On This Day In 1983: The George Brett Pine Tar Incident

Exactly thirty-one years ago today one of the most infamous incidents of modern baseball history occurred.  The game involved the visiting Kansas City Royals taking on the New York Yankees.  The Yankees were leading the game 4-3 with 2 outs in the top half of the 9th inning.  George Brett was at bat and hit an incredible 2-run home run off of Yankees pitcher Rich “Goose” Gossage.  The Royals were suddenly in the lead by one run.

That is until the Yankees manager Billy Martin left the dugout to speak with home plate umpire Tim McClelland.  Martin explained to McClelland that Brett’s bat had pine tar exceeding the normal length allowed on the bat.  This pine tar place on the upper part of the barrel of the bat would make the bat easier to hit the ball solidly off the bat.  McClelland then measured the bat’s pine tar (which was allowed to be more 18 inches up the bat) with the home plate.  The pine tar was over that length,  McClelland immediately over ruled the play and called brett’s at bat as an out.

George Brett protesting the pine tar call after his 2-run home run was ruled an out.  (Getty Images)

George Brett protesting the pine tar call after his 2-run home run was ruled an out. (Getty Images)

George Brett then stormed toward home plate to confront Tim McClelland.  Brett was restrained by his team mates and was brought back into the dugout.  Due to the umpires call the game was now over.  The Yankees were recorded as the winners of the game by a score of 4-3.  The call was later over ruled and a few weeks later the game was restarted after Brett’s at bat with his 2-run home run counting.  The Royals won that game 5-4.

This is a moment that will live forever in baseball history.  It is also George Brett’s most memorable moment in his Hall Of Fame career.

 

On This Day in 1910: Cy Young Won His 500th Game

On this day 104 years ago one of the greatest pitchers of all time won his 500th career game.   Cy Young was in the twilight of his career and playing for Cleveland Indians.  The Indians were in Washington to play the Senators at American League Park II.  The Indians won the  game by a score of 5-4 thus giving Young this milestone victory.

Young would retire after the 1911 season with a career record of 511-316.  Young’s 511 career wins remains the all time record for wins by a pitcher.  In 1956 a year after his death, the Cy Young Award was created.  The Award is given to the best pitcher in the National and American leagues at the end of every season.

Historic Rookies: Gale Sayers In 1965

With the 4th overall pick in the 1965 NFL Draft the Chicago Bears selected running back Gale Sayers from the University of Kansas. Sayers had been a two time All American and was highly touted coming out of college. The Bears were in need of a solid running back following the 1964 season in which the teams leading rusher was Jon Arnett who finished the season with 400 yards on the ground. Ronnie Bull was the second rusher in terms of yards with 320. Sayers would come in and rush for more yard than both backs combined.

40-gale-sayers

Gale Sayers was a very influential running back that changed how the game was played from the back field. Sayers was an explosive rusher with the ability to stop, move and go at practically any given moment. Sayers would also become one of the best kick returners the game had seen up to that point.

Gale Sayers had a phenomenal debut season in 1965. On the ground Sayers was practically unstoppable with 867 yards, 14 touchdowns. Sayers also gained 507 yards receiving and scored 6 touchdowns. Lastly Sayers returned 16 kicks for a total of 898 yards and 2 touchdowns on kickoffs and punt returns combined. Despite the incredible season Sayers had he could only help the Bears so much. The Bears finished that season with a record of 9-5 and placed 3rd in the NFL Western Conference.

Gale Sayers was named the NFL Rookie of the at the end of the 1965 season. That season he set the record for the most touchdowns scored by a rookie with 22, a record that still stands today, almost five decades later. Sayers would only play seven total seasons before retiring after the 1971 season. He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall Of Fame in 1977.

History Now: Lebron James Is Returning To Cleveland

In July of 2010 Lebron James was live on ESPN and sports fans all over the world were watching to see where he would go as a free agent. Many consider that moment one of James’ worst since bursting onto the national sports scene in 2002 while he was still in High School. With the words “I have decided to take my talents to South Beach” James ripped the hearts out of the already heart broken Cleveland sports fans bodies. The fans of Cleveland loudly voiced their disapproval and ran to the streets to burn James jerseys and shout their hate for their once beloved star.

Lebron James wearing the jersey we will see him in again when the 2014-15 NBA season begins. (Getty Images)

Lebron James wearing the jersey we will see him in again when the 2014-15 NBA season begins. (Getty Images)

Fast forward four years to today and a lot has changed for Lebron James. James never won an NBA Title in Cleveland during the seven seasons he played there. However James was in the NBA Finals over the past four seasons and won two titles with the Miami Heat. James had accomplished his dream of winning an NBA Championship and seems to rest easier with his accomplishment than he did as a player still seeking a title four years ago.

There was much speculation as to where Lebron James would go after he declined the final two years of his Miami Heat contract to pursue free agency. He spent the last ten days of his free agency period to make everyone wait and see where he would end up. On July 11th, 2014 around 1pm EST its was announced through a press release from James that he would be returning to back home to Cleveland. The fans of Cleveland have largely forgiven James for what happened that summer in 2010 and just wanted him back. Cleveland got their wish and their Ohio son back today.

While the city of Miami was reaping the benefits of having Lebron James for the past four seasons the Cleveland Cavilers have struggled to say the least. With multiple number one picks in the NBA Draft the team never recovered after James departed but do have the pieces in place for James to excel with. Much talk will swirl over the next four months before the season begins about whether James made the right choice but one thine is certain, Lebron James makes the Cavs an instant contender.

On This Day In 1993: The Chicago Bulls Won 3rd Straight Title

Twenty One years ago today the visiting Chicago Bulls defeated the Phoenix Suns in game 6 of the NBA Finals to win the series.  The Bulls won by a score of 99-98.    Michael Jordan was the leading scorer in the game with 33 points.  This was the Bulls 3rd consecutive NBA Championship.  This victory further increased Michael Jordan’s legacy as the greatest basketball player ever.  Jordan would later retire in October of 1993.  He would however come back in 1995 to win 3 more NBA Titles.

Michael Jordan: The Flu Game

In 1997 Michael Jordan had already amassed a career of incredible highlights and amazing records.  He had won 4 NBA titles, awarded as the NBA’s MVP 4 times and named the NBA Finals MVP 4 times.  His legacy was already set to be considered one of the greatest basketball players of all times.  Up to that point he had many memorable moments.  The most notable was the game against the Cavaliers in the NBA Playoffs were he made “The Shot” in 1989.  One of the last memorable moments and possibly the biggest of his career came in the 1997 NBA Finals.

On June 11, 1997 the Chicago Bulls took on the Utah Jazz in Salt Lake City, Utah.  It was Game 5 of the NBA Finals and the series was tied at 2-2.  The day before the game Michael Jordan became severely ill.  Jordan had a fever and was not able to keep any food down.  He was found in the fetal position by his trainer and was very fatigued.  Many who were close to the situation believed there was no way he would play the next day.

Michael Jordan during "The Flu Game"  (Gety Images"

Michael Jordan during “The Flu Game” (Gety Images”

When the game started Michael Jordan was visibly weak and pale in color.  The Bulls fell to an early 16-point deficit in the second quarter and with Jordan not feeling well were in a hole.  At halftime the score was 53-49 in favor of the Jazz. The third quarter found Jordan on the bench trying to rest and looking in even worse shape than he had at the beginning of the game.  When the fourth quarter began Jordan was back in the game and scored 15 of the Bulls 23 points in the final quarter of the game. The most dramatic plays of the game came in the final minute.  Jordan was able to make a 3-pointer to give the Bulls a 88-85 lead with just 25 seconds remaining in the game.  The next play was a dunk by Greg Ostertag of the Jazz which took the Bulls lead to only one point.  The Bulls were able to raise the score again with a dunk by Luc Longley.  With just a few seconds remaining and the Jazz down by 3 points John Stockton was fouled and was now at the free throw line.  He needed to make both free throws for the Jazz to be able to stay in the game.  When he missed the first free throw the game was sealed.  The Bulls had over come this daunting game and won by a score of 90-88.  Michael Jordan then collapsed into Scottie Pippen’s arms, this image would forever be considered the trademark picture for this game.  Jordan finished the game with 39 points, 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

