
October 9, 1916 2 Hy Myers Brooklyn Robins Boston Red Sox
October 11, 1916 4 Larry Gardner Boston Red Sox Brooklyn Robins
October 10, 1923 1 Casey Stengel New York Giants New York Yankees
October 3, 1926 2 Tommy Thevenow St. Louis Cardinals New York Yankees
October 7, 1928 3 Lou Gehrig New York Yankees St. Louis Cardinals
October 12, 1929 4 Mule Haas Philadelphia Athletics Chicago Cubs

Rare occurrences

  • For his first career Major League at-bat on September 2, 1975, Johnnie LeMaster hit an inside-the-park home run off of future Hall of Famer Don Sutton. LeMaster is the only player in Major League history to hit an inside-the-park home run in his first career at-bat.
  • Roberto Clemente is the only player in baseball history to have hit a walk-off inside-the-park grand slam.
  • Jimmy Sheckard completed a phenomenal feat in 1901, hitting inside-the-park grand slams in consecutive games on consecutive days with the Brooklyn Superbas (later the Brooklyn Dodgers). Sheckard is the only person in Major League Baseball history to do so.
  • Ed Delahanty of the Philadelphia Phillies, on July 13, 1896, hit four home runs in one game (itself quite a rare feat), two of them were inside-the-park home runs. This event is the only time any homers in a four-homer game have been inside-the-park.[4]
  • With his inside the park homer on August 18, 2009, Kyle Blanks of the San Diego Padres became the largest player to hit an inside the park home run, at 285 pounds, and six feet six inches tall. Blanks achieved the feat when, playing against the Cubs, the ball he hit bounced off the center field wall and ricocheted away from the center fielder.
  • In 2009, Florida Marlins third baseman Emilio Bonifacio was the first person in 41 years to hit an inside the park home run on Opening Day. [1]
  • Pete Milne hit his only career home run on April 27, 1949. It was an inside-the-park grand slam which gave the New York Giants an 11–8 lead over the Brooklyn Dodgers[5], which ended up being the final score.[6]
  • On August 23, 2009, Angel Pagan of the New York Mets led off his team's first inning with an inside-the-park home run. (This same game ended with the Mets' Jeff Francoeur hitting into an unassisted triple play.)

Inside-the-park grand slams

An inside-the-park grand slam is the same event but, like a grand slam, features the bases loaded for an inside-the-park home run. There have been 40 inside-the-park grand slams in Major League Baseball since 1950 and only eight since 1990 (as of 2007). Honus Wagner had the most in MLB history with five.

References

  1. ^ Major League Baseball Rule 10
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Inside The Park Home Run Records by Baseball Almanac
  3. ^ Brock, Corey (2007-07-10). "Ichiro runs into record book". MLB.com. http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20070710&content_id=2080667&vkey=allstar2007&fext=.jsp. Retrieved 2007-07-10.  
  4. ^ 4 Home Runs in One Game – Baseball-Almanac.com
  5. ^ Pete Milne home run log at Baseball Reference
  6. ^ 1949 Giants results from Baseball Reference

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