For Pete's Sake

A short history of all nine of Royals’ Sonic Slam home runs

Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain celebrated his Sonic Slam grand slam in with George Kottaras (from left), Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer on July 4, 2013, at Kauffman Stadium.
Kansas City Royals' Lorenzo Cain celebrated his Sonic Slam grand slam in with George Kottaras (from left), Billy Butler and Eric Hosmer on July 4, 2013, at Kauffman Stadium.

Here’s a trivia question for the hard-core Royals fan in your life: How many Royals players named Abraham have hit a grand slam in the Sonic Slam inning.

Thanks to Abraham Almonte’s grand slam Sunday in Detroit, the answer is two. Abraham Nunez did it in 2004.

Almonte was the ninth Royals player to win a fan the grand prize in the contest, which started in 1995.

Here is an updated look at the select group of Royals, who have won fans a huge chunk of cash:

Abraham Almonte, April 22, 2018

Whit Merrifield’s solo shot won $300 for Jadah Bradley, and Almonte later hit a grand slam that made it the biggest windfall in Sonic Slam history.

Cam Gallagher Aug. 14, 2017

The Royals led 2-1 at Oakland when Gallagher hit his first career big-league home run, a grand slam against Oakland’s Jharel Cotton.

“I didn’t hear of it that inning,” Gallagher said. “I came off the field playing defense the next inning and Drew (Butera) came in and he told me that I won some guy 25 grand. I thought he was joking.”

The Royals won 6-2.

Lorenzo Cain July 4, 2013

This was a game-changer. The Royals trailed the Indians 5-0 when Cain stepped to the plate and lined an Ubaldo Jimenez pitch over the center-field wall.

Eric Hosmer, Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas all scored, and George Kottaras followed with a solo shot that tied the game. The Royals went on to a 10-5 win, and Debbie Hassed of Overland Park won the big prize.

“I heard the crack of the bat, and my husband was like, ‘That’s it! That’s it!’” Hassed told The Star at the time. “I saw that ball go over the fence, and I just went crazy. The phone started ringing, and the texts started coming in.”

She also won an extra $100 for Kottaras’ homer.

Abraham Nunez Aug. 13, 2004

This one also came in Oakland, and Nunez’s blast broke a scoreless tie. David DeJesus, Mike Sweeney and Ken Harvey scored on the home run, which came against Oakland’s Mark Mulder. The Royals won 10-3.

It was one of just six home runs in Nunez’s career.

Matt Stairs April 20, 2004

The Royals rolled over the Indians, thanks in part to the grand slam by Matt Stairs. The home run off Jeriome Robertson scored Tony Graffanino, Carlos Beltran and Juan Gonzalez.

The fan who won the cash was Ron Adams of Independence, and the Royals won 15-5. The Royals won just 58 games that season.

Carlos Beltran July 21, 2002

The Royals trailed Cleveland 9-6 when Beltran’s grand slam put the Royals ahead in a wild game at Kauffman Stadium. Brent Mayne, Aaron Guiel and Chuck Knoblauch scored on the blast that meant John Richmond would be getting a big check.

“Everybody just started hollering, ‘You got it, you got it, you got it,’” Richmond told The Star.

Cleveland’s Sean DePaula was the pitcher, and the Royals ended up winning 13-12 in 10 innings.

“I’m hoping,” Beltran told The Star, “I can get 10 percent of that.”

Johnny Damon Sept. 15, 2000

The Royals were down 9-1 against the Rangers in Arlington, Texas, when they put up a seven-spot in the sixth inning. The big blow was Damon’s grand slam, which scored Dave McCarty, Hector Ortiz and Carlos Febles.

The home run off Texas’ Jeff Zimmerman meant $25,000 for Laura Walker of Jasper, Mo. The Royals took a 10-9 lead into the ninth, but coughed it up. In the 10th, the Royals went up 11-10, but ended up losing 12-11.

Dave McCarty July 19, 2000

In an 11-season career, McCarty played for seven teams, including three seasons with the Royals. The 2000 season was his best, and McCarty had 12 homers, 53 RBIs and an .807 OPS.

McCarty’s two-out blast came against the Indians’ Chuck Finley and turned a 3-0 deficit into a 4-3 lead. Mike Sweeney, Jermaine Dye and Mark Quinn came around to score, and the Royals went on to a 10-5 victory.

Craig Paquette May 24, 1997

The very first winner of the $25,000 prize was Lisa Milgram of Kansas City, and she had Paquette to thank for it. He hit a grand slam off Seattle’s Jamie Moyer and brought home Jay Bell, Jeff King and David Howard. The Royals beat the Mariners 11-5 at Kauffman Stadium.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff