On Wednesday, Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts set a new franchise record by hitting three home runs in a single game for the fourth time in his young career, surpassing the legendary Ted Williams. It was the second time in just over two weeks that the Gold Glove outfielder and two-time All Star flycatcher, who turns 26 in October, had hit three in a game.
In team history, only five players have had at least two three-home-run games: Betts, Williams, Mo Vaughn, Jim Rice, and Nomar Garciaparra, the latter three having done it exactly twice. Famously, Garciaparra had two grand slams and ten RBI in his first game and totaled three slams and 18 RBI over his two games; in comparison, Betts has 19 RBI over his four games. Other Red Sox players who have had at least one grand slam in a three-home-run game include Williams, Norm Zauchin, Jim Tabor (two in his one game), Bill Mueller (two in his one game), and Jack Clark.
Betts also joins some elite company in Major League Baseball as one of only 17 players to have four or more three-home-run games. The current record is six games, which is held by Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize. Five players have done it five times: Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Dave Kingman, Carlos Delgado, and Joe Carter. After that, tied with Betts with four games each are Willie Stargell, Aramis Ramirez, Albert Pujols, Larry Parrish, Ralph Kiner, Lou Gehrig, Steve Finley, Barry Bonds, and Ernie Banks.
Of these players, only Delgado and Gehrig hit four home runs in a game, a high water mark held collectively by 16 major league players; no Red Sox player has ever accomplished this rare feat.
In team history, 18 other players have hit at least three home runs in a game, including two current teammates, Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia. Ramirez accomplished the feat on 20 July 2016 against the San Francisco Giants at Fenway Park, while Pedroia hit three in a game back on 24 June 2010 against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Of note: of all MLB players who have had multiple three home run games, not one has done it for Boston and at least one other team.