Bill Mueller’s 2 grand slams revisited

bosockboy

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Tomorrow is 20(!) years since Mueller had a 3 HR, 2 grand slam night in Texas. Really good, vivid memory from that summer. That same night the Sox traded for Scot Williamson.

Three months later Grady crushed our souls, but holy shit that was a great summer and I loved that team dearly.
Thought it was worth sharing.

View: https://youtu.be/w-euXtDKNxQ
 

Sam Ray Not

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Jul 19, 2005
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TX announcers after the first one: "It's a grand slam! The first one allowed by a Ranger this season."

So, the Rangers went 106 games without allowing a single granny, then allowed two in consecutive innings by Mueller. Baseball!
 

waffles.

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Oct 6, 2017
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TX announcers after the first one: "It's a grand slam! The first one allowed by a Ranger this season."

So, the Rangers went 106 games without allowing a single granny, then allowed two in consecutive innings by Mueller. Baseball!
I didn't know that about these slams. Awesome!
 

DJnVa

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Off a Buck Showalter managed team too. Makes it even better.
 

Sin Duda

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Thanks for sharing that Bosockboy. I thought I clearly remembered that game, but I had forgotten he had a solo HR before the grannies. Mercy!
 

TFisNEXT

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I watched that game live on TV. Bill Mueller was an underrated player (which is why Theo signed him), but that was also a career year for him. I think he had an OPS well north of .900 that year as our #8 hitter.

That 2003 squad was an incredible lineup. Just relentless 1 through 9.

1. Damon (CF)
2. Walker (2B)
3. Garciaparra (SS)
4. Ramirez (LF)
5. Ortiz (DH)
6. Millar (1B)
7. Nixon (RF)
8. Mueller (3B)
9. Varitek (C)

I think that lineup still holds several MLB records too. They were actually somewhat inefficient in scoring runs too (both luck with hit clustering and not that fast in bases)…prob could’ve threatened Cleveland’s record there if they were more efficient.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I watched that game live on TV. Bill Mueller was an underrated player (which is why Theo signed him), but that was also a career year for him. I think he had an OPS well north of .900 that year as our #8 hitter.

That 2003 squad was an incredible lineup. Just relentless 1 through 9.

1. Damon (CF)
2. Walker (2B)
3. Garciaparra (SS)
4. Ramirez (LF)
5. Ortiz (DH)
6. Millar (1B)
7. Nixon (RF)
8. Mueller (3B)
9. Varitek (C)

I think that lineup still holds several MLB records too. They were actually somewhat inefficient in scoring runs too (both luck with hit clustering and not that fast in bases)…prob could’ve threatened Cleveland’s record there if they were more efficient.
Nixon had a career year (149 OPS+). Mueller won the batting title. Varitek hit career highs in HR and RBI. And that was the bottom third most of the time. Insanely good.
 

bosockboy

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Nixon had a career year (149 OPS+). Mueller won the batting title. Varitek hit career highs in HR and RBI. And that was the bottom third most of the time. Insanely good.
Yeah think Tek had a 900 OPS out of the nine hole. That offense was relentless and better than any that ended up winning rings. Just didn’t have enough pitching.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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Yeah think Tek had a 900 OPS out of the nine hole. That offense was relentless and better than any that ended up winning rings. Just didn’t have enough pitching.
.863 OPS overall, but a .960 OPS hitting 9th that year. He hit there in 80 of his 142 games (122 starts).
 

TFisNEXT

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Yeah think Tek had a 900 OPS out of the nine hole. That offense was relentless and better than any that ended up winning rings. Just didn’t have enough pitching.
Yeah outside of Pedro, the rotation was pretty unreliable. Wakefield had a solid year (and was nails in the playoffs), DLowe was decent, but they really didn’t have that reliable 2 starter. A lot of Burkett, Fossum, and Suppan starts in the back half of rotation.

The irony is that the bullpen was much maligned all season and then they were absolute studs in the playoffs (Timlin’s 2003 playoffs is one of the more under appreciated monster performances in Red Sox lore).
 

