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Article:Player From the Past: Tony Cloninger

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Tony Lee Cloninger Born: August 13, 1940 in Cherryville, North Carolina

Major League Debut: June 15, 1961 Final Game: July 22, 1972

Tony Cloninger will be best remembered for hitting two grandslams on July 3, 1966 against the San Francisco Giants. Cloninger a pitcher for the Milwaukee and Atlanta Braves was the only NL player to ever hit two grand slams in the same game until Fernando Tatis hit two in the same inning for the Cardinals against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 23, 1999. No National Leaguer has hit two grand slams in same game other than Cloninger and Tatis since Tatis hit his in 1999.

Cloninger also set the record for runs batted in by a pitcher with nine runs batted in during that game. Only two weeks before that game he had driven in five runs in a 17-1 win over the Mets.

Cloninger was a pitcher for the Milwaukee Braves the first five years of his career and posted a 67-41 record. He won 24 games in 1965 but didn't receive a single vote for Cy Young Award because Sandy Koufax won 26 games that year and was the unanimous winner.

He was 19-21 in three seasons with the Atlanta Braves. He was 27-33 in four seasons with the Reds and was 0-2 for the Cardinals in 1972 for his last season. Cloninger finished his career with a 113-97 record and a 4.07 ERA. In 1966 the year he hit the two grand slams in one game he hit 5 homers and drove in 23 runs. He hit 11 homers in his career and drove in 67 runs.

In 2002 and 2003 he was a pitching coach for the Boston Red Sox before being diagnosed with cancer and forced to take a leave of absence.

He was with the Yankees organization for fifteen years and was the Yankees pitching coach in 1993.

Baseball-reference.com compares his stats with those of Steve Stone and Chan Ho Park.


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