Terra’s Take: This Week in Baseball History, All-Star Edition (July 6th to July 12th)
Baseball is America’s pastime and with that, a rich history full of record breaking performances and appearances. The first week in July often served as the week where the All-Star game happened, so a lot of the facts this week involve the Midsummer Classic. These are some of the intriguing facts you may not have known;
– A big day in All-Star game history. In 1933, the first ever All-Star game is held at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. In this game, Babe Ruth hits a two-run homer to help the American League win 4-2. In 1983, on the 50th anniversary of the first All-Star game also at Comiskey Park, Fred Lynn hits the first ever grand slam in an All-Star game. Finally, Bryce Harper becomes the youngest player voted to start the All-Star game when the 20 year old edges out Atlanta’s Justin Upton in 2013.
– (1923) The Indians become the first American League team to score in every inning when they beat the Red Sox 27-3. 16 runs come off of pitcher Lefty O’Doul, who after this season stops pitching and becomes a successful outfielder. He would end his career with a .349 Average, two time batting champion and helped the New York Giants win the World Series in 1933.
– (2007) Seattle Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki hits the first ever inside the park home run in an All-Star game. Due to the unusual dimensions, the ball takes a crazy bounce off of the right-center field wall and gets by Ken Griffey Jr. Ichiro would be named MVP of the game.
– (1941) In his second out of seventeen All-Star appearances, Ted Williams hits the first walk-off home run in All-Star game history. After an RBI double in the fourth inning Williams launched the three run home run off of Cubs pitcher Claude Passeau. The Hall of Fame outfielder would go on record saying that that hit was “the most thrilling hit of my life”.
– (2000) The Toronto Blue Jays set a major league record by having four players hit 20 HR before the All-Star Break. Jose Cruz Jr. hits his 20th of the year against the Montreal Expos and joins teammates Tony Bautista, Carlos Delgado and Raul Mondesi.
– (1956) The BBWAA votes to establish the Cy Young award to recognize the league’s best pitcher. The vote narrowly passes by a total of 14-12. Commissioner Ford Frick initiated the idea because he felt that pitchers weren’t getting any respect when it came to MVP voting. Ironically, the first Cy Young winner, Don Newcombe, also won the MVP that year.
– (2002) In Milwaukee, the 73rd All-Star game ends in a 7-7 tie after 11 innings. Both teams ran out of pitchers in their bullpen and after managers Joe Torre and Bob Brently discussed it, they came to the conclusion that the game would end in a tie if the NL didn’t score in the bottom of the 11th. Fans were outraged at this, throwing trash onto the field while screaming and booing at Commissioner Bud Selig. After this game, it is decided that the winner of the game will receive home field advantage so there is more at stake for both teams and it won’t end in a tie again.
– (1934) In the All-Star game this year, San Francisco pitcher Carl Hubbell faces what could be the most deadly lineup ever to take the field. All nine starters end up in the hall of fame and Hubbell is up to the task. He strikes out the first five batters; Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in that order.
– (1968) The American and National League agree to expand the playoff and expansion. Each league will divide their teams into two divisions and the leader of each division will play a best-of-five series to determine the pennant.
– (2013) Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz establishes a new record for hits by a DH. The double in the second inning of Boston’s 11-4 win in Seattle, the team that originally signed Ortiz in 1992, was Ortiz’s 1,896th hit and passed Harold Baines on the all-time list.
– (1950) A very special All-Star game takes place in Comiskey Park in Chicago, where the first game was played. St. Louis Cardinal Red Schoendienst hits a go ahead in the top of the 14th inning. This game marked the first extra-inning All-Star game, the first time the National League won in an American League park and the first time the game was broadcasted on television.
– (1985) Astros’ pitcher Nolan Ryan strikes out Mets outfielder Danny Heep to become the first member of the 4,000 strikeout club. To this day, the club only has four members in it and Ryan beats out Steve Carlton by less than a year.
– (1989) New York Yankees pitcher Ron Guidry retires from baseball. He was recovering from surgery trying to fix problems he started having in 1981. The “Louisiana Lightning” was a four time All-Star, five time Gold Glove and helped the Yankees win two World Series. He is most well-known for his 1978 Cy Young season where he finished 25-3 with an ERA of 1.74 and nine shutouts.
– (2005) Philadelphia Phillies slugger Bobby Abreu shatters the record for total home runs in the Home Run Derby. The Venezuelan outfielder hit 24 home runs in the first round, which was three shy of Miguel Tejada’s record of hitting 27 in the entire contest, 6 in the second round and then 11 in the championship round.
July 6th: Willie Randolph (60), Manny Machado (22)
July 7th: Satchel Paige (would be 108), Jose Jimenez (41), John Buck (34)
July 8th: Nobody
July 9th: Willie Wilson (59)
July 10th: Hal McRae (69), Andre Dawson (59),
July 11th: Andy Ashby (47)
July 12th: Ron Fairly (76), Mario Soto (58)
July 6th: “Sad” Sam Jones (73), Bob Johnson (76)
July 7th: Dick Williams (82)
July 8th: Nobody
July 9th: Harry Heilmann (56)
July 10th: Nobody
July 11th: Nobody
July 12th: Alexander Cartwright (72), Bobby Mercer (62)