Golden sombrero

In baseball, a golden sombrero is a player's inglorious feat of striking out four times in a single game.

Origin of the term

The term derives from hat trick, and since four is bigger than three, the rationale was that a four-strikeout performance should be referred to by a bigger hat, such as a sombrero.[1] The "Olympic Rings" or platinum sombrero applies to a player striking out five times in a game,[2] while a horn (after Sam Horn of the Baltimore Orioles, who accomplished the feat in an extra-inning game in 1991),[3] titanium sombrero or double platinum sombrero is bestowed upon a player who strikes out six times in a single game.[4]

The term was coined by San Diego Padres player Carmelo Martínez in the 1980s[5] and first appeared in print when Leon Durham was quoted as using it in 1984.[6] The term "Horn" for a six-strikeout game was coined by Orioles pitcher Mike Flanagan after Horn's six strikeout game.[7]


Sammy Sosa and Ray Lankford are the only players to hit for a platinum sombrero more than twice.[3] Only eight players have had six strikeouts, listed below.[3] All eight players who accomplished a "Horn" needed extra innings to do it; the record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game is five.[8]

On August 4, 2009, Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Evan Longoria went 2 for 6, recording a golden sombrero and 2 home runs. The second home run was a walk off home run. This feat was also accomplished by Brandon Moss of the Oakland Athletics on April 30, 2013 in a 19-inning game against the Los Angeles Angels.[9] They are the only players to record four strikeouts and two home runs (the second a walk-off) in a single game in the live-ball era.

On May 29, 2014, in a game against the New York Mets, Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies earned his 24th career Golden Sombrero, surpassing Reggie Jackson to take the all-time MLB lead for this statistic.

On May 29, 2015 San Diego Padres catcher Derek Norris struck out swinging in his first four plate appearances, then hit a walk-off grand slam, becoming the first MLB player in the modern era to achieve a golden sombrero and a walk-off grand slam in the same game.[10]

On July 30, 2016 New York Yankees player Alex Rodriguez became the first MLB player to earn a Golden Sombrero after the age of 40 while having earned one before the age of 20. [11]

On June 13, 2017, Chicago Cubs Second baseman Ian Happ went 1 for 5, recording a golden sombrero and a grand slam.

On July 25, 2017, Chicago Cubs infielder Javier Baez went 0 for 5, recording a platinum sombrero. On the same day, Seattle Mariners designated hitter Nelson Cruz went 0 for 6 with five strikeouts, also recording a platinum sombrero. This marked the first time in Major League history in which two players from two different games achieved platinum sombreros in the same day (although due to extra innings, Cruz's fifth strikeout technically occurred on July 26).

On October 11, 2017, Chicago Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant went 0 for 4, recording a golden sombrero, on the same day as New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, who went 0 for 5 and recorded his own golden sombrero, his third in the ALDS and making him the only player since 1903 to accomplish this.

Prior to the start of the World Series, golden sombreros in the 2017 postseason had already tied the record set in 1997. An increase in the use of starting pitchers as relievers has been suggested as a cause. [12]

On April 3, 2018, Giancarlo Stanton recorded a platinum sombrero in his home debut in his first season for the New York Yankees, following him leading the majors in home runs and winning the National League MVP the season before. Stanton left the field after his fifth strikeout to a chorus of home field boos. Just five days later he became the first player to ever record two platinum sombreros in one season when he went 0-7 and struck out for a fifth time with two runners and the Yankees down by one to end the game in extra innings versus the Baltimore Orioles.

On June 4, 2018, Aaron Judge earned a platinum sombrero, but more importantly struck out eight times, over course of a doubleheader against the Detroit Tigers, setting a new MLB record. [13]

On July 9, 2018, Oakland Athletics outfielder Dustin Fowler recorded a platinum sombrero.

The record for strikeouts in a single game in all of professional baseball belongs to minor league baseball player Khalil Lee of the Lexington Legends, who in 2017 struck out eight times in a twenty-one inning baseball game.[14]

Major league players with most four-strikeout games [15]

Member of the Baseball Hall of Fame
Denotes player who is still active
PlayerGamesMajor teams
Ryan Howard27Philadelphia Phillies
Reggie Jackson23Oakland Athletics, New York Yankees, California Angels
Chris Davis22Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles
Jim Thome20Cleveland Indians, Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox
Adam Dunn19Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds
Bo Jackson19Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox
Rob Deer17Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers
Sammy Sosa17Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers
Jose Canseco16Texas Rangers, Oakland Athletics
Mark Reynolds16Arizona Diamondbacks, St. Louis Cardinals
Dick Allen15Philadelphia Phillies, Chicago White Sox
Andrés Galarraga15Montreal Expos, Colorado Rockies
Dave Kingman15New York Mets, San Francisco Giants

Major league players with six strikeouts in a game

PlayerDateInningsTeamBox score
Carl WeilmanJuly 25, 191315St. Louis Browns[16]
Don HoakMay 2, 195617Chicago Cubs[17]
Rick ReichardtMay 31, 196617California Angels[18]
Billy CowanJuly 9, 197120California Angels[19]
Cecil CooperJune 14, 197415Boston Red Sox[20]
Sam HornJuly 17, 199115Baltimore Orioles[21]
Alex GonzalezSeptember 9, 199813Toronto Blue Jays[22]
Geoff JenkinsJune 8, 200417Milwaukee Brewers[23]


  1. "Baseball Reference – "Golden Sombrero"".
  2. Michael, Matt (April 9, 2005). "Extra bases". Syracuse Post-Standard.
  3. 1 2 3 Rob Neyer article at Baseball Nation
  4. "ESPN – More amazing stories to watch for – MLB".
  5. "On Cans Of Corn And The Origin Of Baseball Terms". Retrieved 2017-10-24.
  6. The Dickson Baseball Dictionary, third edition, p. 374
  7. Tom Verducci article, Sports Illustrated, July 29, 1991
  8. "Strikeout Records for Hitters by Baseball Almanac".
  9. "Jayson Stark Blog".
  10. "Derek Norris hits walkoff grand slam after striking out four times".
  11. Feinsand, Mark. "Alex Rodriguez sports Golden Sombrero in return to Yankees' lineup". New York Daily News. Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  12. Baer, Bill (October 11, 2017). "There have been a lot of players wearing golden sombreros this postseason". NBCSports. Retrieved October 14, 2017.
  13. "Aaron Judge struck out 8 times Monday, setting new MLB record". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved June 5, 2018.
  14. "July 13, 2017". Retrieved 14 July 2017.
  15. "Ryan Howard extends K record". May 27, 2015. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  16. "July 25, 1913 St. Louis Browns at Washington Senators Box Score and Play by Play -".
  17. "May 2, 1956 New York Giants at Chicago Cubs Play by Play and Box Score -".
  18. "May 31, 1966 Cleveland Indians at California Angels Play by Play and Box Score -".
  19. "July 9, 1971 California Angels at Oakland Athletics Box Score and Play by Play -".
  20. "June 14, 1974 Boston Red Sox at California Angels Play by Play and Box Score -".
  21. "July 17, 1991 Baltimore Orioles at Kansas City Royals Box Score and Play by Play -".
  22. "September 9, 1998 Cleveland Indians at Toronto Blue Jays Play by Play and Box Score -".
  23. "June 8, 2004 Milwaukee Brewers at Anaheim Angels Play by Play and Box Score -".
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