Golden Sombrero (baseball slang)

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Tue Jul 25 01:45:32 UTC 2006

At 3:21 PM -0500 7/24/06, Mullins, Bill AMRDEC wrote:
>Sports Illustrated   07-29-1991 Page: 56
>A One-Note Horn
>On July 17, Oriole designated hitter Sam Horn became the first
>nonpitcher in major league history to strike out six straight times
>in one game. In the 15- inning game against the Royals, Horn whiffed
>on six straight at bats before doubling. He matched the one-game
>consecutive strikeout record set by Carl Weilman, a pitcher for the
>St. Louis Browns, in 1913. ''Three strikeouts is a hat trick, four is
>a sombrero, five is a golden sombrero, and six is now called a
>Horn,'' said Baltimore pitcher Mike Flanagan. ''Seven would have been
>a Horn a Plenty. When you make history, you've got to put your name
>on it.''

Yup, a Horn a Plenty, that's what we're all about.  But if 4 whiffs
in a game earns one a golden sombrero (pace Flanagan) and 5 Ks a
platinum sombrero (pace Flanagan again, who shoulda stuck to his
southpaw flings and his mediocre managing and left the lexicography
to the pros), 6 Ks if anything should be worth at least a _Golden_
Horn, thereby earning Sam and all us kinfolk a free trip to Istanbul
for kebabs, eggplant, and baklava.

Also, while admittedly flattered by the attention, I'm also a bit
unclear on just how my distant cousin Sam--now remembered mostly
through the Sons of Sam Horn, a popular forum for Red Sox chat ("A
roller-coaster diary of ecstasy and misery so overwhelming, it would
make even Dostoevsky go weak in the knees and have to steady himself
on the furniture")--"ma[d]e history" for his 6 strikeout game in July
1991 when, as the useful site
makes clear, his feat of striking out 6 times in a game was antedated
by at least five others dating back to 1913, and followed by one.
Sam Horn was perhaps the largest of the perpetrators, though.
Besides, you gotta admit "a golden Horn" sounds a lot classier than
"a golden Weilman".

--Larry "a" Horn "a plenty"

>>  -----Original Message-----
>>  From: American Dialect Society
>>  [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf Of Benjamin Zimmer
>>  Sent: Sunday, July 23, 2006 11:52 AM
>>  Subject: Re: Golden Sombrero (baseball slang)
>>  ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>>  -----------------------
>>  Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
>>  Poster:       Benjamin Zimmer <bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU>
>>  Subject:      Re: Golden Sombrero (baseball slang)
>>  --------------------------------------------------------------
>>  -----------------
>>  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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