Saturday, September 06, 2008

Baseball Trivia

Since the football season is about to kick off and crowd out my interest in baseball for a while, I thought I'd post a trivia question that concerns one of my favorite odd baseball statistics. I like the stat because it is a record that, among all records in all of sports, has the least chance of ever being broken despite there being no specific practical reason that it can't be broken.

The trivia question is this:

The record for most grand slams in a career by a major league pitcher is held by six men, all of whom hit two grand slams in their career. One of those six men did it in a special way. What is his name, and what was unusual about his grand slams?

Answer tomorrow.

UPDATE: As t mentioned in comments, the man's name is Tony Cloninger, and on July 3rd, 1966 Cloninger hit two grand slams in a single game for the Atlanta Braves. The reason this record will never be broken is that the likelihood of a pitcher hitting three home runs in a single game is miniscule (pitchers rarely come to the plate more than three times in a game, and they can't hit) and since a single-digit percentage of home runs are grand slams, the likelihood that a pitcher will hit three grand slams in a game in the next hundred years is probably somewhere on the order of 10e-5.

The really wild part about Cloninger is that he actually was on deck with two runners on when the #8 batter struck out to end the game. Had the previous batter walked, Cloninger would have had a shot for a third grand slam. `That's probably as close as any pitcher will ever come to three.

1 comment:

T said...

Tony Cloninger for Atlanta sometime in the mid-late 60s or early 70s (I could google it and find out but I'm too lazy). 2 grand slams in one game. It was on Stump the Schwab a few months ago. I apologize for any spelling mistakes. I love scotch.