Grand slams are so exciting because of how uncommon they are. During the 2021 season, there were 159 grand slams hit in the Major Leagues. That’s compared to a total of 5,936 home runs. To hit two of them in one game is an impressive feat.
Since 1936, ten players in the American League and three players in the National League have hit two grand slams in one game. Of those 13 players, four of them played for the Boston Red Sox, making them the team with the most players to hit two grand slams. The four Sox to do it are Jim Tabor in 1939, Rudy York in 1946, Nomar Garciaparra in 1999, and Bill Mueller in 2003.
Jim Tabor did it on July 4, 1939, at Shibe Park against the Philadelphia Athletics. His first came in the third inning against A’s starting pitcher George Caster. He did it again only two innings later in the fifth against reliever Lynn Nelson. The Red Sox went on to win that day 18-12. It was Tabor’s rookie season and accounted for two of the 14 home runs he hit that year. Tabor would go on to play for the Red Sox until 1945, finishing his career with the Phillies in 1946 and 1947.
On July 17, 1946, Rudy York cleared the bases twice against pitcher Tex Shirley at Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis as the Red Sox took on the St. Louis Browns. The first grand slam came in the second inning followed by another one in the fifth. The Sox beat the Browns 13-6. York had spent his entire career in Detroit with the Tigers before joining the Red Sox in 1946. He was traded by Boston to the Chicago White Sox in 1947, and finished his career with the A’s in 1948. York played in three World Series, twice with Detroit, in 1940 and winning in 1945, and once with Boston in 1946.
The Red Sox were taking on the Seattle Mariners on May 10, 1999, when Nomar Garciaparra came up in the first inning and hit a grand slam against Mariners pitcher Brett Hinchliffe. Nomar came up again in the eighth inning and did the same thing against pitcher Eric Weaver. The former 1997 AL Rookie of the Year would go on to win the American League batting title that year, batting .357. The Red Sox later lost to the Yankees in the 1999 ALCS, and Nomar was traded in 2004 as the Sox were on their way to their first World Series in 86 years. Nomar retired in 2009 after playing for the Cubs, Dodgers, and Athletics. He is the only player to hit two grand slams in one game at Fenway Park.
Not only did Bill Mueller hit two grand slams on July 29, 2003 in Arlington, TX, as the Red Sox took on the Texas Rangers, he also hit a solo home run in the third inning giving him a three home run game. In the seventh inning, the switch hitting Mueller was batting from the right side when he hit the first grand slam off of pitcher Aaron Fultz, and in the eighth, he was batting from the left side when he hit a grand slam off of pitcher Jay Powell. He is the only player in MLB history to hit a grand slam from both sides of the plate in one game. The Red Sox went on to beat the Rangers 14-7, and Mueller went on to win the American League batting title that season after hitting .326. Mueller won the World Series with the Red Sox in 2004, and finished his career with the Dodgers in 2006.
Next time you’re watching the Sox play, if you see a player hit a grand slam, pay attention to their next at bats. You might just see them hit another one; it’s not as uncommon as you think.