MLB

Two Grand Slams in a game

Two-homer games aren’t especially rare, but two grand slams in one game? As Robin Ventura put it after hitting a pair of slams for the White Sox on Sept. 4, 1995, “… it’s kind of a freak thing.”

Ventura is one of 13 players in AL/NL history who have slugged multiple bases-loaded dingers in a 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)
Nearly six years to the day after the previous two-slam game, Willingham pulled it off in back-to-back innings against the Brewers in Milwaukee, going deep against starter Jeff Suppan in the fifth and reliever Mark DiFelice in the sixth. It was a banner day in a quietly solid career for Willingham, who never made an All-Star team but produced 195 homers and a 121 OPS+ for five teams over 11 seasons.

Bill Mueller, Red Sox
July 29, 2003, at TEX (seventh and eighth innings)
One year before helping the Red Sox break the Curse of the Bambino, Mueller had a career year for Boston, winning a batting title with a .326 average and producing a personal-best 19 homers. Three of them came on July 29 against the Rangers in Arlington, as 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 winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award in 1997 and finishing second in the AL MVP Award voting the following year, Garciaparra had another huge season in 1999, winning the batting title with a .357 average and producing 27 homers with a 1.022 OPS. The shortstop hit 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, one that’s a tad bit more famous.

Fernando Tatis, Cardinals
April 23, 1999, at LAD (Both in third inning)
Two grand slams in one frame, and off one pitcher to boot. Tatis put together an inning for the ages at Dodger Stadium on this April night in 1999, taking Los Angeles starter Chan Ho Park deep twice with the bags packed in the top of the third inning. The feat hasn’t been duplicated, and it likely will never happen again.

Chris Hoiles, Orioles
Aug. 14, 1998, at CLE (third and eighth innings)
Injuries cut Hoiles’ career short, but from 1992-98, he trailed only Mike Piazza in home runs among catchers, hitting 139 in that span. Hoiles made history in his final season, becoming the first catcher and ninth player overall to swat multiple grand slams in a game.

Robin Ventura, White Sox
Sept. 4, 1995, at TEX (fourth and fifth innings)
It had been a little over a quarter-century since the last two-slam game when Ventura did it in 1995. The third baseman finished his career with 18 grand slams, which tied 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 earn an MVP Award in both the AL and NL, Robinson was no stranger to history-making feats. He pulled off another in 1970, socking a pair of dingers with the bags packed in a 12-2 win over the Senators in Washington D.C.

Jim Northrup, Tigers
June 24, 1968, at CLE (fifth and sixth innings)
The 1968 season may have been the Year of the Pitcher, but it was also the year Northrup became the sixth player to hit two grand slams in a game. The Tigers outfielder hit one in the fifth and one in the sixth in Detroit’s 14-3 win in Cleveland.

Tony Cloninger, Braves
July 3, 1966, at SF (first and fourth innings)
Cloninger turned in a legendary two-way performance against the Giants at Candlestick Park, firing a complete game on the mound and helping himself with two grand slams in a 17-3 Atlanta victory. Cloninger became the first National Leaguer and the first pitcher to hit multiple grand slams in a game.

Jim Gentile, Orioles
May 9, 1961, at MIN (first and second innings)
While Yankees teammates Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle were stealing headlines with their race to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, Gentile was having an outstanding season of his own for the Orioles. The first baseman hit a career-high 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 Metropolitan Stadium. Batting in the cleanup spot, Gentile hit grand slams in each of the first two innings as the O’s jumped out to a 9-0 lead, then added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.

Rudy York, Red Sox
July 27, 1946, at SLB (second and fifth innings)
The St. Louis Browns walked Ted Williams four times — twice intentionally — directly in front of York, who took advantage with a 10-RBI day that included two grand slams and a two-run double. With that, York set a Red Sox single-game RBI record that since has been tied by Norm Zauchin, Fred Lynn and Garciaparra.

Jim Tabor, Red Sox
July 4, 1939, at PHA (third and sixth innings)
Three seasons after playing host to the first multi-slam game in AL/NL history, Shibe Park was the setting for No. 2, as Tabor slugged a pair of homers with the bases loaded in the second game of a Fourth of July doubleheader against the Philadelphia A’s. Tabor, who also went yard in Game 1, tacked on a solo shot in the eighth inning to make it a four-homer, 11-RBI day between the two contests.

Tony Lazzeri, Yankees
May 24, 1936, at PHA (second and fifth innings)
Lazzeri’s epic performance in 1936 was historic in more ways than one. After becoming the first player in AL/NL history to hit two grand slams in a game with bases-loaded blasts in the second and fifth, the Yankees second baseman homered again in the seventh and added a two-run triple in the eighth, setting an AL record with 11 RBIs in a 25-2 New York rout over the A’s at Shibe Park.


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