This is Buzzy's Country Store blog designed to keep you apprised of what's going on at the Store. Buzzy's is a general store located in St. Mary's County, Southern Maryland near Pt. Lookout State Park. Buzzy and Jean Ridgell purchased the Store from Jean's father Harry Raley in 1953. Buzzy operated it until his passing in 2009. His son J. Scott Ridgell is the current owner.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Diamond Jim - Today in Baseball History

From my previous posts about no hitters in baseball, let's slide over to the other end of the baseball spectrum and talk about Grand Slams. 

Trivia question for you - name the first player in MLB history to hit a grand slam in consecutive innings? If you said Orioles' Jim Gentile you got my respect because he did it today back in 1961 (click here for story.)  (Jim's feat was semi-eclipsed by Fernando Tatis of the Cardinals in 1999 when he hit 2 grand slams in one inning.  Tatis did so off the same pitcher Chan Ho Park.  My question is - since the Cardinals obviously batted around to allow Tatis to bat twice that inning, what the hell was Ho Park doing still out there pitching to him the second time around?) 

Back to others who have hit 2 Grand Slams in one game, only 13 players have done so and 3 of them were Orioles.  In addition to Diamond Jim, Frank Robinson and Chris Hoiles achieved the feat. 

Jim's 8 RBI's in that 1961 game were part of his overall season's total of 141 as he finished second to Roger Maris' 142.  However, the Society of American Baseball Researchers discovered later that Maris had incorrectly been credited with an RBI that was scored on an error.  Thus, Maris and Jim officially ended tied up for the RBI lead at 141 each. 

Jim's contract contained an incentive award that gave him $5,000 if he led the league in RBI's.  After the Researchers had documented the mistake which gave Maris the 1 RBI lead over Jim, the Orioles, 50 years later, made good on the contract stipulation and gave Jim his $5,000 award.  Better late than never right? 

Listen here as Jim discusses being with the Dodgers in 1954 and playing in the last game ever played in Ebbets Field before the Dodgers moved to LA.