At the conclusion of play on May 1, 1954, the New York Giants were in fifth place with an 8-7 record, but in the closely bunched National League, the future World Champions were but a single game out of the top spot.

The Giants traveled from Chicago, where they had split a two game series with the Cubs to St. Louis, to face the Cardinals in a Sunday twin bill. It would turn out to be a doubleheader that would go down in baseball history.

Stan Musial drew a walk off Giants’ starter, lefty Johnny Antonelli, in the first inning and then proceeded to hit home runs off Antonelli in the third and fifth innings.

Facing right-hander Jim Hearn in the sixth inning, Stan the Man singled. In the eighth inning, Musial ended a perfect day with a three-run blast off Hearn to break a 6-6 tie and lead the Cards to a 10-6 win.

The second game was another slug fest. The Cardinals jumped off the 3-0 first inning lead, but the Giants had an eight run fourth inning and managed to hang on for a much-needed 9-7 win.

Musial hit two more home runs in the second game loss to give him a record five home runs in a doubleheader, a record that was tied by the San Diego Padres on Aug. 1. 1972 against the Atlanta Braves.

Musial batted in nine runs with his five round-trippers, while Colbert had 13 RBIs.

Musial went on to hit 35 home runs in 1954, with a .330 batting average, 126 RBIs, and a .428 on base average. He led the league with 120 runs scored, and slugged .607. As the great Red Barber might ask Phil Rizzuto, “Think Musial was a good ball player?”

In 1972, Nate Colbert hit two home runs in the opener against the Braves at the launching pad in Atlanta, and followed that up with three more in the nightcap, He finished the 1972 season with 38 home runs despite playing his home games in Jack Murphy stadium, which was a pitcher’s park.

There is little chance that a modern player will hit five home runs in a doubleheader, primarily since there are virtually no regularly scheduled twin bills, but that may change.

It was recently announced that the Oakland A’s have scheduled a single admission doubleheader against the Los Angeles Angels on July 16. It will be the A’s first old-fashioned double dip since 1995.

The last regularly scheduled doubleheader was on June 7. 1996, when Oakland visited the Minnesota Twins on June 7, 1996.

There will probably be more single-admission doubleheaders starting in 2012, when the playoffs are expanded to include two more wild card teams, since time will be needed for another round of playoff games and there will be less time for the regular season.

Some negatives also produce positives.


By JOHN DREBINGERSpecial to The New York Times.. (1954, May 3). ST. LOUIS SLUGGER PACES 10-6 VICTORY :Musial Belts 3 Homers, Then Adds 2 for Twin-Bill Mark as Giants Triumph, 9-7. New York Times (1923-Current file),28. Retrieved December 2, 2010, from ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 – 2007). (Document ID: 92826845).

Oakland Schedules Single Admission Doubleheader

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