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 sports, MLB, 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
The tradition that is known as the NFL Draft came into existence in 1936. The first player ever taken in the NFL Draft was Running Back Jay Berwanger. The Philadelphia Eagles drafted Berwanger, unfortunately he would never play a pro football game due to salary disputes with multiple teams
Since then the NFL Draft has involved thousands of players, many of which have gone on to become all time greats. Many more however went on to have careers that would earn them the dubious distinction of being called a “Draft Bust”. The most coveted position for any team is the first overall pick. The team that holds this position is usually in desperate need of a break out rookie that can turn their franchise around. There is only one chance for first overall greatness every year.
There have been only 77 men who can call themselves the first overall pick in the NFL draft. The positions picked the most may not surprise you but the positions that were picked the least might shock you.
The quarterback position has the title of the most popular first overall pick in draft history. Twenty seven QBs have been nabbed by teams with the most coveted draft spot. Ten of those twenty seven became pro bowl players, names like Eli Manning (2004), Peyton Manning (1998), Drew Bledsoe (1993) and Vinny Testaverde (1987) just to name a few. Only Troy Aikman (1989), John Elway (1983) and Terry Bradshaw (1970) had careers so great they were inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Twenty five Running Backs have been picked first overall. Seven of them became Pro Bowlers including Bo Jackson (1986), Billy Sims (1980) and Tucker Frederickson (1965). The Running Backs hold the record of most Hall Of Fame inductees with five. Running Back Bill Dudley (1942) was the first player at any position drafted first overall to become a Hall Of Famer. The most recent Running Back to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame is Earl Campbell (1978) who was drafted by the Houston Oilers.
Defensive End’s have also been a very popular choice with eleven picked first overall. Defensive Ends Mario Williams (2006), Ed “Too Tall” Jones (1974), Dave Parks (1964) and Leon Hart (1950) were all voted to the Pro Bowl. Bruce Smith (1985) and Lee Roy Selmon (1976) were the only Defensive End’s to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame.
Positions that were drafted the least with the top pick are Defensive Tackle (4), Line Backer (3), Offensive Tackle (3), Center (2) and Wide Receiver (2). Eight different positions have all seen the top choice. Wide Receiver, Defensive Tackle and Line Backer are the only positions to never have a first overall player reach the Hall Of Fame.
A few of the players drafted in the last decade will more than likely find a home in the Hall Of Fame. As of now the first overall pick has only been a future Hall Of Famer twelve of the seventy seven times. Who knows, we might see the next great NFL player drafted with the first pick tonight in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1936, 1942, 1950, 1964, 1965, 1970, 1974, 1976, 1978, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1993, 1998, 1st pick, 2004, 2006, 77, best, bill dudley, billy sims, bo jackson, bruce smith, busts, dave parks, defensive, drew bledsoe, eagles, earl campbell, ed too tall jones, eli manning, first, greatest, hall of fame, hall of famer, history, in, Jay Berwanger, john elway, lee roy selmon, leon hart, mario williams, never played, offensive, overall, payton manning, pick, player, QB, quarterback, salary dispute, terry bradshaw, troy aikman, tucker frederickson, vinny testaverde, was, who
The first ever NFL Draft took place in 1936. That draft only consisted of 81 players. Four of those players would become Hall Of Famers. Since then the NFL has developed the draft into a giant event. Another one of the players selected in that draft, Paul “Bear” Bryant would later give up playing football to become a coach. He would become one of the greatest college football coaches ever while at the University of Alabama. There have been many great draft classes in the years since but they all pale in comparison to one in particular.
The 1983 NFL Draft took place on Arpil 26th and 27th of that year in New York City. It included twelves rounds and 335 players were selected. Over 30 of those players selected would go to the Pro Bowl. Eric Dickerson, Jim Kelly, John Elway, Dan Marino, Bruce Matthews, Darrell Green and Richard Dent who were all selected that day would later be inducted into the Hall Of Fame. Other than all of the things I have mentioned the draft is remembered for another reason, the Quarterbacks.
This was the best draft class of quarterbacks in the history of the NFL. It also holds the record for most quarterbacks selected in the first round with six. Three of those six would make it into the Hall Of Fame. The standout quarterbacks of the class were by far John Elway, Jim Kelly and Dan Marino.
John Elway (Getty Images)
John Elway was taken with the first overall pick by the Baltimore Colts. He was eventually traded before the season to Denver due to his unwillingness to play for the Colts head coach Frank Kush. During his career he established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the league. When his career was over he won two Super Bowl Championships and was inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2004.
Jim Kelly (Getty Images)
With the fourteenth overall pick the Buffalo Bills selected Jim Kelly. Kelly played the season prior in the United States Football League after leaving the University Of Miami. Of the quarterbacks drafted that day Kelly made more Super Bowl appearances than any one else. Kelly lead the Buffalo Bills to the Super Bowl from 1990 through 1993. Unfortunately the Bills never won any of those Super Bowls. Nonetheless Kelly proved himself to be a great quarterback and was Inducted to the Hall Of Fame in 2002.
