I Can’t Believe What I Just Saw!: Brandon Crawford’s Big Night

Baseball produces more unique moments than any other sport. Whether it is the ball disappearing into the catcher’s equipment, or a throw from right field that seemingly defies physics, or one of the premier athletes in the history of the sport running up a wall – baseball delivers the moments that have fans yelling “I can’t believe what I just saw!” at their televisions. Dave McCullough presents one such case in which shortstop Brandon Crawford laced hit after hit until he had done something that hadn’t been seen in decades.

As the San Francisco Giants visited the Miami Marlins on a Monday night in August such a unique play occurred. Now, this has technically happened before, but not for 40 years, and only five times since 1913. So… while not a unique moment that never was, or will be again, this was more like an extremely rare and special occasion that may not happen again in our lifetimes.

Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford entered last night’s contest with a slash line of .265/.334/.422. He ended it with a line of .278/.344/.439 – because Brandon Crawford stroked seven base hits in one game: a double, a triple, and five singles.

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Crawford’s fourth hit – a flare to right field that scored a run

Per the wonderful folks over at Fangraphs, Crawford posted the third-highest single-game WPA in history with his seven-hit performance. That’s incredible!

Crawford became just the fifth player in baseball history to achieve such a feat; the first since Pittsburgh’s Rennie Stennett went 7-for-7 in his Pirates 22-0 drubbing of the Cubs in 1975. Here are the members of the 7-hits-in-a-game club:

Johnny Burnett of the 1932 Cleveland Indians set the mark with nine hits in eleven at-bats during an 18-17 slugfest with the Philadelphia Athletics – still the major league record for hits in a game. The others to stroke seven hits in a game are the Detroit Tigers Cesar Gutierrez in 1970, and another Tiger, Rocky Colavito, in 1962 against the New York Yankees.

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Crawford’s sixth hit of the night – a triple.

Crawford’s achievement in Miami is remarkable, not only for the number of hits, but also for the number of years since the last time someone went to the plate seven times and got a hit in every trip. I mean, it’s no Chicago Cubs World Series drought, but 40 years is a long time. It had never happened in my lifetime until Crawford did it, and I’m old. That’s what makes baseball the wonderful, and unbelievable, spectator experience it is. You never know what you’re going to see, or how long it’s been since anyone has seen what you just witnessed.


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