Yesterday Madison Bumgarner hit his second grand slam of the year. That was pretty major, as he became the first pitcher to hit two grand slams in the same season since 1966. That year Tony Cloninger hit two while playing with the Braves. Although Cloninger’s feat was even more impressive: he did it twice in one game.
But that’s not where the history ends. Buster Posey hit a grand slam too. And, according to Elias and many other folks in the business of seeing if weird stuff had ever happened before, it was confirmed: Posey and Bumgarner became first battery to hit a grand slam in the same game in major league history.
One hundred and forty plus years of big league history and we’re still notching firsts. Which, OK, some first are merely functions of us slicing up numbers ever more finely to create feats which aren’t immediately and apparently notable. But grand slams are pretty big things, and a pitcher and catcher doing it in the same game is something even a person might have pointed out as neat a century ago. And here we are, in 2014, and it just happened for the first time.
JaCoby Jones was called up by the Tigers and made his major league debut yesterday. His parents, from Mississippi, had to scramble to get to Detroit to watch their son in action, but it was well worth the scramble: young Mr. Jones had two hits and two RBI as the Tigers won.
Jones’ first hit was an RBI double which broke a tie. It also caused his mom to break into tears:
Baseball is weird. That could be the first hit in an illustrious big league career. It could also be his peak as a major leaguer. Nothing is ever guaranteed. But Jones and his folks have that moment forever.
I used to be pretty anti-wave because I thought it was kind of dumb and that spending effort on it and not on paying direct attention to the game was a failure of priorities. As has been the case with a lot of things in the past two or three years, however, I’ve lightened up about that. As a part of a larger change of heart in which I determined that hating what other people like and which doesn’t cause me or others harm is not generally worth my time, I’ve left the wave alone. I still think it’s rather silly, but if you wanna be silly at the ballpark, go on and do it. You paid your money to be there.
Not everyone feels this way, however. Including some players:
I dunno, man. The Mets had a lead after one inning and never relinquished it. I’m not sure when this wave went down, and I’ll grant that if it came at a super tense part of the game it would be more annoying. But the Mets are playing some great baseball right now and a well-loved player — Curtis Granderson — hit a couple of homers off the bench. Let ’em be happy, Noah.
UPDATE: This is part of a larger “ballpark rules” feature from SNY: