When I get up in the morning, over breakfast, I check milb.com to see how the minor league Valley League alumni did the night before. (I admit it- I have a problem.) This morning, when I checked Jon Griffin (Luray 2010), I, of course, noticed right away that he had hit three home runs for Double-A Mobile, with a glimmer of possibility- the game hadn’t ended yet. (This is where I explain that I live in a time zone 7 hours ahead of the East Coast of the United States.)
I turned to my wife and said, “Jon Griffin has a chance to hit four home runs in one game!” I didn’t think it likely, because he also had a single and an out. What are the chances he would even get another at-bat, let alone hit another home run?
Well, he did just that- he got one more at-bat, and he hammered yet another home run- this one to the opposite field.
This performance is the single best performance by a VBL alumnus in the minor leagues- as long as I’m been covering the league, anyway. Jon went 5-6, with 4 runs, 7 RBIs, and, of course, 4 home runs. He broke the team record for home runs in a game, and tied the league record; he became only the second player in league history to hit that many in one game. His 7 RBIs also tied a team record. The crowd was so impressed that they gave Jon a standing ovation, asking for a curtain call- the odd thing is that the game was in Tennessee, not Mobile!
Jon has been on a hot streak over the last couple games. He now has 7 home runs and 14 RBIs over his last 7 games, along with 9 runs and a double for good measure. For the year, he’s now hitting 286/369/529 in 40 games and 140 at-bats. I think it’s safe to say that his slow start is now behind him.
This may never happen again, folks- a former Valley Leaguer hitting 4 home runs in one minor league game- so take some time to revel in Jon’s accomplishment!