TLW's Major League Baseball Historyscope
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: July 1, 2012. Last Update: July 24, 2017.
In 1839 Abner Doubleday (1819-93) allegedly invents baseball in Cooperstown, N.Y., although he is enrolled at West Point from 1838-42 and cadets are not allowed to leave campus in their early years; becoming a famous Union Civil War. gen. who fired the first Union shot at Ft. Sumter probably helped him grab the credit - if he even did that?
In 1845 the Knickerbocker Baseball Club in New York City, founded in 1842 by Alexander Joy Cartwright II (1820-92) (which plays at 47th Ave. and 27th St.) codifies the rules of Am. baseball, played on a diamond-shaped field with bases 90 ft. apart, three strikes per out, three outs per inning, and the first team to score 21 wins after equal numbers of innings are played by both sides; home base and batter's plate are separate, there is a fourth baseman, and pitching must be done underhand; foul balls are considered strikes; a fair or foul ball caught on the fly or the first bounce is an out, although base runners can advance on a first bounce catch; the first competitive baseball game is played next June 19, and the Knickerbockers lose to the New York Nine 23-1.
On Jan. 22, 1857 the 9-inning game is introduced to Am. baseball, followed by called strikes in 1858. In 1858 The Nat. Assoc. of Base Ball Players is formed, becoming the first prof. assoc. of baseball players in the U.S.; the Harwood Co. begins manufacturing horsehide baseballs.
In 1860 baseball becomes popular in New York City and Boston; new West Coast fun city San Francisco picks it up.
In 1865 a baseball convention representing 91 clubs meets in New York City, and prof. baseball is born; Eddie Cuthbert of the Philadelphia Keystones makes the first sliding steal of a base on Oct. 8.
On June 23, 1866 the Cincinnati Red Stockings (originally Cincinnati Base Ball Club) baseball team is founded, joining the NABBP in 1867, playing on the Union Cricket Club grounds, causing many cricket club members to join; in 1868 English-born center fielder William Henry "Harry" Wright (1835-95) becomes team mgr., introducing uniforms to baseball, with the red you know whats giving the team its name; in 1869 it becomes the first salaried team, with the season running from Mar. 15-Nov. 15, playing the first game on May 4, 1869, defeating the Great Westerns of Cincinnati by 45-9, going on to have a perfect season (57-0) after defeating the New York Mutuals on Nov. 6 by 17-8.
In June 1869 the Seventh-Inning Stretch is first reported by the New York Herald about a game between the Cincinnati Red Stockings and the Brookyn Eagles (home), although it's in the 2nd inning: "At the close of the long second inning, the laughable stand up and stretch was indulged in all around the field"; later Cincinnati Commercial reports on a game that played on the West Coast between the Red Stockings and the Eagle Club of San Francisco: "One thing noticeable in this game was a ten minutes' intermission at theend of the sixth inning -- a dodge to advertise and have the crowd patronize the bar"; the same year Sheffield, England-born William Henry "Harry" Wright (1835-95), mgr. of the Cincinnati Red Stockings writes a letter to a friend about a game he watched in Cincinnati, with the soundbyte: "The spectators all arise between halves of the seventh inning, extend their legs and arms and sometimes walk about. In so doing they enjoy the relief afforded by relaxation from a long posture upon hard benches"; inning 7 ends up ruling because of the superstition about 7 being lucky?; from the late 1870s through WWI it is called the "Lucky Seventh"; the first written mention of the name seventh-inning stretch is in 1920.
In 1872 the Nat. Assoc. of Prof. Baseball Players in New York City is founded (until 1876).
In 1874 Nat. Assoc. championship team Boston joins the Philadelphia Athletics on a trailblazing tour of Europe (the first time pro U.S. baseball teams play abroad), competing in 14 baseball games and 7 cricket matches in England and Ireland.
In 1875 New Haven, Conn. first baseman Charles C. Waite becomes the first baseball player to wear gloves in a game (against Boston); hoping nobody would notice, they're flesh-colored; in 1877 A.G. Spalding begins selling them; in 1895 the NL issues its first regs on glove size.
On Feb. 2, 1876 the Nat. League of Prof. Base Ball Clubs (NL) is formed in New York City after the Nat. Assoc. of Prof. Baseball Players is dissolved; on Apr. 22 the First NL Baseball Game sees the Cincinnati Red Stockings defeat the Philadelphia Athletics by 6-5 before a crowd of 3K - now fat whites can enjoy their leisure time watching a lucky few workout for them while they swig Budweiser and reminisce about the Wild West?
In 1876 Marshalltown, Iowa-born Adrian Constantine "Cap" "Pop" Anson (1852-1922) is signed by the Chicago White Stockings (later Chicago Cubs), going on to play a record 27 consecutive seasons (until 1879) and become a legend, winning five NL pennants, introducing spring training, and achieving a record 3K career hits, while stinking himself up with white racism, refusing to take the field with blacks, and causing the segregation of baseball until the 1940s; the nickname "Cap" is given after he is named capt.-mgr. of the club in 1879.
In 1876 Am. tourists Adolphus Busch (1839-1913) and Charles W. "Carl" Conrad (St. Louis wine merchant) visit the town of Ceske Budejovice (Budweis) in Czech., steal, er, discover the formula for Budweiser brand beer, and bring it back to the U.S. - add another smug comment about the limitless market for lazy fat American whites here?
In 1876 Albert Goodwill Spalding (1850-1915) retires as pitcher for the Chicago team of the new Nat. League (NL) (47-13), and founds A.G. Spalding & Bros. to manufacture and distribute sporting goods, eventually buying the team.
In 1879 ML baseball creates the Reserve Clause, giving baseball clubs complete ownership of their players.
On June 12, 1880 John Lee Richmond of the Worcester Ruby Legs pitches the first perfect game against Cleveland in the NL; no ML pitcher achieves this feat more than once until ? On Sept. 2, 1880 the first Night Baseball Game is played in Nantasket Beach, Mass., with 36 carbon arc lamps giving off 90K candlepower; on June 2, 1883 the 2nd is played at League Park in Ft. Wayne, Ind. between Methodist College and the Quincy Pros in front of a crowd of 2K; the field is illuminated by 17 4K-candlepower arc lights; the Pros win 19-11.
In June 1882 the Seventh-Inning Stretch is allegedly invented by Brother Jasper Brennan of Mary, F.S.C., coach at Manhattan College in N.Y. in a game against the semi-pro Metropolitans.
In 1883 the Am. Baseball Assoc. is founded (until 1891), challenging the NL for dominance incl. winning an early version of the World Series 7x. In 1883 the Cincinnati Red Stockings baseball team wins its first AA title, going on to play the first game of the season at home nearly every year through 2008. In 1883 the New York Gothams baseball time is founded, becoming the first ML team based in New York City, playing at the Polo Grounds, changing their name in 1886 to the New York Giants and developing a rivalry with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
In 1887 Canadian left fielder Edward James "Tip" O'Neill (1858-1915) becomes the first player in AL history to win baseball's triple crown, with a .435 batting avg., 14 homers, and 123 RBI.
Also in 1887 baseball player Mike "King" Kelly signs with the Boston Beaneaters, stunning the world with his huge $10K a year salary.
In 1888 the term "charley horse" is invented by U.S. baseball players.
On Oct. 18-29, 1889 The 1889 World Series sees the New York Giants (NL) defeat the Brooklyn Bridegrooms (AL) by 6-3; Game 1 at the Polo Grounds witnesses a seventh-inning stretch after someone cries "Stretch for luck".
On Aug. 6, 1890 Denton True "Cy" (Cyclone) Young (1867-1955) appears in his first ML baseball game, with the Cleveland Spiders; he moves to St. Louis in 1899, then to the AL in 1901, playing his last game on Oct. 11, 1911 with the Boston Rustlers.
In 1890 pitcher Charles Augustus "Kid" Nichols (1869-1953) begins playing with the Boston Beaneaters (until 1901), having the first of 10 consecutive seasons with 20 wins or more, becoming the youngest pitcher to win 300 games (1901), and amassing 361 wins in a 15-year career.
In 1890 the Players' Nat. League of Prof. Base Ball Clubs (Players' League) is founded by former New York Giants shortstop John Montgomery "Monte" Ward (1860-1925) (graduate of Columbia Law School), signing over half of NL players; too bad, their profit-sharing system reduces the receipts of the team owners so much that they sell-out to the Nat. League, causing the league to fold; in 1894 Ward retires from baseball and becomes an atty. representing baseball players against the Nat. League.
In 1891 Clark Calvin Griffith (1869-1955), AKA "the Old Fox" debuts with the St. Louis Browns, Boston Reds, and Chicago Colts, allegedly inventing the screwball and compiling six straight seasons with 20+ Vs in 1894-9, with an AA low ERA of 1.88 in 1898, then helping form the AL in 1901 and ending up managing and owning the Washington Senators.
In 1892 John Joseph "Dirty Jack" Doyle (1869-1958) becomes the first player in ML baseball to be used as a pinch hitter.
In July 1892 the "Most Shameful Home Run of All Time" is scored when Cap Anson of the Chicago White Stockings hits a fly ball to center in the 8th inning against the Philadelphia Quakers, and it lodges in the doghouse, used to store numbers for the manual scoreboard, and Ed Delahanty gets stuck trying to get the ball until freed by Big Sam Thompson, allowing Anson to score an "inside-the-doghouse homer".
On Mar. 11, 1892 the first public game of Basketball is played in the Springfield, Mass. YMCA in front of a crowd of 200; the student team defeats the faculty team 5-1; "Grand Old Man of Football" Amos Alonzo Stagg (1862-1965) scores the only faculty basket, then later this year becomes head football coach at the U. of Chicago (until 1932), lasting 41 seasons, incl. five undefeated, winning 314 games as a coach; he goes on to introduce the huddle, man-in-motion, and the end-around play, and invent the batting cage in baseball.
In 1893 German immigrant Chris von der Ahe, owner of the St. Louis Browns baseball team in Mo. becomes the first to sell hot dogs at baseball games - pass the salmonella?
In 1894 while guest-lecturing at Stanford U., Pres. Benjamin Harrison slips into a college baseball game without paying the 25 cent admission, and 19-y.-o. student home team mgr. Herbert Hoover (future pres.) catches him and makes him pay up - brother, spare a dime?
In 1894 Hugh Duffy (1866-1954) of the Boston Beaneaters (1892-1900), sets the ML batting avg. record with a .438 avg. incl. 18 homers and 145 RBI; meanwhile William Robert "Sliding Billy" Hamilton (1866-1940) of the Philadelphia Phillies (1890-5) scores a ML record of 192 runs scored, and hits over .400 (.404) with fellow outfielders Samuel Luther "Big Sam" Thompson (1860-1922) (.407), Edward James "Big Ed" Delahanty (1867-1903) (.407), and George A. "Tuck" Turner (1873-1945) (.416) becoming the first all-.400-hitting outfield (until ?); Thompson ends his career in 1906 with the Detroit Tigers with a .331 career batting avg., and a record RBIs/games played ratio of .923, which is not broken until ? On May 30, 1894 Robert Lincoln "Bobby" "Link" Lowe (1865-1951) hits four straight homers in consecutive at-bats for the Boston Beaneaters against Cincinnati; next time is July 13, 1896 by Ed Delahanty; Lowe is present when Lou Gehrig repeats the feat on June 3, 1932; repeated by Rocky Colavito on June 10, 1959, Mike Schmidt on Apr. 17, 1976, Mike Cameron on May 2, 2002, and Carlos Delgado on Sept. 25, 2003; no ML player hits more than four homer in consecutive at-bats until?
In 1898 the Chicago Unions Giants black baseball team is formed in Ill. by Frank C. Leland; in 1905 they become the Leland Giants. Also in 1898 ML baseball introduces the Balk Rule.
In 1900 the Dead Ball Era in U.S. ML baseball begins (ends 1919), characterized by low-scoring games caused by using balls so long that they get scuffed or deliberately tampered with, making home runs harder to get.
In 1900 Johannes Peter "Honus" Wagner (1874-1955), "the Flying Dutchman" joins the ML baseball Pittsburgh Pirates as a shortstop, batting .381 and leading the league in doubles (45), triples (22), and slugging percentage (.573); he goes on to win a record eight batting titles. In 1992 a 1907 Honus Wagner baseball card is auctioned for $451K; all but about 40 were destroyed because Wagner objected to their sale in tobacco products; by 1992 15M U.S. baseball card collectors spend almost $1B on 12B cards; 4M people collect about 3B football cards; 3M people collect about 2B basketball cards; 1.5M people collect about 1B hockey cards; in all, 16M different people collect cards.
In 1901 after pitcher Clark Calvin Griffith (1869-1955) persuades 39 players to sign on, the 8-team Am. League of Prof. Baseball Clubs (AL) is founded 25 years after the NL out of the disbanded minor Western League, which was called the junior circuit to its senior circuit; Byron Bancroft "Ban" Johnson (1864-1931) becomes pres. #1 (until 1927), going on to clean up its rough image by recruiting good umps incl. "Boy Umpire" William George "Billy" Evans (1884-1956).
In 1901 former catcher and Pittsburgh mgr. Cornelius Alexander "Connie" Mack (McGillicuddy) (1862-1956) becomes mgr. of the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) (until 1950), going on to win nine AL titles and five World Series.
In 1901 the New York Yankees are founded as the Baltimore Orioles in Md., moving to New York City in 1913 and changing their name.
On May 6, 1901 William Aloysius "Bill" Bergen (1878-1943) debuts for the Cincinnati Reds, finishing on Sept. 20, 1911 with the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming a top defensive catcher, catching a record six St. Louis Cardinals runners stealing in a single game on Aug. 23, 1909, despite being the worst hitter of all time (.170 for 3,228 at-bats).
On June 13, 1902 7-y.-o. "incorrigible and vicious" George Herman Ruth Jr. (1895-1948) (later known as the Babe, the Bambino, and the Sultan of Swat) is sent to St. Mary's Industrial School in Baltimore, Md., where he lives for the next ? years, getting taught about life and baseball by 6'6" 250 lb. Brother Matthias, whose uppercut swing and pigeon-toed run he copies, after which he becomes a ML baseball player in 1914-35, #1 of all time.
American baseball creates some defensive superstars out of a poem? On Sept. 2, 1902 (Tues.) Baseball's Sad Lexicon of Chicago Cubs shortstop Joseph Bert "Joe" Tinker (1880-1948), 2nd baseman John Joseph "Johnny" Evers (1881-1947) ("the Crab"), and 1st baseman Frank Leroy Chance (1877-1924) first appear in a game together, and turn their first double play on Sept. 3; on Sept. 14, 1905 (Thur.) Tinker and Evers fall out over a cab fare and don't speak to each again until 1938; mgr. Frank Gibson Selee (1859-1909) made Tinker switch from 3B, Evers from SS, and Chance from catcher; in 1910 (their final season) Franklin Pierce Adams writes a poem about them from the viewpoint of the defeated New York Giants, making them into legends; in 1946 all three are voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; Frank Selee retires from illness in 1905, and Chance takes his job as mgr. (until 1912); from 1906-10 3rd base is played by Harry M. Steinfeldt (1877-1914), who is left out of the poem; in 1913 Cubs owner (since 1906) Charles Webb Murphy (1868-1931) fires Evers, who is traded to the Boston Braves and goes on to win the WS and the Chalmers Award, causing NL pres. (1914-18) John Kinley Tener (1863-1946) and Charles Phelps Taft (1843-1929) (brother of baseball fan Pres. William Howard Taft) to drive him out of diamonds-are-a-girl's-best-friend baseball; "E is for Evers, His jaw in advance; Never afraid To Tinker with Chance." (Ogden Nash)
In 1902 lefty pitcher George Edward "Rube" Waddell (1876-1914) joins the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) (until 1907), pitching 250 games with a winning percentage of .618 (lifetime .580), incl. a record 349 strikeouts in 1904, which is not matched until 1946 by Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians; the first real baseball star, he is helped by his bizarre behavior incl. leaving games to follow fire trucks, and getting entranced by puppies held up by the audience.
In 1903 26-y.-o. pitcher Mordecai "Three Fingers" Brown (1876-1948) joins ML baseball, playing for the Chicago Cubs from 1904-12, and becoming one of the top two pitchers in the NL with rival Christopher "Christy" "Matty" Mathewson (1880-1925), "the Christian Gentleman" of the New York Giants (1900-16); Brown's mangled right hand is missing most of the index finger and has a misset middle finger, letting him put unusual spin on the ball.
In 1903 Cincinnati Reds slugger (since 1899) Samuel Earl "Wahoo Sam" Crawford (1880-1968) (known for a record 12 inside-the-park homers) signs with the Detroit Tigers (until 1917), going on to become the mentor and later rival of slugger Ty Cobb.
On Oct. 1-13, 1903 the Boston Americans (Red Sox) of the AL defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL 5-3 in the best-of-9 First (1st) World Series of ML baseball; the format is then changed to best-of-7; in Game 2 Boston outfielder Patrick Henry "Patsy" Dougherty (1876-1940) becomes the first Boston Red Sox player to hit a homer in the WS, also the first player to hit two homers in a single WS game (Game 1), also becoming the first to hit a leadoff inside-the-park WS homer (until 2015) in Game 6.
On May 5, 1904 Denton True "Cy" (Cyclone) Young (1867-1955) pitches the AL's first perfect game as the Boston Red Sox defeat the Philadelphia Athletics 3-0; the ML baseball World Series between the Giants and Boston is called off as a result of a dispute with Giants mgr. (1902-32) John Joseph McGraw (1873-1934) (AKA Little Napoleon and Muggsy).
On Oct. 9-14, 1905 the New York Giants (NL) (mgr. John McGraw) defeat the Philadelphia Athletics (mgr. Connie Mack) (AL) 4-1 to win the Second (2nd) World Series of baseball; triple crown-winning Giants pitcher Christopher "Christy" "Matty" Mathewson (1880-1925) (known as "the Christian Gentleman" because he never pitches on Sunday) pitches a 4-hit shutout in Game 1, then another in Game 3, followed by a 6-hit shutout in Game 5 (3 complete games pitched without allowing a run), becoming the greatest ML playoff performance until ?; the first WS played as best-of-7, and first consisting entirely of shutouts (Giants team ERA = 0.00); Game 3 sees the first steal of home in the 5th inning by Giants shortstop William Frederick "Bad Bill" Dahlen (1870-1950); the Athletics become the first team to lose a WS game on an unearned run 1-0.
On Aug. 30, 1905 Narrows, Ga.-born outfielder ("the Georgia Peach") Tyrus Raymond "Ty" Cobb (1886-1961), makes his ML batting debut with the Detroit Tigers, hitting a double in his first at-bat in a game against the New York Highlanders using a split grip; the Tigers win 5-3; he goes on to become the greatest player of the Dead Ball Era despite being hated for his meanness incl. sliding into bases feet-first with spikes bared, later becoming the first player elected to the Baseball Hall-of-Fame.
In 1905 Am. cartoonist Thomas Aloysius "Tad" Dorgan (1877-1929), the most prolific coiner of new slang terms in U.S. history uses the term "hot dog" in the cartoon of the same name for what had until then been called dachshund sausages, popularly thought to be made from dog meat (because he can't spell dachsund?), based on observations of English-born vendor "Scorecard Harry" Mosley Stevens (1855-1934) (inventor of the baseball scorecard) at the New York Polo Grounds, home of the Giants; actually the term goes back to at least 1884, and the earliest known cartoon of his with the term is about a bike race at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 12, 1906, but he always gets the credit for new Am. slang, 23-skidoo?
On Oct. 9-14, 1906 the Chicago White Sox (AL) upset the Chicago Cubs (NL) 4-2 to win the Third (3rd) World Series, splitting the first four games, after which the Sox get 26 hits; with an AL-worst team batting avg. of .230 and no regular team member batting as high as .280, the White Sox are called "the Hitless Wonders".
