George “Mule” Suttles was a Negro League power hitter who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2006.
In 1929, he had one memorable game against the Memphis Red Sox where he slugged three home runs. He didn’t just do it in one game. He did it all in one inning. What are the odds?
What’s even more intriguing is that another player matched that feat the following year in a Texas minor league game. His real name was Eugene Mercantelli but he went by the name of Gene Rye.
Rye hit 26 home runs for the Waco Cubs of the Texas League in 1930 but three of those occurred in one inning of a single game. His third home run was a grand slam and it had outdistanced the other two to centerfield.
Rye’s major league career lasted just 17 games with the Boston Red Sox in 1931. He was used mostly as a pinch-hitter, injured his knee and never hit a home run in the big leagues.
But for one game in 1930, he certainly swung a mighty bat for one magical inning just like Mule Suttles had done the previous year.