Golden sombrero

In baseball, a golden sombrero is a player's inglorious feat of striking out four times in a single game.

Ryan Howard relaxes before pitch
Ryan Howard had four strikeouts in a game a total of 27 times during his major league career.

Origin of the term

Sam Horn
Sam Horn, namesake of a term for six strikeouts in a single game

The term derives from hat trick, and since four is bigger than three, the rationale was that a four-strikeout performance should be referred to by a bigger hat, such as a sombrero.[1] The term was coined by San Diego Padres player Carmelo Martínez in the 1980s[2] and first appeared in print when Leon Durham was quoted as using it in 1984.[3][4]

The "Olympic Rings" or platinum sombrero applies to a player striking out five times in a game.[5]

A horn refers to a player striking out six times in a game; the term was coined by pitcher Mike Flanagan after teammate Sam Horn of the Baltimore Orioles accomplished the feat in an extra-inning game in 1991.[6][7] Alternate names for this accomplishment are titanium sombrero or double platinum sombrero.[8]

Major League Baseball

Notable four-strikeout games

On August 4, 2009, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria went 2-for-6, recording a golden sombrero and 2 home runs. The second home run was a walk off home run. This feat was also accomplished by Brandon Moss of the Oakland Athletics on April 30, 2013 in a 19-inning game against the Los Angeles Angels.[9]

On May 29, 2015, San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris struck out swinging in his first four plate appearances, then hit a walk-off grand slam, becoming the first MLB player in the modern era to achieve a golden sombrero and a walk-off grand slam in the same game.[10]

On July 30, 2016, New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez became the first MLB player to earn a golden sombrero after the age of 40 while having earned one before the age of 20.[11]

On October 11, 2017, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant went 0-for-4, recording a golden sombrero, on the same day as New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, who went 0-for-5 and recorded his own golden sombrero, his third in the ALDS and making him the only player since 1903 to accomplish this. Prior to the start of the 2017 World Series, golden sombreros in the 2017 postseason had already tied the record set in 1997. An increase in the use of starting pitchers as relievers has been suggested as a cause.[12]

Major league players with the most four-strikeout games

dagger Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
double-dagger Denotes player who is still active
Player Games Major teams
Ryan Howard 27 Philadelphia Phillies
Reggie Jacksondagger 23 Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, California Angels
Chris Davisdouble-dagger 22 Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles
Jim Thomedagger 20 Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox
Adam Dunn 19 Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds
Bo Jackson 19 Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox
Rob Deer 17 Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers
Sammy Sosa 17 Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers
Jose Canseco 16 Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics
Mark Reynoldsdouble-dagger 16 Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals
Dick Allen 15 Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox
Andrés Galarraga 15 Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies
Dave Kingman 15 New York Mets, San Francisco Giants

Source: [13]

Notable five-strikeout games

Sammy Sosa and Ray Lankford are the only players to hit for a platinum sombrero more than twice.[7]

On June 4, 2018, Aaron Judge earned a platinum sombrero, but more importantly struck out eight times, over course of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, setting a new MLB record.[14]

On May 26, 2019, Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story recorded a platinum sombrero in a nine-inning game against the Baltimore Orioles.[15] The next day, May 27, Chicago Cubs shortstop Javier Baez also recorded a platinum sombrero against the Houston Astros, his second.[16]

On June 18, 2019, Boston Red Sox designated hitter J. D. Martinez recorded a platinum sombrero in a seventeen-inning game against the Minnesota Twins, going 0-for-8 in the game, along with Miguel Sano, also recording a platinum sombrero, going 0-for-7.[17]

Major league players with six strikeouts in a game

Only eight players have had six strikeouts, as listed in the following table.[7] All eight players who accomplished a "Horn" needed extra innings to do it; the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game is five.[18]

Player Date Innings Team Box score
Carl Weilman July 25, 1913 15 St. Louis Browns [19]
Don Hoak May 2, 1956 17 Chicago Cubs [20]
Rick Reichardt May 31, 1966 17 California Angels [21]
Billy Cowan July 9, 1971 20 California Angels [22]
Cecil Cooper June 14, 1974 15 Boston Red Sox [23]
Sam Horn July 17, 1991 15 Baltimore Orioles [24]
Alex Gonzalez September 9, 1998 13 Toronto Blue Jays [25]
Geoff Jenkins June 8, 2004 17 Milwaukee Brewers [26]

Minor League Baseball

The professional baseball record for strikeouts in a single game belongs to Khalil Lee, who as a member of the minor league Lexington Legends, Class A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals, struck out eight times in a 21-inning game in 2017.[27][28]


  1. ^ "Baseball Reference – "Golden Sombrero"".
  2. ^ "On Cans Of Corn And The Origin Of Baseball Terms". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  3. ^ Dickson, Paul (2009). The Dickson Baseball Dictionary (3rd ed.). W. W. Norton & Company. p. 374. ISBN 0393066819.
  4. ^ Daley, Steve (April 14, 1984). "An uneasy feeling around first base". Chicago Tribune. p. 21. Retrieved June 27, 2019 – via
  5. ^ Michael, Matt (April 9, 2005). "Extra bases". Syracuse Post-Standard.
  6. ^ Tom Verducci article, Sports Illustrated, July 29, 1991
  7. ^ a b c Rob Neyer article at Baseball Nation
  8. ^ "ESPN – More amazing stories to watch for – MLB".
  9. ^ "Jayson Stark Blog".
  10. ^ "Derek Norris hits walkoff grand slam after striking out four times".
  11. ^ Feinsand, Mark. "Alex Rodriguez sports Golden Sombrero in return to Yankees' lineup". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  12. ^ Baer, Bill (October 11, 2017). "There have been a lot of players wearing golden sombreros this postseason". NBCSports. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  13. ^ "Ryan Howard extends K record". May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  14. ^ "Aaron Judge struck out 8 times Monday, setting new MLB record". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ "Red Sox vs. Twins - Box Score". ESPN. June 18, 2019. Retrieved June 21, 2019.
  18. ^ "Strikeout Records for Hitters by Baseball Almanac".
  19. ^ "July 25, 1913 St. Louis Browns at Washington Senators Box Score and Play by Play -".
  20. ^ "May 2, 1956 New York Giants at Chicago Cubs Play by Play and Box Score -".
  21. ^ "May 31, 1966 Cleveland Indians at California Angels Play by Play and Box Score -".
  22. ^ "July 9, 1971 California Angels at Oakland Athletics Box Score and Play by Play -".
  23. ^ "June 14, 1974 Boston Red Sox at California Angels Play by Play and Box Score -".
  24. ^ "July 17, 1991 Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Box Score and Play by Play -".
  25. ^ "September 9, 1998 Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays Play by Play and Box Score -".
  26. ^ "June 8, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers at Anaheim Angels Play by Play and Box Score -".
  27. ^ "July 13, 2017". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  28. ^ Townsend, Mark (July 15, 2017). "Minor leaguer strikes out record eight times during 21-inning game". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved June 27, 2019.

External links

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