On Oct. 8-12, 1907 the Chicago Cubs (NL) defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) 4-0-1 to win the Fourth (4th) World Series, with the Cubs allowing only three runs while stealing 18 bases; Tigers pitcher Ty Cobb makes his WS debut.
In 1907 Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Honus Wagner hits .350, causing the Pirates to double his salary next year to a record $10K.
In 1907 New York Giants catcher (1902-8) Roger Philip Bresnahan (1879-1944), "the Duke of Tralee" introduces the catcher's shin guard into ML baseball, using modified wicket-keeper cricket pads.
In 1907 Humboldt, Kan.-born Walter Perry "Big Train" "Barney" Johnson (1887-1946), known for his good sportsmanship becomes a pitcher for the Washington Senators (AL), winning 414 of 802 games (.597) in 21 seasons, becoming the first with 3K strikeouts until Bob Gibson in 1974.
On Aug. 21, 1908 Washington Senators catcher Gabby Street catches a baseball thrown off the top of the 500+-ft.-tall Washington Monument by Pres. Gibson on the 13th try.
In Sept. 1908 Edison Records releases the song Take Me Out to the Ball Game, sung by East Orange, N.J.-born Edward Meeker (1874-1937) and composed by Philly-born lyricist (vaudeville star) Jack Norworth (John Godfrey Knauff) (1879-1959) and Indianapolis, Ind.-born songwriter Albert Von Tilzer (Albert Gumm) (1878-1956), who released it earlier on May 2 via Von Tilzer's York Music Co.; neither author attended a baseball game prior to writing it; first played at a ballpark at a h.s. in Los Angeles in 1934, after which it becomes the song traditionally sung during the 7th-inning stretch; Norworth sees his first ML baseball game in 1940; "Take me out to the ball game,/ Take me out with the crowd;/ "Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,/ I don't care if I never get back./ Let me root, root, root for the home team,/ If they don't win, it's a shame./ For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,/ At the old ball game."
In 1908 Christopher "Christy" "Matty" Mathewson (1880-1925), "the Christian Gentleman" pitches 37 winning games, and wins the triple crown for the 2nd time (1905).
In 1908 after Edward Augustine Walsh (1881-1959) of the Chicago White Sox (AL) pitches in a record 66 games using his spitball to confuse batters with "freak" trajectories, new U.S. baseball regulations outlaw the spitball; too bad, after pitching an avg. of 375 innings per season in 1907-12, his mgt. refuses his request to take a year off to rest his arm, and his arm goes kaput by 1916, and he is released in midseason by the Boston Braves in 1917 after setting a record lowest-ever career ERA (1.82) (until ?).
On Mar. 4, 1909 Cincinnati, Ohio-born Yale grad. ("Big Bill") ("Peaceful Bill") ("Old Bill") ("Big Lub") ("Godknows Taft") (prefers to be called either Bill or William Howard Taft, never plain William or William H. Taft?) William Howard Taft (1857-1930) becomes the 27th U.S. pres. (until Mar. 4, 1913) in the 36th U.S. Pres. Inauguration; his mother Louise doesn't want him to be pres., saying "He has a judicial mind and he loves the law"; last U.S. pres. with a mustache until ?; first pres. to have a pres. car and to throw the ceremonial first pitch of the baseball season; first to give a pres. seal of approval to the 7th-inning stretch; he has a pet cow named Pauline Wayne that freely grazes the White House lawn.
On Oct. 8-16, 1909 the Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) (mgr. Fred Clarke) defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) (mgr. Hughie Jennings) 4-3 to win the Sixth (6th) World Series, becoming the first Pirates win, while the Tigers become the first team to lose three straight; Ty Cobb of the Tigers becomes the first modern NL player to win baseball's triple crown (highest batting avg., home runs, RBIs); after being put in on a tip by NL pres. John Heydler, rookie Pirates pitcher Charles Benjamin "Babe" Adams (1882-1968) wins three games; Ty Cobb allegedly calls Honus Wagner a "Krauthead".
On Apr. 14, 1910 (opening day) after gaining 100+ lbs. in office and having to be pried out of his bathtub, the Seventh-Inning Stretch tradition is given official pres. approval when 6'2" 350-lb. Pres. William Howard Taft has to stretch his at a game between the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics.
On July 1, 1910 Comiskey Park (originally White Sox Baseball Park) in Chicago, Ill., built by owner Charles Comiskey (1859-1931) opens.
On Oct. 17-23, 1910 the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) (mgr. Connie Mack) defeat the Chicago Cubs (NL) (mgr. Frank Chance) 4-1 to win the Seventh (7th) World Series; Athletics 2nd baseman Edward Trowbridge "Crazy Eddie" Collins Sr. (1887-1951) wins his first of four WS.
In 1911 the Philadelphia Athletics baseball team fields the "$100,000 infield", managed by Connie Mack (1862-1956), consisting of John Phelan "Stuffy" McInnis (1B), Edward Towbridge Collins (2B), John Joseph Barry (SS), and John Franklin "Home Run" Baker (3B) (ends 1914). On Oct. 14-26, 1911 the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) (mgr. Connie Mack) defeat the New York Giants (NL) (mgr. John McGraw) 4-2 to win the Eighth (8th) World Series (2nd in a row for the Athletics); six consecutive days of rain between Games 3-4 causes the longest delay in WS history until the 1989 Series, which features the same two franchies on the West Coast.
On Oct. 8-16, 1912 the Boston Red Sox (AL) (mgr. Jake Stahl) defeat the New York Giants (NL) (mgr. John McGraw) 4-3-1 to win the Ninth (9th) World Series, becoming the first to be decided in a sudden death (1960, 2001), and the first where a team within one inning of losing comes back to win (next in Game 6 of the 1985 WS); Henry "Heinie" "the Great Zim" Zimmerman (1887-1969) of the Giants becomes the 2nd player and first NL player to win baseball's triple crown (#1 is Ty Cobb in 1909); first of five titles for Boston by 1918; Boston fans become known as the Royal Rooters.
In 1912 Fenway Park in Boston, Mass. opens, becoming the oldest and smallest baseball stadium in the U.S. at the end of the cent.
In Jan. 1913 after newspaper headlines announce that he once played pro baseball, U.S. athlete (mixed Amerindian and white) James Francis "Jim" Thorpe (1888-1953) is stripped of the two gold medals he won in the 1912 Olympic Games and his amateur status revoked because in 1909-10 he received $2 a game for playing semi-pro baseball in the Eastern Carolina League in Rocky Mount, N.C., but didn't use an alias like other college summer players; his runner-up, Karl Hugo Wieslander (1899-1976) of Sweden refuses to accept Thorpe's decathlon medal; on Oct. 13, 1982 the Internat. Olympic Committee (IOC) finally agrees to restore Jim Thorpe's 1912 gold medals; they are officially returned to him in Los Angeles on Jan. 18, 1983 - thanks, king? When Thorpe's medals are reinstated, Wieslander is declared joint winner.
On Oct. 7-11, 1913 the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) (mgr. Connie Mack) defeat the New York Giants (NL) (mgr. John McGraw) 4-1 to win the Tenth (10th) World Series; 3rd straight WS loss for the Giants (first time Detroit Tigers in 1907-9) (next ?).
In 1913 former catcher Wilbert Robinson (1863-1934) becomes mgr. of the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) (until 1931), winning league titles in 1916 and 1920.
On Apr. 23, 1914 Wrigley Field in Chicago, Ill. opens; called Cubs Field until 1926, its scoreboard is hand-turned; the brick outfield wall is covered with ivy; an iconic red marquee greets visitors over the main entrance; in 2005 it passes Detroit's Tiger Stadium as the ballpark with the most ML homers (11,173 in mid-Sept.); on ? it becomes the oldest ML park still operating.
Back in the remaining large white sanctuary of America, people still go to see baseball and don't care about Europe? On July 9, 1914 after a teacher at St. Mary's Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore, Md. brings promising young George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895-1948) (taught by Brother Matthias) to the attention of John Joseph "Jack" Dunn (1872-1928) , and he signs him to pitch for the minor league Baltimore Orioles and becomes his legal guardian (causing fellow players to nickname him "Jack Dunn's Babe"), he turns around and sells him to the Boston Red Sox; on July 11 Ruth makes his pitching debut, after which he is optioned to the minor league Providence Grays of R.I., and hits his first homer on Sept. 5, then next spring secures a starting pitcher position; meanwhile on Oct. 17 he marries Boston waitress Helen Woodford. On Oct. 9-13, 1914 the "Miracle" Boston Braves (NL) (mgr. George Stallings) (who were in last place on July 4, then won the NL pennant by 10-1/2 games) sweep the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) (mgr. Connie Mack) 4-0 to win the Eleventh (11th) World Series; Boston player Henry Morgan "Hank" Gowdy (1889-1966) has a .545 batting avg., incl. the only homer of the series; he goes on to become the first ML baseball player to enlist in WWI; Babe Ruth, who joined the Red Sox as a pitcher (until 1919) earns a series record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched (29-2/3) (broken by Whitey Ford in 1960), and series ERA (0.87).
On Oct. 8-13, 1915 the Boston Red Sox (AL) (mgr. Bill Carrigan) defeat the Philadelphia Phillies (NL) (mgr. Pat Moran) 4-1 to win the Twelfth (12th) World Series; the Phillies win Game 1 and are then swept, don't return to the WS until 1950, and don't win a WS game until 1980; Pres. Woodrow Wilson (a center fielder at Davidson College, and former asst. mgr. of the Princeton U. baseball team) becomes the first U.S. pres. to attend a WS and throw out the first pitch - throws like a girl?
In 1916 Grover Cleveland Alexander (1887-1950) of the Philadelphia Phillies (NL) (since 1911) (winner of pitching's triple crown in 1915, 1916, 1917 and 1920) pitches a ML record 16 shutouts; too bad, he ends up in the army in WWI, where he suffers from shell shock and emerges an alcoholic, but he plays on like a roller-coaster until 1930 - you can't get a hit before the game?
On Oct. 7-12, 1916 the Boston Red Sox (AL) (mgr. Bill Carrigan) defeat the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) (mgr. Wilbert Robinson) (NL) 4-1 to win the Thirteenth (13th) World Series; Red Sox pitcher Babe Ruth pitches 13 shutout innings in Game 2, beginning a streak that reaches 29 in 1918; the longest WS game until Game 3 of the 2005 WS; the Dodgers don't win a WS until 1955.
In 1917 New York Giants mgr. John McGraw and Cincinnati Reds mgr. Christy Matthewson are arrested for violating New York Blue Laws by staging a baseball game on a Sunday in the Polo Grounds.
On Oct. 6-15, 1917 the 100-54 Chicago White Sox (AL) (mgr. Pants Rowland) defeat the New York Giants (NL) (mgr. John McGraw) 4-2 to win the Fourteenth (14th) World Series; a long drought begins for the White Sox (2005); Game 6 features Giants 3rd baseman Heinie Zimmerman futilely chasing Crazy Eddie Collins toward home plate with no one to cover it, then jumping over him at the plate to avoid hitting him, causing accusations of throwing the game.
On Sept. 5-11, 1918 the Boston Red Sox (AL) (mgr. Ed Barrow) defeat the Chicago Cubs (NL) (mgr. Fred Mitchell) 4-2 to win the Fifteenth (15th) World Series, becoming the last time they win until the 100th series in 2004; Comiskey Park is used instead of Wrigley Field because it has more seats (35K); The Star-Spangled Banner is first heard in the 7th inning stretch of the opening game to honor the troops, causing it to become a tradition at all baseball games followed by nearly all U.S. sporting events; ticket prices avg. $1.40 for the entire series, with a grandstand box seat ticket going for $3.30.
Say it ain't so Joe, or, The Black Sharecropper scandal stinks up America's sport? On Oct. 1, 1919 the Sixteenth (16th) (1919) World Series is changed to a best-of-9 format; on Oct. 9 the Cincinnati Reds (NL) (mgr. Pat Moran) defeat the Chicago White Sox (AL) (mgr. Kid Gleason) 5-3; White Sox pitcher Urban Clarence "Fred" Faber (1888-1976) is injured and can't play; in 1920 after team owners discover $100K worth of hanky-panky between White Sox players and gamblers led by Jewish organized crime kingpin Arnold "the Brain" Rothstein (1882-1928), and appoint former U.S. district Judge (Ill.) Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1866-1944) as the first baseball commissioner, the Black Sox Scandal begins, with eight Chicago White Sox players ("Eight Men Out"), Edward Victor "Eddie" Cicotte (1884-1969) (P), Oscar Emil "Happy" Felsch (1891-1964) (CF), Charles Arnold "Chick" Gandil (1888-1970) (1B), Joseph Jefferson "Shoeless Joe" Jackson (1889-1951) (LF) ("Shoeless Joe of Hannibal, Mo" - 1958 film "Damn Yankees") (only player to hit a homer in the series), Charles August "Swede" Risberg (1894-1975) (SS), George Daniel "Buck" Weaver (1890-1956) (3B), Claude Preston "Lefty" Williams (1893-1959) (P), and utility player Frederick William "Fred" McMullin (1891-1952) accused of conspiring to throw the series, and all banned from baseball for life by Landis, causing the team to switch to wearing black sox; Jackson has a career .356 batting avg., and bats .375 during the series, and his home WS jersey is lost; the same year horse racing stinks itself up with race fixing and drugging, but 3-y.-o. Man O'War's career gives the sport a hero as good as Babe Ruth?
On Jan. 3, 1920 the New York Yankees buy "the Bambino", "the Sultan of Swat", 25-y.-o. pitcher George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895-1948) from Boston Red Sox owner Harry Herbert Frazee (1881-1929) for $125K in cash plus a $300K loan so he can finance the Dec. 1919 Broadway play My Lady Friends (in which his girlfriend appears) (which is turned into No, No, Nanette in 1925), launching the 84-year Curse of the Bambino World Series jinx (ends 2004); the Yankees play as tenants of the NL New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, and win 95 games and their first AL pennant this year, with Ruth switching to outfielder (until 1934); the signed 5-page typed "cursed contract" is auctioned for $996K on June 10, 2005; Babe Ruth becomes the 1st ML player to hit 30, then 40, then 50 homers in a season, reaching 54, which beats the total for every AL team (the St. Louis Browns had 50), and seven of the eight NL teams (the Philadelphia Phillies had 64).
On Feb. 14, 1920 the Negro Nat. League is formed for African-Am. baseball players by Andrew Rube Foster (1879-1930).
In 1920 the Lively (Live) Ball Era in U.S. ML baseball begins after a new "lively" ball is introduced, causing offensive stats to rise dramatically; actually, the ball is the same, but rule changes favor the batter, incl. using new balls at the first sign of wear and eliminating the spitball?
In 1920 "Gorgeous" George Harold Sisler (1893-1973) of the St. Louis Browns (later the Baltimore Orioles) ends the season with 257 hits (.407), setting a record that takes Ichiro Suzuki until 2004 to break (262 hits), and in 159 vs. 162 games.
In 1920 Doubleday Field, the site of the original baseball field in Cooperstown, N.Y. is dedicated as a permanent memorial.
On Oct. 5-10, 1920 the Cleveland Indians (AL) defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) (AKA Brooklyn Robins after mgr. Wilbert Robinson) 5-2 to win the Seventeenth (17th) World Series; in Game 5 Cleveland Indians 2B William Adolf "Bill "Wamby" Wambsganss (1894-1985) makes the first Unassisted Triple Play in the WS (until ?), putting out Pete Kilduff, Clarence Mitchell, and Otto Miller; he drops off his glove with a repairman and never picks it up, and it is never seen again; the first WS grand slam and homer by a pitcher also go down in the 1920 WS.
On Aug. 5, 1921 the first radio broadcast of a baseball game takes place in Pittsburgh, Penn.; J. Andrew White becomes the first pro radio announcer.
On Oct. 5-13, 1921 the New York Giants (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 5-3 in the Eighteenth (18th) (1921) World Series; on Oct. 5 the WS is broadcast on radio for the 1st time; in the regular season Babe Ruth, "Sultan of Swat", "King of Clout" hits 59 homers, passing Roger Conner (NL).
In 1921 the Baby Ruth candy bar is introduced by Curtiss Candy Co. of Chicago, Ill., allegedly not named for famous baseball player Babe Ruth but for Pres. Grover Cleveland's daughter Ruth Cleveland (which doesn't stop the shine from making them more sales?); in 1981 it is purchased by Nabisco, who sells it to Nestle in 1990.
In 1921 Graham McNamee (1888-1942) makes the first radio broadcast of a baseball game from the New York Polo Grounds, which the New York Giants tell the Yankees to leave as soon as possible, causing them to build Yankee Stadium ("the House That Ruth Built") less than 1 mi. away in 284 days with a unique triple-deck grandstand and 58K seats (finished 1923).
In 1921 chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr. (1861-1932) buys the Chicago Cubs NL baseball team, changing the home park to Wrigley Field, bringing the team to his home of Catalina Island in Calif. (26 mi. across the sea?) for spring training (until 1956).
On Aug. 25, 1922 after jumping to a 25-6 lead in the 4th inning, and seeing the Phillies close the score and load the bases in the 9th inning, after which CF Bevo LeBourveau is struck out by relief pitcher Tiny Osborne, the Cubs defeat the Phillies by 26-23 before 7K fans at Cubs Park, becoming the highest scoring ML baseball game of the 20th cent.
On Oct. 4-8, 1922 the 93-61 New York Giants (NL) defeat the 94-60 New York Yankees (AL) 4-0-1 in the Nineteenth (19th) World Series (the format is changed back to best-of-7); Rogers Hornsby (1896-1963) of St. Louis becomes player #3 to win baseball's triple crown (#2 is Heinie Zimmerman in 1912); this season Babe Ruth swats only 35 homers, losing to Ken Williams, who has 44; Ruth leads in homers for every other season from 1914-34 except for 1925 (Stan Musial with 33), and ties in 1918 (11, Tilly Walker of Philadelphia) and 1931 (46, Lou Gehrig). In 1924 Hornsby bats a record .424.
In 1922 the U.S. Congress grants anti-trust action immunity to ML baseball.
On Apr. 18, 1923 74.2K fans pack Yankee Stadium for the first glimpse of their new $2.5M park in the Bronx, the first triple-decker, and the first baseball park to be called a stadium; Babe Ruth hits a 3-run homer in a 4-1 win over the Red Sox. On Oct. 10-15, 1923 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the New York Giants (NL) 4-2 to win the Twentieth (20th) (1923) World Series, with future "Old Perfessor" Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel (1890-1975) hitting homers to win the two games for the Giants (incl. the first WS homer in Yankee Stadium), which doesn't stop Giants mgr. (1902-32) John Joseph McGraw (1873-1934) (AKA Little Napoleon and Muggsy) from trading him to the 2nd tier Boston Braves, causing Stengel to comment "It's lucky I didn't hit three home runs in three games, or McGraw would have traded me to the 3-I League" (Ill.-Ind.-Iowa minor league, 1901-61). In 1923 the Philadelphia Athletics lose 20 baseball games in a row.
On Oct. 4-10, 1924 the Washington Senators (AL) defeat the New York Giants (NL) 4-3 to win the Twenty-First (21st) World Series.
On Oct. 20, 1924 baseball's first Negro (Colored) World Series is held in Kansas City, Mo., and the Kansas City Monarchs defeat the Hilldale Daisies, who get even next year.
On Oct. 7-15, 1925 after Babe Ruth physically collapses from partying too hearty, allowing Ken Williams to lead the AL in slugging percentage (Ruth leads every other year from 1918-31), the Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) defeat the Washington Senators (AL) 4-3 to win the Twenty-Second (22nd) World Series; Rogers Hornsby wins baseball's triple crown for the 2nd time (1st time 1922).
The original who's on first? On June 1, 1925 "Iron Horse" (#4) Henry Louis (Ludwig Heinrich) "Lou" Gehrig (1903-41) replaces Wally Pipp at first base for the New York Yankees; he is replaced by Babe Dahlgren on May 2, 1939 after playing in 2,130 consecutive baseball games.
