Switch hitting home runs

On July 26, 1950, James “Jim” Russell became the first to switch-hit home runs twice in one game. He also batted three runners in to score. The infielder helped the Brooklyn Dodgers defeat the St. Louis Cardinals 7-5.

Russell was never a big time home run hitter like Babe Ruth or Micky Mantle with a name everyone seemed to know. But, he took this opportunity to help his team out. He also managed to get his name remembered by baseball scholars.  He only hit 67 balls over the outfield wall during his ten year career. The most he ever hit in one season was in 1945 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, he hit 12.  In 1950, the year of his greatest achievement, he totaled 10 home runs.

Russell never went to college, or even finished high school for that matter. He was sucked into working in a mine in his home town, Fayette City, Pennsylvania.  Unfortunately, as a kid he managed to contract rheumatic fever twice, which lead to heart disease. The illness cut his career short, but his switch hitting abilities should not be forgotten.


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