Week 1 Thursday, Sept. 9 GameKickoff timeTV channelCowboys at Buccaneers8:20 p.m. ETNBC Sunday, Sept. 12 GameKickoff timeTV channelJaguars at Texans1 p.m. ETCBSChargers at Washington Football Team1 p.m. ETCBSSeahawks at Colts1 p.m. ETFoxJets at Panthers1 p.m....

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1875       In front of a record crowd of 10,000 fans at Hartford Ball Club Grounds, the visiting Boston Red Stockings (16-0) beat the Dark Blues (12-0), 10-5, in a match-up of undefeated teams. Mark Twain attends the National Association contest and offers a five-dollar reward for the return of his English-made brown silk umbrella pilfered at the game by a small boy when the famous writer stood up to cheer for the hometown team.

1912       As a replacement player, Allan Travers, a St. Joseph’s College pitcher, takes the mound for the Tigers, who are fielding an amateur team to avoid a $5,000 fine due to the team’s refusal to play the A’s in support of suspended teammate Ty Cobb. In what will be his only major league appearance, the collegiate hurler goes the distance, giving up 24 runs, 14 earned runs, 26 hits, and seven walks, but does strike out one as Philadelphia routs Detroit at Shibe Park, 24-2.

1929       In a doubleheader played at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl, the Dodgers and Phillies teams combine to score a record fifty runs when the visitors outlast the home team, 20-16, before dropping an 8-6 decision in the nightcap. In the opener, Brooklyn’s Johnny Frederick crosses the plate five times, giving him the major league mark of scoring eight runs in two consecutive games.

1931       Robins’ right fielder Babe Herman hits for the cycle for the first of two times this season in the team’s 14-4 rout of the Reds at Ebbets Field. In 1933, as a member of the Cubs, the Glendale (CA) native will again collect a single, double, triple, and home run in the same game, joining Bob Meusel as the only major leaguers to have accomplished the rare feat three times since 1900.

1942       Night games in New York are banned for the duration of WW II, leaving fans in the dark about the status of the All-Star Game scheduled for the Polo Grounds on the evening of Monday, July 6. The prohibition of nighttime tilts, announced by NYC Police Commissioner Lewis J. Valentine, will change the starting times for 28 contests involving the Dodgers and Giants. (The first night game takes place at Yankee Stadium in 1946.)

1956       Mickey Mantle becomes the all-time home run leader for switch hitters when he belts his 136th career round-tripper, a two-out homer in the top of the ninth that ties the score in the Yankees’ eventual extra-inning 8-7 victory over Chicago at Comiskey Park. ‘The Mick’ will nearly quadruple the mark, extending the record to 536 before he retires before the 1969 season.

1958       On his 25th birthday, Carroll Hardy, pinch-hitting for Roger Maris, blasts a three-run home run, giving the Indians a 7-4 walk-off victory. The 11th inning round-tripper off Chicago’s Billy Pierce is the Cleveland rookie’s first major league homer.

1960       The Indians trade southpaw Herb Score to the White Sox for Barry Latman, a right-hander who will post a 35-37 record during his four seasons with Cleveland. The southpaw, whose promising career was shattered three seasons after being struck by Gil McDougald’s line drive, will return to Cleveland in 1964 to begin a 34-year stint as the team’s beloved television and radio play-by-play announcer.

1969       Cesar Tovar and Rod Carew combine to set a major league record for most steals by teammates in one inning, swiping five bases against the Tigers’ battery of Mickey Lolich and Bill Freehan. During the third inning, Tovar, the Twins’ leadoff hitter, steals third base and home, followed by Carew, who pilfers second and third base and home plate in the 8-2 loss at Metropolitan Stadium.

1973       Bill North’s bat sails onto the infield when he swings and misses the first pitch thrown by Royals rookie reliever Doug Bird, who will be shocked when the A’s center fielder, retrieving his bat, unexpectedly goes to the mound and begins to pummel him. The Oakland outfielder, who will be ejected, suspended for three days, and receive a $100 fine for initiating the brawl, was retaliating against the 23 year-old KC right-hander for an incident that occurred in a Class A game played in Waterloo (IA) three seasons earlier.

1976       In a 5-3 victory at Tiger Stadium, Carl Yastrzemski plays in his 2,293rd game wearing a Red Sox uniform, surpassing Ted Williams’ team record. The Boston legend will extend the franchise mark to 3,308 contests before he retires in 1983.