On Oct. 18, 1925 Wellington Timothy Mara (1916-2005) becomes a ballboy for his father Timothy J. Mara's new team the New York Giants, rising to co-owner in 1930 at age 14 along with his older brother Jack Mara.
On Sept. 23, 1926 the 10-round Jack Dempsey-Gene Tunney "Long Count" Heavyweight Boxing Match in the Sesqui-Centennial Stadium in Philadelphia, Penn. is heard by 39M over the radio; 31-y.-o. 190-lb. uneducated bad-guy Dempsey gives 28-y.-o. 189-lb. well-educated "boxing's brainiest champ" James Joseph "Gene" Tunney (1898-1978) his Iron Mike (right hand), and Tunney lies on the canvas for 13 sec. in the 7th round (the Long Count), but Dempsey stalls in going to a neutral corner so that referee Pop Reilly delays his official count, and Tunney get up and wins on points, becoming world heavyweight boxing champ #9 (until 1928); the same afternoon Babe Ruth ties his previous record of 56 homers, and Lou Gehrig breaks Ruth's record of 170 RBIs by driving in two runs, giving him 172.
In 1926 the cushioned cork-center baseball is introduced. On Oct. 2-10, 1926 the 89-65 St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the 91-63 New York Yankees (AL) 4-3 to win the Twenty-Third (23rd) World Series in the first series appearance for the Cardinals.
On Jan. 22, 1927 police arrest Babe Ruth in Long Beach, Calif. for autographing baseballs for kids on stage, claiming he violated child labor laws since he didn't obtain a work permit for them first; a San Diego judge later acquits him.
On Sept. 30, 1927 George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr. (1895-1948), the "Sultan of Swat" wallops his 60th regular season homer for the New York Yankees in the 8th inning of a game off Jonathan Thompson Walton "Tom" Zachary (1896-1969) of the Washington Senators, setting a record that stands for 34 years (1961); he bats-in more homers than any other AL team that season, with a .324 avg; bitter rival Lou Gehrig hits 47 homers; the Yankees win a league record 115 regular season games; Zachary gets even in the 1929 season by going 12-0 with the Yankees, setting a record that lasts until ?; on Oct. 5-8 after a show-off batting practice before Game 1, the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) 4-0 to win the Twenty-Fourth (24th) World Series, becoming the first sweep of an NL team by an AL team; the Pirates don't return to the World Series for 33 years.
On Oct. 4-9, 1928 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) 4-0 to win the Twenty-Fifth (25th) World Series with a combined score of 27-10, becoming the first time a team sweeps consecutive series; Babe Ruth hits .625 (10 for 16), incl. 3 homers over the right field pavilion in Sportsman's Park in Game 4.
On Sept. 15, 1929 Evar Swanson (1902-73) of Columbus, Ohio circles the bases in a record 13.3 sec.
On Oct. 8-14, 1929 the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) (104-46 in the regular season, 18 ahead of the Yankees) defeat the Chicago Cubs (NL) 4-1 to win the Twenty-Sixth (26th) World Series; in Game 4 they are down 8-0 in the 7th, then come back to win by 10-8 with their "Mack Attack", named after "Tall Tactician" team owner Cornelius Alexander "Connie" Mack (McGillicuddy) (1862-1956), with a team incl. future hall-of-famers Robert Moses "Lefty" Grove (1900-75) (pitcher), Gordon Stanley "Mickey" Cochrane (1903-62) (catcher) (whom Mickey Mantle is later named after), power-hitter James Emory "Jimmie" "Jimmy" "Double X" "The Beast" Foxx (1907-67) (1B), and clutch-hitter Aloysius Harry "Bucketfoot Al" Simmons (Szymanski) (1902-56) (outfielder); in Game 4 the Athletics overcome an 0-8 deficit to win 1-8, which incl. an inside-the-park homer when center fielder Hack Wilson loses Mule Haas' fly ball for a 3-run homer, bringing the A's to 7-8, becoming the last inside-the-park WS homer until Game 1 of the 2015 WS; a toss-up for greatest ML baseball team of all time with the 1927-8 Yankees?
In the 1930s Matsutaro Shoriki (1885-1969), pub. of Yomiuri Shinbun introduces Am. baseball to Japan, where the diminutive stature of the players and Japanese spirit of cooperation lead to their own brand of the game; in 1934 he lets the Am. All-Star Team play his All-Star Team in Jingu Stadium, causing right-wingers to attempt to asssassinate him with a sword, giving him a 16-in. scar.
On May 2, 1930 the first prof. baseball night game sees a Western League (minors) team in Des Moines, Iowa host a team from Wichita, Kan., raising attendance from 600 to 12K, causing all minor league teams to follow suit to try to stay in business.
In 1930-1 Babe Ruth draws a salary of $80K a year; when asked why he should make more than the pres. of the U.S., he replies "He didn't have as good a season as me."
On Oct. 1-8, 1930 the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) defeat the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) 4-2 to win the Twenty-Seventh (27th) World Series; on Oct. 4 Slovakian-born Athletics pitcher John "Jack" Quinn (Picus) (Pajkos) (1883-1946) becomes the oldest pitcher in the WS (47 years, 91 days) (until ?); during the regular season he becomes the oldest player to hit a homer in the ML; too bad, the Great Depression causes owner Connie Mack to split up the team, or they would have been a dynasty?
On Apr. 1, 1931 pitcher Virne Beatrice "Jackie" Mitchell (1913-87) of the Class AA minor league Chattanooga Lookouts becomes the first (only) female to strike out Babe Ruth in an exhibition game against the New York Yankees in Chattanooga, Tenn., who utters the soundbyte: "I don't know what's going to happen if they begin to let women in baseball. Of course, they will never make good. Why? Because they are too delicate. It would kill them to play ball every day"; she also strikes out Lou Gehrig in succession; a few days later ML baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis voids her contracts and bans women from baseball, calling it "too strenuous"; after barnstorming with the House of David, she retires in 1937, then refuses to come out of retirement for the All-Am. Girls Prof. Baseball League in 1943.
On Oct. 1-10, 1931 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the Philadelphia Athletics (AL) 4-3 to win the Twenty-Eighth (28th) World Series.
On Feb. 22, 1932 baseball star pitcher Walter "the Big Train" Johnson (1887-1946) throws a silver dollar over the 317-ft. Rappahannock River in commemoration of the 200th anniv. of George Washington's birthday.
On Sept. 28-Oct. 2, 1932 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Chicago Cubs (NL) 4-0 to win the Twenty-Ninth (29th) World Series; Yankees mgr. (1930-46) Joseph Vincent "Marse Joe" McCarthy (1887-1978) goes on to lead them to 4 WS Vs in 1936-9; on Oct. 1 New York Yankee slugger Babe Ruth hits a called homer off Charles Henry "Charlie" Root (1899-1970) of the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in the 4th inning of Game 3 after allegedly "calling the shot", pointing to the centerfield bleachers and doing what he promised after 2 strikes and 2 balls; Ruth's last WS homer (15th, broken by Mickey Mantle with 18); the called-shot ball is lost, and is estimated to be worth $2M by the end of the cent.
On July 6, 1933 the first ML Baseball All-Star Game is played in Comiskey Park as part of the Chicago World's Fair, and the AL defeats the NL 4-2; Babe Ruth hits the first homer of the game; poor hitter Lefty Gomez drives in the game's 1st run, and is the winning pitcher for the AL.
On Oct. 3-7, 1933 the New York Giants (NL) defeat the Washington Senators (AL) 4-1 to win the Thirtieth (30th) World Series; Jimmy Foxx and Chuck Klein become baseball's 4th and 5th players to win baseball's triple crown.
On July 13, 1934 (Fri.) Babe Ruth of the New York Yankees hits his 700th homer off Tommy Bridges in Briggs Stadium a 4-2 V over the Detroit Tigers.
In 1934 lefty screwball pitcher (#11) Carl Hubbell (1903-88) of the New York Giants strikes out five future hall-of-fame players in succession in the All-Star Game: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons, and Joe Cronin.
On Oct. 3-9, 1934 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) 4-3 to win the 1934 (Thirty-First) (31st) World Series; Lou Gehrig becomes the 6th player to win baseball's triple crown; the Cardinals become known as the Gashouse Gang, incl. pitcher Jerome Hanna "Dizzy" Dean (1910-74) (who tears his uniform to shreds in front of cameras and declares the club a "cheap outfit"), SS Leo "the Lip" Durocher (1905-91), pitcher James Otto "Tex" Carleton (1906-77), LF Joseph Michael "Joe" "Ducky" Medwick (1911-1975), 2B Francis "Frank" "Frankie" "the Fordham Flash" Frisch (1898-1973), and 3B Johnny Leonard Roosevelt "Pepper" Martin (1904-65); Cardinals mgr. Branch Rickey considers them the culmination of his farm system; pushing-40 Babe Ruth is booted by the Yankees after the 1934 season, and they screw him him twice by not making him a mgr.
On May 24, 1935 the first ML night game sees the Cincinnati Reds defeat the Philadelphia Phillies by 2-1 in Crosley Field in Cincinnati in front of 25K fans who stand by as Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt symbolically switches on the lights from the White House; the Reds go on to play a night game this season against every NL team (eight in all), compiling a 68-85 record while paid attendance rises 117%. On May 25 after the 1934 season sees pushing-40 Babe Ruth (b. 1895) booted by the Yankees, who screw him him twice by not making him a mgr., he hits the final homers (#713, #714) of his career playing for the Boston Braves in a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field off pitcher Guy Bush.
On Oct. 2-7, 1935 the Detroit Tigers (AL) defeat the Chicago Cubs (NL) 4-2 to win the Thirty-Second (32nd) World Series.
On Jan. 29, 1936 the first members of the Nat. Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. are named, incl. Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, and Christy Mathewson.
On Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 1936 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the New York Giants (NL) 4-2 to win the Thirty-Third (33rd) World Series; first Yankees WS without Babe Ruth and with Joe DiMaggio.
On Oct. 6-10, 1937 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the New York Giants (NL) 4-1 to win the Thirty-Fourth (34th) World Series; St. Louis Cardinals left fielder Joseph Michael "Joe" "Ducky" Medwick (1911-75) (known for his waddle) becomes the 7th player to win baseball's triple crown (#6 is Lou Gehrig in 1934), and the last NL player to win until ?.
On Oct. 2 1938 (last day of the season) 6'4" 210 lb. Jewish-Am. Detroit Tigers 1B player "Hammerin'" Hank Greenberg (1911-86) strikes out twice against Cleveland Indians pitcher Robert William Andrew "Bob" Feller (1918-2010) ("the Heater from Van Meter") (who was signed in 1936 by scout Cyril Charles "Cy" Slapnicka (1886-1979) for $1 and an autographed baseball), ending with 58 homers, two short of Babe Ruth's record; Feller pitches a ML record 18 strikeouts.
On Oct. 5-9, 1938 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Chicago Cubs (NL) 4-0 to win the 35th World Series; the Cubs haven't won since 1908, and fans are beginning to get pretty desperate?
On May 2, 1939 after asking himself to be benched on Apr. 30, New York Yankees 1B player Henry Louis (Ludwig Heinrich) "Lou" Gehrig (1903-41), "the Iron Horse" asks to be taken out of the starting lineup in a game where the Yankees defeat the Tigers 22-2; he had played 2,130 consecutive games since June 1, 1925, with a .340 batting avg. and 1,995 driven-in runs; he is replaced by Ellsworth Tenney "Babe" Dahlgren (1912-96); on June 21 he is diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic with fatal amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), the disease that later bears his name, and on July 4 (Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day) he delivers his farewell speech at Yankee Stadium to 61,808 fans between games of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators, with the soundbyte "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth"; he becomes the first ML player to have his number (#4) retired; on Dec. 7 he is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
On May 17, 1939 the first televised baseball game, the 2nd game of a double header between Columbia U. and Princeton U. at Columbia's Baker Field is broadcast by NBC to 400-odd TV sets by sportscaster Bill Stern (1907-71); on Sept. 30 the first college football game to be televised is shown on experimental station W2XBS in New York as Fordham U. defeats Waynesburg College 34-7 in Triboro Stadium on Randalls Island; on Aug. 26 the first televised ML baseball games are shown on W2XBS, a double-header between the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field, announced by Walter Lanier "Red" "the Ol' Redhead" Barber (1908-92); the Reds win game #1 5-2, the Dodgers win game #2 6-1; on Oct. 22 NBC televises its first ML baseball game from Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, N.Y.; there are only about 400 TV sets in operation in the New York area.
On June 12, 1939 the Nat. Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, N.Y. is dedicated on the 100th anniv. of the day Abner Doubleday allegedly invented the sport.
On Oct. 4-8, 1939 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Cincinnati Reds (NL) 4-0 to win the Thirty-Sixth (36th) World Series.
In 1939 Little League Baseball is founded in Williamsport, Penn.
In 1940 Richard Cummings "Dick" Wakefield (1921-85) becomes the first ML "Bonus Baby", receiving an unprecedented $52K signing bonus and a car from the Detroit Tigers; too bad, he lets the money go to his head and doesn't work hard, and after going 1-for-7 is dumped from the ML in 1942, but returns in 1943 and becomes a star until WWII begins, then ends up a bum after the war, using his relationship with the owner's wife to stay on until 1949 despite the fans booing him.
In 1940 Cleveland Indians pitcher Robert William Andrew "Bob" Feller (1918-2010) becomes the first to pitch a no-hitter on opening day (until ?), against the Chicago White Sox.
On Oct. 2-6, 1940 the Cincinnati Reds (NL) win their first World Series since 1919 as they defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) 4-3 in the Thirty-Seventh (37th) World Series, rescuing their bad rap in the 1919 WS.
On May 15-July 17, 1941 New York Yankees star Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio (1914-99) gains sports immortality with a 56-game hitting streak, breaking Willie Keeler's record of 44 games set in 1897 with the Baltimore Orioles; he is finally stopped by Al Smith and Jim Bagby of the Cleveland Indians; he holds out for a stunning $35K salary; meanwhile Boston Red Sox outfielder (1939-60) ("Beantown's Splendid Splinter") Theodore Samuel "Ted" Williams (1918-2002) bats .406 (last ML player to bat .400 until ?), making for a memorable baseball season marked by looming war, causing Phil Rizzuto to utter the soundbyte "You read the sports section a lot because you were afraid of what you'd see in the other parts of the paper"; Williams becomes a WWII Marine Corps fighter pilot, returns to win the triple crown, leaves to fight in the Korean War, and comes back to become an All-Star.
On Oct. 1-6, 1941 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) 4-1 to win the Thirty-Eighth (38th) World "Subway" Series; the Dodgers play in their first WS in 21 years under mgr. Leo "Lippy" Durocher (1905-91).
In 1941 after Pee Wee Reese and Pat Reiser are beaned, the Brooklyn Dodgers start using plastic batter helmets.
On July 14, 1942 Sam Wood's The Pride of the Yankees: The Life of Lou Gehrig (RKO) (B&W), debuts, based on a story by Paul Gallico, starring Gary Cooper as New York Yankees "Bronx Bombers" first baseman Lou "Iron Horse" Gehrig, who died on June 2, 1941 of ALS after playing 2,130 straight games; features Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Mark Koenig, Bill Dickey, and sportscaster Bill Stern playing themselves; Teresa Wright plays his babe Eleanor; Gene Collins play 8-y.-o. sick kid Billy, who is promised two homers in a single World Series game by Gehrig; last line "People all say that I've had a bad break, but today, today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth."
On Sept. 30-Oct. 5, 1942 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-1 (incl. the last four) to win the Thirty-Ninth (39th) World Series; the first Yankees loss to the Cardinals since the 1926 WS; Cardinals outfielder Stanley Frank "Stan the Man" Musial (Stanislaw Franciszek Musial) (1920-2013) is in his first season, going on to compile a record of 3,630 hits and 24 All-Star selections (tied with Willie Mays); Ted Williams becomes the 8th player to win baseball's triple crown (#7 is Joe Medwick in 1937).
In 1942 FDR decides to keep ML baseball alive during the war for morale, causing chewing gum magnate Philip Knight Wrigley (1894-1977) to form the All-Am. Girls Prof. Baseball League (until 1953); 1B player Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek (1925-2010) becomes their top star; portrayed in the 1992 film "A League of Their Own" - there's no crying in baseball?
On Oct. 5-11, 1943 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) 4-1 to win the Fortieth (40th) World Series; wartime restrictions mandate only one trip between ballparks, forcing a 5-game format.
On Oct. 4-9, 1944 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the St. Louis Browns (AL) 4-3 in the Forty-First (41st) World Series, becoming the first appearance for the Browns in 42 years; ML baseball hits rock bottom in the war after all the good players are drafted, leaving only 4-Fs, incl. 1-armed Pete Gray of the Browns; Stan Musial of the Cardinals enlists but is never called, lucking out?
In 1945 St. Louis, Mo.-born Harry Caray (Harry Christopher Carabina) (1914-98), known for his trademark barrel-shaped wide-rimmed black glasses prescribed by Dr. Cyril Nierman, O.D. becomes announcer for the St. Louis Cardinals, getting fired after the 1969 season, moving to the Chicago White Sox in 1971, teaming with former Texas Rangers outfielder Jimmy Piersall in 1977, starting a practice of leading the home crowd in singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the seventh-inning stretch; in 1982 he moves to the Chicago Cubs (North Side Chicago, vs. South Side for the Sox), becoming nationally famous on cable superstation WGN-TV, with the nickname "the Mayor of Rush Street", a reference to his love of Budweiser beer; in Dec. 1997 his grandson Chip Caray is hired to share his duties, but he dies in Feb. 1998 before the season begins.
On Oct. 3-10, 1945 the Detroit Tigers (AL) defeat the Chicago Cubs (NL) 4-3 in the Forty-Second (42nd) "World's Worst" World Series; the last time the Cubs won was in 1908; in Game 4 Chicago Greek immigrant Billy Goat Tavern owner William "Billy" Sianis (1900-70) brings his pet goat Murphy (Sinovia?) with two $7.20 box seat tickets, with the goat wearing a sign saying "We Got Detroit's Goat", and after a brouhaha they are allowed to be seated, but the goat is ejected after it rains by order of Cubs owner Philip Knight Wrigley, and Sianis curses the team, yelling that a WS game will never again be played in Wrigley Field, after which the Cubs lose the game and the series; the next time the Cubs are in the series is ?.
In 1945 Brooklyn Dodgers mgr. Leo Durocher assaults a fan at Ebbets Field, and is tried by judge Samuel Simon Leibowitz of Scottsboro Boys fame; meanwhile Branch Rickey, Walter O'Malley, and John L. Smith acquire a controlling interest in the Brooklyn Dodgers - hey maggot, who ya gonna hire? On Oct. 23, 1945 black baseball player Jackie Robinson signs a contract with the Montreal Royals after the death of anti-black ML baseball commissioner (since 1922) Kenesaw Mountain Landis (b. 1866) last Nov. 25 clears the way; Dodgers mgr. Branch Rickey (Landis' nemesis) signed him on Aug. 28 to a minor league contract, then saw his chance and made his move. The Great American Color Line is broken with a baseball bat? On Apr. 10, 1947 Black Montreal Royals infielder Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (1919-72) receives a call from Brooklyn Dodgers. pres. Wesley Branch Rickey (1881-1965) in his room at the McAlpin Hotel across the street from Macy's on 34th St. in Manhattan, offering him a ML min. $5K contract; on Apr. 15 he steps on Ebbetts Field as #42 of the blue-white uniformed Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking ML baseball's color line; known for a weak throwing arm and a shaky ankle, he goes 0 for 3 amid taunts and threats by fans and players, incl. Phillies mgr. Ben Chapman (1908-93); the St. Louis Cardinals almost boycott him; his debut bat is not saved; he goes on to win the Rookie of the Year award, pump his team up to eventually win a WS, and become the first black All-American - soon black men will be batting at white women's home plates, eh kukies?
