On this date 12 years ago Cardinals third baseman Fernando Tatis accoplished a feat that had never happened before... And that many believe will never happen again.
Playing against the Dodgers in Los Angeles, Tatis hit two grand slams in the same inning -- off the same pitcher -- to help St. Louis to a 12-5.
Tatis had eight RBIs in the frame, which stands as the major league record for a single inning.
The twin long flies came at the expense of Chan Ho Park, who at the time was a pretty decent hurler. Park has a 124-98 career mark with a 4.36 ERA in 17 major league season. He was 13-10 in 1999. While he gave up 11 runs in 2 2/3 innings on that fateful day, he didn't do it alone. Only six of the runs were earned.
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Bill Phillips of the Pittsburgh Alleghenies is the only other pitcher to give up two grand slams in an inning. He did it in his rookie season of 1890 in the process of amassing a 1-9 record with a 7.57 ERA. He was out of baseball for several years after that, staging a comeback in 1895 with Cincinnati. That was also short-lived. Phillips didn't pitch in the majors again until 1899. But he finally found some staying power, playing five straight years before retiring in 1903 with a 70-76 career record and a 4.09 ERA.
While the two grand salami performance will always keep Tatis is the record books, I have to wonder if it wasn't the worst thing that happened in his career.
Tatis went on to play 149 games in 1999 and notched 31 homers. But after the fateful day in Los Angeles, he became pull happy. In the process of trying to pile up the homers, his strikeout totals skyrocketed and his batting average plummeted. With a .253 batting average in 96 games, Tatis struck out 94 times in 2000 and he was dealt to Montreal for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline.