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Drew Brees Breaks Unitas Record Consecutive TD Games – October 7, 2012

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Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints is the current holder of the NFL record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass. His streak of 54 games started on October 26, 2008 and lasted until November 29, 2012. He broke Johnny Unitas’s record of 47 games on October 7, 2012. Unitas’s record stood for almost 50 years. He first set the record on December 6, 1958. At that time the record for most consecutive games with a touchdown pass was 24, but Unitas kept throwing touchdown passes, extending the record until it reached 47 games on December 4, 1960.

Brees’s streak coincided with a run by Tom Brady. On the day that Brees’s streak ended 54, Brady had thrown a touchdown in 43 consecutive games, but Brady’s streak ended at 52 games when he got shut out on October 6, 2013.

Johnny Unitas 1958 Autographed  Card

Johnny Unitas 1958 Autographed Card
Click to see this and more Johnny Unitas 1958 Collectibls

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Phil Niekro Wins 300th, Age 46 – October 6, 1985

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Phil Niekro, at the age of 46 years, six months and five days, became the oldest pitcher to win his 300th Major League game.

The win came at the expense of the Toronto Blue Jays, in Toronto, on October 6, 1985.

Niekro didn’t exactly limp to his milestone win. He blew the Jays away on a 4-hit complete game shutout, and led the Yankees to an 8-0 win. Famous for his knuckle-ball, Niekro stifled Toronto with a full repertoire of pitches.

Twenty-one years and 299 victories into his career, Phil Niekro decided to prove he was more than just a knuckleball pitcher.

And for 26 outs Sunday, on his way to an 8-0 victory over Toronto, Phil Niekro, the knuckleballer, simply became Phil Niekro the pitcher. He threw curveballs, slip pitches, fastballs and screwballs. And for 8 innings, the Blue Jays could not touch him.

Then, on the threshold of the milestone only 18 other pitchers have achieved, sentiment took over, and the need to prove that he could win without the knuckler lost out.

“As hard as it may seem, I threw three knuckleballs, and that’s when Jeff Burroughs (the final batter) came up to the plate,” Phil Niekro said. “I figured if there’s anyway I’m going to win my 300th game by striking the guy out, I was going to do it with the pitch that won the first game for me.” Read more LA Times

He wasn’t finished yet.

Niekro’s 300th win, which came on the last day of the 1985, was far from his swan song. He won 18 more games before retiring in 1987 with a record of 318 wins against 274 losses.

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Babe Ruth Hits 60th Home Run – September 30, 1927

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Babe Ruth Breaks his own record Hitting his 60th home run of the season, 1927

Babe Ruth Breaks his own record Hitting his 60th home run of the season, 1927
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Babe Ruth broke the single season home run record in 1919, 1920, 1921 and 1960

When Babe Ruth hit 59 home runs in 1921, he broke his own record of 54 homers, which he had set in 1920. His 1920 record also broke a record that Ruth already held. He hit 29 homers in 1919, the year that is generally considered to be the last of the “dead ball era.”

After 1921, the Yankee slugger went five whole seasons without breaking the home run record, in fact 47 homers was the best he could manage from 1922 through 1926. Then on September 30, 1927, he hit the his 60th home run of the season and set a record that would hold up until Roger Maris hit 61 in 1961.

Here’s what they wrote about it, back in the day

The Washington Post:

Babe Ruth has confirmed his right to be known as the mightiest hitter that baseball has ever known. Yesterday he hammered out his sixtieth home run of the present season, surpassing his own record of 59 in a playing year, which he established in 1921… Never has any sport produced a hero who has attracted as much attention as Ruth, whose renown lies in the fact that he can hit a ball harder and farther than any other living mortal. He has been written about until he is almost a legendary figure. He receives in payment more than any other player, a salary comparable to the one enjoyed by the President of the United States.

And the New York Times:

Babe Ruth scaled the hitherto unattained heights yesterday. Home run 60 a terrific smash off the southpaw pitching of Zachary, nestled in the Babe’s favorite spot in the right field bleachers, and before the roar had ceased it was found that this drive not only had made home run history but also was the winning margin in a 4 to 2 victory over the Senators… When the Babe stepped to the plate in that momentous eighth inning the score was deadlocked, Koenig was on third base, the result of a triple. One man was out and all was tense. It was the Babe’s fourth trip to the plate daring the afternoon, a base on balls and two singles resulting on his other visits plateward. The first Zachary offering was a fast one, which sailed over for a called strike. The next was high. The Babe took a vicious swing at the third pitched ball and the bat connected with a crash that was audible in all parts of the stand. It was not necessary to follow the course of the ball. The boys in the bleachers indicated the route of the record homer. It dropped about half way to the top. Boys, No. 60 was some homer, a fitting wallop to top the Babe’s record of 59 in 1921.

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Ted Williams .406 Last Day of Season – Sept 28, 1941

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Ted Williams hit .406 for the entire 1941 season. He is the last Major League player to hit .400 for a whole year.

