Monday, January 30, 2006

January 30th, 1984

Jeremy Hermida Born

As anyone who reads this regularly (or has just stumbled onto one of the entries through Google) knows I'm a big fan of obscure records, two grand slams in one inning, that kind of thing. I like discovering players who have these kinds of records in the course of my research, but what I really like is when someone establishes one of those records and I notice, filing the information away for a future entry.

All of which is a very longwinded way of bringing us to a piece of information you probably heard of last year, but I'm still using it. Prior to Hermida--a pretty good Marlins' prospect by the way--only two men had hit a grand slam in their first Major League game. One was, of all things, a pitcher, Bill Duggleby, who did it for the Phillies in 1898 and Bobby Bonds in 1968. Bonds hit the granny in his third plate appearance but Duggleby did one better and actually hit the slam in his first at-bat ever. (As an aside, Duggleby was not that great of a hitting pitcher, although he did manage to drive in fifty-one runs in an eight year career.)

Hermida though managed to narrow the category down even farther and in doing so set an obscure record that figures to be around at least as long as we are. (Of course now having said that, six or seven people will do it this year to spite me.) Hermida was a September call-up for the Marlins having put up good numbers in Double-A. Losing 10-1 to the Cardinals, but having the bases loaded, manager Jack McKeon decided to use Hermida, who had yet to come to the plate in a Major League game, as a pinch-hitter. Facing Cards' reliever Al Reyes, Hermida went to a 1-1 count and promptly smacked Reyes' next offering over the right field wall for a grand slam.

This would be a marginally better story if Hermida's grand slam prompted a big comeback but, alas, the Marlins lost the game 10-5. Nonetheless, it still gives him one of my much-loved obscure records: first Major League player to hit a grand slam as a pinch hitter in his first Major League game.

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