It took 10 years for Derek Jeter to hit his first and only grand slam, but it was memorable
By 2005, Derek Jeter had already accomplished so much in just 10 years. He was a perennial All-Star, had four World Series rings and was well over halfway to 3,000 hits. Yet somehow, he had never hit a single grand slam. That's not to imply that Jeter was bad with the bases loaded -- he had hit .338 with 106 RBI in those situations prior to the 2005 season -- but a home run remained elusive.
That all changed on June 18, 2005 -- just eight days shy of his 31st birthday (he turns 44 on Tuesday). The Yankees had an Interleague series against the Cubs, who were visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time since the 1938 World Series. It was a memorable occasion and a terrific time for Jeter to make some personal history.
The Yankees took a 3-1 lead to the sixth and threatened to put the game away by loading the bases against Glendon Rusch and a young Rich Hill. Joe Borowski entered the game to face Jeter, who was ready to finally put the grand slam drought behind him:
With one mighty smash, Jeter finally had his first slam. He had gone longer than anyone else in the Majors at the time without a slam: 155 plate appearances with the bases loaded. "I thought I'd never hit one," he said after the game.
Such a shot was worthy of congratulations and a curtain call:
It was part of a big day for Jeter, who homered again in the eighth off Cliff Bartosh and tied a career high with five RBIs in an 8-1 Yankees win. And the slam itself turned out to be unique, too: Though Jeter finished with 260 career homers, only that one came with the bases loaded.