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Game 143

September 30, 1995 – Albert Belle Has First and Only 50/50 Season

The strike-shortened 1995 season was quickly coming to a close. The Royals were in town for the final weekend of the regular season. Mark Clark took the hill against Dave Fleming on a beautiful fall Saturday afternoon in front of a sellout crowd. 

Clark and Fleming carried their teams through the first three inning scoreless until Tony Pena hit a comebacker to the mound with one out in the top of the third. Fleming left the game and Melvin Bunch took the mound for KC. 

In the top of the sixth, the Royals finally broke through when Brent Mayne smacked a line drive double into center field on Clark’s first pitch. Two batters later, Tom Goodwin deposited a home run into the bullpen giving the Royals a 2-0 lead. 

Kenny Lofton led off the bottom of the sixth with a perfectly placed bunt single and then stole second base. Omar VIzquel flied out to deep right field, allowing Lofton to tag and advance to third. Carlos Baerga grounded to short and was put out at first while Lofton came home. 

Next up was Albert Belle. Albert was one of the most fearsome power hitters of the mid-90s and had risen to legend status in Cleveland both for his prodigious power hitting, but also his fiery temper and off-field struggles. Belle smashed Bunch’s 2-2 pitch over the left-field home run porch and through the stadium gates onto Eagle Avenue. 

Belle’s homer was his 50th of the season, and marked the first and only time a player recorded 50 homers and 50 doubles in the same year. It tied the game at 2-2. 

Mike Hargrove turned the game over to the bullpen to start the seventh inning. Chad Ogea pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. Erik Plunk retired the Royals in order in the eighth. Jose Mesa walked Tom Goodwin in the ninth, but escaped with the tie intact. Alan Embree allowed a single by Juan Samuel to lead off the tenth, but promptly squashed the threat. 

Backup catcher Jesse Levins led off the bottom of the tenth with a double. Jeromy Burnitz came in to pinch run for Levins. The Royals intentionally walked Kenny Lofton. Omar Vizquel laid down a sacrifice bunt that advanced Burnitz to third. Carlos Baerga dropped the game-winning single into center for the Tribe’s twelfth and final walkoff win of the regular season. 

I remember this game playing on our small black and white TV that we kept in the walk-out basement. I was helping my father with fall yard work and we ran inside each time Albert came to bat to wait for history to be made on Channel 43. After Albert hit the home run, dad and I toasted with a 50/50 soda. 

Todd Helton had a 54 double 49 home run season in 2001. This is the closest that any player has come to completing the feat…and Helton played in 159 games that year. 

Belle was known to feud with the media. Mo Vaughn won the 1995 MVP award–a clear rebuke from the baseball writers. Vaughn had a strong season, but was nowhere near the historic stat line that Belle generated in the strike-shortened campaign of 1995. Belle later said, “Actually I’m surprised I got as many votes as I did [from the writers].” He received 11 first-place votes to Vaughn’s 12.

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Honorable Mention – September 13, 1936 –  Bob Feller Strikes Out 17 at Age 17

Bob Feller arrived from Van Meter, Iowa in 1936 and instantly took over as baseball’s hardest-throwing strikeout pitcher. On this Sunday afternoon, the 17-year old rookie sat down 17 of Connie Mack’s Athletics on his way to a complete game 2-hit shutout.

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Game 142

September 20, 1929 – Joe Sewell’s Consecutive Strikeout-less Streak Ends

Joe Sewell was signed to the Indians in 1920 to replace Ray Chapman at shortstop after he died as the result of a hit by pitch in Game 111. On arrival in Cleveland, first baseman George Burns gave him a forty-ounce bat.  Sewell cared for that bat, never broke it, and used “Black Betsy” for his entire major league career. He quickly got up to speed and helped the Tribe win the 1920 World Series. 

Black Betsy – Baseball Hall of Fame

On this Friday afternoon in 1929, the Indians were visiting Fenway Park. Ken Halloway took the bump for the Indians against Danny MacFayden. Sewell, who had a legendary eye at the plate had last struck out in Game 27  back on May 19th. 

Holloway and MacFayden dueled through four scoreless innings. In the top of the fifth Sewell flied out to lead off the inning. Johnny Hodapp singled to center. Joe’s brother, catcher Luke Sewell, singled into right and advanced to second on a throwing error. Ken Halloway walked to load the bases and Dick Porter drove in Hodapp with a sacrifice fly. 

