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Today in Baseball History
August 20th

31 Fact(s) Found
1912 In the nightcap of a doubleheader, Carl Cashion tosses a six-inning no-hitter to give the Senators a 2-0 victory over the Indians and a sweep of the twin bill at Griffith Stadium. The 21 year-old right-hander, who will not get credit for his accomplishment due to the shortened nature of the game, has an outstanding fastball, but a lack of control will limit his career to just 43 games over four seasons.
1919 The longest hitting streak in professional baseball ends at 69 games when Joe Wilhoit is held hitless by the Tulsa Oilers in Western League action. The 33 year-old minor leaguer's phenomenal stretch, which started on June 14th and included fifty games with two or more hits, ends with the Wichita Jobbers' outfielder compiling a .512 batting average (153-for-297).
1938 In the Yankees' 11-3 rout of the A's at Shibe Park, first baseman Lou Gehrig hits the final grand slam of his career. The first inning blast, given up by Philadelphia's right-hander Buck Ross, extends the 'Iron Horse's major league record for bases-loaded home runs to 23.
1938 In front of about 10,000 people attending a Saturday morning publicity stunt organized by the Come to Cleveland Committee, five members of the Indians attempt to set a record by catching a baseball thrown from the top of the 708-foot Terminal Tower. Twenty-four year-old rookie third string catcher Henry Helf, wearing his street clothes, catches a ball dropped from the 52-story structure, estimated to be traveling at the speed of 138 mph, to break Gabby Street's mark for a vertical catch established when the Senator catcher snagged a sphere dropped 555 feet from the top of the Washington Monument in 1908.
1939 After dropping the opener to Chicago, 9-5, the Pirates snap a twelve game losing streak with a 5-0 victory in the nightcap. Max Butcher goes the distance in the shortened six-inning game, limiting the visitors to just two hits in the Forbes Field contest.
1945 Dodger shortstop Tommy Brown becomes the youngest player (17 years, 8 months, and 14 days) in major league history to hit a home run. The round-tripper by 'Buckshot', who started his career as a 16 year-old high school student, will be the only run Brooklyn scores off 30 year-old Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe, who goes the distance in the 11-1 rout of the home team at Ebbets Field.
1946 Using the U.S. Army's Sky Screen Chronograph, Bob Feller's fastball is clocked at 98.6 miles-per-hour, prior to the start of the game against the Senators at Griffith Stadium. The speed of the Indians right-hander's ball breaks Atley Donald's record of 94.7 mph, established by the Yankee hurler in 1939.
1948 The largest crowd (78,382) ever to attend a night game sees Satchel Paige become the fourth consecutive Indian to throw a shutout. The ageless wonder joins Gene Bearden, Sam Zoldak, and Bob Lemon in blanking the opposition.
1953 The Browns beat the Baltimore Orioles, the city's AAA minor league team, 8-2, in an exhibition game played in front of a small crowd of 10,861 at Municipal Stadium. Undaunted by the low turnout of fans for the contest against the International League team, St. Louis owner Bill Veeck will seek and be given permission to shift his franchise to the Charm City, a move denied by the American League owners last year.
1957 In the nightcap of a doubleheader, Robert Keegen throws the White Sox's first no-hitter in twenty years, beating the Senators, 6-0. The Comiskey Park no-no is the first one thrown at night in franchise history.
1961 In the second game of a doubleheader, the Phillies snap a 23-game losing streak by beating the Braves, 7-4. The victory establishes a new record for the most consecutive losses by a major league team.
1963 In his first major league start, Grover Powell blanks the Phillies in the Mets' 4-0 victory at Connie Mack Stadium. The shutout will be the only big league win for the 21 year-old right-hander, who after pitching four more scoreless innings in his next appearance will appear to lose his effectiveness when he is struck in the face by a line drive hit by Pittsburgh first baseman Donn Clendenon.
1964 Due to a misunderstanding caused by Mickey Mantle misinforming his teammate that their manager Yogi Berra had asked for the harmonica to be played louder, a confrontation occurs on the back of the team bus between the skipper, who had actually asked for the music to stop, and utility player Phil Linz. Some believe the well-publicized incident fired up the third-place team, who had just lost four consecutive games to the White Sox in Chicago, to a successful pennant run, but may have reinforced the perception Berra had lost control of the team, leading to his dismissal after Game 7 of the World Series.
1967 In the first game of a twin bill in Boston, switch-hitter Reggie Smith, in a 12-2 rout of the Angels, becomes the first Red Sox player to blast a home run from each side of the plate. Until today, the feat had never been accomplished by any Fenway Park batter.
