Getting off to a good start in a new season is always a plus, and what better way is there for a hitter than hitting a home run? There have been six players in Major League history to hit at least one home run in each of their team’s first
Getting off to a good start in a new season is always a plus, and what better way is there for a hitter than hitting a home run? There have been six players in Major League history to hit at least one home run in each of their team’s first four games of the season -- the record for consecutive team games with a home run to start the season. The overall record for consecutive games with a home run at any point in the season is eight.
Christian Yelich became the sixth player to hit a home run in each of his team's first four games of a season on Sunday vs. the Cardinals. On Monday, he went 1-for-5 without a homer, ending the streak.
Here is the list of players to hit home runs in four straight team games to start a season:
Christian Yelich, MIL, 2019
Yelich won National League MVP honors in 2018 and has gotten off to a hot start in 2019 already. He homered in the third inning on Opening Day and in the eighth in the Brewers' second game of the season. But he wasted no time extending the streak in games three and four -- going yard in his first at-bat, in the first inning, in both cases. He was already the first reigning MVP to hit a home run in even three of his team’s first three games of a season and had set the franchise record, and now he joined the exclusive list of players to start the season with a homer in each of their team's first four games.
Trevor Story, COL, 2016
Story introduced himself to the Majors in a big way in his first four career games in 2016, hitting home runs in each of those games. He became the first player to homer in each of his first four games of his career in addition to becoming the fifth to homer in four straight games to start a season. His first two home runs came off Zack Greinke, and he also hit ones off Shelby Miller and Patrick Corbin within that first four-game stretch. Story didn’t homer in five straight games, as nobody has, but he did end up with seven home runs in six games total -- the most home runs through through a player’s first six Major League games and the most through a team’s first six games of a season. Story went on to hit 27 home runs on the season in 97 games, his season ending prematurely due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Chris Davis, BAL, 2013
Davis started his 2013 season by hitting home runs in each of the Orioles’ first four games and did not look back. He totaled 53 home runs that season, which led the Majors, and made his first All-Star Game. He finished third in AL MVP voting that year. In the bottom of the eighth inning of the Orioles’ fourth game, it looked like perhaps Davis’ streak would end. But he came to bat with one out and the bases loaded and hit the first pitch from the Twins’ Tyler Robertson for a go-ahead grand slam in what had been a 5-5 game to extend the streak to tie the record of four.
Nelson Cruz, TEX, 2011
Cruz started his season with a solo home run off Jon Lester in the second inning of the Rangers’ Opening Day game against the Red Sox, tying the game at two apiece. The Rangers went on to win that game and begin their defense of the American League pennant, which they’d go on to win again in 2011. They started the season with six straight wins, and Cruz homered in each of those first four games to tie the record. Each of those home runs was a solo shot. Cruz finished the season with 29 home runs, limited to 124 games with quad and hamstring injuries.
Mark McGwire, STL, 1998
McGwire’s record-setting 1998 campaign began with home runs in each of the Cardinals’ first four games of the season. He got started with a fifth inning grand slam off the Dodgers’ Ramon Martinez on Opening Day. He almost didn’t homer in the second game -- it took until a 12-inning three-run home run for him to make it a streak. McGwire went on to set a single-season record with 70 on the season, later broken by Barry Bonds.
Willie Mays, SF, 1971
Hall of Famer Willie Mays was the first to homer in each of his team’s first four games of a season, establishing the record in 1971 with the Giants. Mays hit a home run in his first plate appearance of that season, with two out in the first inning in San Diego. Those four home runs were numbers 629 through 632 of his career. Mays went on to hit 18 home runs that season, when he turned 40 in May. It was the final season of his career with double-digit home runs.
Sarah Langs is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in New York. Follow her on Twitter @SlangsOnSports.