Freddie Freeman prepared for the upcoming season by being introduced to the thrill of hitting a home run with the bases loaded. But after drilling a grand slam in the third inning of the March 6 8-2 win over the Tigers, the Braves first baseman received a subduing message from his playful manager.
“I told him it didn’t count, you still don’t have one,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said with a laugh.
Freeman certainly had reason to enjoy drilling Tyson Ross’ fastball over the center-field-wall after coming to the plate with the bases loaded in the third inning. But Freeman will still enter the regular season knowing none of the 189 homers he’s tallied while racking up more than 5,000 career plate appearances have been a grand slam.
The Braves first baseman has batted .289 (22-for-76) with the bases loaded during his career. The six walks Freeman has drawn equals the number of extra-base hits (all doubles) he has tallied in these situations. So while he can lay claim to having experienced the rarity of hitting for the cycle, he still has fewer grand slams than retired pitcher Jaime Garcia, who hit one for the Braves in 2017.
Dating back to 1966, 148 Major Leaguers have hit for the cycle. Freeman stands as one of the 21 members of this group who have never hit a grand slam. He and Lou Brock (149 career homers) are the only members of this cycle-but-no slam group who have tallied as many as 100 homers.
In fact, minus Freeman and Brock, the other 19 members of this group have an average of 31 career home runs.