Today’s “Turn Back the Clock” card celebrates perhaps the greatest hitting performance by a pitcher in a single game, Tony Cloninger’s TWO grand slam game on July 3rd, 1966:
Playing the San Francisco Giants, Cloninger took the mound for the Atlanta Braves, but it was this exploits in the batter’s box that made the headlines at the end of the day.
With his team demolishing the Giants 17-3 that day, it was Cloninger that supplied the bulk of the offense, going 3-for-5 with TWO grand slams and nine runs batted in!
He connected for his 1st slam in the seven-run first inning against RELIEVER Bob Priddy after starter Joe Gibbon didn’t make it past the first five batters, and then connected for yet another in the fourth inning against Ray Sadecki, who ironically enough hit a homer off of Cloninger in the same game.
On top of the hitting performance, Cloninger pitched a complete game, allowing three runs on seven hits while striking out five batters, upping his record to 9-7 at that time, on his way to a 14-11 season.
What a monster game for the guy I always remember as a Yankees coach much later on!