In with a Bang
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA •
JUNE 25, 1968 – For just the second time a player hit a grand slam home run in his major league debut. Bobby Bonds of the San Francisco Giants did it in his third at bat against the Los Angeles Dodgers on this date in 1968.
The only other player to debut with a grand slam was William Duggelby of the Philadelphia Nationals in 1898. Duggelby did it in first at bat!
Yes, Bobby Bonds was Barry Bonds’ father. Barry’s stats outshine his father’s, but Bobby was no slouch himself. He was a 5-tool player; run, catch, throw, hit and hit for power. His best all-around year was probably 1970 when he hit .302, 26 home runs, 78 runs batted in, which is not phenomenal, but had 134 runs scored and a .375 on base percentage. Five times he hit 30 home runs and stole 30 bases. Five times he had 90 or more RBI. Despite some excellent numbers, Bobby just didn’t seem to quite meet expectations – which were high. His longest stint was with the same team his son plays for – the Giants, but he bounced around a lot; also playing for the Yankees, Angels, White Sox, Rangers Cardinals and Cubs.
Oh, by the way, since 1968, two more players have hit grand slams in their first major league games. Jeremy Hermida did it for the Marlins in his first at bat in 2005, and Kevin Kouzmanoff did it for the Cleveland Indians a few hours after he was called up in September 2006. Kouzmanoff is believed to be the first player to hit a slam on the first pitch he saw in the majors.