1967 In the nightcap of a doubleheader at Fenway Park, the Red Sox rally from an eight-run deficit to beat the Angels, 9-8. The big blow is Carl Yastrzemski's fifth inning three-run homer, his second of the day, having gone deep with two men on in the first game.
1974 In an 18-8 rout of the Cubs, the Dodgers collect 24 hits and set a club record with 48 total bases, including Davey Lopes' three home runs, double, and single. The Dodger second baseman's 15 total bases are the most ever for a leadoff hitter.
1974 At Anaheim Stadium, Angel hurler Nolan Ryan throws a ball that is "officially" clocked at 100.9 miles per hour by the Guinness Book of World Records. The right-hander's pitch, thrown in a losing effort against Detroit, is listed as the fastest pitch ever thrown in major league baseball.
1974 Nolan Ryan whiffs 19 batters in a game for the second time in eight days and the third time this season. The Angels' right-hander's stellar performance isn't enough when he loses to Detroit's Mickey Lolich in an 11-inning complete-game duel, 1-0.
1978 In the visitors' clubhouse at Shea Stadium, Dodger Blue becomes black and blue when Steve Garvey confronts teammate Don Sutton about a Washington Post story in which the pitcher is critical of him. After the right-hander confirms he had made the comments, the argument becomes physical when an inappropriate remark is made about the first baseman's wife.
1980 Dan Spilner's bid for a no-hitter against the White Sox is spoiled by Leo Sutherland's single with one out in the ninth inning. The 28 year-old Indian right-hander will get the next two outs and settle for a one-hit, 3-0 victory over Chicago at Comiskey Park.
1985 Dwight Gooden, going the distance in the Mets' 3-0 victory over San Francisco at Shea Stadium en route to his 13th consecutive win, whiffs 16 batters to become the first National League pitcher to strike out 200 or more batters in each of his first two seasons. The 20 year-old sophomore, who has not lost since May 25, when LA's Fernando Valenzuela beat him, improves his record to 19-3 with his sixth shutout of the year.
1989 It's a busy day on the trading block for the Mets as they send popular outfielder Mookie Wilson to the Blue Jays for pitcher Jeff Musselman and minor leaguer Michael Brady. New York also gets Frank Viola from the Twins for pitchers Rick Aguilera, David West, and Kevin Tapani and two minor leaguers.
1995 Indians closer Jose Mesa picks up his 37th save in as many opportunities to set a major league record. The right-handed reliever pitches a scoreless ninth inning to preserve the Tribe's 8-5 win over Milwaukee at Jacobs Field.
1998 At Shea Stadium, Cardinal first baseman Mark McGwire becomes the first player in major league history to hit 50 home runs in three consecutive seasons. Mac's seventh inning solo shot helps to defeat the Mets, 2-0.
2000 The winningest pitcher in franchise history is honored by the Yankees during Whitey Ford Day ceremonies at Yankee Stadium. The crafty lefty holds the team record for victories (236), innings pitched (3,170 1/3), strikeouts (1,956), and shutouts (45).
2002 A judge issues a temporary restraining order preventing the sale of Barry Bonds' 600th career home run ball hit into the Pacific Bell Park stands on August 9. Jay Arsenault, who allegedly promised friends after being given a game ticket to split any monetary gains if he caught the historic baseball, has been ordered to appear in court for a hearing on September 5 along with the prized souvenir.
2005 Using the equivalent of a 98-miles-per-hour major league fastball, 12 year-old Kalen Pimentel ties a Little League World Series record for strikeouts in a six-inning game. The preteen from Rancho Buena Vista strikes out 18 Owensboro batters (all of the recorded outs) when his team coasts to a 7-2 victory in the pool play of the tournament.
2005 The Royals snap their 19-game losing streak, beating the A's in Oakland, 2-1. The skid ends two games shy of the American League record of 21 straight defeats established by the Orioles in 1988.
2008 Umpires sign an agreement which will allow major league baseball to start using instant replay to help determine boundary calls, such as determining fair or foul fly balls and difficult home run rulings. No exact date has been set for the start of using replays, but installation of the necessary equipment has been taking place in ballparks, with the hope of starting later this month.
2008 After the Angels score the potential winning run in the top of the inning of an eventual 5-4 victory over the Rays, Francisco Rodriguez pitches a perfect ninth to record his 48th save, establishing a new franchise record. The right-handed closer had set the previous team mark with 47 saves in 2006.
2012 The official first-day-of-issue dedication ceremony for the Major League Baseball All-Stars Forever stamps takes place at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY. The very popular philatelic series based on historic photographs honors Yankee Joe DiMaggio, Larry Doby of the Indians, Willie Stargell of the Pirates, and Red Sox legend Ted Williams.

All-Stars Forever stamps

31 Fact(s) Found