Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8, 1970, Jim Ray Hart Completes The Cycle With a Six RBI Inning

   On July 8, 1970, San Francisco Giants third baseman Jim Ray Hart hit for the cycle during a 13-0 rout of the Braves in Atlanta. Hart also tied a longstanding record  record with six RBIs in a single inning, that had been set in 1911 by Fred Merkle in 1911. The run at the cycle began with a double in the second, an RBI single in the third. In most cases it might take a player the whole game to achieve the feat. Hart, who was already halfway there just needed one more inning's worth of work, and it didn't take long to get there, as the San Francisco bats came alive in the fifth and plated 11 runs with Hart leading the way. He was the fifth man up in the blowout frame, and followed a bases loaded RBI single with bases three run blast that opened up the Giants lead to 6-0.  As his teammates batted around Hart entered the record books with a triple that cleared the bases once again, before the 15th batter of the inning was retired.  His batting line at the end of the day was 4 for 5 with seven RBIs, and six of those ribbies put him in a club that had just six members before the historic inning.

     Five more men joined the six ribbies in an inning club, before the record was broken by Fernando Tatis of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999. Tatis blasted a record setting two grand slams during the third inning of a contest against the Dodgers in Los Angeles. Hart played in 1,125 games over 12 years on a big league diamond. He wore a Giants uniform in 1,001 of those games, before finishing his career as a New York Yankee. He was a career .278 hitter with 170 homers, and 578 RBIs. Six of those RBIs were memorable to say the least.

Check out the box score here: http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ATL/ATL197007080.shtml

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