August 30, 1966: Pete Rose becomes the 12th player in Major League History to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game as the Reds beat the St. Louis Cardinals, 6-4, at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field.
Rose homered batting right handed in the bottom of the first inning with one out off Cardinals lefty starter Al Jackson to give the Reds a 1-0 lead. Rose homered batting left handed off righty Don Dennis in the sixth to give the Reds a 6-1 lead and added a single to make it a three-hit effort. Deron Johnson also homered for the Reds as starting pitcher Sammy Ellis improved his record to 11-15 on the way to a 12-19 season.
The 1966 Reds were the only Reds losing team between the 1960 and 1971 seasons. The 1966 Reds finished the year 76-84 in seventh place, 18 games behind the National League champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
As far as switch hitting home run hitters go, only 11 players had accomplished the feat before Rose. According to baseball-almanac.com, Wally Schang, a catcher, was the first player to do this in a game, having done so for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1916. The first National League player was Augie Galan of the Chicago Cubs in 1937. At the time of Rose’s accomplishment, Mickey Mantle easily held the record for the most times, having hit homers from both sides of the plate in ten different games.
Rose was the fourth player to accomplish the feat more than once. He homered from both sides of the plate again in 1967, on August 2. At the time, it was only the 25th and 26th time a player had done this in any major league game, with Mantle’s ten being included in the 26 times. Now, it seems almost commonplace. In the 43 years since Rose’s second time in 1967, it’s happened 226 times in games. Eddie Murray and Chile Davis both did it 11 times to hold the record; Nick Swisher has also accomplished the feat 10 times. Javier Valentin is the only other Reds player to homer from both sides of the plate in a game, having done so on July 17, 2005.