A switch hitter has the power to change any game he is in. His ability to hit from either the right or left side helps set up favorable pitching match-ups for his team and also makes the opposing teams pitching coach work twice as hard to scout his team. A switch-hitter creates a special problem for position players too; shading a switch-hitter often ends with a hit right up the middle. But it is the switch-hitting slugger that causes the most fear for a pitcher.
Power hitters always have a chance of hitting a home run. To a lesser extent, there is always the possibility of a multi-homer game, too. When a switch-hitting power hitter comes to bat, whether its on the right or left, and hits a home run, a unique situation is created. Following this homer up with another four-bagger from the other side of the plate puts him in an exclusive club with less than a hundred members, those who have hit at least one home run from each side of the plate in one game.
Baseball Almanac is pleased to present a chronological listing of every instance in both leagues where a player has gone deep from both sides of the plate in one game.
"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game (specifically about his switch-hit home run record) you've been playing all your life." - Hall of Fame Outfielder Mickey Mantle (Ten Time "Member" of the Home Run From Both Sides of the Plate in a Game "Club")
American League Players in Chronological Order
National League Players in Chronological Order
The Major League record for career home runs from each side of the plate is fourteen, held by Mark Teixeira , who had twelve in the American League (AL) and two in the National League (NL). Nick Swisher tied Teixeira in 2015, when he hit one in the NL, to go with his AL record thirteen instances. Ken Caminiti holds the NL record with ten. Postseason stats are NEVER included in a player's career statistics, so instances where a player went deep from each side of the plate in the same postseason game (Division Series, League Championship Series & World Series) are included on the chart below:
Homers From Both Sides of Plate in a Playoff Game
|Bernie Williams||New York||10-06-1995||ALDS | Game 3|
|Bernie Williams||New York||10-05-1996||ALDS | Game 4|
|Chipper Jones||Atlanta||10-04-2003||NLDS | Game 4|
|Milton Bradley||Oakland||10-11-2006||ALCS | Game 2|
The single season record for hitting home runs from each side of the plate in the American League is three set by Tony Clark in 1998, then tied by Nick Swisher in 2007, and in the National League it's four, set by Ken Caminiti in 1996.
The record for youngest player in baseball history to ever switch homer in a game belongs to Jose Reyes who was 20 years, 178 days old when he did it on August 28, 2003 , in the National League. The youngest to do it in an American League game was Ruben Sierra , at 20 years, 342 days old, on September 13, 1986 .
The record for oldest player in baseball history to ever switch homer in a game belongs to Victor Martinez who was 39 years, 250 days old when he did it on August 30, 2018. The oldest to do it in a National League game was Tony Clark , at 36 years, 295 days old, on April 6, 2009 .
Carlos Beltran and Nick Swisher have each accomplished the feat with a Major League record five different teams! Beltran : Mets (5x), Cardinals (3x), Royals (2x), Astros (1x), Yankees (1x). Swisher : Athletics (5x), Yankees (5x), White Sox (2x), Indians (1x), Braves (1x).
Did you know that there have been only three instances in Major League history where players \— Carlos Baerga of the Cleveland Indians on April 8, 1993 (off Steve Howe & Steve Farr ), Mark Bellhorn of the Chicago Cubs on August 29, 2002 (off Andrew Lorraine & Jose Cabrera ) and Kendrys Morales of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on July 30, 2012 (off Roy Oswalt & Robbie Ross )— hit home runs from both sides of the plate during the same exact inning?