1839 Due to an erroneous eye-witness account, Abner Doubleday is given credit for establishing the first baseball game is played in America. The Hall of Fame, which opens a century later in Cooperstown, celebrates the origin of our national pastime in this small upstate New York town although it is doubtful the West Point cadet was ever there or ever watched a baseball game.
1880 At the Worcester Agriculture Fairgrounds, Lee Richmond pitches the first perfect game, beating Cleveland, 4-0. The 23 year-old rookie southpaw threw a no-hitter in a collegiate exhibition against the White Stockings last season.
1886 St. Louis Maroons right-hander Charlie Sweeney, who will give up only nine round-trippers in 93 innings of work this season, sets a major league record when he gives up seven home runs in the team’s 14-7 loss to the Wolverines at Detroit’s Recreation Park. Allowing six gopher balls is the post-1900 mark, a dubious distinction shared by six hurlers, including Ranger right-hander R.A. Dickey who accomplished the feat in his only appearance of the season in 2006.
1907 Eight different Highlanders commit a total of eleven errors en route to a 16-4 loss to Detroit. Shortstop Kid Elberfeld commits four of the fielding miscues in the contest played in New York’s American League Park.
1928 Lou Gehrig collects fourteen total bases when he blasts two triples and two homers. The Yankee first baseman’s offensive output leads the Bronx Bombers to a 15-7 win over the Chicago at Comiskey Park.
1939 With much of its funding provided by the Clark Foundation, a charitable organization established by the Singer Sewing Machine Company, the Baseball Hall of Fame is dedicated in Cooperstown, the site selected due to an erroneous report made that claimed Abner Doubleday had invented the game in the small town located in upstate New York. Players selected from the first four Hall of Fame induction elections are enshrined as its first members.
1939 In front of a record crowd of 23,864 fans at Ruppert Stadium, Lou Gehrig plays his last game in a Yankee uniform when he participates in an Ruppert Stadium exhibition contest against the Kansas City Blues (AA), the team’s American Association farm club. The ‘Iron Horse’, playing only three innings and batting eighth, grounds out weakly to second base in his only at-bat.
1940 In a trade which stuns the baseball world, the Dodgers obtain Ducky Medwick and pitcher Curt Davis from the Cardinals for outfielder Ernie Koy, pitcher Carl Doyle, two minor leaguers, and $125,000. The deal to acquire the 1937 Triple Crown winner, which is engineered by GM Larry MacPhail, signals the emergence of Brooklyn as a serious contender.
1941 The Braves break up the Waners’ brother act, sending Lloyd, known as ‘Little Poison’, to the Reds for pitcher Johnny Hutchings. ‘Big Poison’ Paul, the older sibling, was signed as a free agent with the team after being released by the Dodgers last month.
1946 The Veterans Committee elect Jack Chesbro into the Hall of Fame, making him the only player to be enshrined in Cooperstown who actually played professional baseball for a team located in the upstate New York village on the shores of Otsego Lake. The right-hander, who established the record for most victories in a season with 41 while pitching for the 1904 Highlanders, played for the Cooperstown Athletics after the Roanoke Magicians of the Virginia State League disbanded during 1896 season.
1948 After piloting the team for 13 seasons, Charlie Grimm ends his tenure as the Braves manager by splitting a doubleheader with the Cubs. The 19,802 fans in attendance at Braves Field give the skipper, who will stay in the organization as Boston’s vice-president, a long standing ovation when he takes his position in the third base coaching box for the last time.
1954 Braves’ right-hander Jim Wilson beats future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts when he no-hits the Phillies, 2-0. The one hour and forty-three minute contest at County Stadium, the major league’s only no-no this season, is the first for the franchise since the team relocated from Boston following the 1952 season.
1954 The Indians (35-17) move into first place when Bob Feller gets his 2,500th career strikeout in the Tribe’s 4-3 victory over Boston at Fenway Park. ‘Rapid Robert’ will finish his 18-year major league career striking out 2,581 hitters, an average of more than six batters a game.
