Grand slam (baseball)


Grand slam (baseball)

In the sport of baseball, a grand slam (or just slam for short) is a home run hit with all the bases occupied by baserunners, thereby scoring 4 runs - the most possible on a single play. According to "The Dickson Baseball Dictionary", the term originated in the card game of contract bridge, in which a "grand slam" involves taking all the possible tricks. The word "slam", by itself, is usually connected with a loud sound, particularly of a door being closed with excess force; thus, "slamming the door" on one's opponent(s). The term was extended to various sports, such as golf and tennis, for winning all the major tournaments. It is even used in restaurants, for example a "grand slam breakfast" consisting of samplings of all the most common dishes. Word-playing sportscasters have also coined the popular (and etymologically unrelated) variation, "grand salami".

Lou Gehrig hit 23 career grand slam home runs, the most by any player in Major League Baseball history. Don Mattingly set the single-season record with 6 grand slams in by|1987 - remarkably, the only 6 of his entire 14-year career; Travis Hafner tied the single-season record in by|2006. Roger Connor is believed to have been the first major league player to hit a grand slam, on September 10, by|1881 for the Troy Trojans, although Charlie Gould hit one for the Boston Red Stockings in the National Association on September 5, by|1871 [cite web|url=http://www.baseballlibrary.com/chronology/byyear.php?year=1871#September|title=The Chronology - 1871|last=Charlton|first=James|accessdate=2007-10-29|publisher=BaseballLibrary.com] (the National Association is not recognized by Major League Baseball as a major league).

On several occasions in major league history, the first being Connor's 1881 home run, a player has hit a walk-off grand slam for a one-run victory; some baseball observers call this an "ultimate grand slam".cite web|url=http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/news/2002/05/17/ultimate_grand_slams |title=Ultimate Grand Slams|publisher=SI.com|date=2002-05-18|accessdate=2002-07-30]

In the by|2005 major league season, grand slams accounted for 132 of the 5017 total home runs hit (2.6 %). On June 13 and 14, by|2006, the Minnesota Twins recorded the rare feat of two grand slams in consecutive games against the Boston Red Sox, including a walk off grand slam by Jason Kubel in the 12th inning on the 13th. Also in 2006, the Chicago White Sox hit grand slams in three consecutive games against the Houston Astros on June 23, June 24, and June 25. Two of the three grand slams were hit by second baseman Tadahito Iguchi. They became the first team to accomplish this feat since the Detroit Tigers did it in by|1993. In 2007, the Kansas City Royals surrendered grand slams in three straight games, two against the Baltimore Orioles and one against the Detroit Tigers, from April 13 to April 16, by|2007.

In the 2006 major league season, Travis Hafner of the Cleveland Indians set a major league record by hitting five grand slams prior to the All-Star Break. Weeks later on July 16, Carlos Beltran and Cliff Floyd of the New York Mets hit grand slams during an 11-run 6th inning in a game against the Chicago Cubs, the eighth time two grand slams have been hit in a single inning (the fourth time in National League history). Hafner's sixth grand slam on August 13 tied Mattingly's record for most in a season.

In Japan's professional league, the feat of multiple grand slams in a single inning by a team has been accomplished three times; most recently on April 1, by|2007 by José Fernández and Takeshi Yamasaki of the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. The Daiei Hawks accomplished the feat in 1999. [cite web|url=http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/sports/20070402TDY24002.htm|title=Hawks pound Shimizu, Marines|accessdate=2007-04-02]

Three players have hit grand slams at their first at-bat: Bill Duggleby (1898), Jeremy Hermida (2005), and Kevin Kouzmanoff (2006). Kouzmanoff was the first and only to hit a grand slam off of the first pitch, while Hermida's grand slam was in a pinch-hit at bat.

Tony Cloninger became the first (and, so far, only) pitcher to hit two grand slams in one game, for the Atlanta Braves in a 1966 contest against the San Francisco Giants.

The only major leaguer to hit two grand slams in one inning is Fernando Tatis of the St. Louis Cardinals, who did so on April 23, by|1999 in a road game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, with both grand slams coming off Chan Ho Park in the third inning. Tatis was only the second National League player to hit 2 grand slams in one game, joining Tony Cloninger, a pitcher for the Atlanta Braves. Park was only the second pitcher in major league history to give up two grand slams in one inning; Bill Phillips of the Pittsburgh Pirates did it on August 16, by|1890, but Park was the first to give up both to the same batter. Tatis had never hit a grand slam before in his career.

World Series

Follow the linked year on the far left for detailed information on that series.

Career grand slam leaders

Players in Bold are currently active (as of by|2008).

*Lou Gehrig - 23 (all with New York Yankees)
*Manny Ramírez - 21
*Eddie Murray - 19
*Willie McCovey - 18 (National League record)
*Robin Ventura - 18
*Jimmie Foxx - 17
*Alex Rodriguez - 17
*Ted Williams - 17
*Hank Aaron - 16
*Ken Griffey, Jr. - 16
*Dave Kingman - 16
*Babe Ruth - 16

ee also

*Major league players who have hit two grand slams in one game

References

*Ryczek, William J. (1992). "Blackguards and Red Stockings; A History of Baseball's National Association 1871-1875". Wallingford, CT: Colebrook Press. ISBN 0-9673718-0-5
*Orem, Preston D. (1961). "Baseball (1845-1881) From the Newspaper Accounts". Altadena, CA: Self-published.


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