Golden Sombrero (baseball slang)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sun Jul 23 16:52:24 UTC 2006

On 7/23/06, Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at> wrote:
> >On 7/23/06, Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at> wrote:
> >>Dickson's got it from 1989 (Don Baylor), but Factiva and
> >>Newspaperarchive push it back to 1987 (Pete Rose).
> >>
> >>-----
> >>Associated Press, June 16, 1987
> >>"We had two guys who got the 'Golden Sombrero' tonight. You know what
> >>the Golden Sombrero is don't you? It's the hat trick plus one. Our No.
> >>1 and No. 8 hitters struck out four times each." -- Cincinnati Manager
> >>Pete Rose. Houston's Mike Scott struck out 14 Reds, leading Houston to
> >>a 4-0 victory Monday.
> >>-----
> These days, with strikeout totals up across the board for hitters,
> the really impressive feat is the platinum sombrero (five times in a
> game).  Checking on google, I find that there's even a term (one I've
> never actually heard, since it doesn't come up too often for obvious
> reasons) for striking out six times in a game, generally requiring
> extra innings to achieve.  The etymology of the original is evidently
> from a hat trick (presumably an ironic transfer from the positive use
> we've discussed here relating to scoring in hockey and other sports)
> only with a larger hat.

As indeed Mr. Rose suggests ("the hat trick plus one").

Speaking of positive and negative terms for numerical sporting feats,
bowling has "turkey" for three consecutive strikes and "(turkey)
buzzard" for three consecutive splits. I see "turkey" was discussed
here briefly back in 2003.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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