1957 Stan Musial breaks the National League record for endurance when he plays in his 823rd consecutive-game. The previous mark was established in 1937 by Pirates first baseman Gus Suhr.
1957 Eddie Mathews hits his 200th career home run in the Braves’ 11-9 loss to Brooklyn at Ebbets Field. The Milwaukee third baseman is the second youngest player to reach the plateau, being 98 days older than Mel Ott, who accomplished the feat at the age of 25 years and 144 days.
1959 Despite giving up a hit in the bottom of the sixth in the Giants’ 3-0 victory over Philadelphia, Mike McCormick is credited with a no-hitter when the game is rained out and the inning is never completed, statistically erasing the hit. The right-hander’s five-inning rain-shortened no-no will be taken out of the record book due to a rule change in 1991 that mandates a game must last for at least nine innings for the hitless effort to be called an official no-hitter.
1962 In the Braves’ 15-2 rout of LA at County Stadium, the Aaron brothers both homer in the same game with Tommie connecting in the bottom of the eighth after his older bother Hank had hit one out in the second. The Milwaukee teammates will also accomplish the feat on July 12 and August 14.
1967 In his ninth at bat, All-Star backstop Paul Casanova, after catching the entire game and going 0-for-8, ends the 22-inning contest when he singles to left field scoring Hank Allen with the winning run in the Senators’ 6-5 victory over the White Sox at D.C. Stadium. The six hours, 38 minute marathon, which ends at 2:43 in the morning, results in the American League adopting a curfew stating that no inning may begin an hour after midnight.
1970 Dock Ellis throws a 2-0 no-hitter against the Padres in San Diego during the first game of a twin bill. The former Pirates’ right-hander, who became an advocate of anti-drug programs, claims he was under the influence of LSD while tossing the most memorable game in his career.
1979 Tiger skipper Les Moss, who was hired early in the offseason to replace Ralph Houk, is terminated 53 games into his first season as a major league manager, having compiled a 27-26 record with the team. Detroit makes the unusual managerial move to hire an unexpectedly available Sparky Anderson, the fired Reds skipper who will spend 17 seasons in Detroit, compiling a 1331-1248 (.516) record, and capturing a World Championship in 1984.
1979 The Mets enjoy the most productive inning in franchise history when ten runners cross the plate in the sixth fame of their 12-6 victory over the Reds at Shea Stadium. The highlight of the double-digit deluge is Doug Flynn’s three-run inside-the-park home run.
1981 Major League Baseball experiences its first in-season work stoppage. The 50-day strike, which will end on July 31, results in 712 games not being played.
1983 “I didn’t know what to say, so I just sort of mumbled, ‘Well, O.K.,’ ” – DALE MURPHY, responding to fan’s request to hit a home run. When Dale Murphy visits with Elizabeth Smith in the stands to give her a cap and a T-shirt, her nurse asks the Braves’ outfielder to hit a home run for the six-year-old girl, who lost both her hands and a leg when she stepped on a live power line. The reigning National League MVP obliges, hitting two homers and driving in all the runs in the team’s 3–2 victory over the Giants at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1983 Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg, recently-elected Hall of Famers, have their uniform numbers retired by the Tigers in a pregame ceremony. The digits #2 and #5, respectively, will join Al Kaline’s #6 (1980) as the only numbers retired in franchise history.
1983 Before the game against the Giants, Dale Murphy visits with a six year-old in the stands who recently lost both arms and a leg due to a power line accident and is asked by the girl’s nurse if he could hit a home run for the injured child. The outfielder modestly answers “Well, Okay”, and then proceeds to hit two homers in the 3-2 Braves victory at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1988 Mike Scott’s attempt for his second career no-hitter is spoiled with two outs in the ninth inning by Braves infielder Ken Oberkfell’s line drive single down the right field line. The right-hander, who settles for a 5-0 one-hitter, tossed a no-no in 1986 which clinched the National League West Division for the Astros.
