Cliff Johnson did it for the Yankees June 30, 1977. Lee May did it for the Astros April 29, 1974. Rick Reichardt (later to be a Washington Senator) did it for the Angels April 30, 1966. A dozen other modern major leaguers did, too.
Joe Cunningham (a future Senator) did it for Winston-Salem July 2, 1951. Two other Carolina Leaguers have achieved the feat.
All of the above hit two home runs in one inning, to share the record for organized baseball. None of the above, nor anyone on record in any pro league, did what 474 Carolina League fans saw done at Alexandria's Four Mile Run Park Monday night:
Switch-hit home runs in one inning, by Gary Pellant of the Mariners.
Pellant, a 5-foot-10, 170-pound 23-year-old from Elmonte, Calif., looking for a breakthrough in his third year at the Class A level, led off the seventh inning batting right-handed against Salem Pirate lefty Jose Calderon: home run to left field. The Mariners kept parading to the plate and, still in the seventh, here came Pellant, batting left-handed against righty Luis Jimenez: homer to right, with one on. History!
Not too often does an 11-hit, 12-run inning develop to provide the opportunity afforded Pellant, but credit him with eclipsing even the longest-hitting batsman from both sides of the plate, Mickey Mantle (not to be confused with Pellant's 1978 Alexandria teammate, Mickey Mantle Jr.).
Pellant led Alexandria, then the independent Dukes (he and they now are affiliated with the Seattle Mariners), in home runs last season, 14.
So, when he came up for his second ups in the big inning, did he swing up for the fence? "No, I don't do that. That's the way to create bad habits."
So, did you use the same bat from both sides, Gary? "Yes. Borrowed from one of the other guys (about a 32-ouncer). We're running low on bats, so I've been using his."
Oh, yes. The historic pair were Pellant's first and second home runs of the season. He's had a bit on his mind-switching from second base to third base afield, and wife Julie expecting their first child in August. First and second? Lefty and righty?
The Houston Astros, rollicking at 15-6, already think they're the Yankees. Caesar Cedeno and reliever Joaquin Andujar traded punches in the clubhouse after Monday night's game at St. Louis-a 6.5 win saved, but rockily, by Andujar, who entered the clubhouse upset. Cedeno, trying to calm him, did the opposite. Nobody hurt. . . A high-level Cleveland Indian powwow that media tom-toms predicted could bring firing of skipper Jeff Torborg ended with boss Gabe Paul saying, "We're not thinking in any direction but Jeff Torborg." Staying that is. . .
All of a sudden the Denver Nuggets' interim coach, Donnie Walsh, is moving closer to being offered-and-accepting-the job on a permanent (euphemistically speaking) basis. . .If that uncomplicates things at Denver, where Tom Heinsohn and Doug Moe have been among interviewees, Red Auerbach's No. 1 choice to lead Boston, Georgia's Hugh Durham, complicates the Celtic picture by saying he feels honor-bound to his five-year contract at the university.His athletic director, Joel Eaves, said, "I'm quite sure about it. Hugh will be staying." Durham, allowing Georgia has taken care of him nicely and "it's a two-way street," capped it with this crystal-clear pronouncement: "I'm going to be coaching at Georgia next year unless I change my plans". . .
At U. of North Carolina, track star-and Phi Beta Kappa student - Karen Stevenson, a superachiever from the nation's capital, is the first two-time winner of the Jim Tatum Memorial Award for character, leadership, scholarship and ability. She not only owns all UNC women's records in sprints (and her specialty, quarter mile) and hurdles - but a Rhodes Scholarship. Stevenson (earlier this year) was the first U.S. black woman to win the Rhodes for post-graduate study at Oxford.* CAPTION: Picture, Gary Pellant of the Alexandria Mariners didn't do it with mirrors when he did what no known player in professional baseball ever did before. Photos by Margaret Thomas-The Washington Post