Is grand slam a term you are familiar with? Well, if you have but do not know what it means as a baseball lover, this is the right article to be reading. This article aims to give you a comprehensive insight into the popular question of “what is a grand slam in baseball.” Without much ado, keep reading.
Before we proceed, MLB is a professional baseball organization that goes by Major League Baseball. According to 2022 statistics, there are thirty teams with fifteen in the American League and the rest in National League.
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Grand slam in baseball: Explained
If you are among those asking what a grand slam in baseball is, then we are here to let you know that it is when the batter hits a home run. Some people refer to it as a home run, but we will explain the difference later. In other news, whenever baseball players hit grand slams, they are batting one with the runner players on the first, second, and even third base. In baseball, a grand slam is an ultimate hit.
The reason for this is that in the hr final score notes, it scores four runs. However, because you hear of it everywhere does not mean it is easy to land a grand slam. Even talented baseball players are unable to hit grand slams sometimes in straight games.
How did grand slam in baseball come to be?
This is why there is a wild reaction from fans when a player makes an ultimate grand slam. If we are to go deeper in history, you must know that grand slam as a term originated from those whist-type card games. They are games that were played in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. But then bridge games replaces them.
The term was being used in contract bridge in no time, and it was later adopted into golf sport. When you see it in golf, it refers to winning the four major titles, and from there on, tennis had grand slams for the same achievement. As for baseball, when the home run hit with the bases loaded occurs, it goes by a grand slam.
It means it hit up to four home runs which is the highest feasible in a single or double play. When it comes down to plate output, grand slams are practically the pinnacle of the batter’s career. When the batter hits the grand slam, they get four RBIs, known as Runs Batted In in baseball.
Additionally, they will get credit for about three RBIs, one for themselves and the others for the runners on base already.
What Is The Ultimate Grand Slam
If you are among the true baseball fans, you must have heard about ultimate grand slams, which is related to walk-off in baseball. Well, this grand slam is hit by one of the home team’s members when his team is behind by three runs in the bottom of the extra inning, same inning, ninth inning, or scheduled final inning when the double play opens.
This grand slam will make the home team overcome the 3-run deficit, take the lead, and this ends the game. All of this began in the 1990s when the walk-off grand slam that could erase a three-run deficit was later known as the ultimate grand slam.
Such instances have happened about twenty-nine times in the major league’s history. In simpler terms, when the batter hits a walk-off home run, his team takes the lead, ending the game.
What is a Grand Salami?
While you know answers to the question of what is a grand slam in baseball, note that people refer to the grand salami as a nickname for the grand slam; it is not a wager on grand slams, nor is it the new name for a sandwich. But, it is a bet that happens during major championships in both hockey and baseball. In the grand salami, you will be betting either over or under on the totals line that the sportsbook sets for the entire MLB games in a day.
In other news, you will bet on the total number of runs scored across each baseball game. As for baseball, the job of the online sportsbook is to take a look at the full schedule of all MLB games for the day and sum up the totals. After doing this, they get to adjust the number in order to set the Grand Salami line.
In doing this, they will consider some factors like starting lineups, the weather and even the starting pitchers for every team. More so, they will get to add the recent streak of each team. When the sportsbook does all of this, it is now up to you to make a choice if the combined sum total of runs scored in all games will go under or over the line. Grand Salami bets can be placed on any side.
Grand slam moments in MLB history
As one of the bigger baseball fans, you must have an idea of grand slam history with some players. It must be noted that roughly thirty-one times, a player hit the ultimate grand slam by thirty-one different ballplayers. Note that no player has made it happen twice. More so, Dell Crandall was able to hit his ultimate grand slam during the ninth inning. He was down by three runs, with about two out shot and a complete pitch count.
It will amaze you to note that Lou Gehrig was able to hit 23 career grand slams. This goes down in MLB history as the most recorded by any one player. Moreover, Don Mattingly has set the single season record with his six grand slams. This happened in 1987, and it was the only six he made happen in his full career.
Some say that Roger Connor was the first major league player to ever hit a grand slam. It happened on the 10th of September 1881, when he played for the Troy Trojans. A baseball player has hit a walk-off grand slam on different occasions in major league history.
It happened for a one-run victory, not even the eighth straight playoff victory. It must be noted that there were baseball observers who called it an ultimate grand slam. In the 2005 season, the major league record accounted for one hundred and thirty-two of the 5017 total home run hits.