Earl Averill walked to lead off the Indians half of the sixth. Lew Fonseca singled into right to advance Averill to second. Left fielder Ed Morgan popped one foul and was put out by the Sox catcher. Joe Sewell stepped in against MacFayden, and struck out. 

It was the first time that Sewell had gone down on strikes in 115 games, or 516 plate appearances. Much like Ted Williams, Sewell benefitted from incredible vision and quick processing. He claimed that he was able to see his bat strike the ball. 

Johnny Hodapp drove in two with a double down the right field line to put the Tribe up 3-0. 

Holloway allowed a single by Phil Todt in the bottom of the sixth, but quickly erased it with a 6-4-3 double play. 

Indians right fielder Dick Porter tripled in the top of the seventh. Jackie Tavener plated Porter with a single into right. The Indians had a 4-0 lead. 

The Sox would score twice in the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings, but the Indians 4 runs stood up. Wes Ferrell took over for Holloway with one out in the bottom of the eighth and carried the Tribe to an eventual 4-2 victory. 

Sewell’s strikeout-less streak is one of several records that seem unlikely ever to be broken. Mookie Betts made news when his strikeout-less streak ended at 129 plate appearances in 2017. 

Sewell was so talented at making contact that he averaged just ten strikeouts per season for his career. From 1925 to 1930 he struck out only 33 times while playing every game of the season. While still 1,000 games behind Cal Ripken and Lou Gehrig, Sewell’s consecutive games played streak of 1,103 is good for seventh in MLB history. In his fourteen year career with the Indians and Yankees, no pitcher ever struck out Joe Sewell more than four times. 

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Game 141

September 28, 1995 – Dennis Martinez Breaks Kirby Puckett’s Jaw with Curveball

Dennis Martinez signed with the Indians prior to the 1994 season with 18 years of major league experience under his belt. He was the first Nicaraguan native in the MLB, had found lasting success with both the Orioles and Expos, pitched a perfect game, and overcome alcoholism.

El Presidente was already only the seventh pitcher to record 100 wins in both the American and National Leagues.He had taken the mound for the Tribe on Opening Day both in 1994 against Randy Johnson in Game 1 at Jacobs Field  and in 1995. 

The Indians had clinched their first playoff berth in a generation in Game 123 of 1995 and were tuning for the ALDS as the strike-shortened season was coming to a close. 

Martinez took the mound for a getaway Thursday game in Minneapolis against Frankie Rodriguez. The start of the game was rocky for El Presidente. He hit Chuck Knoblauch with the game’s second pitch. 

Two batters later, a second wild pitch broke future Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett’s jaw. Puckett had played 12 seasons for the Twins without ever spending time on the DL. In the offseason he was diagnosed with glaucoma. The rapid degradation of his eyesight ended his major league career. Although the hit-by-pitch injury was unrelated, this episode was a somewhat unfitting end for one of the beloved figures of 90s baseball. 

Knoblauch later said, “He did his leg kick and then he just froze. It’s almost like he didn’t see it or something. He didn’t really turn his head.”

After Puckett was taken off the field, Marty Cordova drove in Knoblauch to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. 

Rodriguez plunked Albert Belle with the first pitch of the second inning. Eddie Murray then singled to left to put runners at the corners for Jim Thome. Thome doubled in Belle and Murray advanced to third. Manny Ramirez followed with a line drive single up the gap that scored two. 

A two-run home run by Matt Lawton tied things up at 3-3 for a time, but the Indians would pull ahead in the top of the fifth and not look back. They rode homers by Alvaro Espinoza and Eddie Murray to a 12-4 win. 

After the game, Martinez remarked that he had considered asking Manager Mike Hargrove to take him out of the game.  “It’s the worst I’ve ever felt in my life. Because when I knocked him down, it did not hit him in the helmet, it hit him right in the face. I felt like the lowest man in baseball when I was on the mound.”

Despite the unfortunate outcome in the first inning, Martinez had pitched quite a year. In his age 40 season, he recorded a 3.08 ERA. That figure has not been matched by an Indians starting pitcher save for Cliff Lee’s Cy Young season in 2008. His 245 career wins held the mark for most by a Latin-born pitcher until he was surpassed by Bartolo Colon in 2018. 

