clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Looking at Lou Gehrig's Grand Slams

New, 17 comments
It'll happen eventually, Alex.
It'll happen eventually, Alex.

A-Rod has 22 grand slams in his career. The MLB record is 23, held by another Yankee, Lou Gehrig. As A-Rod is all but guaranteed to break Gehrig's record (he has five seasons left on his contract after this one), I thought it would be fitting to look at Biscuit Pants' history of grand slams. (That's apparently one of his nicknames.)

His first was on July 23rd of 1925, off RHP Firpo Marberry of the Washington Senators. Unfortunately, for many of these old games, we don't have much of the context of the home run. But for this one, we do. The Yankees were trailing 6-5 in the seventh with no outs when Gehrig belted the first grand slam of his career. Win Probability would surely have named it the "Play of the Game," as the Yanks went on to win 11-7, behind RHP Bob Shawkey. Gehrig went 3-4 overall and had seven RBI.

May 7, 1927 - Chicago's RHP Ted Lyons in the top of the ninth in an 8-0 win.

July 4, 1927 - Washington's LHP Bobby Burke in the bottom of the sixth in a 21-1 win.

May 11, 1928 - Cleveland's LHP Joe Shaute in the bottom of the sixth in a 7-6 win. The Yanks walked off with single runs in the ninth (to tie) and tenth (to win) innings.

September 10, 1929 - Detroit's LHP Phil Page in the bottom of the first in a 10-9 win. (The Yanks walked off with four runs in the bottom of the ninth.) Page lasted just a third of an inning.

September 18, 1929 - Cleveland's LHP Milt Shoffner in the bottom of the seventh in a 12-2 win.

May 22, 1930 - Philly's RHP Bill Shores in the top of the first in a football-score 20-13 win. Gehrig had three homers in the game and eight RBI.

July 31, 1930 - Boston's RHP Ed Durham in the top of the seventh in a 14-13 win. Gehrig also had two doubles and eight RBI on the day.

August 29, 1931 - This is one was special because it came off Hall of Famer Lefty Grove in the sixth inning at Shibe Park. That Grove was a fellow lefty, and that it accounted for the Yankees' only runs of the game, make it even more impressive. The Yanks lost, 7-4.

August 31, 1931 - Washington's LHP Lloyd Brown in the bottom of the fifth in a 6-5 loss.

September 1, 1931 - Wow. Gehrig hit three grand slams in four days. It would be an accomplishment just to hit three home runs in that span, but three grand slams?! This one came off RHP "Big" Ed Morris of the Red Sox in a 5-1 win.

May 26, 1932 - Washington's RHP General Crowder in the top of the sixth of a 5-0 win.

September 9, 1932 - Detroit's LHP Earl Whitehill in the top of the third of a 14-13 loss.

May 10, 1934 - Chicago's RHP Lee Stine in the bottom of the fifth of a 13-3 win. Gehrig went 4-4 (2 2B, 2 HR) with seven RBI.

May 13, 1934 - LHP Lloyd Brown in the bottom of the first, becoming the only pitcher to serve up multiple grand slams to Gehrig, this time in a Cleveland uniform. The Yanks won 8-0.

June 10, 1934 - Philly's RHP Bill Dietrich in the bottom of the first in a 7-3 win.

July 5, 1934 - Washington's Lefty Stewart in the bottom of the third in an 8-3 win. Gehrig belted another homer in the game and had seven RBI.

July 7, 1935 - This one's notable because it came off (future) All-Star righthander Bobo Newsom of the Senators. It came in support of RHP Johnny Broaca, who won his sixth game of the season (a complete game) in an 11-1 win at Griffith Stadium.

August 21, 1935 - St. Louis' RHP Jim Walkup in the top of the third in a 14-2 win.

August 15, 1936 - Philly's RHP Randy Gumpert in the top of the eighth in a 16-2 win.

September 9, 1936 - Cleveland's RHP Oral Hildebrand in the top of the second in a 12-9 win. Gehrig had just one other hit (a single), yet tallied seven RBI.

August 31, 1937 - This one came in the top of the fifth off All-Star RHP Mel Harder, who walked six and struck out none on the day. The Yanks won 7-3.

August 20, 1938 - The last of Gehrig's storied career came off Philly's RHP Buck Ross in Shibe Park in an 11-3 win. Gehrig also had a double and six RBI on the day.

Miscellany: Gehrig hit 11 at home and 12 on the road.

Favorite team? Lou hit more grand slams (six) against the Senators than any other ball club. You know the old saying? "First in war, first in peace, last in the American League." Vs. the rest of the AL: 5 vs. Cleveland, 5 vs. Philadelphia, 2 each vs. Chicago, Detroit and Boston, and 1 vs. St. Louis.

Favorite month? May and August, where he hit six each. He hit five each in July and September, one in June and none at all in April. (Of course, back then, the seasons started about mid-April.)

Favorite year? 1934 was good for Lou. In addition to leading the league in multiple categories (HR, RBI, BA, OBP, SLG, OPS+, TB, WAR), he cranked four grand slams.*

* Detroit's Mickey Cochrane won the MVP that year. I understand he's a catcher and all the value that brings over a first-baseman, but he had 3.7 WAR (.320/.428/.412, 129 games) and wasn't even the best player on his own team: 2B Charlie Gehringer hit .356/.450/.517 and played all 154 games. It was all about the standings. Detroit won 101 games and the pennant. Gehrig's clearly less valuable season (.363/.465/.706, 154 games) helped the Yanks win only 94 contests. Bum.