Dan Marino (Getty Images)
The final legendary quarterback taken in this draft was Dan Marino. He was projected to go early in the first round but fell back on a lot of teams boards due to reports of him using marijuana in college. The Miami Dolphins were willing to take a chance on this young man with a powerful arm and selected him with the twenty seventh overall pick. Marino played 17 season but only made one trip to the Super Bowl, the Dolphins lost that game to the San Fransisco 49ers. Marino did however finish career holding almost every quarterback record that existed. He was inducted into the Hall Of Fame in 2005.
An interesting note about this draft is all of the first round quarterbacks went to AFC teams. Also the three half Of Fame quarterbacks all played for only one team during their NFL career.
The Draft is such an intriguing event. Full of Pro Bowlers, Busts and Hall Of Famers. There will probably never be a quarterback class this good again. Some might argue that the 2012 class will stand the test of time but until it does the 1983 Draft will remain the best ever.
Posted in NFL, sports, Sports History
Tagged 1936, 2002, 2004, 2005, alabama, bear, best, bills, Broncos, colts, dan marino, dolphins, draft, drafted, first, first round, greatest, hall of famers, jim kelly, john elway, legends, marijuana, Miami, NFL, paul bryant, picked, pitt, players, pro bowl, quarterback, super bowl, who was the best
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
On Saturday night March 30, 2013 Kobe Bryant moved up on the all time scoring list. Kobe Bryant surpassed NBA Hall Of Famer Wilt Chamberlain to become 4th on the list of the basketball greatest scorers. Bryant scored 19 points in the Lakers victory over the Kings in Sacramento, CA. Bryant now stands at 31,434 points for his career.
He now is behind Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone and Michael Jordan. Jordan is holding the 3rd spot on the list with 32,292. There are only 858 points separating Jordan and Kobe now. Bryant has already scored 1931 points this season. He has scored 2,000 points per season through his career. It is highly likely he will pass Jordan next season and take the 3rd position on the all time scoring list. When he passes Jordan he will elevate his legacy to the highest degree. Jordan is the Babe Ruth of basketball and this feat will cause many to rethink who was greater.
Kobe Bryant (Getty Images)
Kobe Bryant has been a very talented, entertaining and accomplished player during his career. He has had some off court issues and even some locker room drama. However when his career is over, his off court issues will pail in comparison to what he accomplished in the game. Kobe Bryant is a legendary player and we are lucky to be able to see the greatness he produces every night. This will be an exciting year coming up.
Posted in NBA, sports, Sports History
Tagged 19, 2013, 30, 4th, 858, abdul-jabar, all time, all time scoring leader, babe ruth, BASKETBALL, did it happen, hall of fame, history, how many, how many points, karl malone, kins, kobe bryant, lakers, leaders, legend, list, march, michael jordan, more, NBA, night, passed, points, saturday, when, wilt chamberlain, win
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 two 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 site hit it’s year mark this month. I have had a lot of fun covering many different sports topics over the last year. With over 100 articles posted and a few thousand visitors, it has been a fun year! As you may have notice the site’s direction changed in January from general sports coverage to sports history only. I will be keeping you posted on History as it happens and covering the classic moments and accomplishments in sports. Thank you to all of our readers and stay tuned for more classic reading!
Defending 135lb womens champion Ronda Rousey beat Liz Carmouche in the first ever womens bout in the UFC. The victory came in the first round via armbar submission. Which is no surprise because her previous 8 victories were all delivered in the same fashion. There was however a point in the fight that Rousey looked to be in trouble. It came in the first minute of the fight when Carmouche was on Rousey’s back. Carmouche attempted to go for a choke and at one point had Rousey in a neck crank. Rousey stayed patient and was able to get Carmouche off of her and within a matter on minutes had her in an armbar. Carmouche quickly tapped and the fight was over.
Ronda Rousey applies the armbar on Liz Carmouche at UFC 157. (Getty Images)
With this fight history was made as it was not only the first womens fight in the UFC’s 20 year history, it was also the main event. Ronda Rousey will now be known as the first ever UFC womens champion. Rousey has definitely set her self up to become a mega star. Within 2 years she has gone from an unknown fighter fighting on low visibility Strickforce on Showtime events to main eventing in the biggest MMA promotion around. This is largely due to the way she has amassed her now 9 victories. All of her victories have come in the first round with an armbar submission, most of which came within under a minute of the fight. She has established the armbar as her finisher much like a pro wrestler has a signature finishing maneuver. This is a gimmick that could take her very far in the sport and also create a legend about her like Mike Tyson had in the 1980′s with his knockout punches.
Ronda Rousey will more than likely fight again by years end. The UFC does not have the other big name womens MMA fighter Chris Cyborg. Cyborg recently signed with Invicta. The UFC does have a fresh crop of talent to build up for her. Its pretty safe to say that her next fight regardless of the opponent will be a big draw. She has developed into a super star the like of which will overshadow the previous Queen of MMA Gina Carrano. It will be exciting to she where this crazy ride Rousey is on will end up.
Posted in MMA, sports
Tagged 02-23-12, 135 pounds, 157, 2013, 9-0, armbar, battle, champion, championship, chris cyborg, defeat, defending, fighter, finisher, first ever, first round victory, history making, invicta, judo, legend, level, liz carmouche, made, main event, Mike Tyson, myth, opponent, pro wrestling, ronda rousey, saturday night, strikeforce, submission, super star, talent, top, ufc, via, who did she fight, who won, win, womens fight