The game of baseball is the only professional American sport without a clock to time the play. In the vast history of baseball many games have gone on for hours while some have been completed in less than an hour. One game holds the Major League record for most innings played.
The game took place on May 1st, 1920 in Boston at Braves Field. The teams that day were the Brooklyn Robins (Later known as the Dodgers) and the Boston Braves. This record setting game consisted of 26 innings and ended in a tying score of 1-1. The game was called due to darkness. The starting pitchers were Leon Cadore for the Robins and Joe Oeschger for the Braves. Both pitchers played the entire game which by today’s standards is a heroic feat.
While the it hold the record for the most innings it does not hold the record for actual time. The game was called at 4 hours and 50 minutes after the first pitch. In the history of the Major Leagues games have gone past 22 innings less than ten times. The most recent of those was in 1989. It is safe to say that this game has stood the test of time and will continue to hold this amazing record for many decades to come.
Posted in MLB, sports
Tagged 1920, 26, boston, boston braves, braves field, brooklyn robins, called, complete, dodgers, due to darkness, ever, full, game, innings, joe oeschger, leon cadore, longest, major leagues, may 1st, mln, pitched, when was the longest game, who played
Alex Rodriguez in 1993. (Getty Images)
On this day in 1993 one of the biggest baseball stars of the 1990′s and 2000′s was drafted in the MLB Draft. The Seattle Mariners used their #1 overall pick in 1993 to draft Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez was drafted after his senior year of high school where he played at Westminster Christian High School. He was a highly touted player during high school, hitting .419 over 100 games. He would go on to be the highest paid baseball player at the time when he signed a 10 year $252 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2000. Rodriguez also became the youngest player to reach 500 career home runs at age 32.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged $, 1993, 252 million, 500th, a-rod, alex, draft, first overall, home run, mlb draft, rodriguez, seattle mariners, texas rangers. deal, Westminster Christian High School, what year
When you think of all time greats in baseball, names like Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Lou Gehrig and Reggie Jackson are a few of the players that might pop into your head. When you think of Major League Baseball record holders you might think of Nolan Ryan, Cal Ripken Jr and Barry Bonds. Fernando Tatis would be the last player you would think of being one of the greats of the game or even holding a MLB record. While he is not a legendary player he does hold a pretty incredible record.
Fernando Tatis rounding the bases. (Getty Images)
Only thirteen players in the history of MLB have hit two grand slams in the same game. Fernando Tatis is one of those players to accomplish this amazing feat, but he did it better than the twelve other players. On April 23, 1999 Tatis, playing for the St Loius Cardinals took to the plate in the third inning of their game against the Los Angeles Dogders. Chan Ho Park was the pitcher on the mound for the Dodgers. Tatis hit not one but two grand slams, all of them in the third inning against Park. The Cardinals defeated the Dodgers by a score of 12-5 that day.
Fernando Tatis retired from baseball after the 2010 season. He had a career batting average of .265 with 113 home runs and 448 RBIs. While not a impressive career numbers, Tatis holds a very rare and difficult record. Many look to records like Cal Ripken Jr’s consecutive game record and Nolan Ryan’s career no hitter’s as unbreakable records. This record is right up their with those as records that might stand forever. The proof is in the amount of player that have hit two grand slams in one game with only thirteen. Then take a look at how many did that in one inning, only one.
While Fernando Tatis was a very forgettable player that had a forgettable career, no one can take away this accomplishment. So when you think of incredible records think of Tatis in that one game back in April of 1999.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 12-5, 1999, 2 grand slams, 23rd, 3rd, all time, April, babe ruth, batter, career, chan ho park, diffucult, dodgers, fernando tatis, forgettable, hank aaron, home run, home runs, in one game, in one inning, inning, los angeles, made, make, making, pitcher, player, rare, record, records, score, st louis cardinals, third inning, unbreakable
Ron Blomberg (Getty Images)
He may not be a household name but he has become a great trivia fact. On April 6th, 1973 New York Yankee Ron Blomberg became the first Designated Hitter (DH) in baseball history. This first came in game against the rival Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Blomberg was walked in his first home plate appearance against pitcher Luis Tiant. Blomberg finished the season with a .321 batting average in 301 plate appearances. His career ended with the Whit Sox after the 1978 season.
