The publication date of Sport Illustrated Magazine’s premiere issue was August 16, 1954. It featured Milwaukee Braves slugger Eddie Mathews on the cover.
Six days later, the fist incident of the Sports Illustrated Jinx occurred.
The Milwaukee Braves were playing the Cubs at Wrigley field, and Mathews got hit on his left hand. It was the result of an errant fifth inning pitch from Chicago’s Hal Jeffcoat. Mathews had to come out of the game and was taken to Illinois Masonic Hospital. X-rays were taken there, but did not show any fractures. However, he was unable to return to action for another week.
On August 22, 2007, Texas beat Baltimore, 30-3. Just to be clear, we’re talking about a baseball game, not a football game.
The Texas Rangers broke the MLB record for the most runs scored in a single game, and the Baltimore Orioles won the ignominious distinction for having given up the most runs in a game.
Prior to the Rangers feat, 17 Major League teams (since 1900) had scored 25 or more runs in a game including a pair of 29 run outbursts, one by Red Sox at the hands of the St. Louis Browns on June 8, 1950, the other by the White Sox, courtesy of the Kansas City Athletics on April 23, 1955. The A’s had just left Philadelphia at the end of the 1954 season. Their 29-6 loss to the White Sox was only the sixth game they played in Kansas City.
The Cardinals hold the National League record for the most runs scored in a game. On July 6, 1929, they beat the Phillies 28-6.
In the Texas vs. Baltimore game, the Orioles actually actually led 3-0 through the end of the third inning. Then in the fourth the Rangers scored five runs. In the sixth inning they scored nine, followed by ten in the eighth and six in the ninth. Incredibly, the Rangers had scored thirty unanswered runs, and all of them were earned.
57 Rangers batters came to the plate. They got 29 hits.The Orioles allowed eight walks and they committed one error.
Daniel Cabrera started for Baltimore. In five innings he gave up six earned runs on nine hits He walked one batter and struck out four.
Compared to the three guys who followed him in so-called relief, his line for the game was positively stellar. Brian Burres replaced Carbrera in the sixth inning. He gave up eight runs on eight hits. He also walked a batter and threw a wild pitch. He did manage to get one batter to ground out (bunting) and he even recorded one strikeout.
Rob Bell followed Burres, and was almost as bad, handing out seven earned runs on five hits and three walks, in one and a third innings.
Not to be outdone was Paul Shuey who pitched two innings of “mop up”. He allowed nine earned runs on seven hits, and also gave up three walks. Shuey now holds the distinction of allowing the 30th run of the game, on a Ramon Vazquez homer in the ninth inning.
In the entire 114 year history of modern Major League Baseball, this was the one and only time in which one team, in one game, scored thirty runs.
For most of the 1981 season he played for the Triple A Rochester Red Wings, but two weeks shy of his 21st birthday, Cal Ripken made his Major League debut, on August 10, 1981. He came into the game as a pinch runner, replacing Ken Singleton. Ripken moved to second base after Eddie Murray walked, and he scored on a walk-off single by John Lowenstein. Ripken got his first hit on August 16, 1981 in the third inning against the White Sox’ Dennis Lamp.
Before hanging up his spikes for good, he collected 3,183 hits, but Cak Ripkin is most famous for his Major League record 2,632 consecutive (over a period of 17 years) games played.
Dennis Martinez pitched a perfect game on July 28, 1991. Three years later, to the day, Kenny Rogers also pitched a perfect game. Martinez’s and Roger’s gems were only the 12th and 13th perfect games ever pitched (in the modern era of the Major Leagues).
Since 1994, perfect games have become slightly less of a rare phenomenon. There have been nine perfect games thrown since Rogers did it. The last one was by Felix Hernandez on August 15, 2012.
Cy Young pitched the first and shortest perfect game on May 5, 1904; for the Boston Americans (They weren’t known as the Red Sox until 1908.) against The Philadelphia Athletics. The game only lasted an hour and twenty-five minutes. Four years later Addie Joss turned the trick for the Cleveland Naps (Not to be known as the Indians until 1915.
Fourteen years passed before before Charlie Robertson retired all twenty-seven Detroit Tigers, for the Chicago White Sox. Another forty-four years elapsed before Don Larsen threw what is arguably the most famous pitching performance of all time; his World Series perfect game in 1956, against the Dodgers.
There were three more perfect games pitched in the sixties, none in the the seventies, and three in the eighties. Two more perfect games followed Rogers’ in the nineties, and since then, there have been seven more perfect games, including three in 2012 alone.