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Game 140

September 7, 2017 – The Streak Reaches 15 Games, Universal Windows Direct Pays out $1.7M in Promotional Rebate

Local business promotions have been a part of baseball since the dawn of the game. Marketing agencies and the teams themselves constantly look for ways to integrate advertising into the game, the stadium, and the broadcast. In 2017, Universal Windows Direct, a local home remodeling company was getting set to celebrate its 15th anniversary. In 2016, on the way to the division win and eventually the World Series, the Tribe rattled off 14 wins in a row from Game 66 to Game 79.

Universal Windows Direct concocted a promotion such that any work purchased during the month of July would be refunded in full if the Indians went on a 15-game win streak between August 1st and the end of the season. 

SCA Promotions is a Dallas-based company that underwrites promotional contests and sweepstakes. They constructed an actuarial model to calculate the likelihood of a 15-game win streak and accounted for Universal’s July sales totals. Universal paid approximately $75,000 to insure themselves against the possible payout. 

Beginning with Game 126 on August 24th, the Tribe got on a roll and stayed red hot. Corey Kluber was matched up with White Sox starter Mike Pelfrey for a Thursday night contest on the south side of Chicago that would make or break the summer for over 220 Universal Windows customers. 

Francisco Lindor led off the game with a triple. Austin Jackson drove him in with a double to center. Yandy Diaz walked, and then Edwin Encarnacion gave the parrot a ride after a 3-run bomb over the left field fence. The Indians stranded runners on first and third but still closed out the inning with a 4-0 lead. 

Kluber was not sharp early. He gave up home runs in the bottom of the first to Yolmer Sanchez and Jose Abreu to cut the lead in half. 

Lindor led off the top of the second with another home run blast and Erik Gonzales took Pelfrey deep for a two-run shot in the top of the third. 

Kluber settled in and went seven innings in total, striking out 13 and giving up only two runs on three hits. Greg Allen added to the Tribe lead in the top of the seventh with his own home run. Erik Gonzales homered again in the top of the ninth. 

Universal Windows Direct CEO William Barr with a Happy Customer

Kluber handed the game off to Shawn Armstrong who pitched a 1-2-3 eighth frame, while Craig Breslow did the same in the bottom of the ninth. The Indians won 11-2 and kicked off quite a party back at Progressive Field where a group of Universal Windows customers had gathered for a watch party. SCA was set to pay out rebates totaling over $1.7 Million to over 200 customers. 

The Tribe broke their own year-old franchise record for consecutive wins and finished the day 5.5 games up on the White Sox in the Central Division. They had their sights set on the 20-game win streak set by the Moneyball A’s in 2002. 

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Game 139

September 4, 1996 – Chad Ogea 4-Hit Complete Game Shutout

The dominant Indians were visiting County Stadium in Milwaukee for a mid-week series. The first-place Indians were 15 games ahead of the Brewers in the AL Central standings at this point, but the Tribe were looking for redemption.

Cleveland lost the opening game of the series in walkoff fashion when Jose Mesa gave up the tying run on a wild pitch and then gave up a game-winning single to Jose Valentin. The night before, Orel Hersheiser had a rare klunker of an outing and the Indians lost 8-2. Chad Ogea was matched up with Jeff D’Amico for the final contest of the series. 

Albert Belle staked Ogea to an early lead with a two-run double in the bottom of the first that scored Kevin Seitzer and Jim Thome. 

Sandy Alomar led off the bottom of the second with a single into right field. After two quick outs, Kenny Lofton made it a 4-0 game when he took D’Amico deep to right field for his 13th home run of the year. 

Ogea did not allow a baserunner until the bottom of the fourth when Dave Nilsson poked a single into right field. The Brewers had a bit of a threat going with runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the fifth. Ogea got Matt Mieske to strike out swinging and Mike Matheny to fly out to center to put the threat aside. 

Brewers reliever Ramon Garcia gave up a single to Kenny Lofton to lead off the top of the seventh. Then, he hit Kevin Seitzer with the 0-1 pitch. Ron Villone replaced Garcia on the mound. Jim Thome stepped in and launched Villone’s very first pitch into deep left center to put the Indians up 7-0. 

Ogea had worked very efficiently. Coming into the bottom of the ninth he had given up only 4 hits and one walk on 97 pitches. 

He got Dave Nelson to fly out on the 0-1 pitch. John Jaha grounded out on Ogeo’s 100th pitch of the night. It took him four pitches to retire Jose Valentin on a fly ball to right and complete the shutout. Although he missed the Maddux by a few pitches, it was probably Ogea’s finest pitching performance of his six year career. 