To this day the DH remains exclusive to the American League. The DH position has caused mush controversy and excitement over the years. Many have debated through the years that the DH position hurts the game. Most feel that in the game of baseball the pitcher should be in the hitting lineup. The DH has been criticized for taking away from baseball’s tradition. 40 years later I think it is safe to say that it has become apart of the tradition, at least in the American League.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1978, 40 years, 6ht 1973, american league, April, baseball, boston, designated hitter, dh, fact, fenway park, first, history, luis tiant, new york, on this day, red sox, retired, ron blomberg, trivia, when was, white sox, who was, yankees
Many know that Hank Aaron was the first player to tie and break Babe Ruth’s all time home run record. However most don’t know that the historic tying home run came on Opening Day. On April 4th, 1974 the Hank Arron and Atlanta Braves played the Reds in Cincinnati, Oh. It was in that game that Aaron hit his 714th career home run. The historic home run came in Hank Aaron’s first at bat of the 1974 season. Jack Billingham was the pitcher that gave up the home run.
Hank Aaron being congratulated after home run 714. (Getty Images)
There was no better place for this incredible moment to happen in Cincinnati. The city is home to the first ever professional baseball team, the Reds. Everyday until 1990 the Reds had thrown the first pitch in every baseball season. Opening Day is even an official holiday in the city, complete with a parade.
That great Opening day moment almost never happened. Prior to the season opener the Braves management was worried that Aaron would not only tie but break the record in Cincinnati. They were so concerned that he was going to sit out the first series of the season until the team returned to Atlanta. The Braves were forced to play Aaron in at least two games of the three game series.
Hank Aaron would not hit another home run until April 8th, 1974 in Atlanta. That home run would be his 715th and broke Ruth’s all time record. Aaron retired after the 1976 season with the Brewers. When his career was over Aaron had 755 career home runs.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1974, 1990, 2007, 4th, 714, 715, 755, all time, April, atlanta, babe ruth, baseball, braves, cincinnati reds, first at bat, first proffesional team, forced, hank aaron, home run, home runs, jack billingham, leader, managemant, opening day, parade, record, season, sit out, to play
Mike Pizza began his career with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a long shot. The Dodgers drafted him with the 1,390th pick in the 1988 draft. He was truly a diamond in the rough. By 1992 he made his Major League debut. He was named the 1993 rookie of the year. When his career ended in 2007 he had a lifetime batting average of .308, hit 427 home runs and batted in 1,335 runs. A 12 time All Star, Mike Piazza was one of the most popular and talented catchers of the 1990s. One part of his career many people over look or don’t even know about is his time with the Florida Marlins.
On May 15th, 1998 after playing 6 seasons with the Dodgers he was included in a blockbuster trade to the Marlins. The Marlins still trying to dump player from their World Series team traded 5 players including Gary Sheffield and Bobby Bonilla for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile. The deal was a strange one that no one saw coming. Many were excited to see Piazza play for the Marlins. His addition gave the fans of Florida a chance for hope after almost all of their players had been sent packing in the infamous 1997 fire sale.
Mike Piazza as a Florida Marlin (Getty Images)
Mike Piazza’s Marlins career would be short lived. Piazza was traded 8 days later to the New York Mets after just 5 games with the Fish. During this stint Piazza batted .278, scored 1 run, batted in 5 runs and even landed a triple. Sure it was not the most exciting run but that only because it was so short lived. While it is just a small part of his baseball career it will remain an unusual situation and always be a cool trivial fact you can stump your friends with.
Posted in MLB, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1988 draft, 5 games, 8 days, batting average, bobby bonilla, catcher, dodgers, fire sale, Florida, gary sheffield, marlins, met, mets, mike piazza, MLB, todd zeile, trade
In November of 1993 just shortly after the murder of his father, Michael Jordan retired from basketball. Jordan had revolutionized basketball with his high skill set and magnetic charisma. He had already cemented his position in the Hall Of Fame and was arguably the most popular athlete in the history of America. After nine seasons in the NBA and three straight NBA titles it was all over.
As 1994 began Michael Jordan soon announced that he would try his hand at professional baseball. Mostly because it was the one sport his father wanted to see him succeed at when he was growing up. It would be a tribute to his father he said. The owner of the Chicago Bulls was Jerry Reinsdorf and he also happened to own the Chicago White Sox. Reinsdorf being the smart and adventurous business man he was knew that Michael Jordan would be a huge money draw in baseball. He agreed to sign Jordan to a minor league contract and pay him the same amount that he was contracted to receive with his Bulls contract. It was a done deal and the media and fans clamored to see Jordan make his debut in baseball.
Michael Jordan the “baseball player” (Getty Images)
As spring training began for the White Sox in Sarasota, Florida the Michael Jordan circus began. The media was always around and were focused solely on Jordan. They followed his batting practices, fielding practices and watched his every move. The fans also swarmed him every chance they could get, hoping they could snag an autograph of one of the greatest basketball players ever. The attendance for White Sox games that spring shot through the roof and many fans were unable to even get a ticket to the spring games. Michael Jordan played his first official spring training game on March 3, 1994 as an outfielder. He would play 17 games that spring and on March 31, 1994 was optioned to the White Sox minor league affiliate the Birmingham Barons.
The city of Birmingham was set on fire by the Michael Jordan experience. They sold out more games than they had ever before and had major media at almost every game. It was a treat for the fans of the Barons to get to see such a great athlete trying to make it in a sport he had not played since high school. Jordan had an average season with many ups and downs. He batted .202, hit 3 home runs and batted in 51 runs. Jordan played 127 games in that season and struck out 114 times. He definitely had a rough time but did make improvements by the end of the season.
Jordan being Jordan wanted to work more on his baseball skills and decided to play in the Arizona Fall League following his first minor league season. In that short season for the Scottsdale Scorpions Jordan batted a .252. While not great by professional baseball standards he did improve even more in the fall league and was poised to continue his development in 1995.
Unfortunately Major League Baseball was still dealing with the 1994 players strike when the 1995 Spring Training season was to begin. As the battle between the owners and the players union intensified the lines were being drawn. The players were deciding whether to sit out until a deal could be arranged or to play anyways. Jordan reported to camp in Florida initially in February of 1995. He would end up deciding in March not to be involved in the drama and chose to sit out while the strike continued.
It was during this time in mid march of 1995 Jordan attended a Chicago Bulls game. just two weeks later he was on the court playing basketball again. Many fans where excited to have his talents back in basketball and did not care that he quite his baseball career. Jordan would go onto win three more NBA Titles and retired from basketball for good after the 2002-03 season.
Because his basketball career picked up right where it left off in 1993 not many questioned the decision. It makes one wonder almost 20 years later what would have been if not for the baseball players strike of 1994. Would Michael Jordan continued until he was either cut or made it to the Major Leagues? That is hard to say but it was clear he was on the right track to eventually play at the Major League level. He was only 32 when he went back to basketball and had time to develop into an even better baseball player.
We will never know where baseball could have taken Michael Jordan. We wont ever know where Jordan could have taken baseball had he stayed. The popularity of baseball would have likely increased after the horrible strike and maybe Jordan could have been the face of baseball. All we can do now is imagine what could have been but it is clear to see that the baseball strike deterred Jordan from continuing his baseball dream.
Posted in MLB, NBA, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1994, 1995, arizona, barons, baseball, batting average, birmingham, chicago bulls, fall league, games, hall of fame, march 3, march 31, michael jordan, NBA, outfielder, owners, players strike, retired, retirement, return tobasketball, sarasot florida, spring training, strike, title, titles, white sox
The State of Florida has been the home of Spring Training since the early part of the 1900s. Up until 1993 Florida never had a professional baseball team to call their own. The Florida Marlins who were based in the Miami area were the first. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays were soon to follow in 1998. But Florida has a deep history of pursuing Major League Baseball before they received their teams in the 1990s.
It started in 1983 in the Tampa Bay area when local city officials considered building a baseball stadium to house a pro team. Construction began in 1986 on what is now known as Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg. It was completed in 1990. At the time there were no expansion franchises being granted for any city. So they sought a team the best way they could, trying to lure a team from their current city.
Tropicana Filed, The stadium that would bring baseball to the Tampa Bay area. (Getty Images)
The Chicago White Sox were the first team that Tampa pursued. In 1989 The White Sox were not happy in the old Comiskey Park and wanted a new stadium. They flirted with Tampa for a while before ultimately getting their new stadium and staying in Chicago.
The next team that was rumored was the Seattle Mariners. The talks did not go very far and the Mariners remained in Washington.
Tampa had their hearts broken in 1991 when they were denied an expansion franchise. The Miami area won out instead of Tampa and the Florida Marlins came into existence. The Marlins played the first ever regular season game in Florida in April of 1993.
