Tuesday, July 11, 2006

July 11th, 1999

A's at Diamondbacks

During radio broadcasts of Yankee games this season, they run a pair of--truth be told, fairly goofy--promotions: the "Triple Play Third" and "Grand Slam Inning" (usually the fifth). If the Yankees turn a triple play in the third, a lucky listener wins not only $10,000 but also a "Triple Play" of Time Warner cable packages. The Grand Slam Inning meanwhile, requires the Yankees to not only hit a grand slam but also for the fourth batter of the inning to do it. Should this happen the chosen listener wins a new Toyota. Not surprisingly, given the rarity of triple plays in general, and fourth batter grand slams in the fifth inning, neither grand prize has even been awarded.

That's not to say contests of this nature never pay out, as today's game proves. At the time, the Diamondbacks had a promotion that a fan would pick a player and an inning and if said player hit a grand slam in said inning, the fan would win a million dollars. Despite the presence of noted sluggers like Matt Williams (378 career home runs), Luis Gonzalez (323 career homers to date, including one year of fifty-seven) and Steve Finley (302 career homers to date), Gylene Hoyle selected Jay Bell, he of 195 career r0und-trippers and the sixth inning.

Well, you can probably see where this is going. Bell came to bat in the sixth inning with the bases loaded and--wonders never cease--drove a Jimmy Haynes offering over the wall for a grand slam. Hoyle had won her million dollars while Bell had given his team a 7-3 lead. The D-Backs would go on to win the game 7-4, which probably only raised Hoyle's sprits higher, but one imagines the highlights for all involved was Jay Bell and his Million Dollar Grand Slam.

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