Today’s random player from The Baseball Project I’m in the Middle of That May or May Not Amount to Anything is Fernando Tatis. Tatis was signed out of the Dominican Republic in 1992 by the Texas Rangers as a 17-year-old and made his debut five years later. He had some good years with the Cardinals but for the most part was pretty average. He did, however, have one spectacular moment.
On April 23, 1998 the Cardinals were in Los Angeles to play the Dodgers in a three game series. The game started innocently enough, with the Dodgers scoring a run in each of the first two innings. But in the top of the third things got out of hand quickly. With Chan-Ho Park on the mound, Darren Bragg led off with a single. Then he plunked Edgar Renteria then Mark McGwire singled to load the bases. Tatis stepped up to the plate and hit a 2-0 pitch into the left field seats for a grand slam and a 4-2 Cardinals lead. After getting an out Park surrendered another homerun – this one to Eli Marrero – then walked Placido Polanco and Joe McEwing. After the Jose Jimenez’s sacrifice was screwed up the bases were loaded. Bragg reached on Eric Karros’ errant toss to first, scoring Polanco and keeping the bases loaded. Renteria singled to score another run and after McGwire flied out to shallow right Tatis came to the plate again with the bases loaded. After working the count full against Park Tatis homered again. It was an 11-run inning for the Cardinals and a baseball first. For the first time in modern Major League history a hitter hit two grand slams in one inning off of the same pitcher.