Josh Hamilton and other sports rarities

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, there have been 200,519 regular-season games in the history if Major League Baseball.

After Josh Hamilton's performance on Tuesday, there now have been 16 games in major-league history in which a single player hit four home runs. The chance of seeing a game in which there were four home runs hit by one player is one in 12,532.

Courtesy of Elias, here are some other regular-season, single-game accomplishments by an individual from other major professional leagues that have similar frequencies of occurrence. (You will notice the number four shows up quite a bit.)


There have been roughly 51,500 games in NBA history. Only four times has a player made 30 field goals or more in a single game. The chance of seeing a game in which one player makes 30 field goals is roughly one in 12,900. The last player to do it was the Golden State Warriors’ Rick Barry on March 26, 1974 against the Portland Trail Blazers.


There have been roughly 48,000 games in NHL history, or 145,500 periods (not counting overtimes). Only 11 times has a player scored four goals in a single regulation period. So, the chance of seeing a period in which a player scores four goals is roughly 1 in 13,200. The last player to do it was Mario Lemieux on Jan. 26, 1997, against the Montreal Canadiens.


There have been roughly 13,500 games in NFL history, and only once has a player scored 40 points in a game: Ernie Nevers (Nov. 28, 1929) for the Chicago Cardinals against the Chicago Bears. He scored six touchdowns and kicked four extra points.


Since the inception of the Premier League in 1992, there have been 7,836 matches, or 15,672 halves of action. Only once has a player scored five goals in a single half, Jermain Defoe on Nov. 22, 2009 for Tottenham against Wigan.

Rare Individual Accomplishments In A Single Game