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Today in Baseball History
May 19th

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32 Fact(s) Found
1915 Pirates player-manager Fred Clarke files for the patent for flip-down sunglasses designed for use in the outfield. In addition to the sunglasses, which he believes are "good for motorists, too," the future Hall of Famer also creates and will be issued patents for a sliding pad and a mechanical method of positioning the tarpaulin.
1918 The Senators play the District's first Sunday game, beating Cleveland in a dramatic, 1-0 twelve-inning contest in front of the largest crowd in the history of American League Park. The 17,000 spectators packed into the Washington D.C. ballpark include 2,000 soldiers, who are guests of the team, several U.S. Senators, and a Supreme Court Justice.
1929 At Yankee Stadium in a section known as Ruthville, two fans die, a 17-year-old college sophomore and a sixty-year-old truck driver, and another seventy-five fans reported hurt when an unusually violent storm causes the crowd to stampede trying to seek cover. The incident in the right-field bleachers occurs when the sudden cloudburst makes it obvious the contest will end with New York ahead of the Red Sox, 3-0, at the end of four and a half innings, making it an official game.
1933 For the first time in major league history, brothers on opposite teams homer in the same game. Red Sox catcher Rick Ferrell takes his brother Wes deep, but the Indians' righty returns the favor as he homers in the third on a pitch called by his sibling.
1941 Lefty Grove wins his twentieth consecutive game at Fenway Park, the longest home-park streak in the big leagues. 
The southpaw starter establishes the new record when the Red Sox beat Detroit, 4-2.
1954 Bob Carpenter apologizes to second baseman Granny Hamner for having him followed by a detective. Although his team is one game behind from first place, the Phillies' owner suspected his players were not ready to play mentally or physically.
1956 Dale Long's eighth-inning Forbes Field's two-run round-tripper against Chicago is the first in a string of eight consecutive games in which the Pirates' first baseman will homer. Don Mattingly (Yankees, 1987) and Ken Griffey Jr. (Mariners, 1993) will match the Adam, MA native's major league mark.
1962 Cardinal Stan Musial singles for his 3,431st career hit, establishing a National League record. 'Stan the Man' delivers the historic hit as a pinch-hitter, something he will accomplish coming off the bench 14 times in 19 at-bats (.735) this season.
1968 At Tiger Stadium, Earl Wilson stops Senator Frank Howard's home run streak. The 'Capital Punisher' established the major league mark by hitting ten home runs in the previous six games.
1972 In an exchange of outfielders, Cincinnati trades Bernie Carbo, their number-one pick in the 1965 draft, to the Cardinals for Joe Hague. Unknown at the time, the move resulted from an ugly incident when the spring training hold-out becomes physical with Reds' GM Bob Howsam during a contentious negotiation session.
1976 The day after Carl Yastrzemski passes Boston legend Ted Williams for the most games played in a Red Sox uniform, he enjoys a memorable day a the plate, going 4-for-4, including three home runs and four RBIs. Yaz's offensive output contributes to the team's 9-2 victory over the Tigers in the Motor City.