On Oct. 29, 1945 A.B. "Happy" Chandler (1898-1991) resigns from the U.S. Senate to become ML baseball commissioner (until 1950).
In 1945 Jean Yarbrough's The Naughty Nineties debuts, starring Abbott and Costello as Dexter Broadhurst of the St. Louis Wolves, and Sebastian Dinwiddle, delivering their famous comedy routine Who's on First?: Who (1B), What (2B), I Don't Know (3B), I Don't Care (SS), Today (C), Tomorrow (P), Why (LF), Because (CF); no right fielder is mentioned.
In 1945 a syndicate controlled by Lawrence McPhail, Del Webb, and Dan Topping buys the New York Yankees for $2.8M from the heirs of Jacob Ruppert and Edward G. Barrow.
On Oct. 6-15, 1946 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) (after defeating Brooklyn in a runoff for the NL pennant) defeat the Boston Red Sox (AL) 4-3 in the Forty-Third (43rd) World Series; the mad dash of Enos Slaughter from first base to home plate sparks the Cardinals' Game 7 V; the Red Sox haven't won since 1918 after they traded Ruth in 1920, and fans begin hearing about the Curse of the Bambino.
On July 5, 1947 Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Doby (1923-2003) joins the Cleveland Indians, becoming the 2nd black player in the ML and the 1st in the AL; he has a .301 avg. in 1948, helping Cleveland win the pennant, and makes the All-Star team six years in a row.
On Sept. 30-Oct. 6, 1947 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) 4-3 in the Forty-Fourth (44th) World Series; the first WS with a non-white player (Jackie Robinson of the Dodgers); the first WS to be shown on TV (New York area only); Yankees catcher Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra (1925-2015) (known for malapropisms incl. "Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical", "It's like deja vu all over again", "It ain't over till it's over", "When you come to a fork in the road, take it", "No one goes there nowadays, it's too crowded", "The future ain't what it used to be") becomes the first pinch hitter to hit a homer in the series; Ted Williams repeats as the 8th player to win baseball's triple crown (first time 1942).
In 1947 Robert W. Henderson pub. Bat, Ball, and Bishop, which makes the case for Alexander Joy Cartwright II (1820-92) as the inventor of Am. baseball, causing the U.S. Congress to officially recognize him and throw phony Abner Doubleday out.
On Aug. 14, 1948 the Denver Bears A-baseball team (later AAA) debuts in Bears Stadium in Denver, Colo., which becomes Mile High Stadium, home of the Denver Broncos in 1968-2001; the team is sold in 1985 and renamed the Denver Zephyrs, relocating to New Orleans, la.
On Oct. 4, 1948 the Cleveland Indians defeat the Boston Red Sox 8-3 in a single game playoff to win the AL pennant; on Oct. 6-11 the Cleveland Indians (AL) defeat the Boston Braves (NL) 4-2 to win the Forty-Fifth (45th) World Series; a 50+ year WS drought begins for the Indians.
On Apr. 19, 1949 "the Cuban Comet" left fielder Orestes "Minnie" Minoso (Miñoso) (Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso Arrieta) (1925-2015) debuts with the Cleveland Indians (until 1959), becoming the first black Cuban to play for an ML team, moving to the Chicago White Sox in 1951, becoming known as "Mr. White Sox", stealing 167 bases (vs. 179 for Willie Mays).
On July 12, 1949 Lawrence Eugene "Larry" Doby (1923-2003), Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (1919-72), Roy "Campy" Campanella (1921-93), and Donald "Don" "Newk" Newcombe (1926-) become the first African-Ams. to play in an Am. All-Star baseball game.
On Oct. 5-9, 1949 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) 4-1 to win the Forth-Sixth (46th) (1949) World Series; on Oct. 9 (Game 5) the lights are turned on in Ebbets Field, becoming the first WS game finished under artificial lights; under new mgr. (1949-60) "the Old Perfessor" Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel (1890-1975) the Yankees win the next four series for a fivepeat (last in 1953); after winning rookie of the year, Donald "Don" "Newk" Newcombe (1926-) of the Brooklyn Dodgers becomes the first African-Am. pitcher to start a WS game. In 1956 he becomes the first winner of the Cy Young Award for pitchers, also winning the NL MVP; in 1949 he was the rookie of the year and the first African-Am. pitcher to start a WS game, and last year he was the first to win 20 games in one season; on top of that he is often used as a pinch hitter. In 1949 after hitting 51 homers in 1947, Ralph McPherran Kiner (1922-2014) of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits 54 homers, becoming the first NL player with two 50+-seasons, the highest total in the ML from 1939-60, and in the NL from 1931-97; in 1952 he has his 7th straight season leading the league in homers, with 37, becoming known for the soundbyte: "Home run hitters drive Cadillacs and singles hitters drive Fords."
On Oct. 4-7, 1950 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the "Whiz Kids" Philadelphia Phillies (NL) 4-0 to win the Forty-Seventh (47th) World Series; during the regular season outfielder Joe DiMaggio plays his one and only game at first base in a 13-year career.
In Apr. 1951 Curtis Edward "Curt" Gowdy (1919-2006) becomes the radio voice of the Boston Red Sox (until 1965).
On May 25, 1951 outfielder William Howard "Willie" Mays Jr. (1931-), "the Say Hey Kid" makes his ML debut in Philly with the New York Giants as #24 19 days after his 20th birthday after only 3 mo. with the Class AAA Minneapolis Millers; on May 24 he is sitting in a movie theater in Sioux City, Iowa when a message flashes across the screen reading "WILLIE MAYS CALL YOUR HOTEL"; after he retires the Giants open their HQ at 24 Willie Mays Plaza; his jersey, complete with a patch on the right arm is appraised at $60K at the end of the cent.
On Aug. 19, 1951 coach Bill Veeck of the Cleveland Browns sends in 3'7" midget Edward Carl "Eddie" Gaedel (1925-61) (uniform number 1/8) to pinch-hit after he jumps out of a cake.
Don't Americans have interesting lives? On Oct. 3, 1951 (3:38 p.m. EST) during the first ML playoff for a pennant since the NL in 1946 and AL in 1948, "the Shot Heard 'Round the World", AKA "the Little Miracle at Coogans Bluff" (game score 4-1 Brooklyn) sees a bases-loaded walk-off homer scored on the 2nd pitch by Scottish-born New York Giants outfielder (#23) Robert Brown "Bobby" Thomson (1923-2010) ("the Flying Scot") ("the Staten Island Scot") off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher (#13) Ralph Theodore Joseph Branca (1926-) in the last half of the 9th inning of the 3rd playoff game at the Polo Grounds, sailing into the lower left field stands and winning the game 5-4 along with the NL pennant 2-1 for the hapless Giants from the mighty Dodgers in a great Am. sports moment; on Aug. 11 Brooklyn was 13-1/2 games ahead of the Giants, but they won their next 16 games and finished the season on a 26-22 clip, winning 37 of the last 44 games incl. the last 7 in a row, then won a 14-inning V over last year's champions the Philadelphia Phillies, tying Brooklyn with a 96-58 season record to force the best-of-3 pennant series; sportscaster Russell Patrick "Russ" Hodges (1910-71) shouts "The Giants have won the pennant!" 3x in a row, and that evening Thomson appears on Perry Como's show on NBC-TV, acting soused; even though there was nobody on first, mgr. Charlie Dressen ordered Branca not to walk Thomson because 20-y.-o. black rookie Willie Mays was in the on-deck circle; Carroll Lockman "Whitey" Lockman (1926-2009) (whose 1-out double scored Alvin Dark, making the score 4-2 and knocking pitcher Don Newcombe out of the game, causing Branca to be called in as a relief pitcher) is on 2nd, and Clinton Clarence "Clint" "Floppy" Hartung (1922-2010) is on 3rd, subbing for Donald Frederick "Don" Mueller (1927-), who broke his ankle sliding into 3rd, missing seeing the big homer; the next day a dozen baseballs are claimed to be the home run ball, after which a mysterious Franciscan nun is found to have kept it in a shoebox for 50+ years, after which her biological sister sends it to a landfill; in Feb. 2001 the Wall Street Journal reports that the Giants began a legal sign-stealing scheme in July 1951, which might have helped Thomson know what pitch was coming. Robert Leo "Bob" Sheppard (1910-2010) becomes the announcer for the New York Yankees, announcing over 4.5K games before his 2007 retirement incl. 22 AL pennants and 13 WS titles.
On Oct. 4-10, 1951 the New York Yankees (AL) (mgr. Casey Stengel) defeat the New York Giants (NL) (mgr. Leo Durocher) 4-2 to win the Forty-Eighth (48th) World Series; the last WS for Joe DiMaggio, who retires, and the first for rookies Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle (DiMaggio's replacement at center field).
On Dec. 11, 1951 despite receiving the highest salary in sports, New York Yankees center fielder (#5) (since May 3, 1936) Joseph Paul "Joe" DiMaggio (1914-99) announces his retirement; his last ML appearance was on Sept. 30; his career statistics incl. .325 batting avg., 361 home runs, and 1,537 RBI, plus 13 All-Star selections, 9 WS titles, 3 AL MVPs, and a ML record 56 consecutive games with a hit. In 1952 his jersey number (#5) is officially retired by Yankees.
On June 21, 1952 ML baseball bans the signing of women to contracts, which they don't drop until 1992 with the drafting of Carey Schueler for the 1993 season by the Chicago White Sox.
In 1952 pitcher Thomas Kinnerly "Tom" Wolfe Jr. (1931-) is cut by the New York Giants baseball team after only two days (weak fastball), prompting him to begin a writing career.
On Oct. 1-7, 1952 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) 4-3 to win the Forty-Ninth (49th) World Series, making four in a row (15 total) for the Yankees, and the 3rd defeat for the "Dem Bums" Dodgers in six years; Berkeley, Calif.-born Yankees 2B player Billy Martin (Alfred Manuel Pesano Jr.) (1928-89) makes a game-saving catch in Game 7; in Game 6 (8th inning) Mickey Charles Mantle (1931-95) of the Yankees scores his first of 18 WS homers; Dodgers center fielder Edwin Donald "Duke" "the Silver Fox" "the Duke of Flatbush" Snider (1926-2011) hits four homers, and four more in the 1955 WS.
On Mar. 18, 1953 the Braves baseball team announce that they are moving from Boston, Mass. to Milwaukee, Wisc., made possible by cheap air travel.
On Sept. 20, 1953 Dallas, Tex.-born Ernest "Ernie" Banks (1931-) of the Chicago Cubs (#14) hits his first ML home run, later becoming known as "Mr. Cub" and "Mr. Sunshine".
On Oct. 1-5, 1953 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) 4-2 to win the 1953 (Fiftieth) (50th) World Series for a fivepeat; 4th defeat for the Dodgers in seven years; 2B player Billy Martin of the Yankees is MVP; Brooklyn pitcher Carl Daniel Erskine (1926-) strikes out a record 14 Yankees in Game 3, which is passed in 1963 by Sandy Koufax (15).
On Nov. 9, 1953 the U.S. Supreme Court upholds a 1922 ruling that major league (ML) baseball does not come within the scope of federal antitrust laws.
In 1953 Toni Stone (1931-96) (2B) becomes the first woman to play as a regular on a men's big league baseball team, the Indianapolis Clowns of the Negro League.
On Sept. 29-Oct. 2, 1954 the underdog New York Giants (NL) defeat the Cleveland Indians (AL) (who won 111 games in the regular season) 4-0 to win the Fifty-First (51st) World Series (first win since 1933), and the Yankees' streak is broken; in Game 1 on Sept. 29 New York Giants centerfielder William Howard "Willie" Mays Jr. (1931-) makes an amazing over-the-shoulder catch of a 450-ft. fly ball hit by 1st baseman Victor Woodrow "Vic" Wertz (1925-83), becoming known as "The Catch", with NBC-TV announcer John Beasley "Jack" Brickhouse (1916-98) uttering the soundbyte: "Willie Mays just brought this crowd to its feet with a catch, which must have been an optical illusion to a lot of people, boy!"; the Giants don't win again until 2010.
In 1954 the Philadelphia Athletics baseball club moves to Kansas City.
On Sept. 10, 1955 right fielder Rocco Domenico "Rocky" Colavito Jr. (1933-) debuts with the Cleveland Indians, going on to become the 5th AL player with 11 consecutive 20-homer seasons (1956-66); too bad, he is traded after the 1959 season to the Detroit Tigers, beginning the Cleveland Sports Jinx.
On Sept. 28-Oct. 7, 1955 the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-3 to win the Fifty-Second (52nd) World Series, becoming the first win for the Dodgers and their only win before relocating to Los Angeles after the 1957 season; Dodgers pitcher John Joseph "Rubber" Podres (1932-) becomes the first WS MVP; Jackie Robinson steals home, getting by Yogi Berra in Game 7, inspiring the song Jackie's So Gone.
In 1955 Calvin Robertson Griffith (1911-99) becomes owner of the ML Washington Senators team after his uncle Clark Griffith dies, moving them to Minneapolis in 1961 and renaming them the Minn. Twins, giving Billy Martin his first mgr. job, with the soundbyte "He'll either be the best manager in baseball, or the worst."
In 1955 Roberto Clemente (1934-72), from a well-to-do family in Puerto Rico breaks into the major leagues with the league's worst Pittsburgh Pirates (their #1 pick) after a year with the Brooklyn Dodgers' minor league team the Montreal Royals (same as Jackie Robinson eight years earlier), and to counter white racism his name is changed to Bob; he goes on to become the first Latino ballplayer in the Hall of Fame, leading the Pirates to two world championships and earning 3K hits.
On May 19-28, 1956 Richard Dale Long (1926-91) of the Pittsburgh Pirates becomes the first ML player to hit homers in 8 consecutive games, followed by Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees in 1987, and Ken Griffey Jr. of the Seattle Mariners in 1993.
On Oct. 3-10, 1956 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers (NL) 4-3 to win the Fifty-Third (53rd) World Series; on Oct. 8 New York Yankees pitcher Donald James "Don" Larsen (1929-) pitches the first perfect game in WS history (until ?), a 2-0 win over Brooklyn in Game 5 (no rerun tape is saved); Mickey Charles Mantle (1931-95) becomes the 9th player to win baseball's triple crown (#8 is Ted Williams in 1947).
It's just like Lucy and Ricky moving from New York to California? On Sept. 23, 1957 Hank Aaron hits an 11th-inning homer to give the Milwaukee Braves their first NL pennant; on Sept. 24 after New York City planning czar Robert Moses (1888-1981) refuses to let owner Walter O'Malley build a new stadium in Brooklyn at the corner of Atlantic Ave. and Flatbush Ave. and tries to force him to build in Flushing Meadows, the Brooklyn Dodgers play their last game at Ebbets Field and head for Los Angeles; on Sept. 29 the New York Giants lose their last game at the Polo Grounds to the Pittsburgh Pirates, then move to San Francisco, Calif., bringing the Dodgers-Giants rivalry to the West coast.
On Oct. 2-10, 1957 the Milwaukee Braves (ML) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-3 to win the Fifty-Fourth (54th) World Series, becoming the first team to win a WS after relocating (from Boston in 1953); on Oct. 6 Nippy Jones of the Braves successfuly argues that he had been hit by a pitch when he shows the umpire shoe polish on the ball, helping the Braves win Game 4 and eventually the series.
In 1957 ML baseball passes Rule 1.11(a), requiring mgrs. to wear uniforms identical to the players.
In 1957 the Rawlings Golden Glove Award is established by baseball glove manufacturer Rawlings for the top player in each of 9 ML positions; in 1958 separate awards are given for the NL and AL.
In 1957 5-y.-o. future sportscaster Robert Quinlan "Bob" Costas (1952-) is taken to his first ML baseball game in New York City by his father, who points out Willie Mays "the way someone might point out the Eiffel Tower or the Grand Canyon".
On July 20, 1958 Jim Bunning (1931-), #14 of the Detroit Tigers pitches a perfect game against the Boston Red Sox, doing it again on Sun. June 21, 1964 (Father's Day) against the New York Yankees, the first for the NL in 84 years; in 1999 he becomes a Repub. Sen. from Ky.
On Oct. 1-9, 1958 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Milwaukee Braves (NL) 4-3 after coming back from a 3-1 deficit (2nd team since the 1925 Pittsburgh Pirates) to win the Fifty-Fifth (55th) World Series, becoming the 7th win for the Yankees in 10 years (18 total).
In 1959 the Boston Red Sox sign African-Am. player Pumpsie Green (1933-), becoming the last ML baseball team to break the color line; they had earlier passed up a chance at Jackie Robinson and Willie Mays, but racist owner Thomas Austin "Tom" Yawkey (1903-76) and mgr. Pinky Higgins (1909-69) held out as long as they could?
On May 26, 1959 Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Harvey Haddix Jr. (1925-94) pitches 12 perfect innings against the Milwaukee Braves, becoming the first pitcher in ML history to take a perfect game beyond 9 innings; too bad, he ends up losing in the 13th.
On Oct. 1-8, 1959 the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) defeat the Chicago White Sox (AL) 4-2 to win the Fifty-Sixth (56th) World Series; the last time the White Sox won was 1917, and the next time they are in the WS is 2005; the first WS in which no pitcher pitches a complete game; the first WS since 1948 in which no games are played in "Capital of Baseball" New York City; Charles Abraham "Chuck" Essegian Jr. (1931-) of the Dodgers sets a WS record with two pinch hit homers, even though he only hit one homer in 1959 and six in his career till then.
On Apr. 12, 1960 Candlestick Park (AKA the Stick) in San Francisco, Calif. (begun 1958) opens, becoming the home of the San Francisco Giants and San Francisco 49ers until 2000; state tax auditor Al Dermody (1910-2004) won a newspaper contest with 16K entries by naming it after the nearby Candlestick Point rock formation; the Beatles play their last live commercial concert there on Aug. 29, 1966.
On Apr. 2, 1960 the first exploding scoreboard debuts in Comiskey Park in Chicago, Ill.; on Apr. 19 U.S. ML baseball uniforms begin displaying players' names on their backs - so that CIA spies using spy sats can follow along? On Sept. 10, 1960 New York Yankee player Mickey Charles Mantle (1931-95) hits a homer at Briggs Stadium in Detroit against the Detroit Tigers that measures a record 634 ft. (193m.). On Oct. 5-13, 1960 (Thur.) (the Shoe Series?) the Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-3 to win the Fifty-Seventh (57th) World Series when Pirates 2nd baseman Bill "the Glove" Mazeroski (1936-) hits a walk-off homer over the left field wall in the bottom of the 9th inning with the score tied 9-9 at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Penn. for the city's biggest sports moment, becoming the first series-ending homer; Pirates co-owner (since 1946) Bing Crosby (1903-77) can't stand to see the game live, and instead listens to it on the radio in Paris while having the telecast recorded on Kinescope.
In 1960 Ga.-born sports announcer William Earnest "Ernie" Harwell (1918-2010) becomes the voice of the Detroit Tigers (until 1991).
On July 31, 1961 the first ML All-Star Game to end in a tie is stopped in the 9th inning due to rain at Fenway Park in Boston, Mass.; the next isn't until 2002.
