A Marlins memory from this day in 1997.
When Gary Sheffield’s tenure with the Florida Marlins ended early in 1998, he held the club’s all-time and single-seasons records for home runs.
Those record would fall by the wayside, but there is at least one franchise feat that still only Sheffield has accomplished: hit two home runs in the same inning. He did so on this day 25 years ago in a 9-3 win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Marlins trailed 1-0 as they came to the plate in the bottom of the fourth at Pro Player Stadium on July 13, 1997. Against Philadelphia starter Mark Leiter, Florida drew even just two pitches in.
On a 1-0 pitch, Sheffield crushed one over the wall in left field to tie the score. Before the inning was over, Florida would score eight times.
Mark Kotsay, playing in just his second career game, put Florida ahead for good with a two-out bases-clearing three-run triple. Edgar Renteria then doubled Kotsay home. Jim Eisenreich followed by walking, which ended Leiter’s day and set the stage for Sheffield.
With two runners on, Sheffield saw four pitches, but the result was the same. On a 2-1 pitch from Reggie Harris, Sheffield again went deep to left—in an almost identical spot—for his second home run of the frame.
Moises Alou capped the scoring for the Marlins in the sixth with an RBI triple that scored Sheffield. Gregg Jefferies homered and drove in two of the three runs for the Phillies.
Sheffield’s record 122 home runs with the Marlins would last until 2004 when Mike Lowell bested that mark. His record 42 home runs in 1996 lasted 21 years until Giancarlo Stanton hit 59 bombs in 2017.
While those records no longer belong to Sheffield, he remains the only player in team history to homer twice in one inning. He accomplished the feat on this day a quarter-century ago.