July 24, 1983 – It was the top of the 9th inning. The Kansas City Royals were down to their last out, trailing the Yankees 4-3. However, U.L. Washington breathed some life into the Royals, hitting a single to left, off of Dale Murray. That brought up George Brett, hitting .352. Billy Martin decided to bring in Rich Gossage to face him. After fouling off the first pitch, Brett crushed Gossage’s next one into the right field stands, and it appeared that the Royals had taken a 5-4 lead.
Not so fast, George
Newsday reporter, Derrick Jackson wrote:
As the home run was in flight, Operation Seize the Bat had begun. Martin lighted out of the dugout and ran to home plate umpire Tim McClelland. Martin and the Yankees yelled to Cerone grab the bat. Cerone spun, looked toward the Royals dugout and his heart started sinking. The bat boy was carting it away. Cerone yelled at the bat boy, 18-year-old Merritt Riley of Levittown, N.Y. Riley returned the bat.
Simple enough? Not quite. Cerone had a lapse of his own, took a look at the bat and surrendered it to Riley again. “I forgot what I was supposed to check the bat for,” Cerone said. “The only thing I remembered at first was that everybody told me it was an illegal bat. Since I couldn’t remember that it was supposed to be pine tar, I checked for cork in the bat. Since there was no cork, I flipped the bat back down.”
But the Yankees kept screaming at Cerone and McClelland. McClelland retrieved the bat. Martin stated his case to the umpires. The Royals started screaming at Riley for giving up the bat. Then all sides grew quiet as the umpires, McClelland, Drew Coble, Nick Bremigan and crew chief Joe Brinkman fondled the bat.
“I was laughing at the umpires when they were deciding what to do,” said Brett, who admitted that umpires had mentioned to him on other occasions to clean the tar on his bat. “Judge Joseph A. Wapner (of the television show The People’s Court) wouldn’t have called it back.”
Without a ruler to measure 18 inches, the umpiring crew decided to lay the bat across the top of the plate, which is 17 inches wide. “The pine tar clearly extended more than another inch,” McClelland said. Now came the matter of what to do with Brett. Rule 1.10 (b) said only that the bat shall be removed from the game. But there is also Rule 6.06 that states that if a bat has anything foreign on or in it, or is altered, the player would be called out and ejected.
Of course the Royals appealed,
and AL President Lee MacPhail ruled in their favor. The home run stood, but Brett was still ejected from the game.
So on August 18, the two teams were back in Yankee Stadium to complete some unfinished business. It was still the bottom of the 9th, the Royals still had two outs, but now they led 5-4. George Frazier, pitching for the Yankees, struck out Hal McRae. Then the Royals took the field, with Dan Quisenberry on the mound. Don Mattingly flew out to center, Roy Smalley flew out to left, and Oscar Gambled grounded out to 2nd. The whole thing took 9 minutes and 41 seconds, not including the 25 days that elapsed from the time of The Pine Tar Incident.
Walter Johnson was the first Major League pitcher to reach the milestone of striking out 3,000 batters. He did it on July 22, 1923. It wasn’t until July 17, 1974, almost 51 years later, when Bob Gibson became the second Major League pitcher to reach the 3,000 strikeout plateau.
On August 2, 1907, a young man later described by Frank Graham as “beyond doubt, the greatest pitcher that ever scuffed a rubber with his spikes” made his big league debut for the Washington Senators, losing a 3-2 decision to the pennant-bound Detroit Tigers. The great Ty Cobb admitted his fastball “made me flinch” and “hissed with danger.” By the time he hung up his spikes 20 years later, Walter Johnson had recorded statistics which seem beyond belief–417 wins and 279 losses, 3,509 strikeouts, 110 shutouts, 12 20-win seasons, 11 seasons with an earned run average below 2.00, and what seems almost incomprehensible a century later, 531 complete games in 666 starts. But, as superlative as his pitching record was, in Shirley Povich’s words, “Walter Johnson, more than any other ballplayer, probably more than any other athlete, professional or amateur, became the symbol of gentlemanly conduct in the heat of battle.”
Read more, SABR.com, Society for American Baseball Reseach
Walter Johnson’s Stats are Staggering.
Writing for BaseballGuru.com, Eric Gartman makes the case why Johnson is the greatest pitcher of all time. Here are Gartman’s top 10.
1. Walter Johnson 2.17/3.00, 20 Seasons
2. Greg Maddux 2.15/3.05, 15 (17) Seasons
3. Roger Clemens 2.63/3.38, 18 (20) Seasons
4. Pete Alexander 2.72/3.31, 18 Seasons
5. Lefty Grove 2.88/3.32, 17 Seasons
6. Christy Mathewson 2.78/3.35, 15 Seasons
7. Cy Young 2.88/3.37, 21 Seasons
8. Tom Seaver 2.72/3.56, 19 Seasons
9. Carl Hubbel 2.72/3.25, 15 Seasons
10. Warren Spahn 2.97/3.62, 20 Seasons