On Oct. 1, 1961 after a race with teammate Mickey Mantle (who share an apt. in Queens, and are called the "M&M Boys" by the press), helped by an expansion season, N.D.-born Croatian-descent New York Yankees right fielder (same position as Babe Ruth) Roger Eugene Maris (1934-85) (#9) (salary $38K a year) (known for eating burned eggs to help him hit homers, and for signing an X for an autograph, with the stress causing his hair to start falling out) hits his 61st home run in the last game of a 162-game season against the Boston Red Sox in front of only 23K fans, breaking Babe Ruth's 1927 record and making Maris the most hated man in baseball by Ruth fans; he hit his first homer on Apr. 26; he hits #58 in game #153, and hits #59 in pennant-clinching game #154 against Baltimore during Hurricane Esther, and potential #60 is caught by the wind, after which his team rallies to get him a last at-bat, and Baltmore brings in knuckle-ball thrower Hoyt Wilhelm, who tags him out at first; he hits #60 in game #158; despite 80% of the fans rooting for him, Okla.-born center fielder (#7) Mickey Mantle ends the season wth 54 homers, hitting #49 with a bad right arm and ending up in the hospital with a bad left hip caused by an infected needle; the big ball is caught by Sal Durante (1942-), who offers it to Maris, who declines, after which Durante sells it for $5K to restaurateur Sam Gordon, who donates it to the Nat. Baseball Hall of Fame; MLB commissioner #3 (1951-65) Ford Christopher Frick (1894-1978) (a former ghostwriter for Babe Ruth) convinces record keepers to list his record separately from Babe Ruth's, adding an asterisk because of the shorter 154-game season; in 1991 after three players eclipse both of them, ML baseball commissioner Fay Vincent drops the asterisk, thus Maris died not knowing that the record belonged to him.
On Oct. 4-9, 1961 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Cincinnati Reds (NL) 4-1 (the Reds vs. the Yanks, get it?) to win the Fifty-Eighth (58th) World Series; during the regular season "M&M" Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris of the Yankees bat in 115 combined homers.
In 1961 the Washington Senators move to Minneapolis, Minn. and become the Minnesota Twins; the new Washington Senators become Washington, D.C.'s first ML team; after the 1971 season they move to Arlington, Tex. and change their name to the Texas Rangers; in 1980 Tex. oil tycoon Harrell Edmonds "Eddie" Chiles (1910-93) buys the team, selling it in 1989 to a group incl. future U.S. pres. George W. Bush and Am. history-loving New York City stockbroker Richard Gilder Jr. (1932-), who in 2005 marries his paternal niece, actress Lois Chiles.
On July 3, 1962 Jackie Robinson (1919-72) becomes the first African-Am. to be inducted into the Nat. Baseball Hall of Fame.
On July 10, 1962 (night) the $3M 170 lb. Bell Labs Telstar I, the world's first privately-funded commercial communication satellite is launched from Cape Canaveral, Fla., carrying 12 voice circuits with a combined throughput of 768K bps; on July 23 (2:58 p.m.) the first transatlantic TV broadcast, relayed from Andover, Maine to Goonhilly, Cornwall and Pleumeur-Boudou, France is seen by millions, starting with a split screen of the Statue of Liberty and Eiffel Tower, followed by Walter Cronkite saying "Good evening Europe. This is the North American continent live via AT&T Telstar, July 23, 1962"; although the first images were supposed to be of JFK in a trans-Atlantic press conference in Washington, D.C. on nuclear testing and the devaluation of the dollar, he isn't ready on time so a ML ballgame between the Philadelphia Phillies and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field actually shows Ernie Banks first, with BBC broadcaster Richard Dimbleby uttering the soundbyte: "There is a face - it's a man's face!" (and yes, it's black), becoming the first expore to baseball for many Europeans; after Philly's Tony Taylor flies-out and Johnny Callison hits a single to right field at the top of the 3rd inning, the signal is switched to JFK's press conference, which is already in the Q/A phase; at 6:00 p.m. after live scenes from the U.S.-Mexico border at Juarez, Niagara Falls, the World's Fair in Seattle, Wash., the U.N. HQ in New York City, a chat with NASA astronauts at Cape Canaveral, Fla., a rehearsal of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" at the Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Ont., a close-up of Mount Rushmore in S.D. and the singing of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Euro program opens with live shots of Big Ben in London and a welcome from Brussels, Belgium by Richard Dimbleby of BBC-TV; in Nov. Telestar's electronics fail due to radiation, then come back online until Feb. 21, 1963; meanwhile this year the U.K. transmits the first color TV pictures via satellite.
On Oct. 4-16, 1962 (a record 13 days, caused by rain in both home cities) the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the San Francisco Giants (NL) 4-3 to win the Fifty-Ninth (59th) World Series.
In 1962 Los Angeles Dodgers black shortstop Maurice Morning "Maury" Wills (1932-) steals 104 bases, breaking Ty Cobb's 47-y.-o. record and changing the game by introducing the stolen base as an offensive weapon.
In 1962 the New York Mets (NL), who play at the Polo Grounds debut with 120 regular season losses, managed in 1962-5 by "the Old Perfessor" Charles Dillon "Casey" Stengel (1890-1975), who won 10 pennants and 7 World Series as mgr. of the New York Yankees in 1949-60; former Pittsburgh Pirates star Ralph Kiner becomes a Mets announcer for 53 seasons; too bad, they come in last all four years, becoming known as the "Lovable Losers" because of Stengel's lovable comments, causing him to call them the "Amazin' Mets", with the soundbyte "I've been in this game a hundred years, but I see new ways to lose I never knew existed before", and says of his three catchers "I got one that can throw but can't catch, one that can catch but can't throw, and one who can hit but can't do either"; his soundbyte "Can't anybody play this here game?" is misquoted as "Can't anybody here play this game?", becoming famous.
On Apr. 9, 1963 Pres. Kennedy opens the ML baseball season by throwing out the first ball as striking food and drink vendors form picket lines. On June 15, 1963 the San Francisco Giants and Milwaukee Braves stage a 5-hour game at the new Candlestick Park, with Willie Mays winning it by hitting the 428th pitch of the game over left field; Juan Marichal pitches for the Giants, Warren Spahn for the Braves. On Oct. 2-6, 1963 the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-0 in the Sixtieth (60th) World Series, becoming the first team to never trail an inning (2nd time 1966 Orioles, 3rd time 1989 A's, 4th time 2004 Red Sox); the Yankees are the first team to win more than 100 games in the regular season and win no games in the World Series (2nd time is the Cardinals in 2004); the first time that the Yankees are swept in a WS in four games (in 1922 they are swept with one tie); Elston Gene Howard (1929-80), the first black player in New York Yankees history (1955) becomes the first African-Am. AL MVP; Dodgers pitcher (#32) (since 1955) ("Great Jewish Hope") (lefty) Sandy Koufax (Sanford Braun) (1935-) is named NL MVP, and wins the Cy Young Award, and again in 1965 and 1966, becoming the first 3-time winner, winning the pitcher's triple crown each time; in 1965 he pitches a perfect game, and becomes the first ML pitcher to pitch four no-hitters; too bad, arthritis ends his career, and he makes his last appearance on Oct. 2, 1966.
On Sept. 22, 1963 the Alou (real name Rojas) brothers Felipe Rojas (1935-), Mateo Rojas "Matty" Alou (1938-), and Jesus Maria Rojas Alou (1942-) all play outfield for the San Francisco Giants against the New York Mets in New York City.
On Apr. 17, 1964 Wilver Dornell "Willie" Stargell (1940-2001) of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits the first homer in the first game played in the new $28.5M Shea Stadium (begun in Oct. 1961) in Flushing, N.Y., on a site that N.Y. planning czar Robert Moses originally wanted the Brooklyn Dodgers to move to before they left for Los Angeles; the last game is played on Sept. 28, 2008.
On Apr. 23, 1964 Kenneth Travis "Ken" Johnson (1933-) (righty) of the Houston Colt 45s becomes the first ML pitcher to lose a 9 inning no-hitter when the Cincinnati Reds win by 1-0 after Peter Edward "Pete" Rose Sr. (1942-) reaches 2nd base on an error by Johnson, followed by 3rd on a ground-out, then scores on a 2nd error, after which he appears on "I've Got a Secret", where Henry Morgan calls the loss "the saddest story of the year"; the next time is ?.
On Oct. 7-15, 1964 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-3 to win the Sixty-First (61st)(1964) World Series; black Cardinals pitcher Patrick Robert "Bob" Gibson (1935-) is MVP; on Oct. 16 the Yankees fire mgr. Yogi Berra; too bad, white Giants mgr. (former Cardinals SS) Alvin Ralph "Blackie" Dark (1922-) stinks himself up with comments to Newsday that darkie, er, blackie, er, black and Hispanic players "are just not able to perform up to the white player when it comes to mental alertness", causing him to be fired after the season on the excuse of an extramarital affair - the first PC police action of the 1960s?
The moral eludes me? In 1964 19-y.-o. Boston Red Sox rookie Tony Conigliaro (1945-90) hits 24 season homers, the most for a teenager (until ?); next year he becomes the youngest home run champ in AL history, and in 1967 he becomes the youngest player in ML history to reach 100 homers, after which he is beaned by a pitch, ruining his career, then dies of a heart attack and kidney failure at age 45.
In 1964 Earnshaw Cook (1900-87) pub. Percentage Baseball, which promotes baseball statistics, becoming the first book on the subject to gain nat. media attention; too bad, it is pooh-poohed by baseball execs, but later gains acceptance under the name Sabermetrics; followed by "Percentage Baseball and the Computer" (1971).
In 1964 AstroTurf is invented by employees of Monsanto Co., and patented in 1967 as a Monofilament ribbon pile product, and called Chemgrass until its first publicized use at the Houston Astrodome, after which it beats out over 20 synthetic turf competitors; Indiana State U. at Terre Haute becomes the first outdoor field to be surfaced with it; too bad, it turns into a nightmare for football players, leading to needless injuries as cleats catch in it and won't allow sliding, stressing joints. On Apr. 9, 1965 the Houston Astrodome in Tex. (the first covered stadium) hosts its first ML baseball game between the Houston Astros and New York Yankees; the Astros win by 2-1 after Mickey Mantle hits the first indoor homer; on Apr. 19 the ceiling is painted (cost $20K) to reduce Sun glare, causing the grass to die, leading to the installation of AstroTurf.
In June 1965 ML baseball stages its first amateur (high school and college graduate) draft; a Jan. phase is added next year (until 1987), along with a 1-time summer selection of AL players; in 1986 foreign players attending U.S. schools are made eligible, Canadians in 1991, and Cuban defectors in 1993.
On Sept. 3, 1965 the L.A. Angels ML baseball team moves to Anaheim, Calif. and changes their name to the Calif. Angels.
On Sept. 25, 1965 black Kansas City A's pitcher Leroy Robert "Satchel" Paige (1906-82) becomes the oldest player (59 years, 80 days) to pitch in a ML baseball game in his final game, pitching three scoreless innings.
On Oct. 6-14, 1965 the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) defeat the Minnesota Twins (AL) 4-3 to win the Sixty-Second (62nd) World Series.
In 1966 the Milwaukee Braves become the Atlanta Braves, retaining star Hank Aaron.
In 1966 after suffering a fractured cheekbone from Mets pitcher Jack Fisher, Chicago Cubs 3rd baseman (1960-73) Ronald Edward "Ron" Santo (1940-2010) becomes the first ML player to wear a batting helmet with protective ear flaps.
On May 12, 1966 Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis, Mo., home of the St. Louis Cardinals opens in time to host the ML All-Star game; the last Cardinals game is played on Oct. 19, 2005; it is replaced on Apr. 4, 2006 by the New Busch Stadium.
On June 13, 1966 Ariz. State outfielder Reginald Martinez "Reggie" Jackson (1946-) signs a contract with the Kansas City Athletics for $85K after being picked #2 overall in the ML baseball draft; he plays for them through the 1975 season.
On Oct. 5-9, 1966 the Baltimore Orioles (AL) (mgr. Hank Bauer) defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) (mgr. Walt Alston) 4-0 to win the Sixty-Third (63rd) World Series (their first), becoming the 2nd team to never trail an inning (1963 Dodgers); MVP Frank Robinson Jr. (1935-) becomes the 10th player to win baseball's triple crown (#9 is Mickey Mantle in 1956); the New York Yankees finish statistically last for the first time.
On May 14, 1967 (Sun.) (Mother's Day) New York Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle (1931-95) hits career home run number 500 off Stu Miller.
On Oct. 4-12, 1967 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the Boston Red Sox (AL) 4-3 to win the Sixty-Fourth (64th) World Series; MVP Bob Gibson pitches complete game victories in games 1, 4 and 7; the Curse of the Bambino continues.
In 1967 Carl Yastrzemski (1939-) of the Boston Red Sox becomes the 11th player to win baseball's triple crown (#10 is Frank Robinson Jr. in 1966) with 44 home runs, .326 batting avg., 121 RBI, and AL MVP.
In 1967 softball pitcher "Fast" Eddie Feigner (1926-2007) (top speed 104 mph) strikes out Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, Brooks Robinson, Maury Wills, and Harmon Killebrew in an exhibition game in Dodger Stadium.
On May 8, 1968 "Jason Lee in My Name Is Earl" lookalike Jim "Catfish" Hunter (1946-99) of the Oakland Athletics (who change their name from Kansas City Athletics this year) pitches the first perfect game in the American League (AL) in 46 years and the 7th in ML history against the Minnesota Twins before a crowd of 6,298 at Oakland Coliseum; the last time was Charles Robertson of Chicago vs. Detroit on Apr. 30, 1922; in 1974 Hunter becomes the ML's first free agent and moves to the New York Yankees with a record $3.75M 5-year contract.
On June 25, 1968 San Francisco Giants right fielder Bobby Lee Bonds (1946-2003) becomes the first rookie to hit a homer with bases filled in his first ML game (3rd time at bat) against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
On Sept. 17, 1968 the Detroit Tigers win the AL pennant for the first time since 1945 as they defeat the New York Yankees; Chicago-born pitcher Denny McLain (1944-) (known for drinking 25 Pepsis a day?) wins 31 of 36 games, becoming Detroit's first (only?) 30-game winner, ML's first since Dizzy Dean in 1934 (next in ?); in his 31st V McLain shows class by giving up a "fat" pitch to Mickey Mantle to allow him to hit his 535th homer and pass Jimmie Foxx in career homers - Tom Selleck is pleased?
On Oct. 2-10, 1968 the Detroit Tigers (AL) defeat the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) 4-3 (4-1 in Game 7) to win the Sixty-Fifth (65th) World Series, helping unite the city after the 1967 Detroit Race Riot; on Oct. 2 Bob Gibson strikes out 17 Tigers players to win Game 1; Gibson also wins Game 4 and wins the Cy Young and MVP awards with a 1.12 ERA during the season; Denny McLain wins Game 6, while teammate pitcher Mickey Lolich (1940-) goes 3-0 and becomes World Series MVP; too bad, cool blind Puerto Rican immigrant crossover artist Jose Feliciano (1945-) sings The Star-Spangled Banner in slow, jazzy Latin-style, changing the arrangement, starting a (racist?) backlash among veterans and causing radio stations to quit playing his music for several years, even though the single reaches #50 on the Billboard Hot 100, and 10 mo. later Jimi Hendrix does his here's-what-it-looks-like-here's-what-it-feels-like electric guitar rendition at Woodstock sans backlash?
In 1968 former Tigers and Dodgers relief pitcher Philip Ramond "Phil the Vulture" Regan (1937-) of the Chicago Cubs (1968-72) (known for stealing wins from starting pitchers) leads the NL with 25 saves, winning 12 games and saving 17 next year.
In 1969 ML baseball's two major leagues split into eastern and western divisions with two new expansion teams each, the Montreal Expos (NL), the San Diego Padres (NL), the Kansas City Royals (AL), and the Seattle Pilots (AL); in 2005 the Expos relocate to Washington, D.C. Bowie Kent Kuhn (1926-2007) becomes ML baseball commissioner #5 (until 1984). On Apr. 14, 1969 the first ML baseball game is played in Montreal, Canada.
On Aug. 15, 1969 black Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Wilver Dornell "Willie" Stargell (1940-2001) becomes the first player to hit a ball out of Dodger Stadium (506 ft.); he does it again on May 8, 1973 (493 ft.), causing Dodger pitcher Don Sutton to utter the soundbyte "He doesn't just hit pitchers, he takes away their dignity."
On Sept. 22, 1969 Willard Howard "Willie" Mays Jr. (1931-) of the San Francisco Giants becomes the first baseball player since Babe Ruth to hit 600 homers.
On Oct. 11-16, 1969 the New York Mets (NL) (founded 1962), led by righty pitcher George Thomas "Tom Terrific" Seaver (1944-) (#41) cap their "Miracle Season", winning the Sixty-Sixth (66th) World Series by 4-1 in Game 5, a 5-3 win over the heavily-favored Baltimore Orioles (AL), winning the last four straight; umpire Henry Charles "Shag" Crawford (1916-2007) ejects Baltimore mgr. Earl Stanley Weaver (1930-2013) in Game 4; the first time that the reigning World Series and Super Bowl winners are from the same area (next time 1979); the Mets receive a ticker tape parade in New York City, their 2nd of the decade (1962) (next 1986).
In 1969 Tex.-born St. Louis Cardinals black centerfielder Curtis Charles "Curt" Flood (1938-97) is traded to the Philadelphia Phillies at the end of the regular season, but refuses to report, challenging the so-called "reserve clause" that since 1879 gives ML cubs complete ownership of their players, claiming that he is "the rightful proprietor of my own person and my own talents", and challenging the immunity against anti-trust action granted by Congress to ML baseball in 1922; on June 19, 1972 the U.S. Supreme (Burger) Court rules 5-3 in Flood v. Kuhn to refuse to lift the immunity from antitrust laws granted to ML baseball by Congress in 1922; Justice Harry Blackmun writes a 7-page intro. titled "The Game", giving a tribute to the game's history with a lengthy listing of 83 baseball stars, becoming one of his claims to fame along with his opinion in Roe v. Wade (1973).
In 1969 the New York Yankees retire the jersey number (#7) of "Oklahoma's Pride" Mickey Mantle.
On May 16, 1970 14-.y.-o. fan Alan Fish (b. 1956) becomes the first spectator in ML baseball history to be killed by a foul ball (until ?), at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, Calif., hit by Manny Mota off Giants pitcher Gaylor Perry; he is sitting in the 2nd row near the visitor's dugout; the Giants win by 5-4 after Mota makes the last out against Frank Reberger; the concussion takes four days to kill him; meanwhile 52 spectators have been killed by foul balls since 1887, but only two during prof. games.
On June 30, 1970 $45M Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio opens, becoming the home of the NFL Cincinnati Bengals (until 2002) and the ML Cincinnati Reds ("the Big Red Machine") (until 1999); Roy Rogers jokes that he was born at 2nd base; on June 30 their grand opening hosts the Atlanta Braves, and Hank Aaron hits the first homer; on July 14 it hosts the 1970 ML All-Star Game, in which Reds star Pete Rose collides with Cleveland Indians catcher Ray Fosse at home plate; in 1992-2002 it becomes Cinergy Field; it is demolished on Dec. 29, 2002.
On July 16, 1970 $55M Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Penn. opens, becoming the home of the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers and the ML Pittsburgh Pirates; it closes on Dec. 16, 2000, and is demolished on Feb. 11, 2001.
On Oct. 3, 1970 ML baseball umpires begin their first-ever strike.
In 1970 the Seattle Pilots of Wash. move to Milwaukee, Wisc. and become the Milwaukee Brewers.
On Oct. 10-15, 1970 the Baltimore Orioles (AL) defeat the Cincinnati Reds (NL) 4-1 to win the Sixty-Seventh (67th) World Series; Orioles 3rd baseman Brooks Calbert Robinson Jr. (1937-), "the Human Vaccum Cleaner" puts in an amazing defensive performance, becoming MVP.
In 1970 James Alan "Jim" Bouton (1939-) pub. Ball Four: My Life and Hard Times Throwing the Knuckleball in the Big Leagues, in which a Houston Astros (former New York Yankees) pitcher tells all, incl. postgame carousing and baseball groupies, causing him to become a ML pariah for years until they finally kiss and make up.
In 1971 the ML baseball Washington Senators move from Washington, D.C. to Arlington, Tex., becoming the Texas Rangers.
