July 26, 2011
Tater Trot Tracker
The Rare Inside-the-Park Grand Slam
Monday was the 55th anniversary of one of the most unique feats in Major League Baseball history: a walkoff, inside-the-park grand slam off the bat of Roberto Clemente. It happened in Forbes Field on July 25, 1956, when the Pirates beat the Cubs 9-8. It was the first time in history it had happened, and it has yet to be matched.
What happened at a minor league stadium in Salt Lake City on Sunday night may not be nearly as exciting as the famous Clemente home run, but it is still worth seeing. In the bottom of the first inning, Salt Lake Bee Jeremy Moore came up with the bases loaded and skied a fly ball off Tacoma Raniers starting pitcher Mauricio Robles to leftfield. Leftfielder Carlos Peguero came in on the ball to make the play in the sunny outfield. Unluckily for him, the ball was actually hit to deep left and bounced untouched at the warning track. As his teammates scored, Moore kept running. The centerfielder retrieved the ball and threw it in to the infield. The relay throw came in cleanly, but not until after Moore had slid into home for his inside-the-park grand slam.
From the moment the bat touched the ball until the moment he slid into home, Moore's tater trot was 15.48 seconds. It's a pretty standard time for an inside-the-park trot, but there was nothing standard about this grand slam. The last inside-the-park grand slam in the majors was hit by Randy Winn on the last day of the season in 1999.