Greg Colbrunn was rarely an everyday player throughout his 13-year career in Major League Baseball. During the Florida Marlins’ early years, however, Colbrunn was an integral part of the team’s lineup.
Colbrunn’s best season arguably came in 1995 when he hit .277 with a career-high 23 home runs and 89 RBIs. On this day 25 years ago, Colbrunn had one of the best days ever for a Marlins’ hitter.
In a contest against the San Francisco Giants at Candlestick Park on July 18, 1995, Colbrunn set a club record with seven RBIs. His day was highlighted by a grand slam in the 14th inning that help lift the Florida Marlins to a 12-10 victory.
Colbrunn’s first blast came in the fourth inning to break a 1-1 tie and give the Marlins a three-run lead. After a solo home run by Steve Scarsone cut the lead to two in the six, Charles Johnson followed Tommy Gregg’s RBI single with a two-run single for the Marlins in the eighth. After that rally padded their lead to 7-2, the Marlins looked in line for an easy victory. But the Giants answered with four runs in the bottom of the inning before drawing even in the bottom of the ninth on a solo home run by Barry Bonds off Marlins closer Robb Nen.
After four straight scoreless innings, the Marlins managed to retake the lead in the top of the 14th on an unearned run. Florida went ahead for good on a bunt by infielder Jerry Browne that was misplayed by San Francisco first baseman Mark Carreon. Quilvio Veras came around to score to put the Marlins ahead, 8-7.
Following walks to Jeff Conine and Terry Pendleton, Colbrunn came to the plate with the bases loaded. With a three-run homer already under his belt, Colbrunn one-upped that effort with a grand slam off San Francisco’s Chris Hook. The blast gave Florida a 12-7 lead and Colbrunn a team record seven RBIs on the afternoon.
The Giants made things interesting in the bottom of the 14th on Glenallen Hill’s three-run blast, but Terry Mathews struck out Scarsone to end the contest.
The teams combined for 31 hits in the contest. Carreon led the Giants with a game-high four hits. Robby Thompson added three hits while Hill finished with four RBIs in the loss.
Colbrunn finished with three hits for Florida, adding an eighth-inning single to his two blasts. Pendleton, Gregg and starting pitcher Chris Hammond all had two hits for Florida. Colbrunn and Pendleton each scored three runs in the win.
As for Colbrunn, his time alone atop the Marlins’ record books would be short-lived. Two months later, Gary Sheffield equaled the feat with seven RBIs in a 13-10 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies. In the quarter-century since, two other Marlins have tied the record. Cody Ross finished with seven RBIs during a three-home run effort against the New York Mets in September 2006. Infielder Adeiny Hechavarría did so most recently in a 14-2 win over the Phillies in May 2013.
Although it’s been tied three times, Colbrunn’s team record for RBIs in a game still stands. It happened on this day 25 years ago.