On Oct. 9-17, 1971 the Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) defeat the Baltimore Orioles (AL) 4-3 to win the Sixty-Eighth (68th) World Series; after ending the regular season needing just 118 hits for a career total of 3,000, Pittsburgh's #21 Roberto Walker Clemente (Sp. "merciful") (1934-72) makes 12 hits in 29x at bat (1 short of the record), becoming the leading hitter of the WS.
On Feb. 29, 1972 Ala.-born Henry Louis "Hammerin' Hank" Aaron (1934-) becomes the first baseball player to sign a baseball contract for the startling sum of $200K a year.
On Apr. 1-13, 1972 the first ML Baseball Strike results in a $500K increase in pension fund payments and an agreement to add salary arbitration to the collective bargaining agreement; 86 games total are missed, and players are not paid for them, with most teams missing 6-8 games, and the San Diego Padres missing nine.
On Sept. 30, 1972 Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits his 3000th and last as a Pirate, with a double in a game against the New York Mets in a 5-0 V at Three Rivers Stadium.
On Oct. 14-22, 1972 after Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (b. 1919) tells a crowd in Cincinnati, Ohio, "I'd like to... see a black man managing the ballclub", the Oakland Athletics (AL) defeat the Cincinnati Reds (NL) 4-3 to win the Sixty-Ninth (69th) World Series, first of a threepeat; Robinson dies suddenly on Oct. 24. On Apr. 15, 1997 on the 50th anniv. of his ML debut, his jersey #42 is retired by all ML baseball teams; "A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
On Nov. 2, 1972 construction begins on the Kingdome in Seattle, Wash.; on Mar. 27, 1976 it opens as the home of the Seattle Seahawks, and is demolished on Mar. 26, 2000.
On Dec. 31, 1972 after getting his 3,000th ML hit in the regular season, Puerto Rican baseball star and philanthropist Roberto Clemente (b. 1934) is killed in a DC-10 crash in the Atlantic off the coast of Puerto Rico while carrying relief supplies for victims of the Managua earthquake; the plane was overloaded.
On Jan. 3, 1973 CBS-TV gets out of the baseball business by selling the New York Yankees to a 12-man syndicate headed by George Michael Steinbrenner III (1930-2010) for $3.2M, who becomes the first ML baseball team owner to sell TV cable rights and pay players astronomical salaries, opening the gate for other franchises; in 1997 he signs a 10-year $97M deal with Adidas, then creates the Yankees' own YES Cable Network; in 2005 the Yankees become the first prof. sports franchise to be worth $1B, making 20 mgr. changes in 23 years, incl. hiring and firing Billy Martin 5x; Steinbrenner's teams go on to win 16 div. titles, 11 AL pennants, and 7 WS titles.
On Jan. 11, 1973 the owners of AL baseball teams vote to adopt Rule 601, allowing teams to field a designated hitter (10th player who bats in place of the pitcher) on a trial basis to improve attendance, but the NL refuses to adopt it, causing the rule to be used in Oakland but not New York during the World Series; on Apr. 6 Ron Mark "Boomer" Blomberg (1948-), "the Great Jewish Hope" of the New York Yankees becomes the first designated hitter in ML baseball at Fenway Park, getting walked by Cuban-born Red Sox pitcher Luis Clemente Tiant Vega (1940-) in his first at-bat. In July after his New York Mets trail the Chicago Cubs by 9-1/2 games in the NL East, Yogi Berry utters the immortal soundbyte "It ain't over till it's over"; the Mets go on to rally and win the div. title. On Oct. 13-21 the Oakland Athletics (AL) defeat the New York Mets (NL) 4-3 to win the Seventieth (70th) World Series for their 2nd win in a row.
On Apr. 8, 1974 Atlanta Braves outfielder Henry "Hank" Aaron (1934-) breaks Babe Ruth's record with his 715th homer off Alphonso Erwin "Al" Downing (1941-) of the Los Angeles Dodgers in Atlanta; next year he is awarded the NAACP's Springarn Award; on July 20, 1976 he hits his 755th and final homer off Dick Drago of the Calif. Angels in Milwaukee County Stadium.
On Oct. 3, 1974 Frank Robinson Jr. (1935-), 5-season mgr. in the Puerto Rican Winter League is named ML baseball's first black mgr. (Cleveland Indians), drawing a congratulatory telegram from Pres. Ford; on opening day 1975 his wife Rachel utters the soundbyte: "I hope this is the beginning of a lot more black players being moved into front office and managerial positions and not just having their talents exploited on the field"; in Apr. 1975 his team scores its first V against the New York Yankees in the season opener, in which he hits a 1st-inning homer in his first at-bat, after which his team finishes the year 79-80, followed by 81-78 next year (first winning season for the Indians since 1968); too bad, after a bad season in 1977, he becomes the first African-Am. mgr. to be fired; his 1988 season as mgr. of the Baltimore Orioles opens with 21 straight and 107 total losses; he retires in Oct. 2006 with 2,943 hits, .294 batting avg., 586 homers (#4) and 1,829 RBIs (#10) as a player, and after becoming the first African-Am. player to manage a team in each major league, and to be named mgr. of the year in each league; too bad, color-line-breaking player Jackie Robinson dies in 1972 before he can see any of it.
On Oct. 12-18, 1974 the Oakland Athletics (AL) defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) 4-1 to win the Seventy-First (71st) World Series by 4-1 (3rd straight, 1st time since the Yankees in 1949-53); Oakland relief pitcher Roland Glen "Rollie" Fingers (1946-), who posted a win and three saves, and is known for his handlebar moustache grown to get a $300 bonus from A's owner Charles Oscar "Charlie O" Finley (1918-96) becomes MVP.
On Dec. 16, 1974 Oakland pitcher (since 1965) James Augustus "Jim" "Catfish" Hunter (1946-99) (#27) becomes a free agent after a 3-man arbitration panel rules that the Oakland Athletics didn't pay him $100K via their contract; he moves to the New York Yankees next year as the highest paid pitcher in baseball (until 1979) with a 5-year contract at $200K per year plus $2.5M in bonuses etc., winning three straight pennants in 1976-8 and becoming the 4th AL pitcher to win 20 games in a season for five consecutive seasons (1971-5); his example causes Montreal Expos pitcher Dave McNally and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Andy Messersmith to get the panel to free them next year; too bad, diabetes and wear and tear end Hunter's career at age 33; on his 1987 induction to the Nat. Baseball Hall of Fame he graciously doesn't designate a cap to put on his insignia.
In 1974 Los Angeles Dodgers team surgeon Frank James Jobe (1926-2014) performs the first Tommy John Surgery (ulnar collateral ligament reconstruction) (UCL) on ML pitcher Thomas Edward "Tommy" John Jr. (1943-), replacing the ligament in his left (pitching) arm with a tendon from his right forearm, after which John goes on to win 164 more games, becoming the oldest player in the ML in 1989-9, retiring in 1989 when Mark McGwire, a patient of his dentist father gets two hits from him, with the soundbyte "When your dentist's kid starts hitting you, it's time to retire."
On Sept. 16, 1975 Orioles lefty pitcher (1974-7) Ross Albert "Scuz" "Crazy Eyes" Grimsley II (1950-) gets pissed-off at Boston fan hecklers at Fenway Park and throws a ball into the right field bleachers, injuring a fan who succesfully sues.
On Oct. 11-22, 1975 the Cincinnati Reds (NL) defeat the Boston Red Sox (AL) 4-3 to win the Seventy-Second (72nd) World Series; on Oct. 21 (Game 6) (postponed 3 days because of rain) (one of the best WS games of all time) stoned Red Sox hitter Bernardo "Bernie" Carbo (1947-) (who delayed a game against the Yankees on June 26 for 10 min. to search for a dropped chaw of tobacco) slugs a pinch-hit homer to overcome a 3-run deficit, after which Red Sox catcher Carlton Ernest "Pudge" Fiske (1947-) scores a 12th-inning homer after he waves it fair and it lands near the left field foul pole (later named the Fisk Pole) to win and keep them alive; MVP is #14 Peter Edward "Pete" Rose Sr. (1942-) ("Charlie Hustle") of Cincinnati.
On Mar. 26, 1976 the Toronto Blue Jays ML baseball team is founded.
In 1976 former Montreal Royals pitcher (1950-4, 1958-60) Thomas Charles "Tommy" Lasorda (1927-) becomes mgr. of the Los Angeles Dodgers (until 1996).
On Oct. 16-21, 1976 the Cincinnati Reds (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-0 to win the Seventy-Third (73rd) World Series; 2nd straight WS win for the Reds, and a 12-year WS hiatus for the Yankees (1964), causing them to sign outfielder Reggie Jackson, pitcher Don Gullett, outfielder Paul Blair, SS Bucky Dent, and pitcher Mike Torrez to change their fortunes.
On Apr. 7, 1977 the Toronto Blue Jays ML baseball team makes its debut against the Chicago White Sox, and the Seattle Mariners makes its debut against the Calif. Angels; it is owned by Hollywood star Danny Kaye (until 1981) and Lester Smith; their mascot is the Mariner Moose; they don't have a winning team until 1991, and win their first AL title in 1995 against the New York Yankees, and win their first World Series in ?.
On Apr. 15, 1977 baseball home-run record-holder Hank Aaron's #44 is retired by the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers on the anniv. of when he got his first ML hit in 1954 off Cardinals pitcher Vic Raschi; his wife Billye Aaron attends the ceremony.
In 1977 Denver, Colo. billionaire Marvin Davis (1925-2004) attempts to buy the Oakland A's baseball team for $12.5M, but withdraws when the league refuses to let the team relocate to Denver.
On Sept. 3, 1977 Japanese first baseman Sadaharu Oh (Wang Chengchih) (Wang Zhenzhi) (1940-) of the Yomiuri Giants hits his 756th homer against the Yakult Swallows in Tokyo's Korakuen Stadium, besting Henry Aaron's ML record - sadahar it?
On Oct. 11-18, 1977 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) 4-2 in the Seventy-Fourth (74th) World Series; on Oct. 12 Game 2 takes place an hour before abandoned Public School No. 3 a few blocks from the ballpark catches fire, causing Howard Cosell to utter the soundbyte "There it is, ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning" as a heli camera crew shows the scene; the final game sees "Mr. October" Reginald Martinez "Reggie" Jackson (1946-) of the Yankees hit three homers off three different pitchers, each on the first pitch after walking on four pitches on his first trip to the plate and seeing a total of seven pitches in the game; the Yankees champagne-popping locker room celebration with egotist mgr. Billy Martin (his only WS title), equally egotist Reggie Jackson, owner George Steinbrenner, catcher Thurman Munson et al., culminates the Bronx Is Burning Summer in New York City, which has been in flames from the Son of Sam murders, the power blackout, and the New York mayoral contest between incumbent Abraham Beame, Ed Koch, Bella Abzug, and Mario Cuomo.
In 1977 St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Louis Clark "Lou" Brock (1939-) breaks Ty Cobb's base-stealing record with 118.
On Apr. 8, 1978 MLB commissioner (1951-65) Ford Christopher Frick (1894-1978) dies in Bronxville, N.Y., causing the annual Ford C. Frick Award for a broadcaster who made "major contributions to baseball" to be established by the Nat. Baseball Hall of Fame.
On May 5, 1978 Peter Edward "Pete" Rose Sr. (1942-) of the Cincinnati Reds gets his 3,000th ML hit; on Aug. 1 his NL record of hitting in 44 consecutive games ends in a game against the Atlanta Braves. On Aug. 10, 1981 he gets his 3,361st career hit, passing Stan Musial of the NL.
On Oct. 10-17, 1978 after the Yankees defeat the Boston Red Sox by 5-4 in a 1-game playoff after being 14 games out of 1st place 2 mo. earlier, the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) 4-2 to win the Seventy-Fifth (75th) World Series (their 22nd); 2nd time in a row for both teams; "Well, that kind of puts a damper on even a Yankee win" (Phil Rizzuto, referring to the death of the pope).
In 1978 Minn. Twins owner (since 1955) Calvin Robertson Griffith (1911-99) stinks himself up with racist remarks, incl. "Black people don't go to ball games, but they'll fill up a wrestling ring and put up such a chant it'll scare you to death. We came here because you've got good, hardworking white people here", causing the Minneapolis Star to get on his case along with civil rights groups, after which his best player Rod Carew says he doesn't want to be "another nigger on the plantation", but reconciles with him; after free agency breaks his back, he and his sister Thelma sell their 52% in 1984 for $32M, and he cries at the signing ceremony.
In 1979 after his fastball was clocked by the Guinness Book of World Records in 1974 at 100.9 mph, Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros becomes the first ML player with a guaranteed $1M salary ($4.5M over four years).
On May 17, 1979 after a solo home run in the top of the 10th inning by Philly's Mike Schmidt, the Phillies defeat the Cubs by 23-22 before 14,952 fans at Wrigley Field, becoming the 2nd highest-scoring game in ML baseball history (until ?).
In summer 1979 the Disco Sucks Movement is launched by Detroit, Mich. radio DJ Steve Dahl after he gets pissed-off at the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin being dropped from playlists in favor of the Village People, Donna Summer, and Chic; after being joined by failed rock guitarist Steve Veek, on July 12 Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Ill. during a twi-night doubleheader between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers sees a crate of disco records blown up on the field before a crowd of 50K, after which thousands of disco haters storm the field until they are dispersed by riot police, forcing the Chicago White Sox to forfeit their game against the Detroit Tigers, symbolizing the coming end of disco.
On Oct. 10-17, 1979 the Pittsburgh Pirates (NL) defeat the Baltimore Orioles (AL) 4-3 on the road (last time until ?) to win the Seventy-Sixth (76th) World Series after starting with a 3-1 deficit when Ruthian slugger Wilver Dornell "Willie" Stargell (1940-2001) (known for warming up with a sledgehammer) hits a 2-run homer in the 6th inning to help the Pirates win 4-1, and hits .400, matching Reggie Jackson's record of 25 total bases in 1977 to become MVP; the Pirates adopt Sister Sledge's "We Are Family" as their anthem; 2nd time since 1969 that the reigning Super Bowl and World Series winners are from the same area (next time 1989) - the decade effect?
On Oct. 23, 1979 New York Yankees mgr. Billy Martin is involved in a barroom altercation, sucker-punching Minn. marshmallow salesman Joseph Cooper, requiring him to get 15 stitches.
On Oct. 10, 1980 3rd baseman George Howard Brett (1953-) homers off Goose Gossage in the AL championship series, helping the Kansas City Royals finally beat the New York Yankees; the entire season seems to be about Brett batting .400? On Oct. 14-21, 1980 the Philadelphia Phillies (NL) defeat the Kansas City Royals (AL) 4-2 to win the Seventy-Seventh (77th) World Series; the Phillies become the last of the original AL and NL franchises to win the WS, and don't win again until ?; Game 6 ends with relief pitcher Frank Edwin "Tug" McGraw Jr. (1944-2004) of the Phillies (father of country singer Tim McGraw (1967-), who coined the motto "Ya Gotta Believe" in the 1973 New York Mets' WS run) striking out Willie James Wilson (1955-), his 12th strikeout in the series.
On Apr. 18, 1981 the minor league Rochester Red Wings and Pawtucket Red Sox play the longest prof. baseball game in history in McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, R.I., lasting 8 hours 25 min. and 33 innings; the last inning is played on June 23.
On June 12, 1981 U.S. ML baseball players begin a 49-day strike over the issue of free-agent compensation, causing 38% of the schedule to be cancelled; the season doesn't resume until Aug. 9 with the All-Star Game in Cleveland, Ohio.
On Oct. 20-27, 1981 the Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) 4-2 to win the Seventy-Eighth (78th) World Series; Mexican-born lefty rookie Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher ("El Toro") Fernando Valenzuela Anguamea (1960-) (known for his screwball and for looking skyward during his windup) wins eight straight games incl. five shutouts with an ERA of 0.50, becoming the first ML player to win Rookie of the Year and the Cy Young Award in the same season, plus he makes the All-Star team, touching off "Fernandomania" and bringing in Hispanic fans, also pitching a complete Game 3 in the WS; after burning out he is released by the Dodgers in 1991.
In 1982 Donald Arthur "Don" Mattingly (1961-) becomes a first baseman for the New York Yankees (until 1995), becoming one of their most popular players ever, reaching heights attained by Mickey Mantle, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio et al., and retiring without appearing in a WS, earning the nickname "Donnie Baseball".
On May 13, 1982 the Chicago Cubs win their 8,000th game by defeating the Houston Astros - an omen?
On Oct. 12-20, 1982 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the Milwaukee Brewers (AL) 4-3 to win the Seventy-Ninth (79th) World Series, incl. a 6-3 score in Game 7.
On Apr. 3, 1983 the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome (AKA the Humpdome) in Minneapolis, Minn. (begun 1979) opens as the home of the NFL Minnesota Vikings and ML baseball Minnesota Twins; it features a fiberglass fabric roof that is self-supported by air pressure.
On May 13, 1983 Reggie Jackson becomes the first ML baseball player to strike out 2,000x.
On July 4, 1983 the New York Yankees and Kansas City Royals play the infamous Pine Tar Game, which is eventually won by KC after winning a protest that George Brett's 2-out 9th-inning homer should count.
On Oct. 11-16, 1983 the Baltimore Orioles (AL) defeat the Philadelphia Phillies (NL) 4-1 to win the Eightieth (80th) "I-95" World Series; the last WS presided over by ML baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
On Mar. 3, 1984 Peter Victor Ueberroth (1937-) is elected to replace Bowie Kuhn as ML baseball commissioner #6 for a 5-year term with a 100% salary increase and increased fining ability (from $5K to $250K); he takes office on Oct. 1 (until Oct. 1, 1989).
On May 9, 1984 the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers play a baseball game that lasts a record 8 hr. 6 min.; the White Sox win 7-6 in the 25th inning.
On May 15, 1984 Ohio-born Tex.-raised righty William Roger "The Rocket" Clemens (1962-) makes his debut with the Boston Red Sox (13 seasons), followed by the Toronto Blue Jays (1997-8), New York Yankees (1999-2003), Houston Astros (2004-6), and New York Yankees (2007), winning the Cy Young award 7x. In his 3rd ML season Clemens starts the season with a record 13 straight wins and one no-decision (a 9-6 V over Oakland on May 9, which would have been a perfect 15-0 start until Bob Stanley blew the save in the bottom of the 9th, and the Red Sox score 4 in the 10th inning to win)), ending the season with a 24-4 record then leading the Red Sox into the World Series, winning the AL Cy Young award and the ML MPV award, becoming the first time since 1971 that a starting pitcher takes MVP honors.
On July 4, 1984 New York Yankees player Philip Henry "Phil" Niekro (1939-) becomes the 9th pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters.
On Oct. 6, 1984 the San Diego Padres defeat the Chicago Cubs in Game 4 of the NL championship series with a 2-run homer by former Dodgers 1st baseman (1969-82) Steve Garvey (1948-); on Oct. 9-14 the Detroit Tigers (AL) defeat the San Diego Padres (NL) 4-1 to win the Eighty-First (81st) World Series, the first presided over by commissioner Peter Ueberroth.
In 1984 Margaret Unnewehr "Marge" Schott (1928-2004) purchases the Cincinnati Reds (until 1999), increasing attendance by 85% to 2.4M by 1990; too bad, she stinks herself up by statements slurring blacks, Jews, Japanese, and gays, and supporting Adolf Hitler,and is banned from managing the team from 1996-8, causing her to sell it.
On May 13, 1985 Carlton Ernest "Pudge" Fiske (1947-) of the Boston Red Sox becomes the 5th ML catcher to steal 100 bases - still runnin' against the wind?
On May 22, 1985 Peter Edward "Pete" Rose Sr. (1941-) of the Cincinnati Reds passes Hank Aaron as the NL run-scoring leader with 2,108, then ties Ty Cobb's career record of 4,191 career hits on Sept. 8 during a game against the Cubs in Chicago; on Sept. 11 he gets #4,192 off Eric Show of the San Diego Padres; it only took 14,053 at-bats.
