This date in Kernels alumni history – September 11, 1965 – Tony Cloninger
On September 11, 1965, Tony Cloninger (Cedar Rapids Braves – 1959) pitched a complete game shutout to lead the Milwaukee Braves to a 9-0 win over the New York Mets. Cloninger struck out three while allowing one hit and four walks. He even helped himself at the plate going 1-3 with a HR and three RBI.
Tony Cloninger finished his career with a 113-97 mark and an ERA of 4.07 during his 12 years playing with the Braves, Reds and Cardinals. Cloninger was regarded as a tough fireball pitcher and was also a dangerous power hitter. On July 3, 1966, in an Atlanta Braves’ 17-3 win over the Giants at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, Cloninger helped his team’s cause with two grand slams, driving in a total of nine runs, the ninth coming on a run-scoring single. Cloninger became the first player in the National League, and only pitcher to date, to hit two grand slams in the same game, also setting a major league record for pitchers with his nine runs batted in. After retiring, he served as a pitching coach for the Yankees and Red Sox.
Cloninger was part of the 1959 Cedar Rapids Braves team that finished in 8th place with a 53-73 under manager Alex Monchak. He posted a mark of 0-9 in 10 games with an ERA of 9.59 as an 18 year old.