It’s funny how this post just so happened to fall the day after the Blue Jays scored 16 runs on 20 hits against the New York Yankees, and yet no home runs. Kind of odd to have that many runs and not a single long ball, right?
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, 24 years ago, the Blue Jays scored 18 runs on 21 hits in a single game, all except for two which were driven in via a home run.
For this week’s Flashback Friday, let’s look back at the record-setting game when the Blue Jays hit 10 home runs in one game.
It was on September 14th, 1987. The Blue Jays were in the midst of a pennant race against the Detroit Tigers, and both teams were tied for first place. Toronto had just taken 2 of 3 from the New York Yankees and were looking to move ahead as the Orioles came into town.
Maybe it was something in the air that day at Exhibition Stadium, but fans of the long ball were in for quite the show that evening.
The game began innocently enough as both starters Jim Clancy and Ken Dixon erased base runners in the first inning as it remained a scoreless tie going into the second. However, the Blue Jays blew the game wide open and put a five-spot on the board in the home half.
Ernie Whitt led of the second with a solo home run, and that would be the first of many home runs to come that night. Two batters later, Rance Mulliniks hit a two-run shot and Lloyd Moseby would follow that up with a two-run shot as the Blue Jays took a 5 run lead.
Orioles starter Ken Dixon didn’t even escape the second inning as Cap Ripken yanked him after the home run from Moseby. Well, it turned out the next pitcher, Eric Bell wouldn’t fare much better.
George Bell lead off the third with a home run and then Rance Mulliniks would swat his second home run of the game to put the Blue Jays ahead 7-1.
It was deja vu all over again when Ernie Whitt also collected his second home run of the game to lead off the fifth. After five innings of play, the Blue Jays had pounded the Baltimore Orioles pitching staff for six home runs.
Not wanting to feel left out, George Bell joined Rance Mulliniks and Ernie Whitt in the two home run club as he knocked his second home run of the game off Mike Kinnunen.
At this point with a comfortable 10-2 lead, Blue Jays manager Jimy Williams felt the game was pretty much in the bag as he let Tony Fernandez, George Bell and Lloyd Moseby take a breather, and substituted them for Manuel Lee, Lou Thornton and Rob Ducey.
Even with one-third of the Blue Jays best players in the bench, the Baltimore Orioles still weren’t completely out of the woods yet. One of those late-game substitutions would also get in on the home run parade, as Rob Ducey even hit a 3-run home run.
In the very same inning, the man who started it all off for the Blue Jays would achieve his home run trifecta. Ernie Whitt hit his third home run in the bottom of the seventh capping off a 3 for 5 game with 3 home runs and 5 RBI’s.
Fred McGriff who was designated hitter that day, hit in the eighth spot in the lineup. The Crime Dog was the final member of the Blue Jays bomb squad that day and led off the bottom of the eighth with a solo home run.
In total, the Blue Jays hit a grand total of 10 home runs that day, collected 21 hits and scored 18 runs and won the game handily 18-3. They had three hitters with multiple homers (Mulliniks, Whitt, Bell).
In that game on September 14th 1987, the Blue Jays set a record for most home runs by one team in a single game, a Major League record which still stands to this day.