Baseball History: Gene Rye Hits Three Homers in an Inning

MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: A view of a baseball and bat during batting practice for the 88th MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FL - JULY 11: A view of a baseball and bat during batting practice for the 88th MLB All-Star Game at Marlins Park on July 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Hitting two homers in a single inning is an impressive enough feat. On this day in 1930, minor league outfielder Gene Rye made baseball history by hitting three homers in a single inning.

Whenever a team has an 18 run outburst in one inning, there are bound to be some impressive individual performances. That was certainly the case on this day in 1930, when the Waco Cubs pushed 18 runs across the plate in the eighth inning of their game against the Beaumont Exporters at Katy Park. During that inning, outfielder Gene Rye made baseball history, as he belted three home runs in the frame.

In doing so, Rye became the first player to ever hit three homers in a single inning. He began his power explosion with a solo homer, then hit a two run shot to follow up. Rye then capped off his impressive performance with a grand slam, an impressive way to end an impressive inning.

While Rye had a solid season in the Texas League that year, he was not exactly Ruthian with his power numbers. He ended the year with an excellent .367 batting average, and hit 36 doubles and 26 homers. That was the only season that Rye would hit over 20 homers in his career.

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That season also led to Rye getting a look at the major league level. He signed with the Boston Red Sox, and spent the first two months of the 1931 campaign in the majors. However, the diminutive outfielder was unable to replicate his hitting prowess from the minors, producing a .179/.220/.179 batting line in his 41 plate appearances before being let go.

Rye ended up in the Cardinals organization for two seasons, as he returned to the Texas League before heading to the New York-Pennsylvania League. However, Rye would never return to the majors, spending the next three years with the Davenport Blue Sox in the Western League before his career ended at 29 years old.

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Although he was not a great slugger, Gene Rye made baseball history on this day in 1930, as he hit three homers in a single inning.