The New York Yankees became the first and only team in Major League history to hit three grand slams in one game. Trailing 7-2 in the fifth inning, Robinson Cano hit one into the right field stands off of Oakland A’s starter Rich Harden. In the next inning Russel Martin facing Fautino De Los Santos, put the Yankees ahead 10-7 with a shot to right center. In the eighth inning, with Yanks now ahead 17-8, Curtis Granderson drove Bruce Billings pitch out of the park for the Yankees third slam of the game.
In nearly a century of storied slugging, the Yankees had never enjoyed a day like this.
On a dreary afternoon, some fans headed home with the Yankees trailing 7-1 after three innings and rain still falling in a game that began after an 89-minute delay.
Turns out they missed the Yankees coming home — over and over and over.
Read more: CBSNews.com
No team in major league history had hit three grand slams in a game before Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson strode to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning Thursday, the crowd at Yankee Stadium having been thinned, but the bases loaded one more time.
Granderson had 35 home runs before Thursday, which made him as good a candidate as any to help the Yankees set a record. With the Yankees well on their way to a wild 22-9 victory over Oakland, Granderson really just wanted one good pitch to drive.
He got it.
Read more: NY Times
You might see a 9-year-old do this in a Little League game, but you don’t expect to see a Major League ball player, especially a very good one like Tommy John, commit three errors in the same play. He managed to pull off this dubious accomplishment while pitching for the Yankees, against the Milwaukee Brewers. It happened on July 27, 1988.
At the time, John was a 45-year-old veteran, pitching his 25th season in the big leagues. Although he came into the game with a record of 284 wins against 214 losses, by this point in his career, and probably forevermore, he was, and will always be, better known for the surgery that was performed on his on his elbow in 1974. If medical professionals want to show off, they might refer to his procedure as an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) reconstruction, but everybody else just calls it “Tommy John Surgery”.
On this night in Yankee Stadium, John was cruising along nicely. In the first three innings, the only Milwaukee batter to reach base was Rob Deer who singled in the second inning, but was doubled up the next play when Dale Sveum lined out. John pitched a clean inning in the third, and he started out the fourth by getting Paul Molitor to ground out. Then he walked Jim Gantner and maybe it affected his concentration. On the next play Jeffrey Leonard hit a dribbler to the mound. John booted it – for error number one. Then he threw the ball wildly passed first baseman Don Mattingly, into right field – for error number two. By the time Dave Winfield chased it down, Gantner was trying to score. John caught Winfield’s relay throw, and fired it over catcher Don Slaught’s head,allowing both Gantner and Leonard to score. – And that was error number three. Then Robin Yount came up and hit a single, but John stranded him at first as Deer lined out and Sveum was called out looking.
Meanwhile, after all that, the Yankees still led 4-2 and wound up cruising to a 16-3 win. John got the win after pitching eight very respectable innings in which he allowed only six hits and two earned runs.
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.
While the first successful moon walk was underway on Sunday July 19, 1969 at 4:17 PM EDT; as is the case with every other Sunday in July, a full schedule of Major League baseball games was being played.
In the Bronx, the Yankees and the Senators were all tied at 2-2, in the 8th inning, when announcer Bob Sheppard told the 34,000 fans in attendance (who couldn’t give up seeing two mediocre teams play a meaningless game, rather than staying at home to watch a momentous event on TV) “You will be happy to know that Apollo 11 has landed safely.”
Not everyone was watching television at the time. In ten cities across the country, major league baseball games were scheduled, including five double-headers. The games did not all start at the same time, though, so the moon landing hit them all differently. In Seattle, for example:
“…pregame ceremonies before an American League baseball game between the hometown Pilots and the Minnesota Twins were interrupted by an announcement of the moon landing. The fans cheered, stood up and sang ‘America the Beautiful.'”
Read More Wezenball.com
The Mets Can Win, According Casey Stengel
Casey Stengel always said the Mets would win when they put a man on the Moon. Both miracles happened in 1969.
The whole world didn’t stop on July 20, 1969, when astronaut Neil Armstrong became the first man to set foot on the Moon. It just seemed that way.
For even as astronaut Neil Armstrong was landing on the powdery surface of the Moon that day, uttering 11 of history’s most famous words – “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” – the sports world carried on.
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Joe DiMaggio saw his 56 game hitting streak come to an end on July 17, 1941. 72 years later, nobody, not even DiMaggio himself, has come close to equaling his mark. Before DiMaggio’s streak, which started and ended during the 1941 season, Willie Keeler held the record. Keeler hit safely in the first 44 games of the 1897 season.He also hit safely in the last game of the 1896 season. In the modern era, George Sisler had a 41 game streak in 1922.
The streak began without much fanfare. The game was played in Yankee Stadium in front of a crowd, if that’s what you want to call it, of 9,040. (That would mean there were close to 60,000 empty seats.) Joltin’ Joe went 1-4, with a single and an RBI. Meanwhile, the Yanks got smoked by the White Sox 13-1.
More than two months later, against the Indians in Cleveland, the DiMaggio Streak came to an end.
Since DiMAggio’s feat, Pete Rose is the only Major Leaguer who has been able to hit safely in 40 or more consecutive games. Rose’s 1978 streak lasted 44 games.
Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak began on this day in 1941 with a humble RBI single against the Chicago White Sox. The Yankee Clipper wouldn’t be held hitless again until July 16. That record streak remains one of the most hallowed and admired marks in sports. Andre Ethier of the Los Angeles Dodgers made headlines early this season by putting together a hitting streak barely half as long. In 71 years, no one has come within 12 games of DiMaggio’s record…
The Yankees rallied in the eighth. With one out and three runs already in, Henrich walked to load the bases. Despite Smith’s success with Joe that night, the pitcher was gassed. In came second-generation Major League pitcher Jim Bagby Jr.
DiMaggio had observed, from one knee in the batter’s box, Bagby’s warm-up pitches. Back on June 15, Joe had homered off Bagby, at the time extending The Streak to 28. DiMaggio saw what he wanted. Time to hit. Joe walked purposefully to the batter’s box.
On a 2-1 pitch, DiMaggio swung and bounced a sharp ground ball at shortstop Lou Boudreau. The 24-year-old infielder was celebrating his birthday, but the last hop of this grounder was anything but a gift.
As the ball took an unexpected detour up and to his right, Boudreau stayed with the bad bounce and shoveled to second for a force out. When Ray Mack threw on to first, DiMaggio was the victim of a double play.
An uneventful Yankee ninth inning meant that Cleveland needed to tie in the bottom of the frame for DiMaggio to have any chance to continue his historic run.
Larry Rosenthal’s two-run triple gave DiMaggio’s fans hope, as the score now stood at 4-3. But Yankee reliever Johnny Murphy retired the side, and The Streak ended at 56 straight.
Read about all 56 games in the steak at JoeDiMaggio.com