Baseball is a game full of once-in-a-life moments. From no-hitters to a golden sombrero, there is always someone making history for either a good or bad reason. One accomplishment that is rare to see during a baseball game is a grand slam. Here is the complete breakdown of what a grand slam is, how rare it is, who has the most, and more!
How Does a Grand Slam Work in Baseball?
A grand slam happens when a home run occurs with runners on first, second, and third. By hitting a home run with the bases loaded, the offensive team scores four runs on one swing since the hitter at the home plate also scores. The hitter who hits the home run with three runners on base receives 4 RBI’s during that one successful at-bat.
A grand slam can be from a traditional home run over the fence to hitting an inside-the-park home run.
How Many Inside the Park Grand Slams are There?
According to Baseballcounter, there have been 224 inside the park grand slams in MLB history. However, back in the day, ballparks were much more extensive than today’s current stadium. That means getting an inside-the-park home run today requires a few things. Some of the items include being a fast runner, hitting the ball in a spot where the outfielder is not, and a little bit of luck with a weird bounce off a wall.
What’s the Difference Between a Grand Slam and a Homerun?
A grand slam is a home run hit with three runners on base, while a home run can’t have three runners on. However, a regular home run could have nobody on base or up to two runners on the base paths. The main difference is that a grand slam has four scoring runs, while a home run can have between one and three.
How Rare is a Major League Baseball Grand Slam?
A grand slam took place 141 times in 2018, with 75 coming from the American League and 66 from the National League. Meanwhile, there was a total of 5,585 home runs hit in 2018 as a total. That means that a grand slam took place 1.34% of the time when a homer occurred during that 2018 season.
There are two reasons why a grand slam is rare. First, the offense needs to load up the bases, which is difficult in itself. Second, the MLB hitter needs to connect on a pitch to hit a home run, which becomes difficult due to the pressure of the situation.
Has Anyone Hit Two Grand Slams in a Game?
A total of 13 players have hit two grand slams during one game as of October 2021. Here is that list of the top 7 players from the most recent.
- Josh Willingham (Washington Nationals) in 2009
- Bill Mueller (Boston Red Sox) in 2003. Also, Bill Mueller is the only player to hit two grand slams from the left and right sides of the plate.
- Nomar Garciaparra (Boston Red Sox) in 1999
- Fernando Tatis (St. Louis Cardinals) in 1999
- Chris Hoiles (Baltimore Orioles) in 1998
- Robin Ventura (Chicago White Sox) in 1995
- Frank Robinson (Baltimore Orioles) in 1970
Has There Ever Been 3 Grand Slams in One Game?
The New York Yankees in 2011 hit three grand slams at Yankee Stadium against the Oakland Athletics. The combination of three grand slams came from Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, and Curtis Granderson. The Yankees won that game 22-9.
What are the Most Grand Slams in Baseball on a Single Day?
On June 3, 2017, seven grand slams took place across the American and National league. The teams to hit a grand slam were the Seattle Mariners, Los Angeles Angels, Colorado Rockies, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers.
Has Any Team hit Two Grand Slams During the Postseason?
During the 2021 ALCS (October 16, 2021, via game 2), the Boston Red Sox hit two grand slams against the Houston Astros. The first grand slam took place in the first inning from J.D. Martinez, while the second took place in the second inning with Rafael Devers. During game three, the Red Sox hit another grand slam with Kyle Schwarber, making it back-to-back games with at least one grand slam and becoming the first team in postseason history to hit three.
Who Has the Most Regular Season Career Grand Slams in Baseball?
As of October 2021, Alex Rodriguez holds the league record for most career grand slams, 25. Here is a list of the top 7 leaders with the most grand slams. If you want the complete list, you can visit mlb.com.
- Alex Rodriguez: 25
- Lou Gehrig: 23
- Manny Ramirez: 21
- Eddie Murray: 19
- Robin Ventura and Willie McCovey: 18
- Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, and Carlos Lee: 17
- Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, and Dave Kingman: 16
Who Has the Most Grand Slams in One Season?
Both Don Mattingly (1987) and Travis Hafner (2006) hold the single-season record for six grand slams in one season.
Has Anyone Hit a Walk-Off Grand Slam to Win the World Series?
There has been no player to hit a grand slam to win a world series as of October 2021. However, there have been 18 occurrences of a grand slam during a World Series game. Check out the complete list of grand slam hits during the World Series on ESPN.
Conclusion: What is a Grand Slam in Baseball?
In summary, a grand slam in baseball is an extraordinary occurrence if you can see it live. For reference, a grand slam took place 1.34% of the time a home run was hit in 2018, making it rare. Hitting a grand slam is an automatic four runs batted in with one swing of the bat, which can dramatically change the game’s momentum for one team.