On May 11, 1971, A Space crown of 2,992 at Cleveland Stadium, see’s what will become a rare feat as Cleveland Indians pitcher Steve Dunning becomes the last American League hurler to hit a grand slam. Dunning connects against Diego Segui of the Oakland A’s, helping the Indians to a 7-5 win. In 1973, the AL will adopt the designated hitter rule, which results in pitchers almost never coming to bat.
Dunning stepped in for his first at bat of the game in the second inning already staked to a 1-0 lead after the Indians loaded the bases and Eddie Leon knocked in Ray Fosse with a single. After Jack Heidemann flied out to center, Dunning cleared the bases, scoring Ken Harrelson, Roy Foster, and Leon. Oakland pitcher Diego Segui lasted just one more batter before leaving the game.
It will take another 37 years before another American League hurler goes deep with the bases loaded when Felix Hernandez of the Mariners accomplishes the feat against the Mets in 2008.
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