The closest that Tampa ever came to stealing a team away from a city was in 1993. The San Francisco Giants owners were looking to sell and a group of investors from Tampa were looking to buy them. The deal was almost done. The local baseball fans were already celebrating and then the bad news came. The sale was vetoed by the National League Owners. The Giants remained in San Francisco and Tampa was still without a team.
That was until in 1995 when they were granted an expansion franchise. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays played their first regular season game in 1998.
The past does make one wonder how different things would be if the White Sox, Mariners or Giants would have relocated to Tampa. If the White Sox or Mariners would have moved would there have been a team in Miami in 1993? Probably not, there more than likely would have been years later though. The Giants move would have been interesting. The city of San Francisco would probably have a different team right now. There is no way that City would be without a team for too long, not with their tradition and history.
It’s really incredible how things turned out for Tampa. They took a huge risk by building a stadium without having a team for it. For many years they looked like failures. Many in the city thought they would never have a team to call their own. But Tampa proved to be very persistent and got what they wanted in the end.
Posted in MLB, Sports History
Tagged 1983, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1998, almost, April, baseball, Chicago, city, comiskey park, debut, devil rays, did they, first team, Florida, franchise, giants, inagural, mariners, marlins, MLB, move, moved, of, old stadium, opening day, pro, professional, rays, run down, san francisco, seattle, sports, stadium, tampa, tampa bay, tropicana field, white sox
In 1957, ten years after the Brooklyn Dodgers helped Jackie Robinson break the color barrier in the Major Leagues, they had their 67th and final season in New York. The Dodgers, just two years removed from their first World Series Championship, were seeking another title. Meanwhile, their team President, Walter O’Malley, was seeking a new stadium in the same borough the team had occupied since the last part of the 19th Century.
Ebbets Filed in Brooklyn, NY (Getty Images)
The once great Ebbets Field, which the team had called home since 1913, was not a suitable ballpark anymore. The stadium did not have enough seating to produce the amount of revenue a Major League team needed. There was also little to no vehicle parking around the stadium. This frustrated O’Malley, who was seeking a new privately funded stadium in the Atlantic Yards section of Brooklyn. This plan was shot down by New York City Building Commissioner Robert Moses. Instead, Moses proposed a new stadium in Flushing Meadows, which is in the borough of Queens. That site would later be home to Shea Stadium and currently, Citi Field. O’Malley refused the offer from Moses and sought another location for his team.
Former Dodgers President Walter O’Malley. (Getty Images)
While O’Malley was battling Moses over stadium plans, the season continued. The Dodgers finished their final season with a respectable record of 84 wins and 70 losses. The team finished in third place in the National League and missed the playoffs by three games. Centerfielder Duke Snider was the bright spot for the Dodgers in the 1957 season. Snider batted .274 with 40 home runs and 92 RBIs. He also hit his 300th career home run on July 20th.
While the city of New York was not willing to accommodate the Dodgers, the city of Los Angeles was more than willing to be their new home. Los Angeles was offering O’Malley everything he wanted, a new Stadium with ample seating and more parking space than the Dodgers would ever need. The most important part of the offer was a city with leaders who were willing to work with the franchise to make them happy. Before the season was complete, it was official; the Dodgers were moving to California.
The Dodgers won their final game at Ebbets Field on September 24th. The Dodgers had many seasons where they did not enter the postseason. This season was different, and the fans could no longer look forward to next season. It was over and the city’s beloved team in blue was history. The loss of the Dodgers crushed Brooklyn’s heart when they left for Los Angeles and the city has never been the same since.
Brooklyn baseball fans vilified O’Malley for moving the team. Many of those fans did not know the politics of the move. Many years later, it became more clear that the city of New York did not help O’Malley keep the team in Brooklyn. O’Malley tried his hardest but it just was not enough, and he had to do what was best for the franchise. It has been 65 years since the Dodgers called Brooklyn home, but all of the old fans that grew up with them still consider the Dodgers their home team.
Posted in MLB, sports
Tagged 1913, 1957, american, atlantic parks, ballpark, baseball, battle, brooklyn, building commisioner, citi field, city, dodgers, duke snider, ebbets field, final, first season, flushing meadows, fund, funded, great, history, jackie robinson, last, leagues, los angeles, major league, manager, mayor, money, national league, new york city, privately, robert moses, season, section, shea stadium, stadium, tax payers, team, teams, walter o'malley