Tag Archives: home run

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.

 

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On This Day In 1993: Alex Rodriguez Was The #1 Draft Pick

Alex Rodriguez in 1993. (Getty Images)

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.

Fernando Tatis And His History Making Inning

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)

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.

Hank Aaron Tied Babe Ruth’s Home Run Record On Opening Day 1974

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 on home run 714. (Getty Images)

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.

Babe Ruth: Hall Of Fame Pitcher?

Babe Ruth is by far the greatest Icon in American sports history.  Some would even argue he is the greatest American Icon period.  Everyone from Grandma to your 5 year old niece or nephew knows who Babe Ruth was.  Most people associate Ruth with his legendary slugging days with the New York Yankees.  Ruth even held the Home Run record in Major League Baseball until Hank Aaron broke that record in the 1970’s.  What many people don’t know is that Ruth had a history before the all of those home runs and before the Yankees.

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth while he was with the Boston Red. Getty Images

Babe Ruth made his Major League debut on July 11th, 1914 for the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth won that game; it was the beginning of Ruth’s pitching career.  His pitching career spanned from 1914-1919, all of those seasons with the Boston Red Sox.  Ruth did however pitch 5 games with the Yankees years later and won all 5.  He made the starting rotation for the Sox in 1915 and won 18 games in his first full season.   Ruth started batting in the lineup when not pitching halfway through his time with the Sox.  He had signs of being a great offensive player but was still used primarily as a pitcher.
He went on to have a very respectable pitching career.  He helped pitch the Red Sox to 3 World Series Championships in just 6 seasons.  When Ruth retired he had 94 career wins and a career ERA of 2.28 with 488 strikeouts.  Babe Ruth would be sold to the Yankees in a deal that changed the face of American Sports history.
The Yankees played Babe Ruth in the Outfield and all but ended his pitching career.  There are many people who feel that Ruth could have gone into the Hall Of Fame based on his pitching stats alone.  There is no arguing that Ruth was a great pitcher, but his time in that position pales in comparison to his slugging years.
It really makes you wonder how American Sports would be different if Babe Ruth had not gone to the Yankees and become a baseball hero.  The fact of the matter is as big of an icon Ruth became there would have been no way he would have become so without his years with the Yankees.  The Yankees gave him a grand stage and opportunity to become the Icon he became.  They also surrounded him with other legendary players.

It should not be forgotten just how great Babe Ruth was as an all around baseball player.  While not the most athletic player to grace a baseball field, he was by far the most dynamic.  Ruth was and forever will be America’s first sports legend.

“Get Smart” Trivial Sports Facts #1 (Baseball)

Everyone who is a sports fan wants to appear smarter and more knowledgeable than anyone else.  Sports provide so many historical moments and stats.  I will bring you closer to the high level of sports learning you seek.  I will do all of the hard research so you  can become the ultimate sports fan. Each edition will be on one particular sport.   You may know some of the events but I will open your eyes to something about them you may not yet know.   I bring to you the 1st edition of “Get Smart”  So let’s get started.

Joe Dimaggio’s 56 Game Hit Streak

In 1941 Joe Dimaggio had  56 straight games with a hit.  This record still stands in 2012 and is widely considered the most elusive of all sports records.  The final and 56th game of the streak occurred on July 16th against the Indians at Cleveland’s famed Municipal Stadium.  The pitchers in that game were Al Milnar and Joe Krakauskas, Dimaggio went 2 for 4 and scored 3 runs.  The great streak came to an end one day later July 17 in a game also against the Indians.

Joe Jackson And The Throwing Of The 1919 World Series

In 1919 one of the worst happenings in the history of Baseball occurred.  The heavily favored Chicago White Sox threw the World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.  The truth came out two years later that some of the White Sox players were involved with gamblers and payed off to lose.  In 1921 eight players from the White Sox were found guilty of intentionally losing the series and banned from baseball for life.  The most notable of those player was the sure Hall Of Fame candidate “Shoeless” Joe Jackson.  Jackson is considered one of the best short stops to ever have played the game.  The puzzling fact of Joe Jackson’s involvement in the throwing of the Series are his stats.  The stats Jackson had in that series do not look like that of a man that was intending to lose.  Jackson batted .375, had 5 runs scored, hit a home run and batted in 6 runs.  Jackson played no different than he usually did at the plate and made no critical fielding errors.  It has been said that he was aware that the games where fixed but did not actively participate in the plan. We will truly never know if he was involved but if you judge it by the numbers the answer looks like he was not.

The Beginning Of The MLB Draft

The amateur draft has a history of good picks by teams but it has a even greater history of players not panning out.   It is the least popular of the drafts amongst casual sports fans.  The die hard baseball fans look forward to it every June.   The first ever MLB amateur draft took place in 1965.  The first team to pick was the Kansas City Royals, who selected outfielder Rick Monday from Arizona State University.  Monday went on to play 19 seasons and retired in 1984 with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Monday had a career batting average of .264, 271 Home Runs and 775 RBI’s.  He was also a World Series Champion with the Dodgers in 1981.  After his playing career ended he moved on to Broadcasting.

Bryce Harper Headed to The All Star Game

The rookie phenom that is 19 year old Bryce Harper will continue his whirl wind season by going to the All Star Game.  Harper was not originally slated to attend the game which takes place this week in Kansas City.  Harper will be taking the spot of injured Marlins star Giancarlo Stanton.  Harper will be the 3rd youngest player to play in the MLB All Star Game.  While Harper will be playing off of the bench the eyes of all of the fans will be on him for sure.

Harper has had a solid start to his MLB career since his debut in April.  He is an excellent outfielder fielder with a rocket arm.  His offensive play has been very good for his experience level.  Harper has a batting average of .283, hit 8 home runs and had 25 RBI’s and scored 43 runs in just 62 games for the 1st place Washington Nationals.

Harper going deep at Fenway Park earlier this season.
(Getty Images)

Harper came in with a lot of hype and has been living up to it.  He has displayed a maturity on and off the field, the later many thought he would be able to do.  He has shown a lot of personality and has a charisma that a lot of players don’t have.  He has created great moments already in his young career, like when he hit a home run in the historic Fenway Park during his first game on that field.  He is in the right spot now to really display his skills in front of a national audience.  Harper is a strong contender for Rookie of the Year in the National League.

Harper will probably get at least 1 at bat and play 2 innings or so.  Many players have created unforgettable moments in All Star Games.  I have a feeling Bryce Harper will have a chance to make one of those moments.  When he gets he will more than likely take advantage of it.  If Harper continues to play the way he has been and develop into the player that he has been billed to be than this is just the beginning.