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Game 138

September 3, 1986 – Joe Carter Racks Up 5 of the Indians 23 Hits

Greg Swindell was matched up with Juan Nieves of the Brewers for the Saturday game in a weekend series in Milwaukee. The Brewers were a mess in the early going. The Indians scored seven runs on seven hits and three errors in the top half of the first inning. The parade of hits included a double by Joe Carter, and RBI singles by Julio Franco, Pat Tabler, Brook Jacoby, and Andy Allanson. Allanson’s single chased Nieves from the game after only ⅔ of an inning.

Swindell retired the Brewers in order in the bottom of the first, and reliever Mark Knudson was back on the mound before he could catch his breath. He gave up a leadoff single to Julio Franco, and then Joe Carter drove one over the wall in right center. Carter’s homer extended the Indians lead to 9-0.

Carter led off the top of the fourth with a single to left and was then driven in by Carmello Castillo. 

In the top of the fifth, Knudson retired Tony Bernazard and Brett Butler to kick off the inning. Julio Franco reached on a line drive single to left. Joe Carter stepped in and once again cranked a two-run home run. 

The Brewers finally got to Swindell in the bottom of the fifth. They scored two runs on three hits, cutting the Indians lead to 12-2. 

The Tribe notched another four runs in the top of the sixth on four hits including homers by Jacoby and Bernazard.

Swindell gave up a home run to Dale Sveum to lead off the bottom of the sixth. Swindell was soon replaced on the mound by Don Schulze. The Indians bullpen was less effective than Swindell had been. Schulze, Bryan Oelkers, and Rich Yett combined to give up four runs on five hits over the final four innings including a three-run home run by Jim Gantner in the bottom of the sixth. 

Carter led off the top of the seventh with his second double of the day. He came around to score on a Cory Snyder single. Milwaukee reliever Tim Leary got Carter to strikeout looking to end the Indians half of the eighth. The Tribe went on to win 17 to 9 in a sloppy game that featured 34 hits and seven errors. 

Carter’s four RBIs put hit at 100 for the year. He would go on to lead the MLB with 121 RBIs for the season. This was the third time in 1986 he collected five hits in a game. 

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Game 137

September 5, 1969 (Game 1) – Rare Walkoff Win From One of the All-Time Worst Tribe Teams

The 1969 Cleveland Indians are regarded by many as the worst Indians team of all time. At this point in September, they were 39 games off the pace behind division-leading Baltimore. They weren’t re-building per-se. The last time the Tribe had finished within striking distance of a playoff spot was a second-place finish in 1959 and the next time they would finish in second was 1994. Although other teams lost more games in total, the 1969 team was almost entirely forgettable. 

The Yankees came to town for a weekend series that included a Friday double-header to make up for an earlier game that was cancelled by rain. The pitching matchup for game one was quite promising for two bad teams–Sam McDowell would face Mel Stottlemyre of the Yankees. 

Indians catcher Duke Sims drove in centerfielder Russ Snyder for an RBI single in the bottom of the first to give the Tribe the early lead. 

Sam McDowell

Frank Fernandez plated Horace clark with a sacrifice fly in the top of the sixth to tie things up 1-1.

McDowell scattered nine hits, almost evenly throughout the game. He got out of a bases-loaded jam in the top of the eighth by getting a key groundout from Joe Pepitone. He struck out five and walked only two. 

Likewise, Stottlemyer gave up ten hits and four walks, but the Indians were not able to take advantage of most of those opportunities until first baseman Russ Nagelson singled to center in the bottom of the ninth. Steve Hargan came in to pinch run for Nagelson. Eddie Leon laid down a solid sacrifice bunt to move Hargan over to second. Third baseman Lou Camilli grounded out to first, and Hargan was safe on third with two outs. So far, the Indians were 2 for 7 with runners in scoring position, and the few fans that scattered Muni Stadium probably thought that Hargan would be stranded like the nine Indians baserunners before him. 

Ken Harrelson came on to pinch hit for McDowell and was intentionally walked by Stottlemyer. That brought up Jose Cardenal who had replaced Snyder in center field. Cardenal slapped a single into right field to bring home Hargan and win the game. 

They would go on to lose the second half of the double-header and 99 games on the season, but this walkoff win was a bright spot for the home crowd. The Indians would finish with a worse record than both of the League’s brand-new expansion teams. The Kansas City Royals finished 69-93 while the Seattle Pilots edged out the Tribe with a record of 64-98.

