“I can’t believe it happened. I did not expect to hit another one. I’ve never been a home run hitter.” So spoke Fernando Tatis on April 23, 1999 after blasting two grand slam homers in the same inning. He hit them off Chan Ho Park of the Dodgers in the third inning. No one has ever done this. The odds against it are astronomical. After all, how many times does a hitter get up twice in one inning? Once in a while. With the bases loaded? Not often, but the Dominican did, and he took full advantage.
Tatis is right. He was not a prolific homer hitter, averaging 19 dingers over 162 games, while slugging at a .442 clip. He played for 11 years, mostly with the Rangers, Expos, and Cardinals (when he hit the pair of homers). In player similarities, he ranks with the likes of Kelly Gruber, Chris Sabo, Chase Headly, and the legendary Rip Repulski.
Another player hit two grand slams in one game but not the same inning—a pitcher no less—Tony Cloninger of the Braves. And in 1890 two grand slams were hit in the same inning, but by two different batters.
After the next post, the final in the five-post series, I’ll rank the possibility of breaking any one of the five records, putting aside Chapman’s death as I assume no player will ever be killed twice.