1870 At the Capitoline Grounds in Brooklyn, the Cincinnati Red Stockings see their 130 game consecutive winning streak (81 official games and 49 exhibitions) come to an end, losing to the Atlantics in extra innings, 8-7. During the game, in an effort not to hit the ball to George Wright, the opponents’ slick fielding shortstop, hometown third baseman, and captain, Bob Ferguson, bats left-handed, becoming the first-known switch hitter in baseball history.
1919 Batting only .198 in 25 games since being acquired last month from the Seattle Rainiers of the Pacific Coast League, Joe Wilhoit scratches out a first-inning single to begin the longest consecutive game hitting streak in the history of professional baseball. The Wichita Jobbers’ outfielder will hit safely in 69 Western League contests, collecting 153 hits in 297 at-bats for an astounding .515 batting average.
1926 In what will turn out to be one of John McGraw’s worst trades, the Giants deal outfielder Billy Southworth, batting .328 at the time, to the Cardinals for Heinie Mueller, who will hit only .265 over two seasons for New York. The Redbirds’ new fly chaser, a future Hall of Famer, will play an important role in the team’s world championship this season.
1933 New York manager Joe McCarthy and infielder Lou Gehrig are both thrown out of the game, with the Yankee skipper being suspended for three games. Fortunately, his first baseman isn’t, and the ‘Iron Horse’s’ consecutive game streak stays intact at 1,249 contests.
1952 After purchasing Hank Aaron from the Indianapolis Clowns for $10,000, the Braves sign the 18 year-old Negro League player and assign him to the Eau Claire Bears, the team’s Class-C farm team. The future home run king will play second base, being named the Northern League’s Rookie of the Year when he hits .336 and nine homers in 87 games for the Wisconsin minor league team.
1952 Warren Spahn, in the Braves’ 3-1 loss to the visiting Cubs, goes the distance, whiffing 18 batters in 15 innings. The Boston southpaw, who homers for the team’s lone run, becomes the sixth pitcher to compile 18 or more strikeouts in a game, but the first hurler who needed extra frames to accomplished the feat.
1953 Before 74,708 fans, the Yankees sweep the Indians, 6-2 and 3-0, to extend the team’s winning streak to eighteen consecutive games. The Bronx Bombers’ run of victories will end with a 3-1 loss to St. Louis, one win shy of the franchise mark of 19 set in 1947.
1956 Frank ‘Trader’ Lane lives up to his nickname when the Cardinals GM completes a seven-player deal with the Giants. The Redbirds swap future Hall of Famer second baseman Red Schoendienst, catcher Bill Sarni, and southpaw Dick Littlefield to the Jints for shortstop Alvin Dark, outfielder Whitey Lockman, backstop Ray Katt, and left-hander Don Liddle.
1963 In a 10-3 win over the Reds at Crosley Field, Met outfielder Duke Snider hits his 400th career homer off of Bob Purkey. With his sweet left-handed swing, the future Hall of Famer will finish his 18-years in the major leagues with 407 round-trippers.
1963 At Cleveland Stadium, Willie Kirkland becomes just the second major leaguer, joining Vern Stephens, to hit two extra-inning home runs in the same game. The Indian outfielder’s 11th inning round-tripper ties the game at two runs apiece, and his homer in the 19th results in a 3-2 walk-off victory over Washington, extending the Senators’ losing streak to ten games.
1965 Reds starter Jim Maloney, who strikes out 18 batters, no-hits the Mets for ten innings, but loses 1-0 when Johnny Lewis connects for a homer in the eleventh in the Crosley Field contest. In August at Wrigley Field, the right-hander will once again give up no hits through the first nine innings, but this time will record a no-hitter when his teammate Leo Cardenas connects in the top of the tenth, providing the only run in Cincinnati’s 1-0 victory over Chicago.
1966 The Florida State League’s Miami Marlins edge Sparky Anderson’s St. Petersburg Cardinals, 4-3, in the longest uninterrupted game ever played in organized baseball. The 29-inning FSL contest takes six hours and 59 minutes to complete.
1969 Reggie Jackson accumulates 11 total bases and drives in ten runs in Oakland’s 21-7 rout of the Red Sox. The A’s outfielder’s offensive output in the Fenway Park contest includes a pair of two-run homers, a double, and a single.
1969 After playing nine years in New York, Tom Tresh is traded by the Yankees to the Tigers for outfielder Ron Woods. The 1962 Rookie of the Year, who grew up in Detroit, will retire at the end of the season.
