Brian Dallimore's Date with Giants History

Dallimore's unique place in Giants history, hopefully just the first of many but in any case, it can never be taken away from him. Congratulations and good luck with his career!

Brian Dallimore had no inkling that when he saw his name in the lineup that he would soon be linked to Bobby Bonds in Giants baseball history. After eight plus seasons as a minor leaguer and now over 3,000 at-bats toiling there, he was just happy to be in the majors, getting his first taste of major league life. A lifetime .289 hitter, with a slugging average of only .396, his main hope of making the big leagues was his ability to get on base: his on-base percentage last year was .427, the year before that .346. Any power was just an added bonus: last year in 330 at-bats, he only had 16 doubles, 2 triples, and 4 home runs.

Plus he probably was happy just on now being a San Francisco Giants, however brief it could be, because he grew up a Giants fan. His father was head baseball coach at UNLV and coached Matt Williams before he was drafted by the Giants. Just 12 years old when Williams was drafted, Dallimore allegiance was set by fate.

And now he was finally a major leaguer, wearing the uniform of his boyhood team, after making his major league debut in the 7th inning of the April 29th game as a pinch-hitter and grounding out. Contact is the name of his game as he only struck out 37 times last year in 330 at-bats and now he will have a place in any baseball encyclopedia, listed as a San Francisco Giant. No matter what happens, he can say that he was a major leaguer and he was a Giant.

His First Start

And now he gets his first start of his career, on the same day that Willie Mays hit four home runs in one game, on April 30th, 1961. The lineup card said that he was batting second and playing thirdbase. Little did he know but he would soon be associated with another Giants great in the history books.

His game started off well enough. In the top of the first, he recorded his first major league putout, 5-3, when Alex Gonzalez grounds out to him to end the inning. His player profile fills out a little more.

Then he scored his first major league run in the bottom of the first. He walked after Jeffrey Hammonds led off the inning with a home run. He then raced to third on Marquis Grissom's single to right, but Grissom got thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Barry Bonds, of course, was then walked. Lastly, Dallimore scores when Edgardo Alfonzo grounds out to the pitcher.

However, next he got his first error. On a sacrifice bunt by Juan Pierre, Brian Dallimore had a throwing error, allowing the baserunner on second to advance to thirdbase and Pierre to be safe on first. Pierre eventually scores an unearned run.

A Date With History

So when Dallimore came up to bat in the bottom of the second inning, he was just looking to redeem himself for his error by making good contact and keeping the rally going. Jeffrey Hammonds had just singled in a run to make it 9-3 Marlins and kept the bases loaded for Dallimore. A homerun was the furthest thing in his mind as he doesn't hit many homers and had not had a grand slam as a ballplayer so far in his long professional career.

Then on the first pitch thrown to him, he lofts it into the air, way back as soon-to-be Hall-of-Famer Lon Simmons would have said, and tell it good bye! A Grand Slam! SBC Park goes crazy!

And Your Prize Package Includes...

Brian Dallimore's grand slam was his first major league hit, matching Bobby Bonds' feat in his debut on June 25, 1968. While not in his first major league game, missing by one game - a rare feat as Bobby Bonds was the only one to hit a grand slam in his first game in the 20th century and only one other player has ever done it, as it was first done in 1898 - it is nevertheless in his first start, like Bobby also. Lastly, it was in his third plate appearance, just like Bobby.

Brian also joins the many players who can say that they hit a home run for their first major league hit (if you'll recall, he had made an out and walked in his first two plate appearances), including Giants Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, John "the Count" Montefusco, and Johnnie LeMaster, and the more select group who can say that they hit a grand slam for their first major league hit.

Brian's day was like a dream. The Giants eventually won 12-9 after being down 9-2 after an inning and a half. He ended the day batting 3 for 3 with a walk, three runs scored and four runs batted in, his batting average a gaudy .750 for his career. A newspaper clipping sure to show up in his scrapbook. One day he can share his story with youngsters - friends and relatives - of his first start in the major leagues. No one can ever take that away from him.



Martin Lee writes 'A Biased Giant's Fanatic's View' for SFDugout.com when the mood and muse strikes him. He wants to teach and share his love of baseball and, in particular, his love for the San Francisco Giants. He will believe to his dying days that Bobby Bonds was robbed of being the first 40-40 player and should be in Cooperstown. Please feel free to e-mail him at BiasedGiantsFanatic@nospam.yahoo.com (remove the "nospam." if you wish to e-mail me) if you have a question or comment.

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