1986       In the bottom of the tenth inning at Fenway Park, the Red Sox score two runs on an unusual play to beat the Rangers, 6-5, thanks to George Wright’s errant throw. The right fielder throws the ball away fielding Marty Barrett’s double, after becoming confused when two Boston baserunners, both who will score on the error, slide into second at the same time, the batter and Steve Lyons from third base.

1988       In the ‘Year of the Balk,’ Dave Stewart breaks a major league record, committing his twelfth balk of the season. The A’s right-hander will extend the single-season mark to 16 thanks to the strict interpretation of umpires on a minor rule change.

1990       The Orioles, en route to a 13-1 victory over the Rangers, tie an American League record when the team collects eight consecutive singles in the seven-run first inning at Memorial Stadium. Baltimore consecutive one-baggers off right-hander Bobby Witt equals the mark shared by the 1951 Senators and 1981 A’s.

1990       At the Astrodome, Cubs’ second baseman Ryan Sandberg’s errorless game streak comes to an end after 123 games and 582 chances when his errant throw to first base trying to rob Eric Anthony of an infield single allows Ken Caminiti to advanced to third. The seven-time Gold Glove second baseman surpasses the marks for the position previously established Joe Morgan (91 games) and Manny Trillo (479 errorless plays).

1992       WQAM becomes the voice of the Marlins, signing a four-year deal as the flagship radio station of the team. In Miami and southern Florida, listeners will be able to pick up the play-by-play action of the new National League expansion team at 560 am on their radio dial.

1998       Due to drastic payroll cuts reducing the World Champions’ effectiveness, two class-action lawsuits are filed against the Marlins – one for breach of contract and the other accusing the team of false advertising.

1998       With a 6-3 victory over the Orioles, the Devil Rays become only the second expansion team in major league history to sweep an away four-game series. The 1993 Colorado Rockies, who did it against the Dodgers, is the other club to accomplish this feat.

1999       After missing the team’s first 36 games, Joe Torre returns to the Yankee dugout, two months after undergoing successful surgery for prostate cancer. Before the 6-3 loss to the Red Sox, the 58 year-old skipper receives a two-minute standing ovation from the Fenway Park crowd when the scoreboard welcomes him back.

1999       Diamondbacks’ outfielder Luis Gonzalez homers in his first at-bat, extending his hitting streak to 30 games, tying three other players for the longest streak in the decade. Diamondbacks’ outfielder Luis Gonzalez homers in his first at-bat, extending his hitting streak to 30 games, tying three other players for the longest streak in the decade.

2000       In a 6-2 loss to the Padres, the Marlins steal ten bases, which is one shy of the National League record. Luis Castillo (3), Cliff Floyd (3), Preston Wilson (2), and Mark Kotsay (2), the top four batters in the Fish lineup, are responsible for the grand theft.

2000       Mark McGwire passes Mickey Mantle on the all-time home run when he goes deep in the first inning when he hits a three-run drive off Curt Schilling for No.537, placing him in front of the Yankee legendary slugger in eighth place. ‘Big Mac’ adds to his total with two more round-trippers Cardinals’ 7-2 victory over the Phillies at Veterans Stadium.

2002       At Fenway Park, Pedro Martinez becomes the 11th pitcher in American League history to record an immaculate inning when he strikes out the side on nine pitches in the first frame. The Red Sox right-hander fans Ichiro Suzuki, Mark McLemore, and Ruben Sierra to begin Boston’s eventual 4-1 victory over Seattle.

2004       At the age of 40, southpaw Randy Johnson becomes the oldest pitcher to throw a perfect game when the Diamondbacks beat the Braves, 2-0. The ‘Big Unit’ joins Cy Young, Jim Bunning, Hideo Nomo, and Nolan Ryan as the only hurlers to throw no-hitters in both leagues and creates the most extended span between no-no’s, having first accomplished the feat against the Tigers in June of 1990.

2008       Marlins’ second baseman Luis Castillo, who has stolen seven bases in his last two games, is one theft shy of tying a National League mark. Walt Wilmont set the record of eight pilfered bags in consecutive contests playing for the Chicago Colts (Cubs) in 1894.

2008       A pitchout and a perfect throw by Brewers catcher Jason Kendall finally catches Jacoby Ellsbury attempting to steal a bag, snapping the 24 year-old rookie’s string of 25 consecutive stolen bases to start his big league career. The Red Sox outfielder is second all-time to Tim Raines, who recorded 27 straight thefts with the Expos before being caught in 1981.

2009       Jason Kendall collects his 2000th career hit when he singles in the Brewers’ 8-4 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium. The 34 year-old backstop becomes the 254th player, but only the eighth to be primarily a catcher to reach that milestone.

