1881 On his birthday, Mickey Welch throws two complete game victories when Troy sweeps a doubleheader from the Bisons at Buffalo’s Riverside Grounds, 8-3 and 12-0. The 22 year-old future Hall of Famer, who finishes the season with a 21-18 record, will complete 525 games of the 549 he starts for the Haymakers (NA) and Giants (NL) during his 13-year tenure in the major leagues.
1884 In American Association action, Louisville right-hander Guy Hecker pitches complete games to win both ends of a doubleheader. The Youngsville, Pennsylvania native does not walk a single batter when he beats the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers at Eclipse Park, 5-4 and 8-2.
1899 John McGraw becomes the first major leaguer to achieve a stolen base cycle when he swipes second base, third base, then home plate all during the same inning of the same game. The 26 year-old Orioles (NL) third baseman accomplishes the feat in the fourth frame of the team’s 5-4 victory over the Boston Beaneaters at Baltimore’s Union Park.
1900 Approximately one thousand people in the crowd of 10,000 fans attending the game at Chicago’s West Side Grounds celebrate Independence Day by firing pistols into the air. The Orphans shoot down the visiting the Philadelphia team in 12 innings, 5-4.
1905 Rube Waddell beats Cy Young and the Americans, 4-2, when the A’s score two runs in the 20th inning. Both of the future Hall of Fame hurlers go the distance in the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds marathon.
1908 With two outs and an 0-2 count in the ninth inning, Giant pitcher George Wiltse loses his perfect game when he hits the opposing pitcher, George McQuillan, with a pitch. ‘Hooks’ keeps his no-hitter intact when New York wins the 1-0 Polo Grounds contest in the tenth, scoring the winning run on a Philadelphia error.
1911 Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida become the first Cuban natives to appear in a major league game as they both make their debut for the Reds. Appearing as pinch hitters in the eight inning, Almeida strikes out and Marsans singles in the 8-3 loss to the Cubs at Chicago’s West Side Grounds.
1912 Tiger pitcher George Mullin celebrates the nation’s birthday and his own by throwing a no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns. In addition to his excellent pitching, the 32 year-old also collected three hits and drove in two runs during the 7-0 victory.
1925 In a battle of southpaws at Yankee Stadium, Herb Pennock and Lefty Grove of the A’s hook up in a 15 inning pitchers’ duel which the Bronx Bombers win, 1-0. Pennock retires the first 18 batters and the last 21 batters he faces.
1932 Bill Dickey punches and breaks Carl Reynolds’s jaw after the Senator outfielder collides with him on a close play at home plate. The American League suspends the Yankee catcher for 30 days and fines him $1,000 for his one-punch fight.
1935 Due to his ‘wandering’ ball, Iola hurler Harold Liell, a 5′ 6 1/2″, 155-pounder with pigeon-toed feet, is called up for a tryout with the Kansas City Blues. The K.C. manager Dutch Zwilling is impressed with the young southpaw’s performance, but advises the Greeley, Kansas lad to get more experience, suggesting he play in the Ban Johnson League.
1938 The Phillies move into Shibe Park by splitting a twin bill with the Boston Bees, losing the first game, 10-5, and winning the nightcap, 10-2. The National League franchise decided to abandoned Baker Bowl the middle of the season to rent the newer and more spacious home of the A’s, citing the move to the ballpark, which only five blocks away from where the team formerly played, will help cut expenses as stadium upkeep can be shared between the two clubs.
1939 “Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.” – LOU GEHRIG
It’s Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium, and ‘the Iron Horse’s’ uniform number 4 will be the first ever to be retired. After emcee Sid Mercer informs the sell-out crowd the man of the hour is too moved to speak, Gehrig changes his mind when Skipper Joe McCarthy encourages him, and delivers the keynote address in baseball history, describing himself as “the luckiest man on the face of this earth”.
1939 In a slugfest at Shibe Park, Red Sox third baseman Jim Tabor hits two grand slams in the same game as well as a third home run in Boston’s 18-12 victory over the A’s. It’s only the second time the feat has been accomplished, both coming in a game against the Philadelphia A’s.
1945 Augie Bergamo bangs out eight hits, helping the Cardinals to sweep a twin bill from Giants, 8-4 and 19-2. The 28 year-old Redbird right fielder collects 11 total bases and drives in eight runs in the Polo Grounds nightcap when he hits three singles, a two-run home run, and a grand slam.
1955 In Three-I League action, Keokuk Kernels’ hurler Mudcat Grant hits three home runs in consecutive innings. During his 14 year major league career with seven teams, the right-hander from Lacoochee, Florida will go yard six times.
1964 Kansas City’s Manny Jimenez, who didn’t homer in 1963, connects for three in a 6-6 tie with the Orioles. The game is stopped by a special Baltimore curfew to permit a fireworks show to take place.
