When pinch-hitter David Bote entered the ninth inning against the Nationals on Sunday night, the rookie did the ultimate, at least in the context of baseball vernacular. With the bases loaded and his team trailing by three, Bote -- who was pinch-hitting and had two outs and two strikes, no less -- catapulted the Cubs to a comeback 4-3 win, sending the Wrigley Field faithful into a frenzy.
There are so many ways and reasons to contextualize Bote's heroics, but here, we'll take a historical approach, examining each of the ultimate grand slams on record. An ultimate grand slam is classified as a player hitting a bases-loaded, walk-off homer when his team enters its final at-bat trailing by three runs. There have been 27 instances on record (since 1925) of a player hitting an "ultimate grand slam," though play-by-play data is incomplete prior to 1974, so some instances might be missing.
David Bote, Cubs: Aug. 12, 2018, vs. Nationals
In a rematch of their postseason series the October prior, the Cubs couldn't muster anything agaisnt Max Scherzer, putting just five runners on base over the first eight innings. Bote, a utlilty infielder whose role has increased with the left shoulder injury to superstar Kris Bryant, worked into a 2-2 count against Nats reliever Ryan Madson, then lifted a well-placed 95-mph four-seamer in the bottom of the zone 442 feet to straightaway center, keeping the Cubs in first place. Bote is one of just three on this list who did the ultimate as a pinch-hitter and with two outs. More >
Steve Pearce, Blue Jays: July 30, 2017, vs. Angels
Down six entering the ninth, Toronto appeared to be toast. But against the Angels' bullpen, each of the Blue Jays' eight batters that frame reached base, capped by Pearce, who skied a 364-foot shot narrowly over the left-field wall at Rogers Centre. It was all the more impressive given that Pearce had hit a walk-off grand slam three days prior against the A's (though that one came with the game tied).
Rajai Davis, Tigers: June 30, 2014, vs. A's
Days before he was selected to his first All-Star Game, Sean Doolittle was spoiled with a blown save by the first-place Tigers and Davis, who laced a liner to left with one out after Nicholas Castellanos, Alex Avila and Austin Jackson reached to load the bases.
Ryan Roberts, D-backs: Sept. 27, 2011, vs. Dodgers
Just before the D-backs were on their way to their first postseason appearance in four years, Roberts lasered a first-pitch fastball off then-Dodgers reliever Javy Guerra with two outs in the 10th inning, becoming just one of three players to do the ultimate in extras.
Brian Bogusevic, Astros: Aug. 16, 2011, vs. Cubs
Bogusevic, a converted outfielder whom Houston drafted as a pitcher, hit just 19 homers over his five-year career, but none was more dramatic than his walk-off slam against Cubs reliever Carlos Marmol. It marked the Astros' lone walk-off homer in 2011.
Travis Hafner, Indians: July 7, 2011, vs. Blue Jays
Hafner hit a moonshot into the right-field stands that sent Indians fans into a frenzy, helping Cleveland maintain a 1 1/2-game lead over Detroit in the American League Central standings.
Brooks Conrad, Braves: May 20, 2010, vs. Reds
Conrad's opposite-field shot off Cincinnati's Francisco Cordero could have gone either way; the ball bounced off Laynce Nix's glove and into the left-field stands for a dramatic walk-off at Turner Field. Conrad stood at first base for a moment, unsure whether the ball was caught or gone. Once it was confirmed, Conrad -- so jubilated after capping a seven-run, ninth-inning comeback for the Braves -- sprinted around the bases to a mob at the plate.
Adam Dunn, Reds: June 30, 2006, vs. Indians
Dunn hit 12 career grand slams, but his bases-loaded deep fly on a steamy summer night in Cincinnati in '06 might top them all. Dunn demolished a two-out shot to the right-field bullpen in front of a packed house of 34,930 at Great American Ball Park. It was Dunn's second walk-off homer of that season for the Reds.
Jason Giambi, Yankees: May 17, 2002, vs. Twins
In his first season with the Yankees, Giambi was on a tear, and in a game that went into the wee hours, he came up huge. In the top of the 14th, the Twins broke a tie by plating three against Sterling Hitchcock, putting major doubt into the Yanks' hopes. But against Mike Trombley, Shane Spencer and Derek Jeter each singled and Bernie Williams walked to position Giambi to crush his ninth homer of the year.
Brian Giles, Pirates: July 28, 2001, vs. Astros
The first Pirates grand slam in PNC Park history was one for the ages. Entering the ninth ahead by six, the Astros were forced to turn to All-Star closer Billy Wagner to escape a with a win that appeared to be foregone. But Wagner hit the first batter he faced, positioning Giles to connect on 1-0 fastball high and in that he lasered out to right.
Chris Hoiles, Orioles: May 17, 1996, vs. Mariners
If the feats included here weren't already rare enough, consider that Hoiles hit his ultimate grand slam in a full count, which likely worked in his favor with the runners going and all the pressure on Mariners reliever Norm Charlton.
Alan Trammell, Tigers: June 21, 1988, vs. Yankees
In one of the many highlights of the Hall of Famer, Trammell rocketed a tap-measure shot into the second deck at Tiger Stadium in what was one of just five grand slams for the 20-year veteran.
