Manager Bruce Bochy was away from his team Monday, having been admitted to a hospital because he wasn’t feeling well. It just so happened that, after managing the San Francisco Giants in more than 1,500 games, his rare game away came on the same night that shortstop Brandon Crawford achieved one of the rarest single-game feats in MLB history.
Crawford went 7-for-8 in the Giants’ 14-inning, 8-7 win over the Miami Marlins, becoming the sixth player ever to record at least seven hits in a Major League game. Making the historic performance even sweeter was that his final hit knocked in the deciding run.
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Though Crawford’s feat is extremely rare, it’s short of the record. Johnny Burnett owns that, with nine hit during an 18-inning game in 1932. He did it in 11 at-bats.
No one has ever finished with eight hits in a game, but besides Burnett and Crawford, four others have collected seven in a game.
But there have been more impressive seven-hit performances—twice it’s been done in nine-inning games.
Wilbert Robinson was the first to do it, in 1892. (Quick profile: Nicknamed “Uncle Robby,” Robinson played catcher for three different franchises from 1886 to 1902. He’s so old, he played in the American Association. Proud swatter of 18 career home runs, he was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1945.)
Rennie Stennett is the other player to tally seven hits in a nine-inning game, in 1975. Older Giants fans might remember Stennett from a two-year stint with San Francisco in 1980 and 1981. But his big game came while with the Pirates.
So, where does Crawford’s performance rank in terms of impressiveness? When factoring in innings played, at-bats, and power output, the order goes like this: Burnett’s nine hits take the cake, Stennett is second because his day included three extra-base hits, followed by Robinson, and then Gutierrez is next since he did it in less at-bats and less innings than Crawford.
But Crawford’s performance is undoubtedly more impressive than Colavito’s, which makes Monday’s performance the fifth most impressive seven-hit game of all time. (For whatever that’s worth.)
Interestingly, none of the seven-hit performances includes a home run. Crawford, however, joined Stennett as the only two of the bunch to have triples among their seven (or more) hits.
But Crawford has at least one distinction over his fellow seven-hit club members: The first MLB game was in 1871, so it only took 21 years for the first seven-hit game. Then 40 years passed before that nine-hit game. The third one came 30 years later, and the other two came over the next 13 years after that. Then on a Monday night in August of 2016, Crawford posted the first seven-hit game in 41 years—bringing an end to the longest period between seven-hit games in MLB history.