The 22-year-old has become a fan favorite since making his Major League debut in 2019, but this is a kid who was always destined to be a star.
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 Career
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 — the 2000 season — but the Cards were defeated by the Mets in the NLCS after taking down the Braves in the NLDS.
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’ 2 Grand Slam Inning
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.
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.
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.
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.