Zobrist’s Wonderful Day

Every once in a while, you wake up in the morning and feel a little more “on” than usual and figure it’s going to be a good day. Well, earlier this week, Ben Zobrist of the Tampa Bay Rays must’ve had himself one of those days. And thankfully for him it not only wasn’t an off-day, but it was a doubleheader. He certainly made his mark on the history books.

In the first game, he went 4-for-6 with a pair of runs, a pair of doubles, a home run, and an astounding 8 RBIs! Just for good measure, he stole a base, as well. The Rays trounced the Twins 15-3, and doubled their pleasure in the nightcap by beating them 6-1. In that one, Zobrist went a pedestrian 3-for-4 with 3 runs, a double, another homer, and 2 more RBIs. The Zorilla’s totals for the day were: 7-for-10, 5 runs, 3 doubles, 2 home runs, and 10 RBIs.

Zorilla the Gorilla

Zobrist’s was the 2nd highest RBI total in one day ever for a second baseman. There have been 6 guys with 8 RBIs in one day at the position (Rogers Hornsby, Alex Kampouris, Bob Johnson, Bobby Doerr, Adam Kennedy, and Ronnie Belliard). The only one to ever have more was Hall of Famer Tony Lazzeri of the 1936 New York Yankees. He went 4-for-5 with 3 home runs, a triple, 4 runs, a walk, and 11 RBIs. It was a full on assault as the Yankees beat the Athletics 25-2 and had 19 hits and 16 walks. With 35 baserunners, it’s no wonder the RBIs were plentiful that day.

The only players on the list who managed to drive in all of those runners without multiple homers were Ben Zobrist and Adam Kennedy. Four of the eight led their teams to at least 20 runs, which is obviously a ton, but not completely shocking. What was more unusual was Bob Johnson’s game for the 1938 Athletics. He drove in all 8 of their runs as they beat the Browns 8-3. In the second game of his doubleheader, the other Athletics were again abysmal, as they managed just 1 run. On the day, in 47 at-bats, the other Athletics had 15 total bases and 1 RBI while Johnson had 9 total bases and 8 RBI in just 6 at-bats.

Tony Lazzeri isn't the most celebrated member of the 1920s-1930s Yankees, but a fine player nonetheless.

When I wake up and feel like it’s going to be a good day, I maybe get a little more done than I otherwise would have. When Ben Zobrist woke up on April 28th, he was preparing himself for a historic day. Sometimes life isn’t fair.

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