Bill Mueller is the only player to ever hit two grand slams in one game from each side of the plate
Baseball sometimes likes to find unlikely people to accomplish its greatest feats. Think of Philip Humber, a journeyman who made only 51 starts across eight years but managed to spin a perfect game against the Mariners in 2012, or the Reds' Scooter Gennett, who had homered just 38 times in 1,754 plate appearances before going deep four times against the Cardinals on June 6, 2017.
Lightning struck in a similar case for Red Sox third baseman Bill Mueller, who turns 46 today. Mueller was a fine switch-hitter for a decade in the Majors who had some famous hits against the legendary Mariano Rivera, but 85 career home runs hardly represented a power threat.
On July 29, 2003, though, Mueller went off against the Rangers. It started simply enough with a solo shot in the top of the third against a young R.A. Dickey:
At the time, the dinger merely made it a 2-1 ballgame with the Rangers still on top. Ho-hum.
Four innings later, though, Mueller stepped up to bat again, this time from the right side of the plate and with the bases loaded against reliever Aaron Fultz. Only 29 of his career long balls came against lefties. And yet:
The grand slam turned a 5-4 nail-biter into a 9-4 explosion.
Mueller had one more surprise in store. As fate would have it, he came up to bat in the very next inning -- with the bases loaded again. Righty Jay Powell was in the game for the Rangers now, sending Mueller back to the left-handed batter's box. Powell got ahead with a strike. That was the only advantage he'd get.
Mueller had the hat trick with three homers. He became one of just 13 players to hit two grand slams in one game. The record that made this game unique, though, was that Mueller hit slams from both sides of the plate. No one had done that before, and no one has done it since.