2012       Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander misses pitching his third career no-hitter when he allows a single to Josh Harrison with one out in the top of the ninth inning. The reigning MVP and Cy Young winner completes the one-hitter, beating Pittsburgh, 6-0, in front of a very enthusiastic Friday night crowd at Detroit’s Comerica Park.

2012       Kerry Wood ends his major league career on his terms when he strikes out the one batter he faces before walking off the mound into an embrace from his six-year-old son in front of the Wrigley Field dugout. The 35 year-old much-injured Cubs’ right-hander, an All-Star as both a starter and closer, believes today’s final strikeout to be the most significant and the most memorable moment of his 14-year career.


In what was now becoming expected, the New York Yankees returned for their eighteenth World Series appearance against their cross-town rivals, the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Bronx Bombers had finished off the Giants “Cinderella” season the year before and were determined to retain their title as the kings of the “Big Apple” baseball teams. Charlie Dressen’s Dodgers were angered by the heavy favoritism that the Yankees received in the press and many fans had already crowned them as champions before the first pitch was even thrown. Their frustration was merited and inspired them to a 4-2 victory that featured a six-hit effort by Joe Black who was coming off a 15-4 season in which he made fifty-six appearances (the first fifty-four coming in relief). Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider and Pee Wee Reese all supported the rookie’s debut effort with home runs of their own.

Perhaps now the press would give the National Leaguers some respect as Game 1 represented more than just an opening win. The Dodgers had made a statement and the Yankees were taking notice. Billy Martin was the standout in Game 2 and put the Dodgers back in their place with a three-run blast and a RBI single that backed up Vic Raschi’s 7-1 performance. Not to be outdone, the Dodgers came back swinging and answered the Yankees challenge with a strong outing by Preacher Roe, who held the “Pinstripes” to a 5-3 loss. Once again, it was anybody’s Series and pitching seemed to be the only deciding factor.

Allie Reynolds continued to tip the scales back and forth with a dominant 2-0 triumph in Game 4 that balanced the Series at two games apiece, but Carl Erskine answered back with a 6-5 win in the eleven-inning, Game 5. The Dodger ace allowed only four-hits and all five runs in the fifth inning, but permitted only one other hit which was a bunt-single by Mickey Mantle in the fourth. Duke Snider, who wound up with four homers and eight runs batted in during the Series, hit a two-run homer in the fifth to counter a three-run blast from Johnny Mize in the Yankees’ half of the inning.

The stalemate continued the following day when New York’s Vic Raschi and Brooklyn’s Billy Loes held each other scoreless for 5½ innings. Loes got the upper hand however, when Snider knocked a Raschi pitch into the rightfield bleachers to lead off their sixth. Unfortunately for the Dodger faithful, the 1-0 lead vanished immediately in the top of the seventh when Yogi Berra led off with a one-run blast igniting a Yanks rally. Raschi knocked in the second run by singling off his adversary’s knee and Mickey Mantle kept the momentum alive in the eighth with a homer of his own (the first of many). Raschi, working on a 3-1 lead, retired the first Dodger in the bottom of the inning, but the irrepressible Snider followed with yet another home run. After George Shuba doubled with two out, Allie Reynolds came in as relief. Reynolds, the Yankees’ big winner in 1952 with twenty victories, struck out Roy Campanella to end the inning and, outside of allowing a walk to Carl Furillo, held the Dodgers to no runs in the ninth.

With the Game 6, Series-tying 3-2 triumph, the Yankees were once again ready to try and finish the job and add yet another World Championship to their mantle. In an unusual, but indisputable move Casey Stengel started Eddie Lopat against Game 1 winner and Game 4 loser, Joe Black. The veteran, bothered by shoulder problems, had won only ten games for the Yanks in ’52 (after going 21-9 in ’51), but it mattered little as the Yankees tied it in the fifth courtesy of a Gene Woodling homer and added an insurance homer by Mantle in the seventh. Brooklyn almost took the lead that same inning after loading the bases when Furillo reached first on balls, Billy Cox singled and Pee Wee Reese walked as well. Anticipating a disaster, Bob Kuzava was summoned from the bullpen. The lefthander came up huge and got Snider to fly out to third bringing up Jackie Robinson. With the count at 3-2, Robinson snapped a textbook pop-up towards the mound. Kuzava seemed confused on the location and Joe Collins, the man in position to make the play, lost sight of the ball. All the while, Dodger runners were tearing up the baselines with two crossing the plate and another rounding third. Billy Martin, who was caught in the middle at second quickly sized up the situation and made a miracle catch inches from the ground.