Amazon Yaz: Baseball, the Wall, and Me

1979 After a bitter strike, the major league umpires return to work when the MLUA and MLB agree on a contract allowing umps to have in-season vacations, the institution of a 401(k) plan, increases in salaries, pensions, and per diems, and a return to merit-based assignments for post-season games. During the six-week work stoppage, amateur arbiters replaced the men in blue.
1981 After giving up a single to leadoff hitter Terry Harper, Pirates' hurler Jim Bibby retires the next 27 Braves en route to a 5-0 one-hitter. The right-hander threw a no-hitter as a rookie with the Rangers.
1984 Joining the club in St. Louis, Reds' rookie Eric Davis makes his major league debut, grounding out to short as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning of the Reds' 9-1 loss to the Cardinals. When Cincinnati forgets to pack an extra road uniform, the 22-year-old rookie needs to wear a numberless jersey.
1993 With the team record mired at 13-25, Jeff Torborg is replaced by Dallas Green as the Mets skipper. The 1990 American League Manager of the Year with the White Sox posted an 85-115 record (.425) during his brief stint with New York.
1994 The first 'Jay Buhner Buzz Cut Night,' which will become a popular recurring promotion, is held at the Kingdome. Mariners fans, willing to have their heads shaved to emulate the team's right fielder, who plays an active role by encouraging fans to participate and giving a few haircuts himself, receive free admission to seats in right field to cheer on 'Bone.'
1998 For the second time this season and fourth time in his career, Mark McGwire hits three homers in a game. 'Big Mac' becomes the 12th player to have two three-homer games in a season when he smacks three two-run round-trippers against the Phillies.
1998 After giving up an eighth-inning three-run homer to Bernie Williams, Armando Benitez nails Tino Martinez between the shoulder blades, igniting a bench-clearing brawl. Graeme Lloyd races in from the Yankee bullpen to punch the O's closer, and Alan Mills bloodies Darryl Strawberry's face after the New York outfielder ends up in the Baltimore dugout also trying to get a shot at Benitez.
2000 In the park's final year, Jason Kendall became the first Pirate to hit for the cycle in Three Rivers Stadium. The Pittsburgh backstop has a two-run homer in the first inning, a single in the second, a double in the third, and a two-run triple in the eighth to join Giant Jeff Kent (1999) as the only other player to accomplish the feat in the stadium's 31-year history.
2001 Reversing their original decision, the Elias Sports Bureau, major league baseball's official statistician, will now list Randy Johnson's 20 strikeouts as tying a record. Although the game went extra innings, the Big Unit's nine-inning performance now ranks with Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood's 20K outings in the record book.
2002 Cubs' first baseman Fred McGriff's two-run homer at Miller Park ties Ellis Burks' record of homering in 40 different major league parks. The Crime Dog's eighth-inning blast knots the score 3-3 in an eventual 4-3, 11-inning victory over the Brewers, snapping Chicago's nine-game losing streak.
2004 Brad Thompson breaks a 97-year-old minor league record set in 1907 by Irvin Wilhelm by hurling 57 consecutive scoreless innings. The 22-year-old Cardinals farmhand, playing in the Southern League for the Tennessee Smokies, falls just two innings short of Orel Hershiser's professional mark of 59 established in 1988.
2004 Yankee spokesman Jason Zillo announces Cracker Jack, baseball's most famous snack for over 100 years, will not be sold at Yankee Stadium, being replaced by a product known as Crunch 'n Munch. According to Yankees' officials, the short-lived change, due to the fans' adverse reaction, is being made because Crunch 'n Munch tastes better but may have happened due to Frito-Lay's decision to package the game's well-known treat in only bags and not boxes.
2004 Breaking a record he set two weeks ago, Julio Franco becomes the oldest player to hit a pinch-hit home run. The Braves' first baseman is 45 years, 269 days old when he accomplishes the feat.
2008 Jon Lester, diagnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma two seasons ago, no-hits the Royals, 7-0, becoming only the third lefty in franchise history to throw a no-no at Fenway Park. The 24-year-old's batterymate, Jason Varitek, also makes the record books by being the first backstop to catch four no-hitters in the majors.
2009 Dontrelle Willis wins his first game in nearly 20 months, limiting the opposition to one hit in 6+ innings in the Tigers' 4-0 victory over Texas. The former 2003 National League Rookie of the Year, who signed a three-year deal worth $29 million with Detroit last season, was diagnosed with an anxiety disorder during spring training.
2010 After being benched for criticizing Fredi Gonzalez, who pulled him from the previous game for loafing, Hanley Ramirez, at the prompting of Hall of Famers Andre Dawson and Tony Perez, apologizes to his manager and individually to his teammates before today's contest in St. Louis. The visiting All-Star shortstop and reigning National League batting champ, amidst of being booed by the Busch Stadium fans, collects three hits and drives in a run in the Marlins' 5-1 victory over the Cardinals.
2010 Mets center fielder Angel Pagan initiates the tenth triple play in franchise history when he snags Nationals' Cristian Guzman's sinking liner with first and second base occupied. Backstop Henry Blanco fields the outfielder's overthrown ball over the infield, throwing it to shortstop Jose Reyes, to double up the runner at second, with the infielder relaying the ball to Ike Davis, tripling up the runner at first, to complete the first major league 9-2-6-3 triple killing.

2011 In the Rockies' 7-1 victory over Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park, 40-year-old Jason Giambi becomes the second-oldest player to hit three homers in a game. In 1962, Stan Musial became the oldest major leaguer to accomplish the feat when he hit a trio of round-trippers at the age of 41, facing the Mets in the Polo Grounds.
2013 After pinch-runner Cliff Lee becomes a pickoff victim at first base in the bottom of the ninth inning, Phillies catcher Erik Kratz, who did not start the contest, ties the game with a solo home run to left field off Cincinnati flame thrower Aroldis Chapman. The next batter, Freddie Galvis, blasts a home run to complete the improbable Citizens Bank Park comeback, giving Philadelphia a dramatic 3-2 walk-off victory.

2016 At U.S. Cellular Field, Chris Sale, with a four-hit complete-game 2-1 victory over the Astros, improves his record to 9-0 to become the first White Sox pitcher in nearly a century to win his first nine starts of the season. Ed Cicotte also accomplished the feat during the infamous 1919 Black Sox season.
2018 The Rays employ an opener for the first time when the team uses veteran closer Sergio Romo to throw one inning against the Angels to start the game in Anaheim. This season, the strategy will account for a combined 93 innings, resulting in a 3.97 ERA, slightly better than the league average ERA of 4.15.

(Ed. Note - Sergio Romo makes the debut of the innovative concept memorable when he faces three batters, striking out the side in his brief appearance on the mound. - LP)


32 Fact(s) Found