#Shortstops: Slam Diego headwear

Part of the SHORT STOPS series
Written by: Isabelle Minasian

It all began on a Monday night with the bases loaded and a 3-0 count.

San Diego Padres phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. was in the box against Rangers reliever Juan Nicasio on Aug. 17, 2020. Padres manager Jayce Tingler gave Tatis the take sign. Tatis missed the sign, belted an opposite-field grand slam and the rusty engine of baseball history rumbled to life once more.

The next day, it was Wil Myers’ turn. With the bases loaded in the first inning, Myers mashed a grand slam over the wall in left-center at Globe Life Field.

On Wednesday, Aug. 19 – again against the Rangers but this time in San Diego – Manny Machado stepped up to the plate. The stakes were high for the game, and for the record books. Up to that point, only four teams in major league history had hit grand slams in three consecutive games, most recently the Chicago White Sox in June of 2006. With one out in the bottom of the 10th inning, down 3-2, Machado squared off against Rafael Montero with the bases loaded.

With the count full, Machado crushed a 94 mph sinker into the seats in left-center field for a walk-off grand salami. The Padres secured their 14th victory of the season, and became the first National League team since the 1895 Cleveland Spiders to hit three grand slams in as many days.

“We’re doing some special things here,” Machado remarked after the game. “We’re going to continue to do that, and at the same time we’re having a lot of fun doing it.”

Come Thursday, the stage was set, and Eric Hosmer wasted little time.

Bottom of the fifth, San Diego down 2-1, ducks on the pond.

“In the air to right field, towards the corner, it’s back, it’s gone! Welcome to Slam Diego! For the first time in major league history, a team has hit a grand slam in four consecutive games, and that team is the San Diego Padres!”

After Fox Sports San Diego’s play-by-play announcer Don Orsillo’s now-iconic call of Hosmer’s history-making grand slam, Slam Diego was everywhere. The phrase appeared on T-shirts, the Padres changed their Twitter name to it and now a piece of Slam Diego has arrived in Cooperstown.

The helmet Hosmer wore for that historic home run, with its distinct brown and yellow colors, has been generously donated to the Hall of Fame, and will soon be on display in the Museum’s Today’s Game exhibit.

“It is a special team,” Hosmer said. “Especially now, to be part of history is really cool. Anything you do to be part of history in this game, at such a high level, is great to be a part of.”


Isabelle Minasian is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Part of the SHORT STOPS series