Lost among the cheers, applause and wildly flailing dreadlocks that surrounded Manny Ramirez's pinch-hit, tie-breaking grand slam last night was the fact that Manny is closing in on an all-time record.

Manny has somewhat of a talent for hitting with the bases loaded -- his OPS with three men on is 65 points higher than his career OPS. In only 272 at-bats with the bases drunk (we're running out of ways to say "bases loaded," so bear with us), he's hit 21 grand slams. Lou Gehrig, whose personal letters ESPN.com collected to illustrate the course of his illness, holds the all-time record with 23.

A grand slam's a funny thing. It requires a number of disparate factors to align in just the right way. If one runner decides to try to score from second on a single, it doesn't happen. If a pitcher throws a wild pitch, it doesn't happen. In addition, even if you do get the opportunity, you actually have to defy the pressure, get the perfect pitch, and put it out of the ballpark. No wonder the career record is only equal to, say, a few good months from Albert Pujols. Manny could hit two tomorrow, or he could never hit one again.

Additionally, it's tough to find two players of somewhat equal talent who are more different than Gehrig and Ramirez. One was a dour, stout, defensively skilled first baseman who held the record for most consecutive games played. The other is a cheery, flaky, defensively challenged left fielder. One thing they have in common, though: both are hitters of a legendary caliber.


I love it, teams play almost 3 hour games, battling for a win and after yawning, stretching and taking one swing of the bat as your entire of body of work in a game, Manny wins it for them w/ a game winning grand slam. Like him or not this guy is ridiculous.

-- KaneBowman

I dont think Hollywood could make a script like that one..... just wow...!!!!

-- Greenandyellowtilldeath

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