Goslin, Judge first to hit back-to-back homers twice in the same game

Leon “Goose” Goslin and Joe Judge, who helped Washington win the World Series in 1924 and an American League pennant in ’25, became the first two players under today’s rules to hit back-to-back homers twice in the same game.

It happened on the afternoon of May 26, 1930, at Yankee Stadium. The Senators were looking to win their sixth in a row and 10th of their last 11, starting the day in first place with a 26-10 record. New York stood fourth at 18-16.

The Yankees staked Lefty Gomez to a 4-0 lead before Washington came to bat in the top of the fourth inning. Goslin led off with a long home run to right field. Joe Judge followed with another homer into the right-field bleachers before Gomez retired the next three batters.

The fifth inning would be Gomez’s undoing. The Yanks’ lefty yielded an infield single to Roy Spencer before walking Lloyd Brown, the opposing pitcher. Lead-off hitter George Loepp bunted the runners to second and third, but Sam Rice grounded into a first-to-home fielder’s choice for the second out. Gosling stepped to the plate with runners at the corners and delivered a three-run blast deep to right, putting Washington ahead, 5-4. Again, Judge, the Nats’ veteran first baseman, followed Goslin’s homer with one of his own into the right-field stands.

Buddy Myer’s bunt single ended the day for Gomez. Hank Johnson took the mound for the Yankees, but couldn’t stop the bleeding. Joe Cronin’s double to left sent Myer to third. Ossie Bluege’s slow roller to third scored Myer. Bluege beat the throw to first, then stole second. Spencer’s single to left scored Cronin and Bluege, giving the Nats a seven-run inning and a 9-4 lead.

My PSA 8 ’61 Fleer

The Yankees scored an unearned run in the sixth, but the Nats matched that with an earned run of their own: After a passed ball, Cronin stole home.

Three straight hit off Brown brought in the last two Yankees’ runs in the seventh before Garland Braxton pitched the last two innings for Washington. Goslin, playing left field, kept the Yanks at bay in the eighth when he leaped above the fence to rob Ben Chapman of a homer, then doubled up Lou Gehrig, who was sure the ball wouldn’t be caught, trying to get back to first.

The big day for Goslin and Judge helped the Senators maintain a four-game lead over the second-place Athletics. The Senators remained in first place as late as July 12 and ended with 94 wins in 1930. It wasn’t enough: Washington finished second, eight games behind Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics.

In the 19th Century, Paul Hines and Jerry Denny became the first two players to hit back-to-back homers in a game. Playing for Indianapolis, they did so in a June 14, 1989, National League game. At the time, bats with one flat side were allowed. Pitchers threw 50 feet from home plate but could move around a pitcher’s box that was 4 feet by 5 feet six inches. Down the lines at the Indianapolis ballpark, the fences were 286 feet to left and 261 to right from home plate.

Since Goslin and Judge, back-to-back home runs have been hit twice in a game by the same two batters more than two dozen times. Two Brooklyn batters — Johnny Frederick and Babe Herman — did it for the first time in the N.L. a week after Goslin and Judge did it in the A.L. It happened 10 more times through 1972, then didn’t happen again for nearly 20 years.

The most unusual instance of back-to-back homers by the same batters twice in a game happened on May 2, 2002, when Bret Boone and Mike Cameron of the Mariners did it twice in same inning.

My longer version of this appears with the Games Project essays on SABR.org.

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