A Historic Day

You may have seen Sunday’s St Louis Cardinals victory over the Houston Astros, and Tyler Greene’s 2-HR day.  Was it historic?  You betcha.

Greene became the first Cardinal second baseman since 1918* to start a game and hit 2 home runs, drive in 4, score 3 times, and steal a base.  Considering the great players who have manned second base throughout the years – Rogers Hornsby, Red Schoendienst, Ted Sizemore – that is amazing.

It gets better.  Only three other Cardinals have ever had a final box score line like that.

  1. Jim Edmonds pulled it off during a Fourth of July destruction of the Cincinnati Reds.  Fireworks during and after the game that day.  I think the fans went home happy.
  2. Stan Musial watched Wally Moon turn the trick in a June 1956 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  Moon’s line that day was virtually identical to Greene’s, except Moon had one more PA (he walked).  Musial also homered.  Personally I like it when I can connect Musial to anything going on with the team today.
  3. Twenty years before that, Don Gutteridge was the first Cardinal with the line.  Gutteridge actually scored 4 runs and knocked in 5 during the first game of a double header that day.  For what it’s worth, he doubled and struck out 3 times in the nightcap.

I half expected all three men would hit high in the order, and indeed Edmonds hit third and Moon fifth.  But Gutteridge hit seventh during his game, and Greene eighth Sunday; more proof that on any given day you can see anything at a baseball game from any given spot in the order.

One more factoid of interest.  There have only been four other second baseman with a day like Tyler Greene’s:  Joe Morgan, Ryne Sandberg, Juan Samuel, and Orlando Hudson.  That’s not bad company, is it?

*Baseball Reference’s play index only goes back to 1918, so although we could argue ‘first ever’ it is prudent to put the date, just in case. Search was done for games where the starting second basemen had two or more HR, 4 or more RBI, scored 3 or more runs, and stole 1 or more bases.

Mike Metzger is a freelance writer based in San Diego.  He blogs about the Padres.  You can follow him on Twitter @metzgermg.

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