Casual baseball fans aren’t likely to recognize the name Scooter Gennett but he has accomplished a rare feat that will earn him a place in history.
The nondescript utility player for the National League’s Cincinnati Reds blew up on Tuesday night. He mashed four home runs, one of only seventeen players in major league baseball to do so – including him.
— MLB (@MLB) June 7, 2017
In living the dream of playing for his hometown team, Gennett was hotter than a two-dollar pistol in the Reds’ home game against the St. Louis Cardinals, driving in a total of ten runs.
His final stats were 5 for 5 at the plate including those four dingers. Scooter was a one man wrecking crew in the 13-1 victory and punished the Cards’ pitchers, especially the shellshocked Adam Wainwright who was given the hook in the fourth inning after being bludgeoned for nine runs.
It’s highly unlikely that Gennett flew off fantasy baseball league draft boards this year. He was added by the Reds – almost as an afterthought – when the Milwaukee Brewers dumped him at the end of spring training and has been relegated to being a role player ever since.
Now he has done something that not even Babe Ruth, Joe DiMaggio nor Hank Aaron accomplished during their storied careers.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) June 7, 2017
Sports website Deadspin offers up some perspective on the amazing performance in the article entitled “Scooter Gennett Is The Least Likely Player Ever To Hit Four Home Runs In A Game”:
None of this was supposed to happen. Gennett, a 27-year-old, 5-foot-10 career second baseman, was waived by the Brewers at the end of spring training, and picked up by the Reds to be a utility guy, which entailed learning some new positions. He’s started four games at third base this year, which he’d never played in the majors. He was in left field last night, a position he’d never played before this season. His previous outfield experience had consisted of one inning in 2014.
The only conceivable reason you might have even known Gennett was in Cincinnati now was when Brandon Phillips, visiting as a member of the Braves, said it was “a slap in the face” that his uniform No. 4 had been given away. A sheepish Gennett said he hadn’t asked for that number and had tried to change it, but MLB makes it too difficult to switch uniform numbers midseason. As it happened, No. 4 turned out to be the right number.
Gennett wasn’t even supposed to start last night. But a freak rainstorm canceled Monday’s batting practice, pushing back manager Bryan Price’s plans to ease the injured Scott Schebler back into the lineup. So Gennett got the start in left, and now everyone will know his name forever, even if he never does anything worthy of headlines again.
Maybe that will end up being the case and Scooter Gennett will go back to miring in obscurity for the remainder of his career but he’ll always have Tuesday’s game – and his name in the record books.