Fernando Tatis (23) had such promise. (Centerfieldmaz.com)
Thursday marked the 15th anniversary of the day that St. Louis Cardinals third baseman Fernando Tatis had the greatest single inning by a hitter in the history of the game.
Tatis, you may recall, launched not one but two grand slams in the same inning (see video below). To put that in perspective, he was the first player in history to ever come to bat twice in an inning with the bases loaded, never mind hit salamis each time.
Both of the grand slams came against Korean hurler Chan Ho Park, who unfortunately is most known for this feat. Who cares that he has more career wins (124) than any other Asian-born pitcher? The dude served up a pair of grand salamis in the same inning — to the same player!
As for Tatis, his amazing day was part of a career year in 1999 in which he slammed 34 dingers and drove in 107 runs while flirting with a .300 BA.
He was just 24 and the world was his oyster.
Unfortunately, Tatis never came close to that level of production again.
In 2000, injuries limited him to 96 games and 64 RBI. That offseason, the Cards peddled him to Montreal with Brett Reames for Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline.
In three injury-riddled years in La Belle Province, Tatis never topped 114 games, 15 homers, 55 RBI or a .255 BA.
The Expos let him walk as a free agent, and he landed in Tampa Bay. The move to the AL didn’t go so well as Tatis didn’t even make it out Spring Training before being released by the Devil Rays.
Tatis didn’t make it back to the bigs until 2006 (64 plate appearances for the Orioles), spent the entire 2007 season at Triple-A, and then saw varying degrees of action for the Mets between 2008 and 2010, after which he packed it in.
Oh, the promise of that 1999 season, highlighted by that glorious day on April 24. Tatis was one of the biggest letdowns in the history of the game considering he put up such a huge season at such a young age, but never came close to duplicating it.
- Sunday was perhaps the greatest single day in the history of pitching as 10 starters went at least seven innings and gave up three hits or less — a new record. We hope you had one or more of them active for your Fantasy squad, because we didn’t have a single one going. Sigh.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers want to play it safe with their US$215 million ace, and he’s apparently not okay with this. Clayton Kershaw (back) desperately wanted to come off the DL this weekend, but the team decided he should make one more rehab start on Wednesday to get his pitch count up to around 80. Asked if he was satisfied with the team’s decision, he said “not really,” adding that he didn’t plan to fight the whole team if everyone wants this extra start.
- Another injured pitcher waiting to make his season debut is Doug Fister (elbow) of the Nats, who said he felt strong after making his first rehab start Sunday at Class-A. He’ll make at least one more rehab start before returning to the Nats rotation.
Now it’s your turn. Let us know in the comments below what you think happened to Fernando Tatis after that glorious 1999 season.
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