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Filling the (MLB) Void: Bill Mueller’s Grand Evening

Bill Mueller had a special night vs. the Rangers in Arlington in July, 2003.

Filling the (MLB) Void: Bill Mueller’s Grand Evening

Estimated Reading Time: 3 Minutes

Having a hard time with the Major League Baseball lockout? Yeah – us too. Especially when Spring Training should have started and there are still so many questions left to answer before the season can begin. So, we here at The Turf thought we’d offer a way to help ease that tension. While we may not have any of the current MLB baseball to watch live, there is PLENTY of archive footage available at our fingertips. We’ve scoured the internet and assembled some of the most iconicnoteworthy, and remarkable baseball games we could find. We also found some mundanerun of the mill stories, that seemed banal at first watch. However, at this point, we’ll take anything that resembles an MLB game, right? Until the lockout ends, we’ll feature one of the contests and provide you a link where you can relive the glory, exhilaration, and thrill from the comfort of your couch.

Bill Mueller Enters the Record Books

Bill Mueller (pronounced “miller”) had a fine first seven seasons of his career. He played for the San Francisco Giants and Chicago Cubs, with a .286/.370/.399 slash line and earned 13.8 WAR. He was also a positive defensive player at third base.

Then he decided to switch leagues and join the Boston Red Sox as a free agent in January of 2003.

Mueller would go on to have the best offensive season of his career, with 85 runs, 19 home runs and 85 RBIs. He also had a .326/.398/.540 slash line, winning the batting title over teammate Manny Ramirez (.325) and Boston’s mortal enemy Derek Jeter (.324).

Mueller also won the Silver Slugger award for third base, and finished 12th in MVP voting. In his three seasons with the Red Sox, Mueller had a .303/.379/.474 slash line and was worth 10.1 WAR. He also won a World Series ring in 2004.

The crowning achievement of Mueller’s career with Boston came during his first season.

On July 29, 2003, the Red Sox were visiting the Texas Rangers. The pitching matchup was Tim Wakefield vs. R.A. Dickey, which provided a lot of uncertainty. Knuckleballers can either mystify hitters all game, or they can end up delivering meatballs right over the plate.

This game was the latter as the teams combined for six home runs and 21 total runs in the game. Wakefield and Dickey were only responsible for 6 of the 21 runs though, as the Rangers bullpen imploded from the 7th inning on.

It was in that 7th inning when Mueller took his first step towards the record books. With Boston leading 5-4, Mueller faced off against Aaron Fultz with the bases loaded. Mueller was a switch hitter and batted from the right side vs. the lefty Fultz. On a 2-2 pitch, Mueller launched a grand slam to deep left.

Then, in the 8th inning Mueller was hitting from the left side vs the right-handed Jay Powell. At this point, Boston was winning 10-4 and the bases were again loaded. Mueller took an 0-1 pitch to deep right center for his 2nd grand slam in two innings, one from each side of the plate.

Bill Mueller won’t make the Hall of Fame. But thanks to his 2004 World Series ring and one special night in Arlington, Sox fans will always remember Mueller.

Terry is from Massachusetts and is a passionate fan of the Patriots, Celtics, Red Sox and Bruins. He also will admit he only pays attention to Syracuse basketball when they're good. If there's a Twitter trade rumor even remotely associated with one of his teams, he's likely fallen for it. Finally, he believes 100% that if the Celtics had beaten the Heat in the 2012 Eastern Conference Finals they would have swept the Thunder in the Finals.

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