Scottie Pippen holding a weak Michael Jordan in the final seconds of "The Flu Game"  (Getty Images)

Scottie Pippen holding a weak Michael Jordan in the final seconds of “The Flu Game” (Getty Images)

The Bulls would go on to win Game 6 and their 5th NBA Title. It has been reported in later years that he did not have the flu but instead had food poisoning.  Regardless of that fact this game was an incredible show of strength and determination for Michael Jordan.  Jordan will be remembered long after his days on this earth and this game will be considered one of his best for all future generations who will read about him.

The 1990 MLB Season: The Year Of The No-Hitter

When the 1990 Major League Baseball Season started there had been 217 total No-Hitters in the long history of baseball.  Many seasons have had their share of No-Hitters but the oncoming season would be the best for this difficult feat.  In the 1990 season a record seven No-Hitters would occur.  No other season since has been able to break this incredible record.  Let’s visit the 1990 season and it record breaking games.

April 11, 1990-

Mark Langston (7 Innings) – California Angels

Mike Witt (2 Innings) – California Angels

California Angels pitchers Mark Langston and Mike Witt combined for the No-Hitter in nine total innings.  Langston pitched seven innings while Witt pitched the final two innings of the game and recorded the save.  This was the second No Hitter of Witt’s career and Langston’s first and only in his career.

June 2, 1990-

Randy Johnson – Seattle Mariners

For the second time in the 1990 season the Mariners were involved in a No-Hitter on June 2nd.  This time they were on the better end of the of the box score.  Randy Johnson achieved his first career No-Hitter and grabbed his second win of the season in the 2-0 victory over the visiting Detroit Tigers.

June 11, 1990-

Nolan Ryan – Texas Rangers

One of the all time greatest pitchers and the career leader in No-Hitters, Nolan Ryan notched his sixth career “No-No” in the 1990 season.  In that game Ryan was given a good amount of help by his offense in the 5-0 victory in which his Texas Rangers visited the Oakland A’s.  Ryan would go on to throw one more No-Hitter in 1991 in his final Major League season in 1991 cementing his legacy as of the best pitchers in the history of baseball.

June 29, 1990-

Dave Stewart – Oakland A’s

Nineteen days after falling victim to Nolan Ryans sixth career no hitter the Oakland A’s were able to feel the joy of this great pitching feat themselves.  Dave Stewart pitched the A’s to a 5-0 No-Hit win against the Blue Jays in Toronto, Canada.  This was the first of two No-Hit games on the 29th of June in 1990.

June 29, 1990-

Fernando Valenzuela – Los Angeles Dodgers

Less than a decade removed from “Fernando Mania” the city of Los Angeles got to revel in the greatness that this pudgy pitcher from Mexico was able to provide on June 29, 1990.  Fernando Valenzuela was the second pitcher to record a No-Hitter on that day, it was the only one of his career.  Fernando was able to pitch his Dodgers to the 6-0 No-Hit victory against the St. Louis Cardinals in L.A.  It would be the last great moment of Fernando Valenzuela’s career.

August 15, 1990-

Terry Mulholland – Philadelphia Philles

Terry Mulholland became the victor in the sixth No-Hitter of the 1990 season on Agust 15th,  His Phillies defeated the visiting San Francisco Giants by a score of 6-0.

Most baseball fans could not believe that they had witnessed so many No-Hit performances in one season.  The seson was not yet finish and niether was this history making season.

September 2, 1990-

Dave Stieb –  Toronto Blue Jays

Dave Stieb finished off this history making season with its seventh and final No-Hitter.  Stieb’s Blue Jays defeated the Indians in Cleveland, OH by a score of 3-0.  The Blue Jays became the third team that season to fall to a No-Hitter only to return later that season with a No-Hit performance of their own.