It doesn’t take a genius to know that not all home runs are created equal. There are levels of minutia within the taxonomy of home runs which weave together to form a tapestry so confusing even the most die-hard baseball fan can be forgiven for not knowing every variety of dinger.
Chicago Cubs infielder David Bote kicked off a fresh round of home run examination on Sunday night when he became the seventh player in MLB history to pinch-hit an Ultimate Grand Slam (which, believe it or not, is not a menu item at Denny’s). However, there was talk that what he actually hit was a “Golden Homer” and the whole thing got us thinking: How many types of home runs have specific names?
Game-ending Home Runs
The Ultimate Grand Slam
This is what Bote did, and it’s a fairly easy concept to grasp. This is a walk-off grand slam that comes in a situation where the batting team is down by precisely three runs. It’s essentially the grand-daddy of all home runs in the most drama-filled situation possible.
There have been just 23 Ultimate Grand Slams since 1936, according to Baseball Reference.
This is the same as an Ultimate Grand Slam, except the batting team is on their final out and the batter is down two strikes in the count.
Bote also did this — so it’s up to you which phraseology you prefer.
Walk-off Inside the Park Grand Slam
This needs a better name, but it combines an inside the park homer and a grand slam all rolled into one. Roberto Clemente in 1956 is the only player to have recorded this feat.
Other Home Run Feats
Home Run Cycle
Not a home run per se, but this is where a player hits a one run, two run, three run and a grand slam all in the same game. The only Home Run Cycle ever hit was by Tyrone Horne for the Double-A Arkansas Travelers in 1998.
Walk-off Home Run
A home run that ends the game in the ninth inning or later, hit by the home team. This can break a tie, or be a two- or three-run shot that pulls the team ahead.
Inside-the-Park Home Run
A hit than never clears the fence and stays in play the entire time. Often scored due to a fielding error, inside the park homers are a rare delight as you get to see a batter huffing it around as fast as possible in the hopes of making it home before the ball is thrown to the plate.
Lead-off Home Run
A homer hit by the first batter of the game.
Here are some home runs I made up because they SHOULD be things
Super Diamond Platinum Home Run, now with Diner’s Club points
A home run, on a Sunday — after you’ve eaten at a restaurant in the home city mentioned in the Zagat guide as one of the 100 “best in the city.”
Ultimate Grand Slam Bonker
A game-winning grand slam, which doinks off an outfielder’s head and over the fence.
Ultimate Grand Slam Bonker Supreme
The same as above, except there’s blood.
An inside-the-park home run where the runner breaks wind, ever so slightly after rounding first base. The baseman must acknowledge a “Flagilarte!” when asked by the umpire.
Grand Chelem de la Mort
A grand slam, in which the outfielder accidentally falls over the outfield wall and into a poorly designed shark tank positioned where the ball lands.
A home run that lands in the lap of someone reading an alternate history book in which Atilla overthrew the Rom an empire in 445 A.D.
If you fancy yourself a baseball aficionado you probably knew most of these, and that’s okay. There might be other people who didn’t know, and honestly, nobody wants to hear you say “THAT’S SO OBVIOUS!”. There’s no shame in being confused by baseball terminology.