Earlier news stories have reported that Ted Williams, the former all-star slugger for the Boston Red Sox, set the state record in 1936 with two homers in one inning. A web search turned up the 2005 book, "The Kid: Ted Williams in San Diego," edited by Bill Nowlin, that confirms Williams' achievement. A story on Degnan at CalHiSports.com says five other high school players have matched Williams' record. Degnan has tied a national record, one that's never been set in college or the major leagues, the story said.
Brad's homers "were clean and gone," his mother Jeannine Degnan said in a phone interview the next day. "I'm so proud of him right now I can't even believe it." She and her husband were at the game, as were other family members.
Degnan, at 6 feet and 190 pounds, plays center field and is the team leader, said Wildcats' Head Coach Tim Faulkner. "He's played every inning of every game for the last three years," he said. And his three home runs? "I've never seen anything like it, ever. It's rare enough that you see 19 runs in one inning." The Wildcats won 24-6.
"Brad is so down to earth and very calm," his mother said. "He knows that he's good, but he's not cocky about it."
Asked about eclipsing Ted Williams, Degnan was awed: "It's amazing to think about what a great ballplayer he is, that I actually had the talent to beat his record. I'm just beside myself," he said in an interview. "The baseball gods were with me."
Before the game, he was hitting a very respectable .500 — meaning that about half the time, he does not connect with the ball for a hit. "What I love about it is that it's a game of failure," he said. "When you succeed, it's like beating the odds."
Asked about his training habits, he said that he gives 100 percent in everything he does. What does he think about at the plate? "I try not to think about anything, just let my mechanics and muscle memory take care of everything."
In the field, "I want the ball to be hit to me," he said. "I love making plays and being on the spot and working my hardest and making a phenomenal play and getting recognized."
He is considering college at Sacramento State, he said.