What is a Golden Sombrero in Baseball? (Explained)

A. Coatess

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A. Coatess



Sean Hunter

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During a bad game, you might hear fans say a batter got the “golden sombrero.” What is a golden sombrero in baseball?

Being awarded a golden sombrero in baseball means that a batter had four strikeouts in one game.

It is not always the most glamorous thing to receive when you play a match, but it is quite an interesting topic to explore!

What is the Golden Sombrero?


A strikeout refers to a batter’s three strikes. During the game, this would be recorded for the pitchers and batters and is written as K on the scoreboards.

When a batter hits 4 strikeouts in a game, he is called out, and people would award him the baseball golden sombrero.

However, you would not see players wear a sombrero during games. This is just one of those silly names people like to call batters who have a rough day.

Baseball’s Infamous Golden Sombrero Came From…

If players do not really wear silly hats, where did sombreros originate from?

The unusual term came from a famous hockey hat trick in which a player scores three goals per game.

In hockey, it is very difficult to achieve this! So when someone does score three goals, fans would throw their hats onto the ice and cheer for the winning team.

The sombrero meaning in Spanish is “a hat,” and so if three strikeouts equal a sombrero, a batter with four strikeouts in an inning will be awarded the golden sombrero, and it may not be their best day in the game.

The word was first coined and used back in the 1980s when the Chicago Cubs baseman Leon Durham mentioned that he would have got a golden sombrero had he not been saved by a triple.

Baseball Athletes With the Most Golden Sombreros

It may appear that the golden sombrero is a thing only for amateur players. You are mistaken, as MLB golden sombrero players are quite notable in the history of this baseball league!

Strikeouts have been quite common in recent MLB games. It increased by 40% from 2005 to 2019. And, in 2019, 254 golden sombreros were recorded in the major league.

The record for most four-strikeout games was given to Ryan Howard of the Philadelphia Phillies, with a whopping record of 27 matches, though the most strikeouts by a batter in a game belong to Khalil Lee, ‘scoring’ eight Ks in one game.

Here is a compilation of MLB players with the most golden sombrero games:


Name of Player Number of Games with Four Strikeouts
Ryan Howard (first baseman) 27
Chris Davis (first baseman) 26
Reggie Jackson (right fielder) 23
Giancarlo Stanton (designated hitter/corner outfielder) 22
Jim Thome (first baseman/designated hitter/ third baseman) 20

Other Strikeouts in Baseball


There exists a very precise slang for every strikeout possible in baseball. First, there is the 3 strikeouts in a game called a hat trick.

Then, there is the golden sombrero, which is awarded when a player gets 4 of these strikeouts.

Four strikeouts in one inning happen when a batter, with two strikes already, swings for a third strike. But, the catcher fails to field the ball and the hitter reaches first base. In this scenario, there is a strikeout but no out.

Next up, 5 strikeouts in a game are dubbed the platinum sombrero. Some would also call it the Olympic Rings.

Six strikeouts are quite rare, but they may happen. Some silly names this feat has are the titanium sombrero and the double platinum sombrero or a horn. The last one came about after Baltimore Orioles player Sam Horn committed six strikeouts in 1991. His teammate was the one who named it after him!

But what about seven strikeouts? There is nothing specific for what 7 strikeouts in a game called. However, it is possible, and when it does happen, it may be very difficult for the player involved to avoid embarrassment.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why is it called a golden sombrero in baseball?

Four strikeouts are called the golden sombrero because of the game hockey. The hat trick in hockey happens when a player scores three goals. Eventually, the slang designated the adjective “golden” applied to players who made a strikeout for the fourth time.

Who has the most strikeouts in a single game?

Kenny Wood and Roger Clemens had the most strikeouts in MLB history, recording 20 of these in a 9-inning game back in the 90s. Next to them were Sandy Koufax and Bob Feller with 18 strikeouts.

Who had the most golden sombreros and platinum sombreros in baseball?

It was recorded that the “king” of golden sombreros is Ryan Howard, who had 27 games with 4 strikeouts. The player with the most platinum sombrero is Sammy Sosa, claiming 4 of these.

Why are strikeouts more common in baseball now?

Strikeouts are a lot more common in baseball now than before. First, it may be because pitchers have a higher average fastball velocity in their throw. In 2022, it was as high as 93.9 MPH, and this trend seemed to have made it more difficult for batters to hit the balls.

Moreover, breaking balls are more common in pitching. These are pitches that do not travel in a predictable manner and are generally harder to deal with for catchers.


What is a golden sombrero in baseball? This is a fun slang given to players who had four strikeouts in one game.

The term was adapted from hockey’s hat trick and was later on developed and modified to the strikeout nicknames we hear today.

There are even nicknames for 3, 5, and even 6 strikeouts. Unfortunately, too many strikeouts in a game can tarnish the reputation of the batter, but a little bit of practice and determination can indeed help them redeem their standing in the sport.

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