Brett Lawrie Earns A Sombrero
Oakland Athletics 3rd baseman Brett Lawrie may have found himself in the history books this morning for having what some are calling a Perfect Golden Sombrero – striking out four times on twelve pitches:
Brett Lawrie tonight (12 pitches, 4 strikeouts) Fastball Slider Slider — Slider Slider Slider — Curve Curve Curve — Slider Slider Slider
— Peter Ellwood (@FutureGM) April 8, 2015
The term Golden Sombrero derives from the hockey three-goal feat known as a hat trick. Since four is greater than 3, someone came up with Sombrero term, which has been extended to include a Platinum Sombero for a 5-strikeout game (also known as an Olympic Sombrero), and a Titanium Sombrero, which goes to the player with a 6 K game.
Facing a steady diet of breaking balls, Lawrie swung and missed at as many pitches as the took for called strikes. To the credit of Rangers pitchers Colby Lewis, Keone Kela, and Neftali Feliz, they commanded the strike zone against Lawrie, and as a result he was facing pitcher’s counts for much of the night.
Oakland acquired Lawrie and three Toronto prospects for A’s 3rd baseman Josh Donaldson in the off-season. Lawrie, who had numerous top 10 prospect rankings with the Blue Jays and Brewers, had great difficulty staying healthy since breaking into the majors in 2011. A series of injuries limited him to 70 games for Toronto last year, and he has never played more than 125 in a season. The injuries and his lack of patience at the plate have meant that Lawrie has consistently under-achieved since entering the majors.
The career leader in Golden Sombreros belongs to the Royals Bo Jackson, who accomplished the feat 17 times in 9 inning games. Reggie Jackson swung and missed his way to 23 Sombreros, but 7 of those were in extra inning games.
Legendary slugger Dick Allen struck out 4 or more times in a 9-inning game 7 times in 1968.Many players have struck out 5 times in a game, including former Blue Jay Alex Rios (twice, in 2006 and 2009), and current Toronto 1st baseman Justin Smoak, who went Platinum for the Mariners in 2010. Sammy Sosa and Ray Lankford are the only players to have managed more than one 5-strikeout game in a career.
8 players have whiffed their way to a Titanium Sombrero, including former Toronto shortstop Alex Gonzalez in 1998. Minor leaguer Russ Laribee managed to strike out 7 times in a legendary 33 inning game for Pawtucket in 1981, a feat managed by Stockton’s Dusty Robinson in a 17 inning game in 2013.
Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt duplicated Lawrie’s El Perfecto in 1983, but hit a walk-off two-run homer in his fifth at bat. While representing the tying run, Lawrie’s final whiff ended the game.
There is no video compilation of Lawrie’s accomplishment that we can embed, but here’s a link to one.