TRIVIA

Important Dates in Baseball History (For Those Who Are Missing It)

Events both obscure and important for the month of July.

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Photo by Nick Jio on Unsplash

These notes were assembled by the late Robert Lookup, a very special person whom my wife and I befriended for the last 10 years of his life. Links to important April and May dates can be found at the end of this entertaining collection of baseball trivia.

July 1, 1997
Tiger’s Bobby Higginson homers in first inning against the Mets to become 23rd Major League player since 1900 to homer in four consecutive At Bats over two games.

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Roberto Clemente

(EdNote: I remember listening to a Pittsburgh Pirates game in which Roberto Clemente hit three home runs in his first three at bats, and being bummed with his fourth at bat was a long fly that caromed six inches from the top of the wall and he only got a double. The greatly respected Puerto Rican all star was my favorite player in the second half of the 60s. I wrote him a letter and he replied.)

July 4, 1905
Ossie Schreckengost caught all 29 innings in a Double Header vs. the Red Sox, without shin guards.

July 5, 1993
Ricky Henderson of the A’s opens both games of a Double Header with a Home Run to become the first player to do this in 60 years.

July 8, 1918
Babe Ruth hits a Home Run but loses it to the antiquated rule that an extra inning game can only be won by one run. (Previous to 1920 an extra inning home run was recorded as a single if a man was on base.)

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The great Cy Young, a name familiar to every fan of once was called “America’s Game.” (Public domain)

July 12, 1901
Cy Young of the Red Sox records his 300th win, besting the A’s 5–3. (EdNote: His lifetime win-loss record was 511–315.)

July 13, 1963
Early Wynn records his 300th win, Cleveland besting the A’s 7–4. (EdNote: Early Wynn was the name of one of my teddy bears, named after the Cleveland Indians starting rotation when I was born in September, 1952. The week before, my family went to see him pitch in Cleveland, in hopes that he would achieve this career milestone. I can still remember our box seats just to the right of the Indians dugout and watching him stand on the mound facing the plate.)

July 16, 1920
Babe Ruth hits 30th home run, breaking his record of 29. The Yankees beat the Browns 5–2. Ruth goes on to hit 54 home runs in 1920.

July 17, 1941
Joe DiMaggio’s hitting streak of 56 games is stopped by Al Smith and Jim Bagby of Cleveland, in Cleveland.

July 17, 1990
Twins become the first team in Major League history to pull off two triple plays in one game. The Red Sox still manage a win, 1–0.

July 18, 1970
Willie Mays gets 3000th hit off Montreal Expos’ Mike Wegener to become the first Giant to accomplish this feat. He is still the only Giant in this esteemed club.

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Ty Cobb, The Georgia Peach

July 18, 1987
Don Mattingly ties Dale Long’s 31-year-old Major League record when he homers for the 8th straight game in a 7–2 loss. Ken Griffey Jr would later tie this record in 1993.

July 18, 1918
Frank Baker is last player to lose a home run to the antiquated rule that said extra inning games could only be won by one run. It was labeled a single.

July 19, 1927
Ty Cobb of the Philadelphia A’s doubles for the 4000th hit of his career.

July 20, 1998
Brian Hunter of Detroit goes 0–13 in a 26 inning double header against the Yankees.

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Lefty Grove. Public domain.

July 25, 1941
Lefty Grove wins 300th and last game, beating Cleveland 10–6.

July 30, 1980
Astro pitcher J R Richard has a stroke during a workout at the Astrodome. Doctors removed a blood clot behind his right collarbone.

And finally, a quote by George Will

“Baseball suits the character of this democratic nation. Democracy is government by persuasion. That means it requires patience; that means it involves a lot of compromise. Democracy is the slow politics of the half-loaf. Baseball is the game of the long season where small incremental differences decide who wins and who loses particular games, series, seasons. In baseball, you know going to the ballpark that the chances are you may win, but you also may lose. There’s no certainty, no given. You know when a season starts that the best team is going to get beaten a third of the time; the worst team is going to win a third of the time. The argument, over 162 games, is that middle third. So it’s a game you can’t like if winning is everything. And democracy is that way, too.”

Related Links

Historic Interview with Roberto Clemente
Important Dates in Major League Baseball for the Month of April
Important Dates in Major League Baseball for the Month of May
Important Dates in Major League Baseball for the Month of June

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An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon https://tinyurl.com/y3l9sfpj

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