Averill first to hit four home runs in doubleheader
But when the home runs came, they came in bunches for the longtime Indians center fielder.
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On Sept. 17, 1930, Averill became the first player to hit four home runs in a doubleheader as the Indians and Senators split a pair of games that day at Cleveland’s League Park. Averill hit three home runs in three consecutive at-bats in Game 1, homering in the third, fifth and sixth innings off Bump Hadley (two home runs) and Firpo Marberry.
He “just missed two more on drives that were foul by inches,” Averill told the Nashville Banner in 1955, grounding out in his final at-bat of Game 1 in the seventh inning of Cleveland’s 13-7 victory. He totaled eight RBI for the game.
In the nightcap, Averill homered in his first at-bat – an inside-the-park home run – to become the first big leaguer with four home runs in one doubleheader. Averill was hit by a pitch in his next at-bat and later doubled and walked, finishing the day 2-for-3 with three RBI.
From 1929-38, Averill hit .323 with an average of 115 runs scored, 23 home runs and 108 RBI per year. He was named to the first six American League All-Star teams starting in 1933.
Averill finished his career with 2,019 hits, 238 home runs, 1,224 runs scored and 1,164 RBI to go along with a .318 batting average.
He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1975.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum