Last night in Cincinnati, on a calm and call evening of baseball, Scooter Gennett of the Cincinnati Reds went out and made baseball history. He went 5-5 with four home runs and ten RBI. It was among the greatest offensive performances in the history of the game. What we saw was not a stretch of the imagination. It was not a bias towards this current era of baseball. It’s not the mad ravings of a lesser known player. This was not just the joy of watching a baseball player having a huge night. Gennett simply had a hitting performance unlike the game has ever seen.
We have seen many players produce a five-for-five game, a four home run game, or even a ten RBI game. Yet, no one had done it all in the same game. Scooter Gennett did. There are other performances that were just as memorable. St Louis Cardinals outfield Mark Whiten, in 1993, went 4-5 with four home runs and twelve RBI. He was the only other player to amass four and ten in the same game. Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Shawn Green, in 2002, went 6-6, smacking four home runs and totaling nineteen bases. It is still the major league record and two more bases than Gennett collected last night. With that said, there is one aspect that makes Gennett’s performance more appreciable.
The difference between Green and Gennett is this. Green was a known star in the annals of baseball going into the 2002 season. He was one of the best power hitters in the game from 1998 to 2004, averaging 34 home runs a season. No one in Cincinnati, as well as all of Major League Baseball, expected a performance like this from Gennett. Scooter totaled only 35 home runs for his career. Last night, he bashed with the best of them, which made his performance that much more appreciable.
This is why the greatness of baseball cane be understood. Baseball players are given an amazing chance to put in a performance for the ages. Utility players can get the one chance to have his light shine for one night. Scooter Gennett, on June 6, 2017, was given that chance. His performance is now part of the baseball fabric of legend, and will forever be cemented in the history books for all time.