The Million Dollar Home Run

In 1999 an Arizona radio station hosted a contest in which listeners could attend a Diamondbacks baseball game and potentially win $1 million. A young woman won the chance to claim the cash and appeared at the team’s July 11 homestand. All she had to do was correctly predict what inning an Arizona batter would connect for a grand slam and identify who that batter would be. She selected the steady infielder Jay Bell, who averaged one round tripper per 16 games the previous year, and chose the sixth inning for the deed.

Bell may very well have not made it to bat had the Diamondbacks not put together an offensive rally. Bell had six batters scheduled to hit ahead of him when the sixth inning commenced. Two outs and three baserunners later the bases were loaded and Bell came to the plate. He hit an 0-2 pitch high in the strike zone over the left field wall and the rest is history.

Bell hit nearly 1/5th of his 18 year career’s 195 home runs in the 1999 season. He is also known for hitting another home run at an earlier stage of his career. He took Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven deep on his first MLB at bat in 1986.

The above card has from time to time been mentioned by set collectors as a little tougher to locate than others in the set. I haven’t seen any extra effort needed to secure a copy as it appears often enough to not pose a problem.