April 29, 1952 – Al Rosen 3 Home Runs, Jim Fridley 6 for 6
Only 7,858 fans came out to Shibe Park to see their woeful Athletics on a Tuesday afternoon. The As had dropped seven of their first eight games to start off the 1952 season. Facing Bob Feller likely did not inspire too much confidence in the anemic A’s offense coming into the game.
The Indians offense, on the other hand, posted some stat lines that would remain unchallenged for the next half-century.
The Indians sent ten men to the plate in the top of the first inning, notching five runs on six hits including the first by Fridley– a two-run single.
Al Rosen led off the top of the second with his first home run of the day, followed shortly by a Fridley single. Fridley scored on a Bob Kennedy double.
In the top of the 3rd, Al Rosen hit hit second home run, a three run shot off of Harry Byrd, who had been sent in to relieve the scuffling Alex Kellner for the A’s. The final out of the inning came with Fridley at the plate when Dale Mitchell was caught stealing.
Leading off the top of the 4th, Fridley recorded his third hit: a single to third base. Followed by another single to left field in the top of the 5th.
In the eighth inning, Fridley once again singled to left field. He was driven home by a three-run home run of the bat of backup catcher Berdie Tibbetts. With two outs and runners on first and second Al Rosen hit his third home run of the day. Jim Fridley came up again as the 11th batter of the inning. He singled again to left field for his fifth hit of the day.
Although Bob Feller gave up seven earned runs on eighteen hits, clearly the Indians offense more than picked him up. The Tribe recorded 25 hits on the way to posting 21 runs. The teams combined for one of the more outlandish stat lines in history: 30 runs, 43 hits, and 7 errors.
Fifty-seven years later, Shin-Soo Choo would match Rosen’s four hits and seven RBI in a 15-3 win over the same Athletics (now in Oakland) in Game 81 of the 2009 season. Only sixty-nine MLBers have recorded six hits in a nine-inning game, including 6 Indians.
Fridley’s six-hit performance has only been replicated twice by Indians in years since: by Jorge Orta in Game 56 of 1980 and Omar Vizquel in Game 133 of 2004, although Omar’s 6 hits came in seven at-bats.