Grand slam in recent baseball
On the 13th and 14th of June 2006, the popular Minnesota twins successfully recorded the unique yet rare feat of two grand slams. It took place in their consecutive games played earlier against Boston Red Sox. There was also a walk-off grand slam in the 12th inning on that same game day on the 13th by Jason Kubel. In the same year, 2006, Chicago White Sox hit two grand slams in roughly three consecutive games against Houston Astros.
These multiple grand slams occurred on the 23rd, 24th, and 25th of June. Note that two grand slams out of the three grand slams were hit by Tadahito Iguchi, the second baseman. Their team was later known as the first to achieve this feat since 1993 when the Detroit Tigers made it happen. During the 2006 major league season, a major league grand slam record was set by Travis Hafner.
Travis Hafner played for the Cleveland Indians, breaking the record when he hit five grand slams. More so, some weeks later, on the 16th of July, the New York Mets players Carlos Beltran and cliff Floyd also hit grand slams. They hit the grand slams during an 11-run sixth inning. It was the fourth time in National League history.
Notable mentions of grand slams in baseball
- The MLB pitcher to make the first career grand slam since 2018 is Huascar Ynoa of the Atlanta Braves. The hit he made measured four hundred and twenty-seven feet.
- Roger Connor hit the first recorded Grand slam. It occurred on the 10th of September 1881. In fact, his hit was not during the fifth inning but in the ninth inning. This was when two National League teams played against each other; the Troy Trojans and the Worcesters.
- In 2020, Sand Diego Padres recorded the highest number of consecutive Grand slams in a single season. They hit grand slams in four games, one after the other.
- More so, the first team to hit multiple or three grand slams in one game and not three straight games is none other than the New York Yankees on the 25th of August 2011. During this match, the players that did the honors were Russel Martin, Curtis Granderson, and Robinson Cano. This led to an ultimate win of twenty-two to nine points. They played against Oakland A’sA’s.
- In the postseason history, the leader of the Chicago White Sox, Jose Abreu, surrendered grand slams, which amounted to two postseason grand slams in the first six games of that season. Jose is the second player to do this in MLB history. The first was Juan Encarnacion, a player for Florida Marlins.
Players with the most career grand slams
Since having to hit two grand slams or more is the largest offensive weapon in baseball, it will amaze readers to note that only a few amounts of players have been able to make it happen. Grand slams can clear the bases loaded, boost scores, and even send opposing pitchers into dismay with one bat swing. Nevertheless, we will provide you with the players with the most grand slams in their careers.
Interestingly, Alex Rodriguez has twenty-five grand slams to his name. They came off twenty-five different pitchers and not the same pitcher. He successfully crushed all of them against sixteen different opponents. And, he inflicted the most damage at least four times each against the Rays and Orioles. He has hit at least one grand slam every inning, from the first down to the eleventh.
More so, he used a walk-off slam to end three different games and tied with Cy Williams and Vern Stephens to have the most grand slams. Lastly, he hit a grand slam on the last day of the 2009 regular season. Furthermore, he got a satisfying grand slam on the final day of the regular season of 2009.
This was his number eighteen grand slam, his thirtieth homer, and his hundredth RBI. His team won the world series later that fall.
In 1925, Lou did not only take over for Wally Pipp at the first base, but he also belted his first grand slam out of his twenty-three grand slams. Note that his bases loaded blast off practically bounced off the grass at the left center field and landed in the stands.
That move would have been a double ground rule in today’s baseball. Gehrig’s grand slam victims were two well-known Lefty Grove players and Ted Lyons. As he was defending all champions, Lou went on to bash his American League rivals with five slams apiece. And he ended his career with an OPS of 1.175, making him the third-highest player.
When it comes to Ramirez, he falls in the category of few hitters capable of striking fear in the hearts of their opposing pitchers, especially with loaded bases. In major league history, Ramirez could pack thirteen of his career grand slams in his first eight seasons.
He went on to get more than one-third of his slams at Progressive Field. Ramirez gave a minimum of one slam to each inning from the first down to the eight and practically haunted twenty-one different pitchers. People say his most dramatic grand slam was the last one. While coming off the bench for Joe Torre’sTorre’s on the 22nd of July 2009, Ramirez successfully hit a tie-breaking grand slam into the cheering section at the left field.
In 1983, Murray made it clear to reporters that in some situations on the field, a player cannot help but think of how to hit two grand slams or get their second grand slam. With this, he hit up to sixteen of his slams in three different decades.
His two hundred and ninety-nine RBIs with bases loaded is the most in history with an OPS of 1.127, which ranked fourth all-time, just behind Lou Gehrig.
Robin Ventura and Willie McCovey
Willie’s eighteen slams have remained a record amongst players that spent their careers in the National League. And ten of them could cut through the wind at the Candlestick Park. Moreover, Willie knocked a minimum of one grand slam in nine consecutive seasons that ran from 1964 to 1972.
