An inside-the-park HR on June 15 ... two straight years? This Triple-A player did it

June 16th, 2024

Holidays and the traditions that surround them give a comforting predictability to our lives. Every time the calendar flips to a new month, small text or icons indicate the upcoming dates of note. After Saturday night’s unique feat, it would be no surprise if had a circle around June 15 with the note “ITPHR.”

For the second straight year, Fitzgerald hit an inside-the-park home run on the same calendar date for Triple-A Sacramento (Giants).

Inside-the-park home runs are one of the rarest and most exciting plays in baseball, so when Fitzgerald delivered on a dash around the bases on June 15, 2023, against Sugar Land, it was instantly a part of River Cats history, becoming just the 12th such milestone by a Sacramento player since 2005.

The 2024 edition of the Fitzgerald inside-the-parker was perhaps even more unlikely as it came on the first pitch of the game. The Reno home crowd hardly had time to settle into their seats at Greater Nevada Field before the 26-year-old sent the baseball sailing high off the left-field wall. Then, it was off to the races. The Aces (D-backs) went on to win, 7-6, in walk-off fashion.

In MLB history, only four players have hit multiple inside-the-park home runs on the same calendar date in their careers. Most notably, Hall of Famer Stan Musial hit one on Aug. 15, 1947, and one on Aug. 15, 1949, during his illustrious tenure with the St. Louis Cardinals. (The most recent to do so: Willie Wilson on May 14, 1980, and '83 for the Royals. Also a part of that group is Rick Monday, who notched the mark on June 7, 1967, and '74, the first time with the Kansas City Athletics and the second with the Chicago Cubs.)

Eddie Waitkus is the only one to match Fitzgerald’s back-to-back year punctuality. He pulled it off on Aug. 24, 1946, and '47 for the Cubs.

Currently, June 15 isn’t designated as a national holiday, although some may observe Fly a Kite Day or Justice for Janitors Day. Moving forward, there’s plenty of room to make it "Tyler Fitzgerald Inside-the-Park Home Run Day."