What is a golden sombrero in baseball? Everything you need to know

What is a golden sombrero in baseball? Everything you need to know

Ciku Njuguna
November 19, 2023 at 9:31 AM

What is a golden sombrero in baseball? The golden sombrero is often described as one of the rarest achievements in baseball, oddly because no player would want it. However, it is the most common among other types of sombreros, such as the platinum, titanium, diamond, and silver awards. Explore the meaning of the term and its history in the game.

What is a golden sombrero in baseball?
A golden Mexican sombrero pictured on August 13, 2016. Photo by Memo Garcia/VW Pics/Universal Images Group.
Source: Getty Images

What is a sombrero in baseball? Curious fans might expect that awardees receive a glorious golden Mexican hat. This article investigates the meaning of a golden sombrero in baseball, its origin, and how it is viewed in the world of baseball.

What is a golden sombrero in baseball?

The term is used to refer to a player's performance. It is used when a batter or a hitter strikes out four times in one game. Although it is referred to as an award, the golden sombrero in baseball is one of the least desired achievements.

Why do they call it a golden sombrero?

The term originated from the phrase 'hat trick' that is used in hockey or soccer, where a player scores three goals in a single game. It was coined by San Diego Padres' outfielder Carmelo Martinez early in the 1980s. According to reports, Carmelo used the term to tease his teammate, who struck out four times during a match between the San Diego Padres and the Atlanta Braves.

What is a golden sombrero in baseball?
Samurai Japan's infielder, Kaito Kozono, hits a single during a game against Hiroshima Carp at Sokken Stadium on November 12, 2023, in Miyazaki, Japan. Photo by Kiyoshi Ota - Samurai Japan.
Source: Getty Images

On April 14, 1984, the term made its first appearance in the Chicago Tribune. In the article, Chicago Cubs' baseman Leon Durham narrated how he narrowly avoided the golden sombrero during a match against the New York Mets. In the interview with the Chicago Tribune, he expressed relief while explaining what a golden sombrero is in baseball, saying,

"I almost got the golden sombrero. That is when you strike out four times. I only got the regular sombrero."

How many strikeouts are in a golden sombrero?

A strikeout occurs when a hitter or a batter fails to hit the ball on three successive occasions. In such a case, the baseball player gets a regular sombrero. A fourth missed hit earns the player the inglorious award of the golden sombrero.

What is the term golden sombrero mean?
San Diego Padres's Fernando Tatis Jr. celebrates his home run with a celebratory sombrero at Target Field on May 11, 2023, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Photo by David Berding.
Source: Getty Images

Who has the most career golden sombreros?

Which player has the most golden sombreros of all time? Here is a list of baseball players with the most strikeouts at the time of writing.


The last team played for

Golden sombreros

Ryan Howard

Philadelphia Phillies


Chris Davis

Baltimore Orioles


Reggie Jackson

Oakland Athletics


Giancarlo Stanton

New York Yankees


Jim Thome

Baltimore Orioles


Sammy Sosa

Texas Rangers


Richard Allen

Oakland Athletics


Why do they call it a golden sombrero?
Philadelphia Phillies' batter, Kyle Schwarber, reacts after a strikeout against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2023, in Pennsylvania. Photo by Elsa.
Source: Getty Images

Quick facts

Far from a symbol of tradition and festivities, the sombrero in baseball is a comical and odd title that no baseball player wants to have. Here are the most popular fast facts about all types of sombreros in baseball.

What is the meaning of a strikeout in baseball?

According to the MLB glossary, a strikeout is recorded when a pitcher throws three strikes against the batter who fails to make contact with the pitched ball. While the strikeout is highly desirable for pitchers, batters get charged by the umpire after three strikes.

What are 3 strikeouts in a game called?

Three strikeouts have different names in baseball. Most commonly, they are referred to as a sombrero or a hat trick. Other publications refer to the humourous title as a silver sombrero.

Why are 4 strikeouts a golden sombrero?

In baseball, a golden sombrero is a term that is used when a batter strikes out four times. However, the phrase is an unofficial baseball term reserved for fans and players.

Who has the most golden sombreros in MLB history?
Chicago White Sox's Luis Robert Jr. reacts after striking out during a game against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field on August 16, 2023, in Chicago, Illinois. Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo.
Source: Getty Images

What is it called when you strike out 5 times in a game?

A five-strikeout streak is known as a platinum sombrero or the Olympic rings. According to reports, the Olympic rings are quite a rare achievement for pitchers, as only four baseball players have been credited with one. However, the most Olympic rings occurred in 2013 and 2016, when it was recorded eight times.

What are 6 strikeouts in a game called?

Such an occurrence is called a titanium sombrero. It is also referred to as a Horn after former Baltimore Orioles batsman Sam Horn, who missed six times in a 1991 match against the Brewers.

A six-strikeout game rarely occurs, with only eight players recording it since 1913. Most recently, the inglorious feat was achieved by Milwaukee Brewers batter Geoff Jenkins, who whiffed six times in a game against the Los Angeles Angels in 2004.

What is the meaning of golden sombrero?
Philadelphia Phillies' Geoff Jenkins bats during a game against the Washington Nationals on July 30, 2008, at Nationals Park in Washington D.C. Photo by Mitchell Layton.
Source: Getty Images

What is it called when you strike out 7 times in a game?

The diamond sombrero has remained to be one of the rarest sombreros in recent history. In 1981, the first documented seven-strikeout game occurred in one of the longest baseball games ever between the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings. The latest diamond sombrero was recorded after Dusty Robinson whiffed seven balls in a 2013 match between the Stockton Ports and Lake Elsinore Storm.

Why is 4 strikeouts a golden sombrero?
St. Louis Cardinals' Andrew Knizner strikes out against the San Diego Padres at Busch Stadium on August 28, 2023, in St Louis, Missouri. Photo by Dilip Vishwanat.
Source: Getty Images

Final word

What is a golden sombrero in baseball? The golden sombrero is a humourous title bestowed on the unlucky batter or hitter who whiffs four balls.

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Ciku Njuguna photo
Ciku Njuguna
Sports Facts Writer