How someone who is one of only 16 players in history to hit four home runs in one game (in Colavitos case, each time he came to the plate) and was the fifth player in American League history to have eleven consecutive 20-home run seasons (1956–66), exceeding 40 home runs three times and 100 runs batted in six times during that span, and who also also led the AL in home runs, RBI, and slugging average once each; and who, hitting all but three of his 374 career home runs in the AL, ranked behind only Jimmie Foxx (524) and Harmon Killebrew (then at 397) among the league’s right-handed hitters when he retired; who, in 1965, playing every game, became the first outfielder in AL history to complete a season with a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage, and whose 1272 AL games in right field ranked eighth in league history at the end of his career, is not in the Hall of Fame eludes me.
On top of that, in his 1,841-game career, Colavito batted .266 with 374 HRs, 1,159 RBI, 971 runs, 1,730 hits, 283 doubles and 21 triples. As an outfielder, he recorded 3323 putouts, 123 assists, 26 double plays, and committed 70 errors in 3516 total chances for a .980 fielding percentage.
What’s up with that?
I will never forget that game in 1959 when he hit the four homers. The atmosphere was electric as he strode to the plate for the fourth time. Nobody, not even I, the 14-year-old kid listening to the radio in Cleveland, believed he could do it again, but he damn sure did.
Statistics source: Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia