For May 23, 1936, from the website,, comes this information:

With the Reds trailing by three runs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning at Crosley Field, Sammy Byrd hits a Cy Blanton pitch for a walk-off home run giving Cincinnati an incredible come-from-behind 4-3 victory. The 29-year old outfielder becomes the third major leaguer to hit an ‘ultimate’ grand slam, which is a homer that comes in the home team’s final at-bat and erases a three-run deficit resulting in a one-run victory.

I suppose this would have to be the ultimate baseball dream; that is, to hit a grand slam home run to win the game by one run in the bottom of the ninth inning.

From what I was able to track down, this has happened 22 times in major league baseball history, 13 times with two outs. The Orioles’ Chris Hoiles is the only “recorded” player to have done this with a full count (not all information is yet available for the other players’ at bats) and he did it with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. Babe Ruth and Jason Giambi were the other two to accomplish the feat in extra innings. The Pirates’ Robert Clemente’s ultimate grand slam may have been the most exciting of all–it was an inside-the-park grand slam to beat the Cubs in 1956.

Byrd played in eight major league seasons, two with the Reds (1935 and 1936). 1935 was Byrd’s only season as a regular with any team and he batted .262 with 9 homers for the Reds. He appeared in 59 games for the Reds in 1936, batting .248 with two homers. Oddly enough, I can find no transaction record of how the Reds acquired him or why he left the Reds. My guess is that he was signed as a free agent and was not re-signed when his contract expired. Byrd’s nickname was “Babe Ruth’s Legs” for he was commonly used as a defensive replacement for Ruth during his six year stint with the New York Yankees. According to the book “Redleg Journal”, Byrd was the best golfer to play major league baseball, having won 23 major tournaments.

Byrd’s ultimate grand slam came as a pinch hitter. The Reds were trailing the Pirates and starting pitcher Bill Swift, 3-0 entering the bottom of the ninth. Reds’ second baseman Lee Handley led off with a single, and pinch hitter Calvin Chapman followed with another single. Swift walked pinch hitter Gilly Campbell to load the bases and the Pirates countered with reliever Blanton. The Reds sent up their third consecutive pinch hitter, Byrd, and Byrd unloaded on Blanton’s first pitch to win the game (according to the book “Day by Day in Cincinnati Reds History”).