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Game 136

September 3, 2017 – Jose Ramirez’ Five Extra Base Hits Tie MLB Record

The Indians entered this game riding a 10-game win streak. The Tribe had a nine game lead in the division and were wrapping up a weekend series in Detroit against the lowly Tigers. Josh Tomlin was set to pitch against recent call-up Chad Bell. 

In the top of the first, Jose Ramirez stepped in against Bell with two outs. He lined the 3-1 pitch to deep left field where it hit the yellow line at the top of the wall. Mikie Matouk jumped and attempted to catch the live ball, but ended up tipping it over the wall and out for a home run. The Tribe manufactured two more runs in the bottom of the second courtesy of RBIs by Roberto Perez and Francisco Lindor. The Indians had a 3-0 lead in the early going. 

After recording the first two outs in the bottom of the second, Tomlin gave up three consecutive singles to Candelario, McCann, and Jacoby Jones. Jones’ single plated Candelario to cut the Indians lead to 3-1. 

Ramirez doubled once again to lead off the top of the third inning. He advanced to third on an Encarnacion groundout and then scored on Carlos Santana’s fielder’s choice. 

Jose doubled down the left field line in the top of the fifth and chased Bell from the game. 

In the top of the sixth, after a Greg Allen strikeout, Lindor homered off Zac Reininger. Austin Jackson followed with a single to left. Ramirez stepped to the plate and lined one sharply to the right field corner. Again, it just cleared the wall and bounced off the railing for Jose’s second home run of the game. 

NIck Goody replaced Tomlin to get the final out of the sixth and then pitched a 1-2-3 seventh. 

Jose led off the top of the eighth with his third double of the game–a well-hit ball that bounced behind Jacoby Jones’ and off the wall in dead center.He joined only nine other players that have recorded five extra-base hits in a nine-inning game. The list includes two other Indians. Lou Boudreau in Game 81 of 1946 where he hit a homer and slapped four doubles in a loss at Fenway. Kelly Shoppach hit two homers and three triples in a 14-12 loss to the Tigers in Game 106 of 2008.

Gio Urshella came in to pinch run for Ramirez. Encarnacion doubled to drive in Urshella and make it a 9-1 game. 

The Indians would add another two runs, but Encarnacion never had the opportunity to shoot for a sixth extra base hit and sole possession of the record. Jose had 14 total bases–one short of Lonnie Chisenhall’s club record from Game 64 of 2014. The win was the eleventh of the streak that began with Game 126.

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Honorable Mention – September 24, 1903 – Bill Bradley Hits for the Cycle

In a 12-2 victory over the Washington Senators, third baseman Bill Bradley hit for the cycle–with an extra double. One of the finest hitters of the deadball era, Bradley’s accomplishments are largely lost to history but he is remembered as one of the luminaries of early Cleveland baseball along with Nap Lajoie, Addie Joss, and Elmer Flick. 

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Game 135

September 5, 1992 – Walkoff Win Against the Mariners Prefigures Biggest Matchups of the 90s

The 1992 Indians were 62-73 and in dead last in the American League East. The only team with a worse record were the Mariners at 56-80. Both teams were in the midst of decades-long rebuilding programs. The Indians had not made the playoffs since 1954, and the Mariners had their first winning season in franchise history in 1991–with a record of 83-79.

However, both teams had some rising stars that would later become some of the biggest figures in baseball. This late-season series between two basement dwellers prefigured some of the highest-profile matchups of the mid to late 1990s. 

Charlie Nagy was matched up with Randy Johnson for the Saturday afternoon matchup on the lakefront. Randy Johnson was tall, and he could throw a fastball but he was not yet “The Big Unit.” In fact, he led the league in walks in 1990, 1991, and 1992. 

Ken Griffey Junior blasted Nagy’s 2-1 pitch deep to right-center to lead off the top of the second with a home run. 

Nagy had his sinker working. He got out of both the second and fourth innings on ground ball double-plays. 

In the top of the fifth, Mariner’s catcher David Valle sent a line drive onto the home run porch in left to make it 2-0 Mariners. 

The Indians jumped ahead in the bottom of the fifth with a two-out bases-loaded single by Carlos Baerga tied the game. Then Albert Belle dropped one in over the third baseman’s head. Albert raced into second base as Felix Fermin and Baerga scored to give the Tribe a 4-2 lead. 

