Two Grand Slams in a recreation


Two homer games aren’t particularly rare, but two are Grand Slams in a game? As Robin Ventura put it after hitting a pair of slams for the White Sox on September 4, 1995, “… it’s kind of a freak thing.”

Ventura is one of 13 players in AL / NL history who beat multiple base-loaded things in one game. Here’s a look at the full list, starting with the most recent.

Josh Willingham, Nationals
July 27, 2009, at MIL (fifth and sixth innings)
Almost exactly six years to the day after the previous Two Slam game, Willingham made it in consecutive innings against the Brewers in Milwaukee, going deep in the fifth against starter Jeff Suppan and in the sixth reliever Mark DiFelice. It was a great day in a quiet, solid career for Willingham, who never formed an All-Star team but produced 195 homers and 121 OPS + for five teams over 11 seasons.

Bill Mueller, Red Sox
July 29, 2003, at TEX (seventh and eighth inning)
A year before helping the Red Sox break the Bambino’s curse, Mueller had a career year for Boston, winning a hit title averaging .326 and producing a personal best of 19 homers. Three of them came against Rangers in Arlington on July 29, when Mueller became the first player to hit a Grand Slam from both sides of the plate in one game.

Nomar Garciaparra, Red Sox
May 10, 1999, vs. SEA (first and eighth innings)
After Garciaparra won the 1997 AL Rookie of the Year Award and finished second in the AL MVP Award poll the following year, Garciaparra had another big season in 1999, winning the batting title averaging .357 and producing 27 Homer with a 1,022 OPS. The shortstop reached 10 homers in May, including two Grand Slams and a two-run blast against the Mariners at Fenway Park on May 10. Garciaparra’s performance came a couple of weeks after another two slam game that is a bit more famous.

Fernando Tatis, cardinals
April 23, 1999, at LAD (both in third inning)
Two grand slams in one frame plus a pitcher. Tatis put together an inning for the ages at Dodger Stadium that April evening in 1999, with Los Angeles starter Chan Ho Park plunging deep twice while bags were packed up in the third inning. The feat was not duplicated and will likely never happen again.

Chris Hoiles, Orioles
August 14, 1998, at CLE (third and eighth innings)
Injuries ended Hoiles’ career, but from 1992-98 he only followed Mike Piazza in catcher home runs, reaching 139 in that period.Hoiles made history in his final season, becoming the first catcher and ninth player overall to win multiple Grand Slams defeated a game.

Robin Ventura, White Sox
September 4, 1995, at TEX (fourth and fifth inning)
It had been a little over a quarter of a century since the last two slam game when Ventura did it in 1995. The third baseman ended his career with 18 grand slams, which earned him with Willie McCovey for the fifth most in AL / NL history and comprised more than 6% of his 294 career homers.

Frank Robinson, Orioles
June 26, 1970, at WSA (fifth and sixth innings)
A triple crown winner and the first player to receive MVP awards in both AL and NL, Robinson was no stranger to history. In 1970 he pulled another off and put a pair of clothes in his pockets in a 12-2 win over the Senators in Washington DC

Jim Northrup, Tiger
June 24, 1968, at CLE (fifth and sixth innings)
The 1968 season may have been the pitcher’s year, but it was also the year Northrup became the sixth player to score two Grand Slams in one game. The Tigers outfielder scored one in the fifth and one in the sixth in Detroit’s 14-3 win at Cleveland.

Tony Cloninger, Braves
July 3, 1966, in SF (first and fourth innings)
Cloninger put on a legendary two-way performance against the Giants in Candlestick Park, fired a full game on the hill and made two Grand Slams in a 17-3 Atlanta win. Cloninger was the first National Leaguer and the first pitcher to score multiple Grand Slams in one game.

Jim Gentile, Orioles
May 9, 1961, at MIN (first and second innings)
While Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle made headlines in their race to break Babe Ruth’s home run record in a single season, Gentile had a stellar season of its own for the Orioles. The first baseman hit a career high of 46 homers and led the AL with 141 RBIs – nine of which came in his multi-slam game on May 9 against the Twins at the Metropolitan Stadium. Gentile struck in the cleanup position, hitting Grand Slams in each of the first two innings when the O’s jumped 9-0, then added a sacrificial flight in the eighth.

Rudy York, Red Sox
July 27, 1946, at SLB (second and fifth innings)
The St. Louis Browns went four times against Ted Williams – twice on purpose – right outside York, who took advantage of a 10 RBI day that included two grand slams and a double run. York set a Red Sox single-game RBI record that has since been shared by Norm Zauchin, Fred Lynn and Garciaparra.

Jim Tabor, Red Sox
July 4, 1939, at PHA (third and sixth innings)
Three seasons after hosting the first multi-slam game in AL / NL history, Shibe Park was the location of # 2 when Tabor beat a pair of loaded base homers in a double-headed second game on July 4th Philadelphia A. Tabor, who also went yard in Game 1, used a solo shot in the eighth inning to make it a four-homer, 11-RBI day between the two competitions.

Tony Lazzeri, Yankees
May 24, 1936, at PHA (second and fifth innings)
Lazzeri’s epic performance in 1936 was historic in several ways. After becoming the first player in AL / NL history to score two Grand Slams in a game with base-loaded blasts in the second and fifth games, the Yankees’ second baseman homered again in the seventh and added a triple with two runs in the eighth game AL record with 11 RBIs in a 25-2 New York rout over the A’s in Shibe Park.



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