Bergs

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Yeah think Tek had a 900 OPS out of the nine hole. That offense was relentless and better than any that ended up winning rings. Just didn’t have enough pitching.
I mean...they were Grady Little shitting down his leg away from the World Series with one of the best offenses in baseball history.

You could always have more pitching of course, but Grady was the fatal flaw of that team. Fuck him and Don Zimmer both.
 

bosockboy

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Yeah outside of Pedro, the rotation was pretty unreliable. Wakefield had a solid year (and was nails in the playoffs), DLowe was decent, but they really didn’t have that reliable 2 starter. A lot of Burkett, Fossum, and Suppan starts in the back half of rotation.

The irony is that the bullpen was much maligned all season and then they were absolute studs in the playoffs (Timlin’s 2003 playoffs is one of the more under appreciated monster performances in Red Sox lore).
Williamson was also nails. They whiffed on Sauerbeck at the trade deadline.
 

bosockboy

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I mean...they were Grady Little shitting down his leg away from the World Series with one of the best offenses in baseball history.

You could always have more pitching of course, but Grady was the fatal flaw of that team. Fuck him and Don Zimmer both.
No, you’re right. That offense overcame the lack of pitching. Not sure if they beat the Marlins, but of course 2004 doesn’t happen without the immense pain of 2003. No idea if they still go out and get Schilling and Foulke if they win in 2003.
 

tims4wins

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I fucking loved the 2003 team and season. I was traveling for work the night this happened and saw the highlights on my hotel TV via the Baseball Tonight organ. Simpler times.
 

WestMassExpat

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I was at that game with my dad. We lived in the Hill Country near San Antonio and would make the trek up once a summer up to catch a game for the one Sox home stand. It was a lovely ritual we managed to do 3 or 4 times and really cherish now that he’s gone.

The first couple of years the good guys lost, and this game was a cleansing for us. I think Wake pitched, and it was amusing to see some of the Texas fans near us not realize he was a knuckler and jeer his velocity.

I don’t even remember much of the homers, just kind of realizing in the moment that his second was a grand slam and his third was from the opposite side. “That’s so cool,” I might have profoundly said.

You can see me in the video around the 0:57 mark holding the sign above right of the ump. Was so much easier to get tickets at the Ballpark compared to Fenway, and we got lucky with the Rangers official resale.
 

bosockboy

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I was at that game with my dad. We lived in the Hill Country near San Antonio and would make the trek up once a summer up to catch a game for the one Sox home stand. It was a lovely ritual we managed to do 3 or 4 times and really cherish now that he’s gone.

The first couple of years the good guys lost, and this game was a cleansing for us. I think Wake pitched, and it was amusing to see some of the Texas fans near us not realize he was a knuckler and jeer his velocity.

I don’t even remember much of the homers, just kind of realizing in the moment that his second was a grand slam and his third was from the opposite side. “That’s so cool,” I might have profoundly said.

You can see me in the video around the 0:57 mark holding the sign above right of the ump. Was so much easier to get tickets at the Ballpark compared to Fenway, and we got lucky with the Rangers official resale.
Great story! This is why baseball is the best. Memories of individual random games in July.
 

Ted Cox 4 president

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I was at that game with my dad. We lived in the Hill Country near San Antonio and would make the trek up once a summer up to catch a game for the one Sox home stand. It was a lovely ritual we managed to do 3 or 4 times and really cherish now that he’s gone.

The first couple of years the good guys lost, and this game was a cleansing for us. I think Wake pitched, and it was amusing to see some of the Texas fans near us not realize he was a knuckler and jeer his velocity.

I don’t even remember much of the homers, just kind of realizing in the moment that his second was a grand slam and his third was from the opposite side. “That’s so cool,” I might have profoundly said.

You can see me in the video around the 0:57 mark holding the sign above right of the ump. Was so much easier to get tickets at the Ballpark compared to Fenway, and we got lucky with the Rangers official resale.

Who is (or was) DAVE?
 

JOBU

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The 2003 team was probably my favorite Sox team of all time. Those guys were absolute monsters at the plate. No let up 1 through 9. It’s a shame the way it ended but it shouldn’t take away from how awesome they were.
 

