Hodges’ four-homer game was second in modern NL history
Ebbets Field welcomed 14,226 fans for a game in late August 1950 that was originally scheduled for May. Gil Hodges made the wait worthwhile.
On Aug. 31, 1950, Hodges – the Brooklyn Dodgers’ first baseman – hit four homers in one game, tying the modern era National League mark set by Chuck Klein in 1936.
With Warren Spahn pitching for the Boston Braves, Hodges appeared in the No. 6 spot in the batting order. On Spahn’s fourth pitch to him, Hodges hit his first homer of the night. That would be the start of Hodges’ monumental game.
By the bottom of the third inning, Hodges sent another home run deep into left field off Normie Roy. After an eventful third inning, the Dodgers were up 10-1. Three innings later, Bob Hall was pitching for the Braves. That’s when Hodges connected with the ball once more for his third home run of the night.
Hall of Fame Membership
There is no simpler, and more essential, way to demonstrate your support than to sign on as a Museum Member.
Official Hall of Fame Merchandise
Hall of Fame Members receive 10% off and FREE standard shipping on all Hall of Fame online store purchases.
With the Dodgers leading 17-3 in the eighth inning, the Braves switched to their fifth pitcher of the night. Johnny Antonelli surrendered a Hodges homer to deep left field. His fourth home run of the game was his 23rd of the season. But before his swing, Hodges was unsure of its fate.
“I never thought I’d have another chance (for a fourth homer) when I missed in the seventh,” Hodges said to Evansville Press. “I nearly broke my back swinging at a change of pace Antonelli threw at me in the seventh. I was merely thinking of a good night and winning at a ball game when I went out in the fourth. But after I hit that third – a fastball by Bob Hall – I was thinking of swinging for the record.”
Hodges became the sixth player in history with a four-homer game. Bobby Lowe and Ed Delahanty had achieved the mark prior to the start of the modern era in 1901, and Lou Gehrig (1932), Pat Seerey (1948) and Klein (1936) had also reached the mark.
“I’m mighty proud to be mentioned with Gehrig,” Hodges told Evansville Press. “This is something that just happens once in a lifetime.”
At the end of the season, Hodges finished with 32 home runs, a .283 batting average and finished eighth in the National League Most Valuable Player race.
Hodges was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2022.
Larkin Richards was the 2022 social media intern in the Hall of Fame’s Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program for Youth Leadership Development