April 21, 2011
April 21, 1898 was a heady day for Bill Duggleby. He was taking the mound for his first ever start in the Major Leagues. Furthermore, when he stepped up to the plate for his first career at bat, the bases were juiced. “Frosty” Bill, as he would come to be known for his lack of desire to make friends on the team and the fact that he wore a black suit even in summer, gave the pitch a good swing and-CRACK-sent it hurtling into the stratosphere. The Phils pitcher circled the bases and entered into the record books. He was the first player to ever hit a grand slam in his first ever career at-bat. No-one would do it again for 107 years, when Jeremy Hermida did it in his first at bat in 2005. The next year, Kevin Kouzmanoff would do it, and incredibly, in 2010 Daniel Nava would do it. After no-one had done it in 107 years, 3 guys did it in 5 years. Baseball, as they say, is a funny game.
What made it more remarkable was that Duggleby didn’t turn out to be much of a slugger. In his next 648 career at bats, he hit 5 home runs. Only 5 Phillies since Duggleby have homered in their first at bats. They are Ace Parker, Heinie Mueller, Ed Sanicki, Ricky Jordan, and Marlon Anderson.
February 09, 2023