1990 Cal Ripken plays in his 1,308th consecutive game, moving into second-place on the all-time list ahead of former Yankee and Red Sox shortstop Everett Scott (1918-1925). In 1995, the Oriole infielder will break Lou Gehrig’s consecutive game record, playing in 2,131 straight games.
1996 Marge Schott is forced to relinquish her role as managing general partner of the Reds for two years due to her questionable comments about Hitler. The Cincinnati owner, in an interview last month with ESPN, stated “Everybody knows [Hitler] was good at the beginning, but he just went too far.”
1997 After 126 years of major league play, the first interleague game in history is played when the Giants defeat the Rangers, 4-3, at the Ballpark in Texas. Darryl Hamilton picks up the first ever Interleague hit, and Glenallen Hill becomes the National League’s first regular season designated hitter.
1999 In a 22-1 inter-league rout of the Braves, Cal Ripken becomes the first Oriole to go 6-for-6 as Baltimore scores the most runs in their franchise history. The team, as the St. Louis Browns, had set the previous mark on Aug. 18, 1951, tallying twenty times.
2001 The pitching-poor Rangers trade backup backstop Doug Mirabelli to the Red Sox for Double-A Trenton right-handed pitcher Justin Duchscherer (6-3, 2.44). Mirabelli will help fill the void created last week when Boston’s starting catcher Jason Varitek broke his right elbow.
2002 In the third inning of the Padres’ 2-0 victory over Baltimore at Camden Yards, Brian Lawrence strikes out the side on nine pitches, with only one being a called strike. The 26 year-old right-hander becomes the 36th pitcher in baseball history to accomplish the feat when he whiffs Brook Fordyce, Jerry Hairston, and Melvin Mora, who all go down swinging.
2004 In interleague action, Barry Bonds (675) of the Giants and Orioles first baseman Rafael Palmeiro (536 and 537 to pass Mickey Mantle) both homer in a 9-6 San Francisco victory at Camden Yards. The sluggers join Willie Mays and Ernie Banks (1970) and Mays and Hank Aaron (1971) as only the third pair in baseball history to have 500 career home runs and connect in the same game.
2005 Hee-Seop Choi homers in his first three at-bats in the Dodgers’ 4-3 victory over Minnesota. The southpaw-swinging first baseman’s solo shot in the sixth off Brad Radke, who also gave up the infielder’s first two home runs, proves to be the difference in the Chavez Ravine contest.
2006 After hitting .625 (15-for-24), Joe Mauer is named the American League player of the week. The 23 year-old Twins catcher becomes one of the very few players in baseball history to reach base four times in five consecutive games.
2007 Using a 102-mph fastball and an untouchable curveball, 24 year-old right-hander Justin Verlander strikes out a career-high 12 batters en route to throwing a no-hitter against Milwaukee. The 4-0 hitless gem, which features several outstanding defensive plays from his Tiger teammates, is the first no-no thrown at Detroit’s Comerica Park.
2010 During a 10-2 rout of Philadelphia at Fenway Park, Daniel Nava hits a grand slam on the first pitch he sees as a major leaguer. The 27 year-old Red Sox left fielder, recently called up from Triple-A Pawtucket, hits his bases loaded round-tripper in the second inning off Joe Blanton to become only the second player in big league history to accomplish the feat, joining Kevin Kouzmanoff, who went yard with the bases juiced with Cleveland in 2004.
2012 Alex Rodriguez ties Lou Gehrig’s 74 year-old major league record when he hits his 23rd career grand slam in a 6-4 victory over Atlanta at Turner Field. The Yankee third baseman’s historic homer over the left field fence comes off an eighth-inning 3-2 pitch thrown by Jonny Venters, tying the game at 4-4.
2014 Max Scherzer hurls his first career complete game, throwing a three-hit shutout to beat Chicago at U.S. Cellular Field, 4-0. The Tiger right-hander’s stretch of 178 games is the longest that any major league starter had gone without finishing a game since 1900.