MtPleasant Paul

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Dec 28, 2015
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I was at that game with my dad. We lived in the Hill Country near San Antonio and would make the trek up once a summer up to catch a game for the one Sox home stand. It was a lovely ritual we managed to do 3 or 4 times and really cherish now that he’s gone.

The first couple of years the good guys lost, and this game was a cleansing for us. I think Wake pitched, and it was amusing to see some of the Texas fans near us not realize he was a knuckler and jeer his velocity.

I don’t even remember much of the homers, just kind of realizing in the moment that his second was a grand slam and his third was from the opposite side. “That’s so cool,” I might have profoundly said.

You can see me in the video around the 0:57 mark holding the sign above right of the ump. Was so much easier to get tickets at the Ballpark compared to Fenway, and we got lucky with the Rangers official resale.
What a great post and thanks for sharing, especially your memory of your Dad.

I'm constantly amazed at the richness of the fan experience of the members of this board. If one talks about a former player even from way back, someone mentions that they met or knew him. If one remembers a game, someone here heard about it or listened to it on the radio or watched it on TV or, as in your case, actually was present at the ballpark. I'm probably getting carried away here, but I wonder if every Red Sox baseball game over the last fifty years - well let's say 30 years - was cited, someone here would have a recollection of it.
 

WestMassExpat

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Great story! This is why baseball is the best. Memories of individual random games in July.
Amen
Who is (or was) DAVE?
He’s me. I was kind of bragging to my buddy back home since the seats were so close. I don’t think it was even broadcast there that night (we might have been in the Astros region, I don’t know) but this was back when we’d watch sportscenter twice a night. He claims he didn’t notice.
What a great post and thanks for sharing, especially your memory of your Dad.

I'm constantly amazed at the richness of the fan experience of the members of this board. If one talks about a former player even from way back, someone mentions that they met or knew him. If one remembers a game, someone here heard about it or listened to it on the radio or watched it on TV or, as in your case, actually was present at the ballpark. I'm probably getting carried away here, but I wonder if every Red Sox baseball game over the last fifty years - well let's say 30 years - was cited, someone here would have a recollection of it.
Aw shucks, was a treat to see the OP stirring my memory. I’m amazed at the breadth and depth of experiences here too. Not quite on the same level as the guy who was at the original Woodstock but hey. Now that I think of it, wasn’t there a thread a few years back of best game saw in person? Will try to find it.
 

wilked

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Announcers lack of exciting is something else. We need the vid w Sox announcers…
 

TFisNEXT

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What a great post and thanks for sharing, especially your memory of your Dad.

I'm constantly amazed at the richness of the fan experience of the members of this board. If one talks about a former player even from way back, someone mentions that they met or knew him. If one remembers a game, someone here heard about it or listened to it on the radio or watched it on TV or, as in your case, actually was present at the ballpark. I'm probably getting carried away here, but I wonder if every Red Sox baseball game over the last fifty years - well let's say 30 years - was cited, someone here would have a recollection of it.
I’m guessing almost every game in your 30 year window is covered here on SOSH either by live attendance or watching/listening to it live. Games that you and I may have forgotten are vivid memories of someone else here because they attended the game or watched it under some memorable circumstance.

Many of us here have multiple seasons where we either watched or listened to 150+ games if not every single game in a given season. It truly is a wealth of historical Red Sox accounts. It’s one of the features that makes this place so fun.
 

tims4wins

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I’m guessing almost every game in your 30 year window is covered here on SOSH either by live attendance or watching/listening to it live. Games that you and I may have forgotten are vivid memories of someone else here because they attended the game or watched it under some memorable circumstance.

Many of us here have multiple seasons where we either watched or listened to 150+ games if not every single game in a given season. It truly is a wealth of historical Red Sox accounts. It’s one of the features that makes this place so fun.
Yeah this is so true.

There is an Instagram account named bostonsportsthrowback that posts a ton of pictures, videos, etc. It's a fun follow. But one recent example is that they posted a picture from a 1997 game between the Sox and Braves, with both wearing old school Boston uniforms, from the Braves time in Boston. And my immediate reaction was, I remember that game because I was there! It was the night that Nomar reached his 30 game hit streak, only to see it fall the next day. IIRC it was an infield single kind of late in the game, so there was suspense.
 

trs

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I’m guessing almost every game in your 30 year window is covered here on SOSH either by live attendance or watching/listening to it live. Games that you and I may have forgotten are vivid memories of someone else here because they attended the game or watched it under some memorable circumstance.

