Thanks to Josh Hamilton, baseball now has its first season in history to feature both a perfect game and a four-homer performance by a hitter.
It should probably just be called two perfect games, though. There's no such term for hitters because they admittedly lack the ability to put forth a statistical line as perfectly pristine as the one that pitchers attain when they go 27 up and 27 down.
If they did have such a term, though, wouldn't it be defined by putting together a game that looked an awful lot like Hamilton's? Four home runs and a double leading to 18 total bases, a total that only two other players in history have ever reached in a single game. Hamilton is the first American Leaguer to do it, but he's tied with Joe Adcock and one behind Shawn Green for the all time mark.
Sheez, Hamilton, can't you do a little better next time?
Seriously, though, reaching a mark that's only been reached twice before is some pretty rarified air in a sport with so much history. It has happened a lot less often than pitchers have thrown perfect games, which doesn't mean that it is a more significant feat but definitely means that it is the kind of night that should have a moniker less unwieldy than "newest member of the four-homers in one game club."
Calling it a perfect game isn't particularly inventive, but it works. It is pretty difficult to come up with anything that Hamilton did that wasn't straight up perfection on Tuesday night and his total domination of the Baltimore pitching staff is the closest hitting equivalent to what Philip Humber did earlier this year.
It's not a term we'd throw around loosely. You've got to get up five or six times in a game and you can't make an out while racking up more than 13 total bases to reach offensive perfect game territory. Maybe it's making a lot of fuss to come up with a shorthand name for something that happens so rarely, but Hamilton's night was significant enough that it doesn't feel that way.
And since we're talking about historical grandiosity, has any player in the history of baseball had an easier night than Elvis Andrus? Andrus singled twice, walked and hit into a fielders choice to reach first base on Tuesday night. Thanks to Hamilton, he scored all four times without ever having to break into so much as a jog.
Tough job, but somebody's gotta do it.