Almost 50 years after he accomplished the feat, Stan Musial remains the oldest player to hit three home runs in a major-league game.
Jason Giambi, 40, hit three homers for the Rockies May 19. Babe Ruth (in 1935) and Reggie Jackson (in 1986) are the other 40-year-olds to hit three homers in a game.
Musial was 41 when he hit three homers against the Mets on July 8, 1962, at the Polo Grounds in New York.
After the Cardinals lost the first two of a four-game series in New York, Musial snapped a 2-2 tie with a two-out homer off former teammate Craig Anderson in the eighth inning of the second game of a doubleheader, edging the Mets, 3-2, on July 7, 1962. Boxscore
The next day, a Sunday afternoon, Musial hit homers his first three times at-bat, giving him four in a row over two games (tying a major-league record) and helping St. Louis to a 15-1 victory.
Musial hit a solo shot in the first and a two-run homer in the fourth, both off right-hander Jay Hook.
He led off the seventh with a blast against left-hander Willard Hunter on a 2-2 fastball.
“The pitch was too far inside,” Musial wrote in the book “Stan Musial: The Man’s Own Story” (1964, Doubleday). “Hunter seemed surprised I didn’t take it. But I didn’t believe in letting an inside pitch get away at the Polo Grounds. I got out in front of the high, tight delivery and tomahawked it against the right field roof.”
It was the second time in his big-league career Musial slugged three homers in a game, and he was especially thrilled that his wife Lil and daughter Janet were in attendance to witness the feat.
In the eighth, facing former teammate Bob Miller with a chance for a fifth consecutive homer and No. 4 in the game, Musial struck out swinging. Boxscore
Still, Musial headed into the all-star break with a .333 batting average, .403 on-base percentage and .523 slugging percentage. Not bad for 41 years old.