1966 In his first game after being sidelined a week with a fractured cheekbone, Ron Santo sets a franchise record, hitting in his 28th consecutive game. The streak will come to an end when the Cubs’ third baseman is held hitless in the nightcap of the twin bill against Pittsburgh.
1967 Opposing his younger brother, Joe, Phil Niekro goes the distance to get the victory when the Braves beat the Cubs at Atlanta Stadium, 8-3. Joining Jesse and Virgil Barnes, who face one another five times as starters in the 1920’s, the Niekros become the second pair of siblings to start in the same major league game.
1969 At Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium, Bob Oliver becomes the first player in Royals history to hit a grand slam. The center fielder’s eighth-inning blast comes off Jim Bouton of the Pilots in an eventual 13-2 KC victory.
1970 Brothers Billy and Tony Conigliaro both hit home runs in the Red Sox’s 5-1 victory over the Tribe at Fenway Park. The Boston outfielders become the eighth different set of siblings to have homered in the same game, a feat which has occurred only 13 times in major league history.
1972 In front of a large holiday crowd gathered at Shea Stadium for a doubleheader against San Diego, Tom Seaver takes a no-hitter into the ninth inning for the second time in his career. After getting Dave Roberts to ground out to second base, Leron Lee singles up the middle to spoil the no-hit bid of the 27 year-old Mets right-hander, who has to settle for his fourth one-hitter when he induces the next batter to hit into a game-ending double play.
1976 After hitting an apparent grand slam in the top of the second inning, Tim McCarver is credited with only a three-run single when he passes teammate Garry Maddox on the basepaths in the Phillies’ 10-5 victory over the Pirates at Three Rivers Stadium. The other base runners are allowed to score on the Philadelphia catcher’s ‘grand slam single’ because only the player who passes his teammate is called out and there were less than two outs.
1977 In the bottom of the sixth at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, 22 year-old Tiger phenom Mark Fidrych gets two quick ground ball outs, before giving up six runs on six consecutive hits and an intentional walk. ‘The Bird’, last year’s Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award runner-up who has already won 6 of 8 decisions this season, appears to lose all of his effectiveness after throwing a pitch with an unusual motion, and will win only four more games before retiring in 1980 after compiling a 25-11 record before this start.
1977 The Red Sox snap a nine-game losing streak by blasting a record-tying eight home runs in their 9-6 victory over Toronto at Fenway Park. The octet of round-trippers, hit by George Scott (2), Fred Lynn (2), Bernie Carbo, Butch Hobson, Carl Yastrzemski, and Jim Rice, matches the major league mark shared by the 1939 Yankees, 1953 Braves, 1956 Reds, 1961 Giants, and 1963 Twins.
1980 Nolan Ryan, the losing pitcher in Astros’ 8-1 loss to Cincinnati at Riverfront Stadium, fans Cesar Geronimo in the second inning to record his 3000th career strikeout. The Reds’ outfielder was also Bob Gibson’s 3000th victim in 1974.
1982 Celebrating Independence Day at Mile High Stadium in Denver, 65,666 fans watch an American Association contest and enjoy a giant fireworks display after the game. The gathering is the largest crowd in minor league history.
1983 At Yankee Stadium, southpaw Dave Righetti no-hits the Red Sox to become the first Bronx Bomber left-hander to throw a no-no since George Mogridge accomplished the feat in 1917. The 24 year-old southpaw’s 4-0 gem is the first no-hitter for New York since Don Larsen tossed his perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
1984 At Arlington Stadium, Yankee hurler Phil Niekro strikes out Texas right fielder Larry Parrish to become the ninth major league player to reach the 3,000 strikeout milestone. The 45 year-old knuckleballer, best known for seasons with the Braves, will end his 24-year Hall of Fame career striking out 3,342 batters.
1985 With a double in the first, a triple in the fourth, a homer in the eighth inning, Keith Hernandez completes the cycle with a single in the twelfth frame of a 19-inning contest with the Braves. The Mets first baseman’s four hits, all off different pitchers, contribute to New York’s 16-13 early morning victory at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1985 In a 19-inning game, which goes until just before 4 a.m. the next day, the Mets beat the Braves, 16-13. After the 6 hours, 10 minutes game, the 1000 fans left in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium are treated to pre-dawn fireworks which awaken and frighten many of the ballpark’s neighbors.
1989 Tom Browning just misses becoming the first hurler in big league history to throw two perfect games when Dickie Thon’s leadoff double in the ninth breaks up the Cincinnati southpaw’s bid for perfection. After the Philadelphia shortstop scores on a Steve Jeltz single, John Franco replaces the disappointed pitcher and induces Lenny Dykstra to hit into a game-ending double play, giving the Reds a 2-1 victory at Veterans Stadium.