1974 Nolan Ryan, throwing an unbelievable 235 pitches, whiffs 19 batters in 13 innings, including Cecil Cooper six consecutive times, in the Angels’ 4-3 victory over Boston in 15 innings in Anaheim. The right-hander’s performance will be the first of three 19-strikeout outings the Texan throws this season.
1975 The Angels trade Denny Doyle to the Red Sox in exchange for a player to be named later (Chuck Minor) and cash. Boston’s new slick-fielding second baseman will play a pivotal role in the team’s championship season, compiling a 22-game hitting streak and batting .310 after arriving from California.
1978 The Phillies trade outfielders Jay Johnstone and Bobby Brown to the Yankees for right-hander Rawly Eastwick. Philadelphia’s new reliever will compile a 2-1 record this season, appearing in 51 games.
1985 After retiring two seasons ago, Earl Weaver returns to the Orioles dugout, replacing his successor Joe Altobelli, who won a world championship in his first year with the club. In the 105 games remaining, ‘Earl of Baltimore’ will guide the team to a 53-52 record, and will retire for good after next season when the O’s finish in seventh place.
1989 In a 6-4 victory over the Blue Jays at County Stadium, Robin Yount’s consecutive games streak ends. The Brewers center fielder establishes a new club record by playing in 276 straight contests.
1990 The National League announces plans to expand from 12 to 14 teams. The two new franchises, that will begin playing in 1993, are the Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.
1995 Mike Benjamin goes 6-for-7, five singles and a double, and drives in the winning run in the 13th inning of the Giants’ 4-3 victory over Chicago at Wrigley Field. The Giant third baseman sets a major league record by getting 14 hits in three games.
1996 At Kauffman Stadium, Cal Ripken sets a new consecutive games world record by playing in his 2,216th consecutive game. The previous mark of 2,215 was held by Hiroshima Carp third baseman Sachio Kinugasa, playing in the Japanese Central League.
1998 With a 4-2 victory over Cleveland, the Yankees tie a major league record by winning or splitting their 24th consecutive series. The Bronx Bombers equal the mark shared by the 1912 Red Sox and the 1970 Reds.
2002 Due to 14 interleague contests all played in National League parks, a designated hitter is not used in a full slate of major league games for the first time since 1972. Visiting hurlers will get plenty of opportunities to swing the bat, as there isn’t a home game scheduled in an American League park for ten consecutive days.
2003 After being activated from the disabled list by the Dodgers, first baseman Fred McGriff bats cleanup and goes 2-for-4 in his return against the Padres. It was the Crime Dog’s first trip to the DL during his 18-year career.
2005 Behind Chuck Klein (683rd game – 1933) and Lloyd Waner (686th game – 1932), Ichiro Suzuki (696th game – 2005) becomes the third fastest big leaguer player to reach the 1000-hit mark. The 31 year-old Mariners outfielder also holds the record in Japan for being the quickest player to attain 1,000 hits, reaching the milestone in 757 games.
2005 Before a pitch in the seventh inning, the umpires are asked to investigate Brendan Donnelly’s glove for a foreign substances. Upon the discovery of illegal pine tar, the Angel pitcher, who claims he uses the substance to control sweating, is tossed, resulting in managers Mike Scioscia and Frank Robinson exchanging angry words, which incites a brawl, clearing both benches and bullpens.
2006 Russ Ortiz (0-5, 7.54) becomes the highest paid player ever to be cut by a major league team. Although the team still owes $22 million of the $33 million of the four-year deal signed in December 2004, the Diamondbacks designate the 32 year-old righty for assignment, meaning the club has 10 days to trade, waive, or release the pitcher, who has a 1-14 record in his last 19 starts.
2010 After just seven days in the major leagues, Stephen Strasburg is named National League Player of the Week. The Nationals’ right-handed flame thrower starts his career 2-0 with 22 strikeouts, second to only Karl Spooner, who fanned five more batters in his first two major league starts with the Dodgers in 1954.
2014 Jimmy Rollins becomes the Phillies’ all-time hits leader when he singles in the fifth against Chicago’s Edwin Jackson for his 2,235th hit for the 132 year-old franchise. At the end of the frame, the 35 year-old switch-hitting shortstop is greeted with a high-five and a hug at first base by Mike Schmidt, the Hall of Famer whose total he surpassed to set the mark, with the entire team then coming out from the Philadelphia dugout to offer their congratulations on the milestone hit.
2015 The Blue Jays, with their 13-5 rout of the Red Sox at Fenway Park, win their 11th straight game, tying a franchise mark which has been accomplished three times previously. The team’s consecutive-victory streak will be snapped tomorrow with a 4-3 extra-inning loss to the Mets at Citi Field.