Many of us here have multiple seasons where we either watched or listened to 150+ games if not every single game in a given season. It truly is a wealth of historical Red Sox accounts. It’s one of the features that makes this place so fun.
True. Growing up my dad would get tickets for about 3-4 games every year. He'd get 4 tickets normally, and we would tow along usually a friend of mine and that person's dad, maybe my dad's brother would join, perhaps a Smith College colleague, who knows.

I remember in 1988, one of the four games we saw that year was Kevin Romine's first career homerun. It won the game in the bottom of the 9th against the Royals. He had come in earlier for Mike Greenwell, and this was a bit of a disappointment to me at the time. I liked the Gator at that point, and in my 8 year-old mind, Greenwell was destined for the Hall as the next great Sox leftfielder. To have him replaced by Kevin Romine, who seemed to be playing in way too many games and spending most of his time being out in some way, was, well, not popular.

Then he homered, barely if I remember correctly, and all was forgiven for an afternoon.

Fast-forward one year, and again, one of the four games in 1989 we saw was against the Royals. This time Kevin Clutch Romine was starting. 1989 Romine was a bit better than 1988 Romine, but needless to say was struggling to fill in for the hurt Ellis Burks. Romine's average was shockingly over .300 at the time (no, I didn't remember that), but he hadn't left the yard since the last time I had seen him.

You all are seeing where this is going. Romine went yard, a largely inconsequential solo shot, but at that point I witnessed his only two homeruns in his career.

He'd go on to hit three more without my help.
 

InstaFace

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Williamson was also nails. They whiffed on Sauerbeck at the trade deadline.
Hence, of course, the username of @mt8thsw9th . Which became a muttering of despair that offseason around SoSH.

I think that lineup still holds several MLB records too. They were actually somewhat inefficient in scoring runs too (both luck with hit clustering and not that fast in bases)…prob could’ve threatened Cleveland’s record there if they were more efficient.
I'd be interested in what records the 2003 Sox hold, but I believe the record for runs scored in a season, since the deadball era, goes:

1. 1931 Yankees, 1067
2. 1936 Yankees, 1065
3. 1930 Yankees, 1062
4. 1950 Red Sox, 1027
5. 1999 Indians, 1009
6. 1930 Cardinals, 1004
7. 1932 Yankees, 1002
8. 1930 Cubs, 998
9. 1996 Mariners, 993

2003 Red Sox: 961 runs scored (809 allowed). I don't think we were all that close to any sort of notable record.
 

TFisNEXT

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Hence, of course, the username of @mt8thsw9th . Which became a muttering of despair that offseason around SoSH.


I'd be interested in what records the 2003 Sox hold, but I believe the record for runs scored in a season, since the deadball era, goes:

1. 1931 Yankees, 1067
2. 1936 Yankees, 1065
3. 1930 Yankees, 1062
4. 1950 Red Sox, 1027
5. 1999 Indians, 1009
6. 1930 Cardinals, 1004
7. 1932 Yankees, 1002
8. 1930 Cubs, 998
9. 1996 Mariners, 993

2003 Red Sox: 961 runs scored (809 allowed). I don't think we were all that close to any sort of notable record.
You are correct I got my runs record mixed up. They were within shouting distance of the 1950 team record but it may have taken a bit of luck aside from neutral efficiency to catch that mark.

I do believe that team held MLB record for extra bae hits, team SLG, and I think most number of players with 20+ home runs? (That last record I think was tied with multiple teams).

Regardless, what a crazy lineup that was and a fun team to watch.
 

dirtynine

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True. Growing up my dad would get tickets for about 3-4 games every year. He'd get 4 tickets normally, and we would tow along usually a friend of mine and that person's dad, maybe my dad's brother would join, perhaps a Smith College colleague, who knows.