1993 Ed Rapuano calls a balk against Marlins’ Matt Turner, resulting in a 4-3 walk-off victory for the Braves at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. The home-plate umpire ruled the right-hander, who was distracted by Deion Sanders faking a break from third base, started his motion then stopped.
1998 The National Baseball Facility of Ireland, considered the main home of the Irish National baseball team, officially opens in Corkagh Demesne Park in Clondalkin, West Dublin when U.S. Ambassador Jean Kennedy throws out the ceremonial first pitch. Dodger owner Peter O’Malley played an instrumental role in the construction of the diamonds now known as the Fields of Dreams, which includes a regulation sized adult field and an international standard Little League field.
1999 Jose Canseco becomes the first player in major league history to hit 30 home runs with four different teams. The Devil Rays’ DH reached the mark previously with the A’s (1986), Rangers (1994), and the Blue Jays (1998).
2000 Becoming only the third player in Cardinal history to homer in his first career at-bat, Keith McDonald pinch hits a home run in a 14-3 victory over the Reds. Eddie Morgan  and Wally Moon  are the only other Redbirds to accomplish the feat.
2001 The Brewers’ new home, Miller Park, continues to be jinxed as a parachutist breaks his ankle when he misses the opening in the retractable roof and lands on a beam several hundred feet off the ground. Another member of the Sky Knights Sports Parachute Club missed the stadium completely.
2001 The fifty people stranded on the Ferris wheel ride at Comerica Park for two hours during the Kansas City-Detroit game are rescued by firefighters and emergency crews using a cherry picker and a fire truck ladder. The inconvenienced fans will receive tickets to another contest, free dinner, and team autographs from the Tigers.
2003 In a 10-3 victory over New York, the Red Sox score all their runs with the long ball, hitting a record seven home runs off the Yankees. Prior to today’s Independence Day fireworks, the Bronx Bombers had given up six homers in a game four times, including twice to Boston (1997 and 1977) and the Indians (1970).
2004 The selection of Barry Bonds, Ken Griffey Jr., and Sammy Sosa as starters in the NL All-Stars lineup marks the first time in baseball history in which three players with 500 career home runs have appeared on the same team. The trio will appear in the starting outfield in the 75th All-Star Game in Houston’s Minute Maid Park.
2006 Yankee owner George Steinbrenner’s 76th birthday is less than festive, when the Indians provide all of the fireworks in a 19-1 Independence Day rout over the Bronx Bombers. The victory is the Tribe’s most lopsided victory at home since the 1950 team, scoring 14 first inning runs, beat the Philadelphia A’s at Cleveland Stadium, 21-2.
2006 Nomar Garciaparra ties the major league record for being hit by a pitch in a game as he is plunked three times by three different Diamondback pitchers in a 10-4 Dodger victory. The LA first baseman is the first National Leaguer to equal the mark, both literally and figuratively, since the 2000 season when Astros outfielder Richard Hidalgo got thwacked thrice in a game in April.
2006 Billy Wagner becomes the 20th pitcher baseball history to record 300 career saves. The significant save for the Mets’ southpaw, who has also played for the Astros and Phillies, is his sixteenth of the season.
2008 Rockies shortstop Troy Tulowitzki needs 16 stitches to close up a gash in his right palm caused by a maple bat when he pounds it into the ground in frustration and it shatters. These types of bats are under scrutiny of a major league investigation because of their tendency to shatter when the hard wood breaks instead of just cracking like the bats made from softer ash.
2009 In his 4,145th big league at-bat, Adam Dunn hits his 300th career home run in Washington’s 5-3 win over Atlanta at Nationals Park. The 29 year-old left fielder is the fifth quickest player to reach the milestone, behind only Babe Ruth (3,830), Mark McGwire (3,837), Ralph Kiner (3,883), and Harmon Killebrew (3,928).
2011 Shaun Marcum becomes the first Brewer pitcher to hit a grand slam for the franchise since 1969 when Fred Talbot accomplished the feat in the inaugural season of the Seattle Pilots, a year before the team moved to Milwaukee. The 29 year-old right-hander’s first career round-tripper isn’t enough to get a victory when he earns a no-decision in the team’s 8-6 loss to Arizona.
2015 Cincinnati rookie hurler Josh Smith ties a 108 year-old Reds record when he plunks Aramis Ramirez, Jean Segura, Gerardo Parra, and Carlos Gomez in the team’s 7-4 loss against Milwaukee at the Great American Ball Park. The last pitcher to hit four batters in a game was Nationals’ right-hander Livan Hernandez, who accomplished the dubious feat in 2005 against Colorado.