Lance Berkman is one of only five National League players to score four runs in a World Series game. Of those five, three achieved the feat as Cardinals.
When Berkman announced his retirement as a big-league player on Jan. 29, 2014, it prompted me to reflect on his two seasons (2011-12) with the Cardinals. Though his hitting heroics in Game 6 of the 2011 World Series are well-documented, what often gets overlooked is that Berkman tied a World Series record in that epic.
Berkman became the 11th and most recent player to score four runs in a World Series game.
His teammate, Albert Pujols, achieved the feat three games earlier. Berkman and Pujols are the only teammates to each score four runs in a game in the same World Series. Berkman is one of three to do it in a Game 6. (Hall of Famers Reggie Jackson and Kirby Puckett are the others.) No player has scored four runs in a World Series Game 7.
Another Cardinal, Enos Slaughter, was the first National League player to score four runs in a World Series game. He did it in Game 4 of the 1946 World Series.
The only other National League players to accomplish the feat are Lenny Dykstra of the Phillies in the 1993 World Series and Jeff Kent of the Giants in the 2002 World Series.
Berkman scored four runs in game just twice in his 15-year big-league career. The first time was in a 2008 regular-season game while with the Astros against the Nationals. The other was on Oct. 27, 2011, in World Series Game 6 against the Rangers at St. Louis. His first run put the Cardinals ahead; each of his other three tied the score.
Here’s a look at those Game 6 runs by Berkman:
_ First inning. Berkman hit a two-run home run, erasing a 1-0 Rangers lead.
_ Fourth inning. After reaching base on an error by first baseman Michael Young, Berkman scored from third on Yadier Molina’s ground out, tying the score at 3-3.
_ Sixth inning. Berkman singled and, after the Cardinals loaded the bases, scored from third on Molina’s walk, tying the score at 4-4.
_ Ninth inning. With one on and one out, Berkman walked. He scored on David Freese’s two-run triple, tying the score at 7-7. The Cardinals won, 10-9, in 11 innings, avoiding elimination and setting up their championship-clinching victory in Game 7.
Berkman told MLB.com that Game 6 was the greatest game he ever played in. “What a roller-coaster. That was awesome,” Berkman said.
In chronological order, the 11 players who scored four runs in a World Series game:
_ Babe Ruth, Yankees, 1926, Game 4 vs. Cardinals. Boxscore
_ Earle Combs, Yankees, 1932, Game 4 vs. Cubs. Boxscore
_ Frank Crosetti, Yankees, 1936, Game 2 vs. Giants. Boxscore
_ Enos Slaughter, Cardinals, 1946, Game 4 vs. Red Sox. Boxscore
_ Reggie Jackson, Yankees, 1977, Game 6 vs. Dodgers. Boxscore
_ Kirby Puckett, Twins, 1987, Game 6 vs. Cardinals. Boxscore
_ Carney Lansford, Athletics, 1989, Game 3 vs. Giants. Boxscore
_ Lenny Dykstra, Phillies, 1993, Game 4 vs. Blue Jays. Boxscore
_ Jeff Kent, Giants, 2002, Game 5 vs. Angels. Boxscore
_ Albert Pujols, Cardinals, 2011, Game 3 vs. Rangers. Boxscore
_ Lance Berkman, Cardinals, 2011, Game 6 vs. Rangers. Boxscore
Tony La Russa is the only manager who had three players score four runs in a World Series game: Lansford, Pujols and Berkman.