The Red Sox has a long history of great home run hitters. The all-time team leader, of course, is Ted Williams with 521, David Ortiz is second with 483, and Yaz is third with 452. If you go down the list, you’ll see familiar names like Jim Rice, Dwight Evans, Manny Ramirez, Mo Vaughn, and Bobby Doerr. Most Sox fans know that David Ortiz is the only Red Sox player to hit over 50 home runs in a season, he hit 54 in 2006.
In this post, I want to examine which player was the best at sending multiple balls careening out of the ballpark on a given night. Which Red Sox player had the most multi home run games? 193 players have achieved this feat while wearing a Red Sox uniform. The answer may not surprise you but the margin between first and second might. The answer, of course, is David Ortiz who had 49 multi-home run games. Ted Williams is a somewhat distant second with just 37. Ortiz’s lead is in spite of the fact that he played 1,953 games with the Sox, compared to Teddy Ballgame’s 2,292. This would seem to provide some statistical underpinning behind Big Papi’s reputation as the king of the clutch moment.
Ortiz had his first multi-home run game on July 4, 2003 against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Sox won that game, 10-5. Amazingly, he did it again the next day! In poetic fashion, he did it for the final time against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium on May 8, 2016 in a 5-1 victory for the Sox. What is interesting about Ortiz’s achievement is that he did this without any three home run games, a feat that only 24 Red Sox players has achieved. The first player to do it was Jim Tabor, who did it against the Philadelphia Athletics on July 4, 1939 at Shibe Park in a game whose score more closely resembled a Patriots-Eagles game than any baseball game. The Sox won that game, 18-12. Mookie Betts is the all-time leader for three home run games with five and Ted Williams is, again, second with three. Mookie achieved this feat twice during the record breaking 2018 season and is the most recent Red Sox player to do so when he did it on July 26, 2019 in a 10-5 victory over the Yankees at Fenway Park.
The Yankees are mentioned quite a bit in this post so let’s see who has done this the most against them. The answer is a tie! Manny Ramirez and Yaz have six multi-home run games against the Yankees, Big Papi has five and Ted Williams has three (he is tied with Jason Varitek and Mo Vaughn). A total of 50 Red Sox players have achieved this.
Who has the most recent multi-home run game for the Sox? Which Sox player has the most recent multi-home run game against the Yankees? Michael Chavis (no relation), who hit two home runs in a game against the Yankees at Fenway on September 20, 2020. Who will be the next Red Sox player to do this? Hopefully we find out soon.
(All stats used in this post came from Baseball Reference)
UPDATE: On the day after we posted this, JD Martinez had his ninth multi-home run game for the Sox and his first three home run game in a 14-9 win over the Baltimore Orioles.