Mike Piazza made a bit of Major League Baseball history when the Los Angeles Dodgers cruised to a 12-4 victory over the Chicago Cubs on April 24, 1998. Piazza went 2-for-5 with a grand slam in the second inning.
That marked his third game during the month of April in which he hit a homer with the bases full. Piazza became just the sixth player in MLB history to hit three grand slams in a single month and tied a Dodgers season record, matching the three grand slams Kal Daniels hit in 1990.
The only other National League player to hit three grand slams in one month was Eric Davis, who did so with the Cincinnati Reds during the 1987 season. At the time of Piazza accomplishing the feat, four American League players had done so, with Seattle’s Mike Blowers the last to do so in August 1995.
Piazza’s first grand slam during April 1998 came off Jeff Suppan in a 7-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on April 9, and he hit another against Mike Magnante and the Houston Astros the following night.
Overall, the grand slam against the Cubs was the eighth of Piazza’s career, which tied him with Carl Furillo for second place in Dodgers franchise history. They both trailed Gil Hodges, who hit 14 during his time with the team.
The prolific showing in April helped win back some fans who booed Piazza through the first few weeks of the season. It stemmed from a contract dispute with the Dodgers front office and the early indication the eventual Hall-of-Fame catcher would become a free agent after the 1998 season.
That of course never manifested as on May 14, 1998, the Dodgers traded Piazza and Todd Zeile to the then-Florida Marlins for Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich and Manuel Barrios.
The deal not only backfired with respect to Piazza’s career, but the Dodgers were unaware Sheffield had a no-trade clause, which led to the team paying an extra $10 million in order for the disgruntled outfielder to waive it.
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