Dick Schofield, Angels: Aug. 29, 1986, vs. Tigers
Facing three-time All-Star Willie Hernandez and his wipeout screwball, Schofield said he paced his way to the plate looking to just make contact. He wound up running into one low in the zone that kept carrying into the left-field bleachers.
Phil Bradley, Mariners: April 13, 1985, vs. Twins
In just the fifth game of the '85 season, Bradley -- who went on to earn his only All-Star bid that year -- helped the Mariners to a walk-off win with the second of what would be a career-high 26 deep flies.
Buddy Bell, Rangers: Aug. 31, 1984, vs. Brewers
Bell contributed to one of a career-high seven blown saves in '84 by Brewers pitcher Pete Ladd, who entered the ninth inning that day as Milwaukee's second reliever. After the Rangers loaded the bases with no outs, Mickey Rivers and Gary Ward struck out and flied out, putting Bell in position to bail Texas out.
Bo Diaz, Phillies: April 13, 1983, vs. Mets
In a season that culminated with a National League pennant, the Phillies started the season with one of their most monumental wins early, when the veteran catcher Diaz went deep just after teammate Bill Robinson drew a bases-loaded walk, clearing him for the chance to hit an ultimate slam.
Roger Freed, Cardinals: May 1, 1979, vs. Astros
Freed went on to hang up his cleats in '79, logging just 29 more plate appearances after his ultimate slam on May 1, which he said was "the biggest, most pleasing experience anyone could have in a lifetime. Something like this really makes me feel like a part of the ballclub -- like I'm an asset to the team. You get to feeling like dead weight when you're not contributing in some way."
Ron Lolich, Indians: April 22, 1973, vs. Red Sox
Lolich's big league career didn't last long, parts of just three seasons, and he wasn't necessarily known for his power over his accomplished Minor League career. Lolich, who had entered the game in the seventh as a pinch-hitter, had just four homers in the Majors, but none more dramatic than the one that afternoon at Cleveland Stadium.
Carl Taylor, Cardinals: Aug. 11, 1970, vs. Padres
Taylor narrowly cleared the left-field wall with his 10th and final big league homer, and it came against the pitcher (Padres reliever Ron Herbel), against whome he hit his first career homer. Taylor told The Associated Press after: "It's got to be the biggest thrill I've ever had, because this one won the ballgame. Heck, it's my first grand slam ever, even in Little League."
Tony Taylor, Phillies: Aug. 2, 1970, vs. Giants
A fan favorite in Philly, Taylor might've been one of the more unlikely hitters to join this list, as he was never a power threat. But he remains the only Phillie to hit an ultimate slam, and he did so in the club's final season at Connie Mack Stadium.
Ellis Burton, Cubs: Aug. 31, 1963, vs. Astros
Burton hit just 17 homers during his five seasons, and his ultimate slam came during his best, when he hit 13. Burton's was the only ultimate slam at historic Wrigley Field until Bote's memorable shot.
Danny Kravitz, Pirates: May 11, 1956, vs. Phillies
Playing in his 10th career game to that point, the rookie catcher Kravitz, who had only entered as a pinch-hitter earlier, enjoyed perhaps his most memorable moment when lifting the Pirates to a comeback win over the Phillies that day. Kravitz went on to be Pittsburgh's reserve catcher for parts of five seasons. His ultimate grand slam was also his first career home run.
Del Crandall, Braves: Sept. 11, 1955, vs. Phillies
Crandall was the first on this list to set the urgency bar with two outs. In the second game of a doubleheader, Crandall's Brewers trailed, 5-0, entering the ninth after taking Game 1, and proved to be determined to comeplete the same-day sweep.
Bobby Thomson, Giants: June 15, 1952, vs. Cardinals
Months removed from his historic 'Shot Heard Round The World' homer during the Giants' 1951 World Series title run, Thomson delivered more magic at the Polo Grounds.
Jack Phillips, Pirates: July 8, 1950, vs. Cardinals
As one of just seven on this list to hit an ultimate slam as a pinch-hitter, Phillips entered the game with three career homers to his name, and made the fourth count in a huge way, taking Harry Brecheen deep to left-center. Phillips was then included in the starting lineup the following day and homered again.
Samuel Byrd, Reds: May 23, 1936, vs. Pirates
Byrd hit two home runs in 59 games for the Reds in '36, but his pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam against the Pirates' Cy Blanton with Cincinnati trailing, 3-0, in the bottom of the ninth inning was the most famous of the 38 he hit over an eight-year Major League career. Until Bote's slam on Sunday night, this had been the last instance of a walk-off grand slam with a team trailing by a 3-0 score. Byrd pinch-hit for reliever Don Brennan, and drove a Blanton offering over the left-field wall to lift the Reds to victory.
Babe Ruth, Yankees: Sept. 24, 1925, vs. White Sox
It's fitting in a way that the Great Bambino paced this list with the first ever, in extra innings and in old Yankee Stadium, where this shot is the only one on this list. Of course, at the time of Ruth's heroics that day, there was no formal moniker for the feat.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_. MLB.com's Matt Kelly and Manny Randhawa contributed to this story.