Wednesday, March 09, 2005

March 9th, 1908

Myril Hoag Born

Myril Hoag is another player, like Fernando Tatis (second entry there) who I am fond of for holding a record based in quirkiness rather than actual talent. Hoag had a long career as a generally mediocre outfielder for the Yankees, St. Louis Browns, White Sox and Indians during the 30s and 40s. His moment of glory however, came on June 6th, 1934 when he set a Yankee record that remains to this day: most hits in a nine-inning game, 6.

At Fenway Park that day the Yankees and Sox played a double-header. In the first game, the Yankees crushed the Sox 15-3. Hoag was "playing in the left garden in the absence of Babe Ruth" (as the New York Times story the next day put it) and despite hitting in the seventh spot in the line up, Hoag came to the plate six times. In each of his chances Hoag banged out a single (another Yankee record he holds: most singles in a nine-inning, 6) against Sox pitchers Lefty Grove (having the worst season of his career) and reliever Henry Johnson.

The story has two footnotes. The first is that although the Yankees lost the second game of the double header, Hoag again started and this time was bumped to the third spot in the line-up. He got a hit his first at-bat off Sox starter Johnny Welch but went 0-for-4 the rest of the night. The second footnote is that on
May 1st, 1996 an equally immortal Yankee, Gerald Williams, rapped out six hits at Baltimore. However, Williams required fifteen innings for his six hits, while Hoag could do it in just nine.

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