From the start of baseball’s modern era (1900) until Bill Terry hit .401 in 1930, there were 11 occurrences of a player hitting .400 or more. Williams was the first and last .400 hitter after Terry.
After Williams’s Red Sox lost to the Indians on May 16, 1941, he was hitting a perfectly respectable .333, but between the May 17 and May 25, he went 19 for 39, and lifted his average to .404. Williams was hitting above .400 for the entire month of June, but he hit a “soft spell” at the beginning of July, and by July 19 his average was down to .393. That was his low point for the remainder of the the season. He was hitting exactly .400 on July 25, and he never got below that level for the rest of the way.
After a 3 for 5 game on September 7, Williams’s average spiked to .413, and he appeared to be cruising to a .400 season, but going into the last day Williams had slid back to .400 again.
The 1941 season ended with the Red Sox playing the A’s in a doubleheader at Shibe Park (later renamed Connie Mack Stadium) in Philadelphia. At that point in the season the Red Sox were in second place, but the Yankees had long since run away with the American League Pennant and had a 17 game lead over Boston. For what little it was worth, the Red Sox’ second place finish was also a done deal. Chicago was seven games behind them in third place. And the A’s certainly weren’t going anywhere. They were in dead last place, seven games behind the seventh place Washington Senators.

Williams’ actual batting average before the final double header was 0.399553571428571, which of course rounds to .400.

It’s doubtful that anybody would have cared if Williams sat out the whole double header in order to secure his .400 average, but “Teddy Ballgame” wouldn’t have any parts of that.
He went 4-5 in the opener (three singles and a home run, and two RBIs). That took his average up to .404. As long as Williams didn’t go 0-6 in the second game, he was going to be a .400 hitter. As it turned out, he went 2-3 and wound up the season hitting 0.405701754, or was we say four-oh-six!

19 Years later, in his last at-bat of his last game, Ted Williams hit the 521st home run of his career.
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Walter Payton Record 107 Rushing TDs – September 20, 1987

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Walter Payton 107 Touchdowns Rushing

Walter Payton 107 Touchdowns Rushing
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Walter Payton scored his 107th rushing touchdown to break Jim Browns record. Payton reached the milestone in Chicago on September 20, 1987.

Against a weak Tampa Bay Buccaneer defense, Payton lunged into the end zone on a one yard plunge that came at 9:14 of the first quarter. Other than getting to see one football legend break another football legend’s record, the 63,551 fans assembled at Soldier Field that Sunday, did not get to see either a memorable game, or particularly inspiring performance by the Bears’ great running back.

The game was played on the last Sunday before the NFL players strike. Here’s how the Chicago Tribune’s Don Pierson described it.

What looked like a slow down before Tuesday’s strike date turned into another victory on the Bears assembly line Sunday

The victims were Tampa Bay’s local chapter in the brotherhood of football workers. Looking more like accomplices than opponents, the Buccaneers matched the Bears two fumbles for two fumbles [one of which was Payton’s] and two interceptions for two interceptions before dropping a 20-3 decision.

Payton did score two touchdowns in the game. In addition to his record breaking run, he scored on a 9 yard pass from quarterback Mike Tomczak. When the day was done Payton had run the ball 14 times for a total of 24 yards.

The strike-shortened 1987 season was Walter Payton’s 13th and last in the NFL. He rushed for three more touchdowns to bring his career total up to 110. Emmitt Smith currently holds the NFL record for the most rushing touchdowns He ran the ball into the end zone 164 times between 1990 and 2004.

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Mariano Rivera All-Time Saves Leader – September 19, 2011

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Having already established himself as the greatest reliever in Major League history, Mariano Rivera made it “statistically” official when he recorded his record breaking 602nd save on September 19, 2011.

In many ways, it was just another day in the life of a famously modest player who, over the course of a decade and a half, has put his signature on the ninth inning in a way no other pitcher has.

When it was over, after Rivera had gotten a called third strike against Minnesota’s Jason Parmelee to finish a 1-2-3 ninth and preserve a 6-4 victory, and after he had been mobbed by his teammates, his longtime catcher, Jorge Posada, joined with Alex Rodriguez to push Rivera back out to the mound so the crowd could salute him one more time. Read more NYtimes.com

While Rivera has been as good as any pitcher in the regular season, he’s been even better when the pressure is at its highest level. In 31 postseason series, Rivera has amassed a record 42 saves, and his ERA stands at 0.30.

While the likes of Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Rivera’s current teammates, Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, will always stand out as some of the greatest and most recognizable athletes in history, Rivera is just as great — even though he has never garnered the attention of those legendary figures. Read more Yankees.mlb.blogs

Mariano Rivera was warming up for his attempt at the all-time saves record Monday when a bizarre cheer caught his ear. When Rivera realized what had caused the applause – Nick Swisher hitting into a double play that ended the eighth inning and ensured he would get a save opportunity – he thought two things: Read more NYDailynews.com

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