St. Louis Cardinals History: Happy Anniversary, Fernando Tatis!

Fernando Tatis #23
Fernando Tatis #23 / Donald Miralle/GettyImages

Third-baseman Fernando Tatís was in his first entire season as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1999. Tuesday marked the 25th anniversary of the day the 24-year-old slugger, using veteran Eric Davis' bat, etched his name into Major League Baseball history with two grand slams off the Dodgers' right-handed pitcher, Chan Ho Park, in the same inning.

Let's go back to April 23, 1999, when the St. Louis Cardinals had no home run problem or offensive struggles. Mike Shannon did not even look into the MLB record book to know that Fernando Tatís accomplished something never before seen in the third inning at Dodger Stadium.

"Tatís could make it an 11-run inning here in the third. Cardinals have already scored seven. And the pitch. The runners go, and the 3-2 to Tatis. SWING! And a long one! There it is, folks! Baseball history! A second grand-slam home run for Fernando Tatis in the third inning of Los Angeles, California, and Cardinals lead it, 11 to two. Wow!"

Mike Shannon on the call

That call, above all, told the whole story of that magical night at Chavez Ravine for Tatís. St. Louis erased an early 2-0 deficit and went on to win 12-5. 

Fernando Tatís and pitcher Darren Oliver arrived in St. Louis via a mid-season trade in 1998 with the Rangers. The deal saw Royce Clayton and Todd Stottlemyer head to Texas. Over his 2 ½ seasons in St. Louis, Tatís proved to be a formidable offensive player, accumulating an OBP of .289 and 5.5 WAR.

It's a feat that stands alone in Major League Baseball history. Fernando Tatís is the sole player to have hit two grand slams in a single inning. 

Two grand slams in one game remain one of the rarest accomplishments in Major League Baseball history. As of 2024, Tatís is one of thirteen Major Leagues to have hit two grand slams in one game. Most recently, Washington Nationals' Josh Willingham hit two grand slams in 2009 against Milwaukee.

Tatís remained with the Cardinals until the end of the 2000 season when he was traded to the Montreal Expos along with Britt Reames, who sent over pitchers Dustin Hermanson and Steve Kline. Tatís hit only 113 home runs in his Major League Baseball career, but he will always be remembered for the two he hit at Dodger Stadium on April 23, 1999.