I remember in 1988, one of the four games we saw that year was Kevin Romine's first career homerun. It won the game in the bottom of the 9th against the Royals. He had come in earlier for Mike Greenwell, and this was a bit of a disappointment to me at the time. I liked the Gator at that point, and in my 8 year-old mind, Greenwell was destined for the Hall as the next great Sox leftfielder. To have him replaced by Kevin Romine, who seemed to be playing in way too many games and spending most of his time being out in some way, was, well, not popular.

Then he homered, barely if I remember correctly, and all was forgiven for an afternoon.

Fast-forward one year, and again, one of the four games in 1989 we saw was against the Royals. This time Kevin Clutch Romine was starting. 1989 Romine was a bit better than 1988 Romine, but needless to say was struggling to fill in for the hurt Ellis Burks. Romine's average was shockingly over .300 at the time (no, I didn't remember that), but he hadn't left the yard since the last time I had seen him.

You all are seeing where this is going. Romine went yard, a largely inconsequential solo shot, but at that point I witnessed his only two homeruns in his career.

He'd go on to hit three more without my help.
I remember listening to that first Romine HR game up at the lake in NH (age 10). Middle of family vacation. I was psyched but also loved Greenwell so the mixed feelings were real.
 

BuellMiller

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One of the ESPN columnists in 2003 listed my namesake as the worst fa signing in 2003 offseason (I want to say it was Jayson Stark). Presumably because of the incumbent reigning all star 3b in Hillenbrand “blocking” him. At this point in the season with Shea already traded for BK Kim and Mueller hitting over .300, he was already proven wrong, but the two grand slam game was the cherry on top of it.
 

grsharky7

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I was about 5 dark and stormies deep at a bar on Block Island watching that game. The place went bonkers when he hit the 2nd one.

That team had me convinced they could win it all, and that was one of the moments. The other one was when Trot hit the grand slam in Philly a few weeks later. Alas I ended up in the fetal position in my apartment parking lot after Boone’s HR. Still a fun season.
 

Greg Blosser

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I was a few blocks away at a friend's place - huge Sox fan - and we were following the game online while just hanging out. But my main memory is walking home at about 2:30 AM nicely toasted and thinking about what Mueller did and how this team was starting to feel like they could do anything, while listening to Forever Changes on my discman - which finally clicked with me that night - and then seeing the largest racoon of my life on a Brooklyn side street, no less. The thing was the size of a dog, I swear.

Anyway, listening to Forever Changes right now and have been texting with the same dude all day about Casas. 20 years ago tonight we were only about 25% of the way through the most intense 2 years of baseball we'll ever see. It was so fucking awesome - all of it.
 

EyeBob

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Dec 22, 2022
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Well, looks like I just found my music for today while I complete my man-chores around the house. I will give this a listen. Thanks @Greg Blosser
 

wiffleballhero

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In the simulacrum
It is remarkable to watch how much of a pro he is as he closes out the second grand slam. He comes home with a "I do this every day look."

I loved him on the sox. Sad he ever left.
 

runnels3

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The 2003 team was probably my favorite Sox team of all time. Those guys were absolute monsters at the plate. No let up 1 through 9. It’s a shame the way it ended but it shouldn’t take away from how awesome they were.
I agree. It's how I feel about the '78 team as well. The farther we get away from that year, the more legendary the team has become.
 

bohous

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I have this memory that this was the night ESPN was doing a behind-the-scenes show leading up to the evening Sportcenter and there was footage of them scrambling to change up the program to make this the lead story. Am I dreaming that?
 

bosockboy

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I have this memory that this was the night ESPN was doing a behind-the-scenes show leading up to the evening Sportcenter and there was footage of them scrambling to change up the program to make this the lead story. Am I dreaming that?
No! You’re correct. Remember it vividly.
 

Whoop-La White

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I can't find a cut of the NESN call anywhere, but I distinctly remember Jerry Remy exclaiming "whoa" as the ball jumped of Mueller's bat for the 3rd homer/2nd slam.

Epstein's early acquisitions (Walker, Mueller, Ortiz, Bellhorn) were ho-hum guys on their old teams who put on relentless quality at-bats.