Bob Allison hit the first grand slam in Twins history in the top of the first inning in the first game of a Sunday doubleheader in Baltimore on April 16, 1961.
The Orioles’ Chuck Estrada—who had tied for the league lead with 18 wins the previous season and would win 15 in 1961—walked the first three batters to start the game, filling the bases Allison, who cleaned them up.
After giving up a double to Jim Lemon, Estrada was pulled, ultimately being responsible for five runs. Relief pitcher John Papa didn’t fare much better, issuing consecutive two-out bases-loaded walks before Dick Hall, the third pitcher used by Baltimore in the six-run first, got the final out.
Allison added a three-run homer in the sixth, establishing a Twins single-game record with seven RBI in the 10-5 win. That record was matched four times before being broken by Glenn Adams with eight RBI on June 26, 1977. Randy Bush tied the new record with eight RBI on May 20, 1989.
Read more about 7+ RBI games in Twins history.
In addition to being the first in Twins history, Allison’s grand slam was significant in two more ways. It was the first of three grand slams he hit in 1961, still tied for the team single-season record with Rod Carew (1976), Kent Hrbek (1985), Kirby Puckett (1992), and Torii Hunter (2007).
Additionally, it was the first of eight grand slams the Twins hit as a team during their inaugural 1961 season, which still stands as the club record. The other Twins to hit grand slams in 1961 were Dan Dobbek, Harmon Killebrew, Julio Becquer (a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam on the Fourth of July), Ted Lepcio, and Bill Tuttle.
I saw my first MLB game July 4, 1961. I will never forget Julio Becquer hitting a pinch-hit walk-off grand slam in game 1 of a doubleheader. (In game 2 Harmon Killebrew hit his only career inside the park home run.)