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Fernando Tatis Sr.’s 2-Grand Slam Inning is Vintage 1990s Baseball Heaven
Screenshot from YouTube

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has taken MLB by storm, quickly rising to superstar status while showcasing his skills as a five-tool talent.

The 22-year-old has become a fan favorite since making his Major League debut in 2019, but this kid was always destined to be a star. Don’t believe us? Check his 23andMe; you’ll see he’s got baseball in his blood.

Much of Tatis’ natural baseball ability can be attributed to his father Fernando Tatis Sr. — a professional baseball player in his own right, and now Tatis Jr.’s biggest fan.

Fernando Tatis Sr.’s Solid Career in the 1990s

Fernando Tatis of the St. Louis Cardinals swings at the ball during the game against the Colorado Rockies
Photo by Brian Bahr / Allsport via Getty Images

Fernando Tatis Jr. is the son of 11-year MLB veteran Fernando Tatis Sr.

Throughout his career, Senior split time with the Texas Rangers, St. Louis Cardinals, Montreal Expos, Baltimore Orioles and the New York Mets. He played third base, first base and left field during his time in the big leagues.

The best season of Tatis’ career was with the Cards in 1999, when he launched 34 home runs, racked up 107 RBIs, stole 21 bases and logged 128 strikeouts. He made the playoffs just once in his career during the 2000 season. And while the Mets defeated the Cards in the NLCS after St. Louis took down the Braves in the NLDS, Tatis is still remembered as a solid player from that era. And that’s saying something when you remember who was hot during the late ’90s and early 2000s.

While Fernando Tatis Sr. is perhaps now best known for being the father to his elite son, his most memorable baseball moment occurred back in 1999.

Fernando Tatis’ Record-Setting Double Grand Slam Inning

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As a member of the St. Louis Cardinals, Tatis Sr. was in the lineup at for a Friday night game at Dodger Stadium against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Trailing 2-0 in the third inning, the Cardinals loaded the bases for Tatis, who unloaded on a fastball for a mammoth home run over the bullpen in left-center field for the grand slam. Joe Buck, who was on the call for the game, described the blast as being “Mark McGwire distance.”

That wasn’t all the damage Tatis would inflict upon pitcher Chan Ho Park and the Dodgers that game, or even that inning.

The Cardinals hitters managed to bat around in the inning, bringing the third baseman back up to the plate and in a bases-loaded situation once gain. On a full count, Tatis managed to rip one out over the wall in center field for his second grand slam of the inning and a place in the baseball record books.

It was the first time in MLB history that a player hit two grand slams in the same inning, and it’s a feat that has not been accomplished since. Not even the trash can-wielding Houston Astros were able to achieve the remarkable exploit.

The two grand slams helped the Cards grab a 12-5 victory and gave Jose Jimenez, who started the game on the mound for St. Louis, a very comfortable lead and a win in the box score.

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Prior to Tatis’ slam, only a few teams had ever hit two grand slams in the same inning, including the Baltimore Orioles, Milwaukee Brewers and Minnesota Twins. It’s extremely rare for a player to find himself in the situation Tatis did.

In MLB history, only nine players have gone up to the plate with the bases loaded after already having hit a grand slam. Of those players, only Tatis hit another big shot. The most recent players to do it were Seattle Mariners’ Raul Ibanez and Philadelphia Phillies’ Bobby Abreu.

Ibanez managed to hit a single against the Minnesota Twins, and Abreu hit a sacrifice fly in his game against the Chicago Cubs.

Like Father, Like Son

Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres looks on before the game between the Atlanta Braves and the San Diego Padres
Photo by Rob Leiter/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Fast forward to April 23, 2021, and Fernando Tatis Jr. was seemingly following in his father’s footsteps.

The young shortstop belted two home runs against the Dodgers, off starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, on the 22nd anniversary of his father’s legendary game.

When witnessing moments like this, it’s impossible not to be romantic about the game of baseball.

Who knows, maybe at some point in the future Tatis’ younger son Elijah will hit a home run against the Dodgers on April 23. Elijah is currently a prospect within the Chicago White Sox farm system, though he isn’t nearly as highly rated as his big bro.

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But then again, perhaps it’s unfair to judge anyone against Tatis Jr, who also had moments where he was overlooked and underestimated. Lest we forget, the Chicago White Sox traded Fernando Tatis, Jr. for pitcher James Shields. That’s the same James Shields known for giving up a home run to Bartolo Colon.

We all make mistakes, but one thing is for certain: Don’t make a mistake when pitching to a member of the Tatis family. They will make you pay and leave you in the history books as an interesting footnote.

MORE: Griffeys Make Father-Son History, Slug Back-to-Back Home Runs

Karl Rasmussen is a sports writer living in Brooklyn, NY. He studied journalism at the University of Oregon and is an avid fan of the Oregon Ducks, Portland Trail Blazers, New York Yankees and New York Jets.
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