Interestingly, Robin enjoyed a great sixteen-year career playing for his first team, the Majors. He managed to get six Gold Glove awards and two All-Star selections. Nevertheless, over six percent of his two hundred and ninety-four home runs came with packed bases.
His career grand slams were hit in bunches. On the 4th of September 1996, the third baseman got some grand salami in the same innings against the Rangers. About four years later, Robin was in postseason history as the third player to hit a grand slam in the same postseason game of a double header.
Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron & Dave Kingman
For Aaron, he had sixteen slams though one of them was placed at the bottom of the ninth inning on the 12th of July, 1962. This was when he hit a walk off slam four at-bats just after Tommie, his brother hit a pinch hit homer. Nevertheless, Hank Aaron is tied with Babe Ruth on this list as Babe got hit dramatic slam on the 24th of September, 1925.
While the Yankees trailed the White Sox in the bottom of the tenth, Ruth debuted a pitch that was deep in the right field stands. It was one of the ultimate grand slams in the big league. Interestingly, Babe Ruth happens to be the only player to hit slams consecutively on two separate games. He did it in 1927 and 1929.
In addition to this section is Kingman. He got a head start when he hit two homes plus his first slam in the Major league on the 31zt of July, 1971. He got to hit his slams in about five different uniforms. And, his final slam was in 1986 when he was 37.
Recent players with multiple grand slams in baseball
While we are mentioning the players with the most grand slams, there are some players in recent times that have made the list. Some of which are:
Currently, he is in a thirteen years contract with the Yankees and on the same lineup with Aaron Judge. Among the best home run hitters in the league he is one with seven grand slams.
Nelson has been in the league for about fourteen years and this has enabled him to gain up to seven grand slams in baseball. Well, do not be shocked as Nelson is one of the most consistent home run hitters in the league. He has successfully led the American League with forty in 2014 alone.
Manny is twenty-six years old and will be the youngest player on this list of recent players to make the grand slam. He has a three hundred million contract and has eight grand slams to his name.
Although Matt’s performance has dropped in the last few seasons, he managed to prove himself in 2018 when he hit a pinch hit grand slam playing against the Mets.
With ten grand slams to his name, Cano is among the best offensive second baseman in the league since he joined the Yankees in 2005. Many know that Cano hit one of his grand slams on the same night that he got his 1000th RBI in his career.
Edwin has successfully made himself one of the most consistent sluggers in the American league even as he is getting to his mid-thirties. He has eleven grand slams to his name and the most eventful one was when he played against the Los Angeles Angels back in 2017.
With fourteen grand slams in his baseball career, Albert has rated among the greatest hitters in this post-2000 era. He has fourteen grand slams to his name and his six hundredth home run was said to have come with the bases loaded off with Ervin Santana.
Now that you have an idea about players with the most grand slams, it must be noted that only four players have ever hit a major league at-bat during their first appearance in the big league.
In addition, MLB history has recorded that there have been one hundred and twenty-one pinch hit grand slams, with seventy in the National League and fifty-one in the American League.
Difference between Homerun and Grand slam
Are you aware of the difference between a home run and a grand slam? Well, in your quest to learn what is a grand slam in baseball, we will be enlightening you on the difference between both.
While a grand slam is a home run hit with three runners on the base, a home run doesn’t need three runners on the base. But, a typical home run can have nobody present on the base, or they can have about two runners on the path of the base.
Nevertheless, the major difference here is that while the grand slam has about four scoring runs, the home run has between one and three.
More so, the home run and grand slam are the most used terms in a game of baseball.
While the ball will need to cross foul poles and the bases have team players in grand slams, the home run is different. In the home run, the runner has to cover a base as the ball is getting back to the pitcher.
Moreover, a home run gets secured when the ball gets stuck, and baserunners can finish a complete circuit. The home run is sometimes classified, relying on the number of runs that can be scored in a single step.
A solo home run for the single run and two runs go by two run homer. Furthermore, the home run has other names, like the walk-off homer.
In a grand slam, the player needs to have four runs when he hits the grand slam. However, the player only needs one run when he hits the home run.
Regarding the category, a grand slam is not categorized further since it provides a maximum amount of runs. As for the home run, it is split into other categories that are dependent on the runs scored.
The player with the first career grand slam is Roger Connor. And the player with the maximum home runs is Barry Bonds.