On July 11, 1985 Lynn Nolan Ryan Jr. (1947-) of the Houston Astros becomes the first ML pitcher to strike out 4,000 batters as he puts away former Astros player Danny Heep of the New York Mets; both Ryan and Bob Gibson struck out Cesar Geronimo as their 3,000th; on Aug. 4 Tom Seaver of the Chicago White Sox gains his 300th victory, and Rod Carew of the Calif. Angels gets his 3,000th hit.
On Oct. 14, 1985 a first-time homer in Game 5 of the NL Championship Series by lefty SS Osborne Earl "Ozzie" "the Wizard of Oz" Smith (1954-) of the St. Louis Cardinals against the Los Angeles Dodgers keeps them alive; on Oct. 19-27 the Kansas City Royals (AL) defeat the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) 4-3 to win the Eighty-Second (82nd) "I-70 Showdown" "Show-Me" World Series; on Oct. 26 first base umpire Don Denkinger blows a call in the 9th inning of Game 6, helping the Royals; series MVP is Royals pitcher Bret William "Sabes" Saberhagen (1964-).
On Oct. 18-27, 1986 just when they think they're going to 86 the jinx, in Game 6 Bill Buckner of Boston makes an error allowing the Mets to extend the series, and the New York Mets (NL) (owned by Doubleday & Co.) come from behind to defeat the Boston Red Sox (AL) 8-5 in Game 7 at Shea Stadium to win the Eighty-Third (83rd) World Series by 4-3; the 1918 Curse of the Bambino continues.
On Apr. 6, 1987 Los Angeles Dodgers exec Al Campanis says on ABC's Nightline that blacks "may not have some of the necessities" to hold managerial jobs in ML baseball; on Apr. 8 after getting defecated all over publicly in the new world of political correctness (PC) in Amerika, he resigns.
In 1987 Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken Jr. (1960-) and his brother William Oliver "Billy" Ripken (1964-) play together on the Baltimore Orioles under their daddy mgr. Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken Sr. (1935-99), a ML first; in 1989 a Fleer card of Billy shows him holding a bat with a dirty word on the knob, becoming a collector's item; on Sept. 14 Cal Ripken Jr.'s streak of 8,243 consecutive innings (908 games) ends.
On Oct. 17, 1987 the first indoor World Series game takes place at the new Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in "Twin City" Minneapolis, Minn.; on Oct. 17-25 the Minnesota Twins (AL) defeat the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) 4-3 to win the Eighty-Fourth (84th) "Mississippi River" World Series, becoming the first WS win for the Twins since moving from Washington, D.C. in 1924 as the Washington Senators.
On Apr. 30, 1988 Cincinnati Reds mgr. (since 1984) Pete Rose shoves umpire Dave Pallone in a game won by the New York Mets 6-5, causing NL pres. (since 1986) Angelo Bartlett "Bart" Giamatti (1938-89) to suspend him for 30 games on May 2; later in the season Giamatti suspends Los Angeles pitcher Jay Howell for using pine tar during the NL championship series; on Sept. 8 Giamatti is unanimously elected to succeed Peter Ueberroth as ML baseball commissioner for a 5-year term, starting next Mar. 1; too bad it doesn't work out that way as he dies of a heart attack next Sept. 1 after 154 days, eight days after banishing Rose from baseball on Aug. 24.
On Aug. 8, 1988 the Chicago Cubs ends its 74-season tradition of hosting only day games by hosting their first night game against the Philadelphia Phillies, which is rained out in the 3rd inning; on Aug. 9 they defeat the New York Mets by 6-4 in their first official night game, continuing to be the only ML team to play the majority of home games during the day (until ?).
On Sept. 28, 1988 Orel Leonard Hershiser IV (1958-) of the Los Angeles Dodgers (#55) finishes the season with 59 scoreless innings pitched, breaking the 1968 record of fellow Dodger Don Drysdale after Drysdale convinces him to pitch in the 10th inning of a scoreless game with the San Diego Padres, then tells him "At least you kept it in the family"; the Padres win 2-1 in 16 innings.
On Oct. 20, 1988 the underdog Los Angeles Dodgers (NL) defeat the Oakland Athletics (AL) 5-4 in the Eighty-Fifth (85th) "Calif. Classic" World Series; on Oct. 15 Game 1 features a dramatic game-winning 9th inning right field homer by injured hobbling Dodgers pinch-hitter Kirk Harold Gibson (1957-) off Dennis Lee "Eck" Eckersley (1954-); the TVs catch the taillights of fan cars leaving the lot in despair as the ball flies over the wall; Dodgers pitcher Orel Leonard "Bulldog" Hershiser IV (1958-) is MVP.
On Mar. 20, 1989 ML baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti confirms that his office is investigating "serious allegations" involving Cincinnati Reds mgr. Peter Edward "Pete" Rose (1941-); on Aug. 23 he suspends him for life, and dies eight days later on Sept. 1; on Sept. 13 he is succeeded by deputy commissioner Francis Thomas "Fay" Vincent Jr. (1938-) (until Sept. 7, 1992). On Apr. 20, 1990 Rose pleads guilty to hiding $300K in income, and on July 19 he is sentenced in Cincinnati, Ohio to 5 mo. in prison for tax evasion; a NL umpire is arrested for stealing baseball cards on Apr. 21.
On Apr. 7, 1989 David S. Ward's Major League (Paramount Pictures) debuts, a comedy about the new owner of the Cleveland Indians Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton) fielding a purposely lousy team in order to invite a move, after which they figure it out and start winning to spite her; stars Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Wesley Snipes, and Rene Russo; made for $11M, it grosses $50M in domestic release; "Major League II" (1994) is the sequel; "You guys stink!"
On Oct. 14-28, 1989 in another Calif. Classic the Oakland Athletics (AL) defeat the San Francisco Giants (NL) 4-0 in the Eighty-Sixth (86th) World Series; first WS sweep since 1976; the 3rd time (1963, 1966) that the winner never trails an inning; the 3rd time (1969, 1979) that the reigning World Series and Super Bowl winners are from the same area; on Sept. 1 commissioner Bart Giamatti dies of a sudden heart attack 1 mo. before the series starts, and Fay Vincent presides as new commissioner as the players wear black armbands in memory of Giamatti. On Oct. 17 (5:04 p.m.) the 6.9 1989 Loma Prieta (Watsonville) (San Francisco) Earthquake, centered in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park 10 mi. NE of Santa Cruz hits the San Francisco (N Calif.) area minutes before the start of World Series Game 3, killing 63, injuring 3,757 and causing $5.6-$6B in damage; the WS is delayed for 10 days.
In 1989 Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., Canada (begun 1986), home of the Toronto Blue Jays opens.
On Feb. 15, 1990 ML baseball owners lock out their players over a labor dispute; on Apr. 9 the ML baseball season opens a week late.
On May 15, 1990 during a home game of the Toronto Blue Jays against the Seattle Mariners, a couple in a room in the 348-room SkyDome Hotel overlooking the stadium watch the game naked wrapped in towels in front of 40K fans, then start making love in the 7th inning, causing the hotel to warn occupants against doing it again.
On July 11, 1990 All-Star Game MVP Vincent Edward "Bo" Jackson (1962-) of the Kansas City Royals makes his "wall run", catching a ball 2-3 strides from the outfield wall, then walking like Spider-Man up and down it in a game against the Baltimore Orioles; on July 17 he hits three consecutive at-bat homers in the 1st, 3rd, and 5th innings before being replaced in the middle of the 6th inning after dislocating his shoulder trying to catch a ball hit by Deion Sanders; he returns on Aug. 26, hitting a homer in his first at-bat in the 2nd inning; too bad, after winning the 1985 Heisman Trophy he decides to play NFL football too, and next Jan. 13 he suffers a severe hip injury playing for the Los Angeles Raiders against the Cincinnati Bengals, causing him to be released, but next June he begins walking without crutches, and the month after that new "Bo Knows" Nike ads incl. him again; he signs with the Chicago White Sox, but turns out to be washed-up.
On July 31, 1990 Nolan Ryan Jr. (1947-) ("the Ryan Express") of the Texas Rangers, who at age 43 threw a no-hitter on June 11 becomes the 20th major leaguer to win 300 games as he leads his team to a V over the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3. On May 1, 1991 he throws his record 7th and last no-hitter as a Texas Ranger, striking out 16 in a 3-0 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
On Aug. 31, 1990 center fielder George Kenneth "Ken" "The Kid" "Junior" Griffey Jr. (1969-) of the Seattle Mariners and his outfielder father George Kenneth "Ken" Griffey Sr. (1950-) of the Seattle Mariners become the first father-son pair to play in the ML at the same time in a game against the Kansas City Royals, hitting back-to-back singles in inning #1 and both scoring; on Sept. 14, 1990 they hit back-to-back homers in a game off Calif. Angels pitcher Kirk McCaskill (a first) (next ?); they play 51 games together before Sr. retires in June 1991; Junior goes on to win 10 straight Gold Gloves in 1990-9, resulting in a Wheaties cereal box cover and his own sneaker line at Nike.
On Oct. 16-20, 1990 the Cincinnati Reds (NL) defeat the Oakland Athletics (AL) 4-1 to win the Eighty-Seventh (87th) World Series.
In June 1991 Miami and Denver are selected to become the homes of two Nat. League baseball expansion teams, the Florida Marlins and the Colorado Rockies, to begin playing in the 1993 season; the 1991 season sets a record of 56.9M spectators at games; the Marlins become the Miami Marlins on Nov. 11, 2011.
On Apr. 3, 1991 longtime (since 1947) mgr. and vice-pres. John W. Mullen (1924-91) of the Atlanta Braves, who was responsible for signing Hank Aaron dies of a heart attack during spring training, causing the players to wear "JWM" on their sleeves this season in his memory, and go from last to first to get to the World Series. On Oct. 19-27, 1991 the Minnesota Twins (AL) defeat the Atlanta Braves (NL) by 4-3 to win the Eighty-Eighth (88th) World Series; on Oct. 26 Twins center fielder #34 Kirby Puckett (1960-) ("Minny's Mighty Mite") hits a winning homer in the 11th inning of Game 6; on Oct. 27 the Twins win 1-0 in 10 innings with mustachioed pitcher #47 John Scott "Jack" Morris (1955-).
On Oct. 17-24, 1992 the Toronto Blue Jays (AL) defeat the Atlanta Braves (NL) 4-3 to win the 1992 (89th) World Series; the first WS games played in Canada, which finally beats the U.S. at its own game of baseball; the USMC Color Guard accidentally flies the Canadian fag upside down during the nat. anthems; Cito Gaston (1944-) of the Blue Jays becomes the first African-Am. WS team mgr.
On Apr. 8, 1993 Carlos Baerga of the Cleveland Indians becomes the first baseball player to hit homers both left-handed and right-handed in the same inning; Mark Bellhorn of the Chicago Cubs does it again on Aug. 29, 2002.
On Apr. 9, 1993 Eric Young leads off the first inning of the first home game of the Colorado Rockies in Denver with a home run, bringing the record-setting crowd of 80,227 to its feet.
On May 15, 1993 the $200M Alamodome in San Antonio, Tex. opens, putting the city on the ML baseball map; on Sept. 10 78K fans fill the dome to watch Julio Cesar Chavez win a 12-round decision against Pernell Whitaker, for the largest indoor boxing audience in history.
On Oct. 16-23, 1993 the Toronto Blue Jays (AL) defeat the Philadelphia Phillies (NL) 4-2 to win the Ninetieth (90th) World Series; 2nd year in a row for the Jays, Canada, and black mgr. Cito Gaston.
In 1993 Venezuelan-born first baseman Andres Jose Padovani "the Big Cat" "El Gato" Galarraga (1961-) joins the Colorado Rockies, batting .370 for the season, leading the NL and hitting the highest avg. by a right-handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio's .381 in 1939; on June 25, 1995 he ties the ML record with a homer in three consecutive innings.
On Aug. 12, 1994 the 234-day 1994 ML Baseball Strike begins after players refuse to accept a team salary cap; the last 52 days of the 1994 regular season are wiped out, along with the 1994 World Series, which had never been missed since 1905; on Mar. 30, 1995 U.S. district judge Sonia Sotomayor (1954-) issues an injunction preventing the ML baseball owners from using replacement players or unilaterally imposing a collective bargaining agreement, and on Apr. 2 the owners allow the season to begin; it starts on Apr. 25, with each team playing 144 instead of 162 games.
In 1994 San Diego Padres right fielder (lefty) (#19) Anthony Keith "Tony" "Mr. Padre" "Captain Video" Gwynn Sr. (1960-2014) sets the modern ML record for highest single-season batting avg., hitting .394, with 64 RBIs and 12 homers, and no season below .309; he retires in 2001 with a record modern career batting avg. of .338.
In Mar. 1995 the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Tampa Bay Devil Rays join ML baseball, making a total of 30 teams; they begin play in 1998.
In 1995 righty pitcher (#10) Hideo Nomo (1968-) exploits a loophole in his contract to free himself from the Kintetsu Buffaloes and pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers, starting a trend; too bad, after winning Rookie of the Year and starting the All-Star Game, he burns out and fades fast like Mark Fidrych in 1976 and Fernando Valenzuela in 1981, although he becomes the first Japanese-born pitcher to throw a ML no-hitter.
On Apr. 26, 1995 $300M Coors Field in Mile-Hi Denver, Colo. opens as the home of the ML Colorado Rockies, becoming the first baseball-only NL park since Dodger Stadium in 1962.
On Sept. 6, 1995 Baltimore Orioles shortstop Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken Jr. (1960-) plays in his 2,131st consecutive game (in a streak that began 13-1/2 seasons earlier), breaking the 56-y.-o. 1939 record of "Iron Horse" Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees; the next closest streak is 259 games by Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox; Gehrig's teammate Joe DiMaggio is on hand to personally congratulate Ripken. On Sept. 20, 1998 he voluntarily sits out his 1st game since 1982, fixing his endurance record at 2,632 consecutive games.
On Oct. 8, 1995 Edgar Martinez of the Seattle Mariners hits an 11th-inning double to score Ken Griffey Jr., clinching the AL title against the New York Yankees; their late-season comeback keeps the team in Seattle.
On Oct. 21-28, 1995 after a short (134 instead of 162 game) season in which Albert Belle of Cleveland hit 50 homers, money-is-no-object Ted Turner's Atlanta Braves (NL) (100-44) defeat the Cleveland Indians (AL) (90-54) 4-2 to win the Ninety-First (91st) World Series, their first win since 1957, and the first since moving from Milwaukee in 1966; Atlanta wins the last game 1-0 on a homer by David Justice, and MVP Tommy Glavine pitches a 1-hitter over eight innings - as lovely fit anorexic but gracefully aging boy toy Jane Fonda watches with Ted?
On July 19, 1996 Centennial Olympic Stadium opens for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, becoming Turner Field next year, home to the Atlanta Braves (until ?).
On Aug. 17, 1996 the first ML regular season baseball game is played outside the U.S. and Canada in Monterrey, Mexico between the New York Mets and the San Diego Padres.
On Oct. 20-26, 1996 the New York Yankees (AL) end an 18-year drought and defeat the Atlanta Braves (NL) 4-2 games to win the Ninety-Second (92nd) World Series; they lose their first game at home 12-1, their worst loss ever in 187 WS appearances, then lose again 4-0, but win the next four games 5-2, 8-6 (10 innings), 1-0, and 3-2; Yankees relief pitcher John Wetteland earns a save in every Yankee V and is voted series MVP; new Yankee gen. mgr. Bob Watson and team mgr. Joe Torre seek to create a dynasty; the regular season ends with a record 4,962 homers.
On Oct. 18-26, 1997 the Florida Marlins (NL) defeat the Cleveland Indians (AL) 4-3 to win the Ninety-Third (93rd) World Series.
In 1997 the San Diego Padres purchase the contract of Japanese pitcher ("the Japanese Nolan Ryan") Hideki Irabu (1969-2011) from the Chiba Lotte Marines, causing a posting system to be created; Irabu refuses to go to the Padres and is traded to the New York Yankees, winning two World Series, while George Steinbrenner calls him "a fat pussy toad" when he fails to cover 1st base on a ground ball during a spring training game, causing him to be traded to the Montreal Expos in 1999, after which his career tanks; in 2011 he commits suicide after being unable to get over Steinbrenner's insult?
On Sept. 27, 1998 St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Mark McGwire (1963-) hits two homers in the final game of the season, bringing his home run total to 70, and breaking the 1961 61-homer Roger Maris record, which he actually did on Sept. 8 against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium in St. Louis; the ball is sold by lucky fan Phil Ozersky at auction for more than $3M.
On Oct. 17-21, 1998 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the San Diego Padres (NL) 4-0 to win the Ninety-Fourth (94th) World Series; after owner Harry Wayne Huizenga (1937-) sells or trades most of its high-paid star players, the Florida Marlins finish the regular season 54-108, worst ever for a defending champ.
On Aug. 7, 1999 Tampa, Fla. native Wade Anthony Boggs (1958-) scores his 3,000th hit, a homer for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
On Sept. 27, 1999 Tiger Stadium in Detroit, Mich. sees its last Tigers game; a sign reads "Today there is crying."
On Oct. 23-27, 1999 the New York Yankees (AL) defeat the Atlanta Braves (NL) 4-0 to win the Ninety-Fifth (95th) World Series.
On Oct. 26, 2000 the New York Yankees (AL) (mgr. Joe Torre) defeat the New York Mets (NL) (mgr. Bobby Valentine) 4-1 to win the Ninety-Sixth (96th) "Subway" World Series, making three straight for the Yankees, four in five years, and their 26th WS title.
In 2000 Yankees 3rd baseman Alexander Emmanuel "Alex" "A-Rod" Rodriguez (1975-) signs a 10-year, $252M deal, making him ML baseball's highest-paid player; if you add endorsements, Tiger Wood is the best paid athlete of all, making $112M this year.
On Apr. 8, 2001 African-Am. pitcher Carsten Charles "CC" Sabathia (1980-) becomes the first baseball player born in the 1980s to make a ML debut, for the Cleveland Indians.
On Aug. 7, 2001 the Chicago Cubs defeat the Colo. Rockies 5-4; in the bottom of the 6th inning, plate umpire Angel Hernandez calls 3rd baseman Ron Coomer out in a play at home plate, after which Chicago Bears defensive lineman Steve Mongo McMichael takes the microphone in the 7th inning stretch, uttering the soundbyte: "Don't worry, I'll have some speaks with that home plate umpire after the game", causing him to become the first "entertainer" ejected from an MLB game (until ?), and the first ejected for his words rather than actions (until ?)
On Sept. 17, 2001 ML play resumes; Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully gives a pre-game speech at Dodger Stadium; Jack Buck gives a moving speech and poem; the Colorado Choir sings the Nat. Anthem in Coors Field; the Nat. Anthem and "God Bless America" are added to the 7th inning stretch at Comiskey Park; the Nat. Anthem is sung by the Lindsey Wilson College Singers in Cinergy Field. On Sept. 21 Shea Stadium holds a 9/11 Remembrance Spectacular, featuring Diana Ross singing "God Bless America", Marc Anthony signing the Nat. Anthem, and the NYPD Pipers and USMC Battalion playing Irish bagpipes; in the 8th inning a homer by Mike Piazza gives the Yankees a 3-2 lead. On Sept. 25 Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan sings God Bless America in a patriotic tribute to the heroes of 9/11.
On Oct. 7, 2001 drug-assisted left fielder Barry Bonds (1964-) of the San Francisco Giants hits his 73rd homer, setting the single-season record and breaking Mark McGwire's 3-y.-o. drug-assisted record - yawn?
On Nov. 4, 2001 the Arizona Diamondbacks (NL) (mgr. Bob Brenly) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) (mgr. Joe Torre) 4-3 to win the Ninety-Seventh (97th) World Series when Luis Gonzalez' broken-bat single caps a 2-run 9th inning in Game 7; Pres. Bush throws the first pitch in Game 3, becoming the first U.S. pres. to visit Yankee Stadium during a WS; in Game 4 Lee Greenwood sings "God Bless the USA".
