Hafner ties Mattingly for slams in season
Indians slugger hits sixth as part of an 11-run first inning
CLEVELAND -- Travis Hafner took a curtain call Sunday.
Actually, Hafner had little choice, because the 25,251 fans in Jacobs Field insisted that the man called "Pronk" not let this moment in history get away without some acknowledgement on his part.
Hafner had just finished rounding the bases to finish off his grand slam, which in and of itself isn't so important in a game where the Tribe already led, 7-0. But his grand slam had history tied to it. It was Hafner's sixth grand slam of the season, which made him just the second player in Major League history to accomplish the feat.
"It's cool to tie a Major League record," said Hafner, a crush of reporters around his locker stall. "But, during the season, I really don't get caught up in a whole lot of stuff like that. I just try to take a good approach in every game.
"Maybe at the end of the year, you kinda look back and [say], 'Oh, that was a pretty cool accomplishment.'"
Hafner, who knew going in that he'd been the first person in Major League history to record five grand slams before the All-Star break, tied former Yankees first baseman Don Mattingly for the honor by ripping a line drive down the right-field line off Royals right-hander Luke Hudson as part of an 11-run first inning.
Mattingly hit six grand slams in 1987.
"He's a hitting coach now," Hafner said of Mattingly. "So I've had a chance to meet him here the past couple of years.
"He was one of the best players in the game for a number of years and a great run-producer. So, yeah, he was a guy I always enjoyed watching."
Hafner, who entered play Sunday hitting .299 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs, had a short workday. In two officials at-bats, he improved on those numbers at game's end: .302, 35 homers and 104 RBIs.
And with the bases loaded, he's hitting .615 with six homers and 29 RBIs.
Those 29 RBIs, Hafner said, are nice numbers. But the six grand slams, well, that's history. He'll take those over the 29 RBIs.
"Yeah," he said smiling, "I'll take the six slams, I guess."
Justice B. Hill is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.