Sunday, July 3, 2011

45th Anniversary of Greatest Hitting Peformance by an MLB Pitcher: Tony Cloninger Blasts Two Grand Slams, Gets Nine RBIs During Game

Braves Pitcher Tony Cloninger is best
known for hitting two grand slams in one game.
One of my earliest memory of childhood was something that happened during the July 4th 1966 holiday weekend picnic hosted by Rex Chainbelt, the factory where my father worked.  The picnic was actually held on Sunday, July 3rd.  I had taken a transistor radio to the outing to listen to the Cincinnati Reds play.a doubleheader.  I never missed listening to a game and wasn't about to be distracted by the picnic.. 

What I remember that day though had nothing to do with the Reds, but rather what happened across the country.  Atlanta Braves Pitcher Tony Cloninger hit two grand slams and drove in 9 runs in a game against the San Francisco Giants.   Even at 5 years old, I understood the fact that a pitcher hitting two home runs, indeed two grand slams, was a huge deal.  Cloninger was the first player in National league history to hit two grand slams in one game and, at the time, he was only the second player to ever perform the feat.  Presently only 9 players have hit two grand slams in a game in the entire history of baseball and Cloninger is still the only pitcher to have done it.  I'm sure 100 years from now he still will be the only pitcher to have done it.

Here is a box score of the game.  I have copied and pasted it below though much of the formatting is lost.

Ironically Giants pitcher Ray Sadecki also hit a home run that game.

Now explain to me why the American League has the designated hitter rule?

**********************************************

Baseball Almanac Box Scores

Atlanta Braves 17, San Francisco Giants 3

Game played on Sunday, July 3, 1966 at Candlestick Park

Atlanta Braves ab r h rbi

Alou 1b 3 0 0 0
de la Hoz 3b 2 0 0 0
Jones cf 6 1 3 0
Aaron rf 4 2 1 1
Geiger rf 2 1 1 1
Carty lf 4 3 3 1
Herrnstein lf 1 0 0 0
Torre c 6 2 3 3
Bolling 2b 5 2 2 2
Woodward ss 6 2 4 0
Menke 3b,1b 3 2 0 0
Cloninger p 5 2 3 9

Totals 47 17 20 17

San Francisco Giants ab r h rbi

Alou rf 4 0 1 0
Haller c,1b 3 1 1 1
Mays cf 1 1 0 0
Landrum cf 2 0 0 0
McCovey 1b 1 0 0 0
Dietz c 3 0 0 0
Hart 3b 3 0 1 0
Virgil 3b 1 0 0 0
Gabrielson lf 4 0 1 1
Davenport ss 1 0 0 0
Mason 2b 3 0 0 0
Lanier 2b,ss 4 0 2 0
Gibbon p 0 0 0 0
Priddy p 0 0 0 0
Sadecki p 3 1 1 1
Peterson ph 1 0 0 0

Totals 34 3 7 3

Atlanta 7 1 0 5 1 0 0 1 2 – 17 20 1
San Francisco 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 0 – 3 7 3

Atlanta Braves IP H R ER BB SO
Cloninger W (9-7) 9.0 7 3 3 2 5
Totals 9.0 7 3 3 2 5

San Francisco Giants IP H R ER BB SO
Gibbon L (3-5) 0.2 5 5 5 0 0
Priddy 2.0 4 3 3 2 0
Sadecki 6.1 11 9 5 2 4
Totals 9.0 20 17 13 4 4

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

E–Cloninger (7), Hart (15), Gabrielson (1), Lanier (11). DP–Atlanta 1, San Francisco 1. 2B–Atlanta Woodward 2 (11,off Priddy,off Sadecki); Jones (7,off Sadecki); Geiger (4,off Sadecki). HR–Atlanta Torre (19,1st inning off Gibbon 2 on, 2 out); Cloninger 2 (4,1st inning off Priddy 3 on, 2 out,4th inning off Sadecki 3 on, 2 out); Carty (3,2nd inning off Priddy 0 on, 2 out); Aaron (25,5th inning off Sadecki 0 on, 0 out), San Francisco Sadecki (2,5th inning off Cloninger 0 on, 0 out); Haller (16,8th inning off Cloninger 0 on, 0 out). SF–Bolling (1,off Sadecki). Team LOB–8. Team–6. WP–Cloninger (13), Sadecki (5). U-HP–Doug Harvey, 1B–Harry Wendelstedt, 2B–Shag Crawford, 3B–Ed Vargo. T–2:42. A–27,002.

No comments: