Tobin was one of the top hitting pitchers of his generation. Like many other pitchers who can hit, Tobin was often used as a pinch hitter. In fact, in 1943, he started a game at 1B and played the entire game. For his career, Tobin hit .230, 17, 102 and finished with a respectable .648 OPS (very good for a pitcher). He also managed to put the ball in play often enough. Only twice in his 9 MLB seasons did Tobin strike out more than 25 % of the time he batted.
Tobin's claim to fame came on this date in 1942. He was pitching for the Bees against the Chicago Cubs. Boston would win the game 6-5 and Tobin would go the distance. Coming into the game, Tobin had hit a home run in his last at bat, which came as a pinch hitter. Tobin would have a game to remember as he hit three home runs, two solo and one two run shot, to lead the team to victory. Eddie Miller and Ernie Lombardi would also go deep for the Bees.
Baseball reference states that Tobin homered in his first three at bats. This, unfortunately, cannot be true. The Braves did not score in each of the first three innings of the game and Tobin had to have at least one at bat during that time. Since he went 3-4 in the game, I have to assume that he made his only out in his first at bat since there is no play by play available. Cubs starting pitcher Jake Moody gave up four of the 5 Cubs HRs, all solo, during his 6 2/3 innings pitched. The Cubs scored a run in the 4th, another in the 5th, two in the 7th and another two in the 8th innings. Based on the most sensible scenario I can make, Lombardi hit his HR in the 4th with Tobin going deep in the 5th. Tobin hit a home run to start off the 7th and with two outs, Miller hit his to chase the starter Moody. The next batter was Nanny Fernandez and he had to draw his walk so the number 5 batter, Phil Masi (replaced Lombardi) could make the last out of the 7th inning. Reliever Hiram Bithorn, the first Puerto Rican born player to appear in the major leagues, stayed on for the 8th inning.
Max West struck out, then Paul Waner walked. After the next batter was retired, the stage was set for Tobin, who laced a two run home run to put the Braves up 6-5. Tobin finished off the Cubs in the 9th inning to get the win. And what a win it was. Tobin gave up just 5 hits (though he surrendered 5 runs, 3 earned) and drove in 4 of the 6 runs with three home runs. No other pitcher in the 20th or 21st centuries has hit 3 home runs in a game. And based off the way pitchers are not trained to hit now, a pitcher will never hit three home runs in a game ever again.