In April of 1999, Fernando Tatis hit two grand slams in one inning. Yes, it really happened. If you were too young to remember it was quite the dang thing, let me tell you. Maybe the dangdest thing about it was that Dodgers manager Davey Johnson just left Chan Ho Park in to wear both of ’em in what was an 11-run inning. And you think your boss hates you.
Flash forward twenty years later and Tatis’ son — Padres rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. — now has some April memories of his own thanks to this first big league homer, hit last night against the Dbacks. It came in the sixth inning off of fellow rookie Merrill Kelly, and just like his dad’s first slam off of Park, it was a no-doubter:
The ball went 395 feet or so into the Western Metal Supply building. As a result, Tatis became the second-youngest Padre to go deep, doing so at 20 years and 89 days. Roberto Alomar was four days younger than Tatis when he hit his first dinger, also in April, in 1988.
Tatis 4-for-18 on the young season, but the future is oh so bright.
On Sunday, we learned that while the Nationals would continue to pay their minor leaguers throughout the month of June, their weekly stipend would be lowered by 25 percent, from $400 to $300. In an incredible act of solidarity, Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle and his teammates put out a statement, saying they would be covering the missing $100 from the stipends.
After receiving some criticism, the Nationals reversed course, agreeing to pay their minor leaguers their full $400 weekly stipend.
Doolittle and co. have not withdrawn their generosity. On Wednesday, Doolittle released another statement, saying that he and his major league teammates would continue to offer financial assistance to Nationals minor leaguers through the non-profit organization More Than Baseball.
The full statement:
Washington Nationals players were excited to learn that our minor leaguers will continue receiving their full stipends. We are grateful that efforts have been made to restore their pay during these challenging times.
We remain committed to supporting them. Nationals players are partnering with More Than Baseball to contribute funds that will offer further assistance and financial support to any minor leaguers who were in the Nationals organization as of March 1.
We’ll continue to stand with them as we look forward to resuming our 2020 MLB season.
Kudos to Doolittle and the other Nationals continuing to offer a helping hand in a trying time. The players shouldn’t have to subsidize their employers’ labor expenses, but that is the world we live in today.