August 19, 2010

The "Douglas Nine"

On this date in 1958, everyone in the starting lineup for the Douglas Copper Kings hit a home run in a 22-8 win over the Chihuahua Dorados (Class C Arizona-Mexico League). It is the only time a team has had all nine starters go deep.

The major league record for most players on one team with one or more home runs in a game is eight, set by Cincinnati in a 22-3 rout of the Phillies on September 4, 1999. But only six of the Reds had started the game.

The AL record is seven players, set by the Orioles against the Red Sox on May 17, 1967 (6 starters), the A's against the Angels on June 27, 1996 (7 starters), and the Tigers against the Blue Jays on June 20, 2000 (5 starters).

The "Douglas Nine": Bob Clear, P; Rich Binford, C; Dutch Van Burkleo, 1B; Luis Torres, 2B; Don Pulford, SS; Darrel McCall, 3B; Ron Wilkins, LF; Andy Prevedello, CF; Fred Filipelli, RF.Prevedello:
We didn't know what was going on at first. Then it was like, "Hey, gosh, I haven't had one yet." We knew we had all done something kind of special. ... It was unbelievable. There were no short fences, either. It was a regular park.
Van Burkleo:
It was your typical Mexican park. There was no grass on the infield or the outfield. And the fences were adobe or brick walls. They were three feet thick and eight or nine feet high. When they made the walls, they broke beer bottles and glass and embedded them in the top of the walls so people couldn't climb over them and get into the park for free. Someone told us Life Magazine was going to come down and do a story on us, but they never did.
We didn't get a lot of publicity for it, though. Someone came down and interviewed us and took some pictures. It was pretty astounding that it happened. What people don't remember is that our next trip down there, they no-hit us.
I have no idea if that is true.

None of the Douglas Nine played in the major leagues, but Bob Clear later became a scout and bullpen coach for the California Angels. His nephew, Mark Clear, pitched for the Angels, Red Sox, and Brewers.


BrooklynTrolleyBlogger said...

Great post! Big smile on my face.

brit said...

Just to note, Dutch Van Burkleo's SON Ty Van Burkleo also played for the Brewers, Angels, Rockies, and 2 Japanese teams (Seibu Lions and Hiroshima Carp), and has coached for the Diamondbacks, Angels, A's, Mariners, Astros, and now currently the Indians.

Azcats21 said...

Sure would like to know who hit the first home runs then the 2nd etc