Grand slam in other sports
Aside from baseball, other sports make use of the term grand slam. And we will be taking a look at what they mean by it. It goes thus:
To obtain an accomplishment of a grand slam in Table Tennis, the player will need to win the singles event during the Olympics, World Cup, and even World Championship. A table tennis player can attain this feat in their entire career. Moreover, Zhang Jike finished his grand slam when he won the gold in the 2012 Olympics in the men’s singles.
You should know that Jike was the swiftest to attain the grand slam. It took him four hundred and forty-five days between his win in the World Championship in 2011 and his triumph in the London Olympics in 2012. Also, Jan-Ove Waldner became the first and the only non-Chinese player to attain the Grand slam in 1992 table tennis. Zhang Yining is the only player to attain this feat twice in her career.
A driver can accomplish the grand slam in the Grand Prix of Formula 1 when he attains about four milestones. This means he will have begun the race on pole and also successfully win the race. Additionally, the driver will have led every lap and even clock the fastest lap of that particular race. Formula 1 fans will think that Jim Clark attained the Formula 1 grand slam eight times.
Sebastian Vettel was the youngest driver at twenty-four years old to achieve such a feat. It took him one hundred and nineteen days, and it happened during the 2011 Indian Grand Prix. Juan Manuel Fangio was the oldest driver to attain this feat within forty-two days. He was forty-five years old and made it happen in the German Grand Prix of 1956.
A professional wrestler can win the grand slam of Professional Wrestling if he wins four specific championships during his career. The titles are one tag team event and three singles. And the three individual events will have to be primary, secondary, and tertiary. When Shawn Michaels won the European Championship, he used the term grand slam on himself.
He went on to win the Tag Team Championship, the WWF Championship, and the Intercontinental Championship. There are seventeen wrestlers, including the popular ones like Kane, Triple H, and Kurt Angle, that have won the WWE grand slam. And the latest addition is Roman Reigns, who won the title on the 20th of November 2017.
In professional golf, grand slams are an unofficial term for the golfer who wins the four major championships in one year. This golfer must win the US Open, Masters Tournament, PGA Championship, and British Open. While Tiger Woods was close to winning the grand slam in golf, Bobby Jones was the one who achieved it. He won the four major events in 1930: the US Open, Open Championship, British Amateur, and US Amateur.
Tiger Woods didn’t achieve this feat. Though he won the major events within a three hundred and sixty-five day period, his triumphs happened over two and not one calendar year.
NASCAR, the Association for Stock Car Auto Racing, uses the term grand slam when a person wins the Monster Energy NASCAR cup series Majors in one calendar year. Interestingly, this World Series game includes the Winston 500, Daytona 500, Southern 500, and the Coca-Cola 600. However, it goes by small slam if the driver wins any of the three series Majors mentioned above.
Tips for hitting more home runs
Now that you have the complete idea of what is a grand slam in baseball, we have tips for those who want to hit more home runs. And the tips to follow are:
Enhance your swing mechanics
Understand that baseball can be quite difficult, and your first basic must be to hit at a decent average. Once this happens, you can begin making emphasis by hitting for some more power during the game. You will only get power when you get stronger and faster.
Enhance the angle of your launch
By using the correct launch angle, a batter will be able to hit more home runs. With exit speed, getting stronger and faster will assist with ball exit speeds if you have solid contact.
Engage in workouts
For most sports out there, if not all, players must work out at all times. This is because the better the body gets trained for sport, the better production one will get. Training to get stronger, bigger, and faster in baseball will assist you both on the field and on the plate.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Is grand slam rare in baseball?
According to the stats of the 2018 baseball season, the percentage of grand slams hit was only about 1.34%. So you can see hitting a grand slam is very rare.
How many grand slams have been hit in baseball history?
It is hard to accurately say how many grand slams have been hit in baseball history but the current estimate stands at over one hundred. For the best information, you should check out baseball almanac as they keep a detailed number of grand slams hit from 1876 to now.
What other sports have grand slam?
There are multiple sports other than baseball where you can get a grand slam. Some of these sports are table tennis, F1 racing, golf, and pro wrestling. Each of these sports has its own definition of what is grand slam and how you get it.
Who hit the most number of grand slam in baseball?
Alex Rodriguez has hit the most grand slams in baseball history. During his baseball career, he has been credited with hitting 25 grand slams which is way more than Babe Ruth who hit 16 of them.
Baseball is a phenomenal game that adds much entertainment and enjoyment to a person’s life. Moreover, this sport has multiple pitches and hits that make the game worth watching and being crazy over. One of which is grand slams. In baseball grand slams are when the hitter hits a home run while all the bases are loaded. This results in the team gaining four runs at once which sometimes can mean the end of the game or a walk-off in baseball.