In 2002 after the New York Yankees defeat them in the 2001 postseason, and they lose star players Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Jason Isringhausen to free agency, Oakland Athletics gen. mgr. (since 1998) William Lamar "Billy" Beane III (1962-) tries the new Sabermetrics (coined by Bill James after the Society for Am. Baseball Research) approach to player scouting, which selects them based on on-base percentage (OBP) rather than scout evaluations, hiring submarine pitcher Chad Bradford, aging outfielder David Justice, and injured 1B player Scott Hatteberg, trading away Carlos Pena to make room for him; after winning 19 in a row, they lead the Kansas City Royals by 11-0 after inning 3, only to see them tie the score at 11-11 until Hatteberg homers, making it 20 in a row; too bad, after sweeping the Minnesota Twins in the playoffs, they are swept by the Detroit Tigers in the AL Championship Series, but the other ML teams see the light and scramble to adopt his system, causing the Boston Red Sox to offer him a record $12.5M salary to become their gen. mgr., which he turns down, after which the Red Sox wins the 2004 World Series; the A's reach the playoffs 5x in eight seasons, with winning records each year.
On Aug. 9, 2002 outfielder Barry Lamar Bonds (1964-) of the San Francisco Giants hits his 600th homer, becoming the 4th player in ML history to do it (Hank Aaron was the last in 1971).
On Sept. 11, 2002 all ML baseball ballparks observe a moment of silence to honor the victims of 9/11; starting this year the patriotic song "God Bless America" is performed at ML All-Star Games and playoff games, as well as Opening Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Sept. 11.
On Oct. 19-27, 2002 the Anaheim Angels ("Halos") (AL), mgr. Michael Lorri "Mike" Scioscia (1958-) (former catcher for the Dodgers) defeat the San Francisco Giants (NL), mgr. Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker Jr. (1949-) by 4-3 in the 2002 (98th) World Series; first appearance for the Angels in 42 years; Baker becomes the 2nd black WS team mgr. (first 1992).
On Nov. 25, 2002 New York City-born Yale U. grad Theo Nathaniel Epstein (1973-) becomes the youngest GM in MLB history when he is hired by the Boston Red Sox at age 28, going on to help them win their first WS championship in 86 years in 2004, and another in 2007; on Oct. 21, 2011 he becomes pres. of the Chicago Cubs, who win their first WS championship in 108 years in 2016, causing him to be picked #1 for Fortune mag.'s 2017 World's Greatest Leaders List.
On June 17, 2003 New Orleans, La.-born Michael Monroe Lewis (1960-) pub. Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, about Billy Beane of the Oakland A's and how he got good players at low prices by considering college and h.s. performance and using raw number-crunching; after winning a record 20 straight games in the 2002 season, the A's make the playoffs 5x under Beane's system, then miss the playoffs for the next five seasons. On Sept. 9, 2011 Bennett Miller's Moneyball (Columbia Pictures) debuts, based on the 2003 Michael Lewis book, a clone of "The Social Network" starring Brad Pitt as Oakland Athletics gen. mgr. Billy Beane, who pisses-off mgr. Art Howe (Philip Seymour Hoffman) by hiring geeky Yale grad Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) to recruit new better and cheaper players using raw number-crunching, causing a 20-game winning streak in 2002; too bad, the system is adopted by other teams, and after making the playoffs for five straight seasons, they don't make it for the next five; does $110M box office on a $50M budget.
On Oct. 14, 2003 after going ahead 3-0 with a 3-2 lead in the NL championship series, the Chicago Cubs are defeated by the Florda Marlins after fan Steve Bartman becomes a villain for tipping a foul ball hit by 2B player Luis Castillo as Cubs left fielder Moises Alou tries to catch it, after which the Marlins score eight runs in the inning and win the game 8-3.
On Oct. 18-25, 2003 the Florida Marlins (NL) (mgr. Jack McKeon) defeat the New York Yankees (AL) (mgr. Joe Torre) by 4-2 to win the Ninety-Ninth (99th) World Series; on Oct. 16 the Red Sox are five outs from defeating the Yankees, but mgr. Grad Little keeps pitcher Pedro Martinez in the 8th inning too long, allowing the Yankees to win in extra innings. In Dec. San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds testifies before a grand jury, admitting to using the products of the Calif.-based co. BALCO, but didn't know they contained steroids; the company's client list incl. Olympian Marion Jones, and N.Y. Yankee Jason Gilbert Giambi, whose reps are tarnished along with his.
On May 8, 2004 6'10" pitcher Randall David "Randy" Johnson (1963-) ("the Big Unit") of the Arizona Diamondbacks throws a perfect game in a 2-0 win against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta, becoming the 15th in ML baseball since 1900.
On May 14, 2004 Brandon Inge and Omar Infante of the Detroit Tigers hit back-to-back homers, becoming the first-ever teammates with names beginning with the letter I to do it?
On Sept. 17, 2004 Barry "asterisk" Bonds hits his 700th homer at SBC Park, becoming the first member of the ML 700-homer club in 31 years; Steve Williams (1979-) secures the ball after a scramble in the beachers, and later Timothy Murphy (1965-) sues him, claiming the ball should be his because he had it locked behind his knees before Williams swiped it; on Oct. 27 Williams sells the ball for $804,129 after a 10-day online auction on Overstock.com.
Maybe the world will never end? On Oct. 27, 2004 the Boston Red Sox (mgr. Terry Francona) finally 86 the 1919 Curse of the Bambino, end an 86-year drought (only 4 WS appearances and no wins), and sweep the One Hundredth (100th) World Series 4-0, defeating the St. Louis Cardinals (mgr. Tony La Russa) 3-0 at Busch Stadium, and becoming the 4th team in WS history to never trail an inning (1963 Dodgers, 1966 Orioles, 1989 A's); the Cardinals join the 1963 Yankees as the only teams winning more than 100 games in the regular season and winning no games in the WS; the Red Sox had come back from a 3-0 deficit in the AL Championship Series to bury the Babe; seating capacity at Fenway Park is 36,298; ticket prices range from $50 for SRO to $190 for box seats; 112,462,559 tickets had been sold at Fenway Park during the 1919-2004 regular seasons; since 1918 the Boston Celtics won 16 sports championships, the Boston Bruins 5, the New England Patriots 2; owner John William Henry II (1949-) made his fortune by using statistics in the soybean market; co-owner Thomas C. "Tom" Werner (1950-) is a TV exec known for "Roseanne" and "The Cosby Show"; CEO Lawrence "Larry" Lucchino (1945-) is the father of the old-style Fenway-style ballpark movement; in Nov. 2002 lifelong Red Sox fan Theo Nathan Epstein (1973-) became the youngest gen. mgr. in ML baseball at age 28.
On Jan. 13, 2005 ML baseball adopts a new tougher steroid testing program that suspends first-time offenders for 10 days and randomly tests players year-round. On Mar. 17, 2005 the U.S. Congress hears testimony from ML baseball stars on the ML Baseball Steroid Problem; Rafael Palmeiro and Sammy Sosa neigh, er, claim they never used them, while Mark McGwire refuses to answer - until his voice changes back? On ? Jose Canseco (1964-) pub. Juiced: Wild Times, Rampant 'Roids, Smash Hits, and How Baseball Got Big, in which he admits to juicing up with steroids. On Mar. 7, 2006 an excerpt is pub. from Game of Shadows, an upcoming book by two San Francisco Chronicle reporters accusing baseball star Barry Bonds of using steroids, causing ML baseball commissioner Bud Selig to comment on Mar. 9 that he will review the allegations but not launch an official investigation; Bonds comments, "I won't even look at that" (the book). On Aug. 1, 2005 5,000-hit 300-homer Hall of Fame sure-thing Baltimore Orioles 1st baseman Rafael Palmeiro (1964-) fails a drug test for steroids, prompting him to apologize to his team; he had been the most emphatic ball player testifying before Congress in Mar. that he had never used them and never would?
On Oct. 22-26, 2005 the Chicago White Sox (mgr. Ozzie Guillen) defeat the Houston Astros (mgr. Phil Garner) 4-0 in the 101st World Series, ending their 88-year dry spell; the first appearance ever for the Astros, the longest wait for a ML franchise (Angels 44, St. Louis Browns 42, St. Louis Cardinals 24); Game 3 on Oct. 25 goes for 14 innings, equaling the series record, and a record 17 pitchers are used, and is ended when former Houston infielder Geoff Blum hits a 2-out homer in the 14th inning to give the White Sox a 7-5 victory.
On Oct. 21-27, 2006 the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) 4-1 in the 102nd World Series; the same year St. Louis, Mo. is named the most dangerous city in the U.S.; the Washington Nationals fire ML's first black mgr. Jackie Robinson after 17 seasons with the Indians, Giants, Orioles, Expos, and Nationals, and a record of 1,065 wins vs. 1,176 losses; of the 317 mgr. positions filled in ML baseball since him, only 17 were filled by 11 different blacks, and of 30 ML teams in 2007 only two are managed by blacks, the New York Mets by Willie Randolph, and the Texas Rangers by Ron Washington; meanwhile blacks fail to sign up for baseball in high school and college in favor of basketball and football.
On Apr. 1, 2007 opening day sees 849 total players in ML baseball; 246 are born outside the U.S., 18 in Asia, and 208 in Latin Am. or the Caribbean, led by the Dominican Repub. (99), Venezuela (50), and Puerto Rico (28); only 100 (8.4%) are black, compared to 19% in 1994, causing Garry Sheffield of Detroit to comment that Latino players from outside the U.S. are preferred to blacks from inner cities because it is easier to control them; the sugar port of San Pedro de Macoris in Dominican Repub. has produced 78 of 171 ML players from DR, incl. "Macorisanos" Sammy Sosa of the Texas Rangers, Alfonso Soriano of the Chicago Cubs, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees, and Pedro Gonzalez, who signed with the Yankees in 1958.
Official despite all the 'roids? On Aug. 4, 2007 #25 Barry Bonds of the Giants hits his career 755th homer against Clay Hensley of the Padres in San Diego in the 2nd inning, batting it 382 ft. and tying Hank Aaron's Apr. 1974 record, then holding up his batboy son Nikolai; fans hold up asterisk signs and boo him; on Aug. 7 he hits his 756th homer in AT&T Park in San Francisco, batting it 435 ft. after hitting a full-count 84 mph fastball from Mike Bacsik of the Washington Nationals; 22-y.-o. Matt Murphy (1985-) from Queens, N.Y. catches the ball wearing a Mets jersey, ending up with a bloody nose after another fan tries to wrestle it from him and ends up with his shoe; back on June 4, 1986 when Bonds of the Pirates hit his first homer against Craig McMurtry of the Braves in Atlanta, he weighed ? less lbs. and was ? in. shorter; Aaron issues a statement congratulating Bonds - and his pharmacist? On Nov. 15, 2007 flawed baseball star Barry Bonds (1964-) is indicted on four counts of perjury and one count of obstruction of justice for his bulging Dec. 2003 testimony to a grand jury. On Dec. 13, 2007 the 409-page Mitchell Report by former U.S. Sen. (D-Maine) (1980-95) George John Mitchell Jr. (1933-) is released, lamenting the use of steroids in ML baseball, and naming Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Andy Pettite, Jason Giambi, Gary Sheffield, Eric Gagne, Miguel Tejada, David Justice and other players, calling for new regulations - but not calling for them to give their money back?
On Oct. 24-28, 2007 the 103rd World Series sees the Colorado Rockies (first-ever appearance) skunked by the Boston Red Sox 4-0; Rockies mgr. Clint Hurdle (1957-) turned the team (one of the lowest paying in the ML) around in mid-season by recruiting three underpaid wetback, er, Latin Am. pitchers, Ubaldo Jimenez (Dominican Repub.), Manny Corpas (Panama), and Franklin Morales (Venezuela), winning 21 of 22 to get to the WS (proving that U.S boys are getting too lazy to practice, preferring video games?).
On Oct. 22-29, 2008 the 104th World Series sees the Philadelphia Phillies (NL) (mgr. Charlie Manuel) defeat the Tampa Bay Rays (AL) (mgr. John Maddon) 4-1.
On Mar. 29, 2009 $850M City Field in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park in Queens, N.Y. opens as the home of the NL New York Mets, replacing Shea Stadium (opened 1964).
On Oct. 28-Nov. 4, 2009 the 105th World Series sees the New York Yankees defeat the Philadelphia Phillies 4-2 for their 27th win; in game 1 (6-1) Phillies lefty pitcher Clifton Phifer "Cliff" Lee (1978-) pitches the first complete WS game with 10+ strikeouts and no walks since Deacon Phillippe in game 1 of the 1903 WS, and first to do so without allowing an earned run; Japanese-born Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui (1974-) (highest paid Japanese player in baseball, first Yankee to hit a grand slam in his 1st game at Yankee Stadium in 2003, and first Japanese player to hit 100 MLB homers on Aug. 5, 2007) is series MVP, hitting .615, with 3 homers, incl. a record 6 RBI in game 6, becoming the first Japanese-born and first full-time designated hitter series MVP, and 3rd player to bat .500 or above and hit 3 homers in a series after Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig; on Dec. 16 he signs with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
On Jan. 11, 2010 tearful retired ML baseball star Mark McGwire finally admits that he used steroids during his record-setting years, saying he needs to make the admission before becoming the hitting coach of the St. Louis Cardinals, and that he already apologized to Roger Maris' widow Pat; former ML commissioner Bud Selig proclaims the end of the steroid era. On Aug. 19, 2010 ML baseball star pitcher Roger Clemens is indicted by a federal grand jury for lying to Congress about steroid use; he continues to deny it and vows to fight the charges.
On May 9, 2010 lefty Dallas Lee Braden (1983-) of the Oakland Athletics becomes the 19th ML pitcher to pitch a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays, winning by 4-0; on Oct. 29 Harry Leroy "Roy" "Doc" Halladay III (1977-) of the Philadelphia Phillies becomes the 20th to you know what against the Florida Marlins, winning by 1-0; on Oct. 6 he pitches a no-hitter in a 4-0 win over Cincinnati in game 1 of their MLB playoff series, the 2nd ever (first in ?); too bad, on June 2 Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers is robbed of a perfect game by a bad call by umpire Jim Joyce, who calls Jason Donald
On June 8, 2010 super-hyped pitcher Stephen James Strasburg (1988-) (#1 draft selection in June 2009, who signed a record $15.1M contract) debuts with the Washington Nationals against the Pittsburgh Pirates, striking out a record 14 batters in 7 innings for a 5-2 win; luckily he starts the ML season too late to be selected for the All-Star Game, which was a jinx to Mark Fidrych in 1976, Fernando Valenzuela in 1981, and Hideo Nomo in 1995; too bad, on Aug. 26 he tears an elbow ligament, causing him to miss 12-18 mo. after Tommy John surgery.
On Oct. 27-Nov. 1, 2010 the 106th World Series sees the New York Giants (NL) defeat the Texas Rangers (AL) 4-1, the first Giants win since 1954, and first since relocating from New York City in 1958; Giants pitcher Timothy "Tim" Lincecum (1964-) is the key to the big V, but Giants SS ("the Barranquilla Baby") Edgar Enrique Renteria Herazo (1975-) becomes MVP after game-hitting homers in Games 2 and 5.
On Oct. 19-28, 2011 the 107th World Series sees the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) defeat the Texas Rangers (AL) 4-3 in the first 7-game WS since 2002; St. Louis 3B player David Richard Freese (1983-) is MVP.
On Mar. 5, 2012 $634M Marlins Park in Miami, Fla. opens as the home of the ML Miami Marlins.
On Mar. 27, 2012 a consortium led by NBA star Magic Johnson buys the Los Angeles Dodgers MLB team for a record $2.15B. On Apr. 17 Jamie Moyer (1962-) of the Colorado Rockies becomes the oldest pitcher in MLB history to win a game (until ?); on May 16 he becomes the oldest player to record an RBI (until ?); he retires after his last appearance on May 27. On Apr. 21 Philip Gregory Humber (1982-) of the Chicago White Sox pitches a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners, becoming #21 in ML history and #3 for the team. On Oct. 24-28, 2012 the 108th World Series sees the San Francisco Giants (NL) defeat the Detroit Tigers (AL) 4-0 in the first NL sweep of the AL since 1990; Giants infielder Pablo Eisler "Kung Fu Panda" Sandoval (1986-), who hits three homers in Game 1 is MVP.
On Aug. 6, 2013 ML baseball's highest-paid star Alex Rodriguez is suspended for the 2014 season (211 games) for using performance-enhancing drugs, effective in Nov.-Dec. when arbitrator Fredric Horowitz makes his final ruling; All-Stars Nelson Cruz, Jhonny Peralta, and Everth Cabrera are suspended for 50 games each. On Oct. 23-30 the 2013 World Series sees the Boston Red Sox (AL) defeat the St. Louis Cardinals (NL) 4-2; the first home field (Fenway Park) clincher since 1918.
On Jan. 13, 2014 the Chicago Cubs debut their new mascot Clark. In 2014 after debuting as the youngest player in the MLB, Dallas, Tex.-born lefty pitcher Clayton Edward Kershaw (1988-) of the Los Angeles Dodgers (#22) becomes the first-ever pitcher to lead the ML in ERA for four straight seasons (2011-14); on June 18 he becomes the 22nd Dodger to pitch a no-hitter.
On Oct. 21-29, 2014 the 2014 (110th) World Series sees the San Francisco Giants (NL) defeat the Kansas City Royals (AL) 4-3; Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner throws a complete game shutout in Game 5, then closes with 5 straight shutout innings in Game 7 after a 2-day rest; the 2nd WS after the 2002 one to feature two wild card teams.
On Apr. 5, 2015 (Sun.) the ML baseball season begins, with all 30 ballparks running the new Statcast electronic tracking system, which uses cameras, radar, and AI to measure, compute, and store every relevant stat incl. ball spin rate, exact trajectory of the ball and players, and route efficiency. On Apr. 29 due to racial rioting the Baltimore Orioles play the first-ever ML game in an empty stadium, defeating the Chicago White Sox by 8-2. On Aug. 25 former ML baseball pitcher Curt Schilling is fired from the Little League World Series by ESPN for a re-Tweet drawing comparisons between extremist Muslims and Nazis that reads: "Only 5-10% of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7% of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?"; truth is no defense? On Oct. 2 a scout for the MLB Arizona Diamondbacks reveals that several ML baseball clubs have been sending talent scouts to the West Bank to observe Palestinian stone-throwers for signs of a new Sandy Koufax; ditto Jewish settler stone-throwers. On Oct. 27- Nov. 2 the 2015 (111th) (2015) World Series sees the Kansas City Royals defeat the New York Mets 4-1; Royals shortstop (#2) Alcides "El Mago" (the Magician) Escobar (1986-) scores an in-the-park homer as the leadoff hitter in Game 1 off the first pitch thrown by Mets pitcher (#33) Matthew Edward "Matt" "the Dark Knight" Harvey (1989-), becoming the first inside-the-park WS homer since 1929, the first ever to lead off Game 1 of a WS, and the first leadoff WS homer since Patsy Dougherty in Game 2 of the 1st (1903) WS.
On Oct. 25-Nov. 2, 2016 the 112th (2016) World Series sees the 103-58 Chicago Cubs (NL) (who won their last WS in 1908, and last appeared in the 1945 WS) defeat the 94-67 Cleveland Indians (AL) (who won their last WS in 1948, and last appeared in the 1997 WS) 4-3; on Nov. 2 Game 7 sees burned-out pitchers Corey Kluber (Indians) and Aroldis Chapman (Cleveland) give up hit after hit, causing a 6-6 tie in the 9th inning, with Cleveland having the momentum, which is spoiled by a 17-min. rain delay, after which Chicago scores 2 runs in the 9th inning to win - God wanted the Cubs to win?