On This Date in Sports August 1, 1972: Nate Colbert's Five Homer Day
In collaboration with the Sportsecyclopedia.com
Nate Colbert of the San Diego Padres has a day for the ages, hitting five home runs in a doubleheader sweep of the Atlanta Braves at Fulton County Stadium. Colbert goes 4-for-5 with a pair of dingers and five RBI in the opening 9-0 win. In the nightcap, Colbert goes 3-for-4 with three home runs and 8 RBI as the Padres win 11-7 to complete the sweep. Nate Colbert goes 7-for-9 with five home runs and 13 RBI for the twin bill.
Nate Colbert is the second player in Major League history with five home runs during a doubleheader. On May 2nd at Busch Stadium, Stan Musial of the St. Louis Cardinals was the first player to record five home runs facing the New York Giants. In the opener, Musial went a perfect 4-for-4 with three home runs and six RBI as the Cardinals defeated the Giants 10-6. In the nightcap, Stan the Man went 2-for-4 with a pair of home runs and three RBI. Despite Musial’s big day, the Giants won the second game of the doubleheader 9-7, powered by an eight-run outburst in the fourth inning. For his doubleheader, Stan Musial went 6-for-8 with five home runs and nine RBI over the two games. As the story goes in the stands that day in St. Louis, was an eight-year-old local boy who grew up idolizing Stan Musial. His name was Nate Colbert.
Nate Colbert was born in St. Louis on April 9, 1946. He first reached the big leagues with the Houston Astros in 1966. Colbert would play just 39 games over three seasons with the Astros before being taken by the San Diego Padres in the expansion draft. In San Diego, Colbert became a fan favorite for the early Padres, making it to three All-Star Games while setting the franchise record in home runs with 163, which still stands today.
Before taking the field for his big day in Atlanta, Nate Colbert was not feeling well. He told Manager Don Zimmer his back was aching, and he did not know if he would be able to play. Colbert took batting practice, began hitting home runs, felt looked in, and took the field. In the first inning of the first game, Nate Colbert gave the Padres a quick 3-0 lead with his first home run with Dave Roberts and Larry Stahl on base, both of whom were walked by Atlanta starter Ron Schueler. Colbert singled home Roberts in the third inning to make it 4-0 for San Diego. Colbert also singled in the fourth inning before hitting his second home run off Mike McQueen to make it 7-0. Colbert would strike out in his final at-bat against George Stone in the first game as the Padres won 9-0, with Clay Kirby going the distance for the win.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Nate Colbert started the game with a walk against Braves pitcher Tom Kelley. With the Padres leading 3-0, he came up with the bases loaded in the second inning and hit his first home run of the second game to make it 7-0, with Ed Acosta, Derrel Thomas, and Dave Roberts scoring ahead of Colbert. Nate Colbert would be retired by Pat Jarvis with a ground out to third in the fourth inning but struck again in the seventh inning against Jim Hardin to make it 9-1 in favor of San Diego with Larry Stahl scoring in front of him. Stahl was also on base in the ninth inning when Colbert hit his fifth and final home run off Cecil Upshaw to make the final score of the second game of the doubleheader 11-7, as Ed Acosta earned the win for San Diego.