After consecutive walks in the sixth, Nagy was replaced by reliever Kevin Wickander. Wickander walked Griffer to load the bases, and then walked Tino Martinez on four pitches to cut the Indians lead to one run. Jay Buhner’s sacrifice fly tied the game 4-4. 

Randy Johnson pitched 7 ⅔, struck out eight Indians and walked seven. Jeff Nelson came in to match up with Paul Sorrento and recorded the final out of the eighth. The Indians then faced Russ Swan in the bottom of the ninth. After a Kenny Lofton groundout, Swan walked Felix Fermin. Carlos Baerga slapped a single through the left side of the infield that put the speedy Fermin on third. 

Wayne Kirby came on to pinch run for Fermin and Albert Belle came to the plate. Belle punched one past the shortstop and into the outfield. Kirby came home to score the winning run. 

Albert was 3 for 5 on the day with 3 RBI and a stolen base. He was coming into his own as one of the AL’s premier hitters. He would go on to lead the league in RBIs in 1993, as well as in 1995 (when he was robbed of the MVP) and 1996. 

Late in the 1992 season, Randy Johnson met Nolan Ryan during a series against the Rangers. Ryan suggested a slight change to Randy’s delivery that he credits with giving him greater control. For the next four years, Johnson led the league in strikeouts. He became a fixture in big matchups with the Indians. He was the Mariners on Opening Day starter in 1994 when the Tribe opened up Jacobs Field. He also the visiting starter in Game 3 of the 1995 ALCS. 

Both teams matured and came together during the strike-shortened 1994 season, and both achieved long-awaited playoff berths in 1995. Both clubs are still in search of a World Series trophy in this century.

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Game 134

September 2, 2006Kevin Kouzmanoff Hits Grand Slam on First Pitch in the Show

Both the Indians and Rangers were playing out the string by September of 2006. Cliff Lee was matched up with Edison Volquez for this Saturday night contest. Despite the lack of playoff implications, the 40,000+ at Ameriquest Field in Arlington were treated to something that had never happened before in MLB history. 

Grady Sizemore led off the game with a home run. Left fielder Jason Michaels singled to left. After a fly-out by Victor Martinez and a Ryan Garko strikeout, MIchaels stole second with Casey Blake at the plate. Blake eventually walked. Volquez then walked Jhonny Perralta to load the bases. 

This brought up Kevin Kouzmanoff. He had been hitting nearly .380 at AA Akron and AAA Buffalo throughout 2006. The Indians top prospect had been called up to the big league team approximately 10PM the night before. Kouzmanoff’s family had scrambled to make it to Texas from his hometown in Colorado.

Kouzmanoff stepped in against Volquez and crushed his very first pitch to center field into the batter’s eye lawn. He was the first player ever to hit a grand slam on his first swing.

He later told reporters, “I’m walking up to the plate, I figured, ‘Great, I’m a rookie, bases loaded, here we go. I’m nervous, everyone is here to watch, my family. But then I thought, ‘Hey, I’ve got nothing to lose.’ Just be aggressive and swing the bat if I get a good pitch.”

Only two players had hit grand slams in their first at-bat: Bill Duggleby for the Phillies in 1898, and Jeremy Hermida for the Marlins in 2005. 

Second baseman Hector Luna popped out to end the frame with the Indians up 5-0. 

In the top of the second, Grady Sizemore scored on a sac fly by Victor Martinez. From this point on, the game would be in the hands of the Tribe pitching staff. 

Cliff Lee gave up two runs on two hits in the bottom of the second, and another two runs on three hits in the bottom of the sixth. Overall, Lee pitched seven strong innings, giving up only those four runs on seven hits and striking out four. 

The Rangers threatened to spoil Kouzmanoff’s record-setting night in the bottom of the ninth. Gerald Laird got aboard with a bunt single against reliever Tom Mastny. Mastny gave up a double to Ian Kinsler that put Laird on third. Nelson Cruz grounded out for the first out of the inning. Gary Matthews hit a line drive single into the right field that scored Laird easily. Kinsler attempted to score from second to tie the game, but was punched out on a great throw from Casey Blake to Victor Martinez. MIchael Young lined one back to Mastny who caught it to seal the final out and the victory. 

In 2010, Daniel Nava joined Kouz in the first-pitch grand slam record book. Kouzmanoff played 16 games for the Indians before being traded to San Diego after the 2006 season. 

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