The phenomenal grab not only ended the chances of a Dodger comeback, but also inevitably sealed the Series victory for the defending champions. Despite their best efforts, “the Bums from Brooklyn” lived up to their nickname, as Kuzava remained in control the rest of the way. The loss was especially devastating after winning Games 1, 3 and 5 and the 4-2 triumph enabled Stengel to match Joe McCarthy’s mark of managing a club to four consecutive World Series titles.


There are few instances in baseball history of a player beginning his career at a late age and still going on to achieve Hall of Fame status. One of those to accomplish such a feat is Earl Averill who debuted with the Cleveland Indians a little over a month short of his 27th birthday and went on to become one of the top hitters of his era. 

Averill began his career playing semi-pro ball and eventually signed with San Francisco of the Pacific Coast League in 1926. After three solid seasons in the PCL (he had one-hundred seventy-three runs batted in during 1928) he was signed by the Indians in 1929 and immediately became their starting centerfielder. Averill broke in with a flourish, homering in his first Major League at-bat (the second American League player to do so) and went on to hit .332. Although he didn’t possess a strong arm, he played solid defense and led American League outfielders in putouts. 

In 1930, Averill followed up his brilliant rookie season by batting .339 and reaching the one-hundred runs batted in mark for the first time (119). In September of that year the small but compactly built slugger hit three homeruns in the first game of a doubleheader and belted another round tripper in the nightcap becoming the first Major League player to homer four times in a twin bill. In that same doubleheader he knocked in a still American League record eleven runs. The next two seasons Averill produced career highs of thirty-two home runs, one-hundred forty-three runs batted in, one-hundred forty runs scored, and he reached the two-hundred hit plateau for the first time in 1931 (209). In the 1932 season the Red Sox showed the ultimate respect for Averill by walking him five consecutive times in a game. “He was treated with the kind of respect usually reserved for imposing specimens like Foxx and Gehrig”, said Boston’s Ted Williams. 

After six consecutive seasons of .300 or better, Averill slumped to .288 in 1935, but bounced back to rack up career highs in 1936 in average .378 (finishing second to Luke Appling’s .388) and hits (two-hundred thirty-two). In June of 1937 began being bothered by temporary paralysis in his legs. The final diagnosis was a congenital spinal malformation which forced Averill to alter his batting style in order to continue playing and be a productive player. He made the 1937 All-Star team (it was his line drive in that All-Star game that struck and broke Dizzy Dean’s toe that eventually caused Dean a sore arm and his career) but his overall numbers were below his normal standards. He came back in 1938 to hit .330 but managed just fourteen home runs and shortly into the 1939 season the Indians dealt him to the Tigers in a deal that enraged Cleveland fans. As a part-time player for Detroit he contributed to the Tigers pennant winning season of 1940. Averill’s playing days ended after a brief stop with the National League’s Boston Braves in 1941. 

In his thirteen big league seasons Earl Averill batted .300 eight times, scored one-hundred runs nine times, and drove in one-hundred or more runs in five seasons. He led the American League in hits in 1936 (two-hundred thirty-two) and triples (fifteen). He had ten or more triples eight times and thirty or more doubles in nine seasons. He was the only American League outfielder named to their first six All-Star teams (1933-38). “He supports my contention that you don’t have to be a muscle-bound giant to be a great major league hitter”, said Ted Williams. Earl Averill was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the by The Committee on Baseball Veterans in 1975.


“I thought I had to show all my stuff and I almost tore the boards off the grandstand with my fastball.” – Hall of Famer (and winner of two of the three games he started in the 1903 World Series) Cy Young




















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The third exhibition of what was soon to become known as the “Midsummer Classic” was played at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium on July 8, 1935. Due to the success of the previous two games, available tickets were in short supply and a crowd of 69,831 filled the ball-yard, setting an All-Star Game record that stood until 1981, when more than 72,000 attended the fifty-second All-Star Game in the same park. Unfortunately, after the initial excitement of the first game and the phenomenal pitching by Carl Hubbell in the second, the third was rather uneventful.

The American League won for the third straight year due to the performance of Jimmie Foxx. Once again, he was playing third in deference to Lou Gehrig and belted a two-run homer in the bottom of the first, giving the American League a lead it never relinquished. Making his third All-Star appearance, Al Simmons of the White Sox was the game’s top hitter with a six-for-thirteen showing and a .462 average. It would be his last All-Star showing. Unbelievably, the most frustrated hitter was Gehrig. A Triple Crown winner in 1934, he was hitless in nine at-bats.