We know that, Tuesday night, Josh Hamilton hit four home runs in one game in Baltimore. We know where to go to see how many times someone has done that before. We know where to go to see how far each of Hamilton's home runs was hit. And we know where to go to see how long Hamilton took to circle the bases. Baseball Prospectus, of course, present home of Larry Granillo's Tater Trot Tracker. Take it away, Larry!
There was very little difference in the feel of each trot. Hamilton isn't one to show too much emotion during a home run trot. Instead, he tends to just put his head down and run hard. For someone who is usually so consistent with his trots, it was interesting to see the inconsistency in Tuesday's trots. For home run #1 [video], Hamilton was a bit slower than normal, rounding the bases in 23.62 seconds.
Things sped up for home run #2 [video], the only ball that didn't clear the centerfield fence. On the opposite field blast, Hamilton came home in 21.42 seconds. The third home run [video] was nearly a clone of #1, only this time Jones didn't crumple to the ground after he made the jump. Later, Hamilton would say that he always wanted to have a three-home run game. That might explain Hamilton taking so much time on the bases, soaking it all in. That trot clocked in at 24.22 seconds.
There was very little doubt on the final home run, which bounced past the fence and off into the Orioles bullpen. Hamilton saved his best and quickest trot for last, speeding around the bases on his record-tying home run in 20.8 seconds. It's not as fast as some of Hamilton's trots can be, but we can't fault him for that! It was his fourth home run of the day!
With his fourth home run of the game - his fourth home run of the game! - Josh Hamilton had his quickest home-run trot of the game. Not by a whole lot, but by a little, which I think is a little surprising since you'd think one would want to soak that sort of thing in. But what do I know, it's not like I've ever hit four home runs in a game before. I don't think I've even hit four home runs in a video game before, with an entire team, much less one player. Baseball video games are so hard!
I think the Tater Trot Tracker is an underrated resource, myself. It's of very little practical value, but it adds to the story - the story of baseball - which is a welcome quality in a statistic. Hamilton's had faster trots and slower trots than he had Tuesday night, but Tuesday night, he had four trots, and thanks to Granillo we've got numbers for all of them. That's not not neat.