<< Yesterday

This Day in Baseball History
May 24th

46 Fact(s) Found
1909 After beating the Cardinals a record 24 consecutive times, Giants legend Christy Mathewson finally loses to the Redbirds, 3-1. The winning streak spanned five years, starting in May of 1904.
1918 Indians right-hander Stan Coveleski hurls for 19 innings in the Tribe's 3-2 victory over the Yankees at the Polo Grounds. Joe Wood's home run proves to be the difference.
1918 A day after Secretary of War Newton D. Baker issues the work-or-fight edict, American League president Ban Johnson announces that the circuit would cease operation for the duration of WW I. The team's owners defy their once-formidable leader, having their teams play until Labor Day.
1935 The era of nighttime baseball begins as 25,000 fans watch the Reds beat the Phillies 2-1 in the first major league game ever played under the lights. At the White House, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a gold telegraph key during the Crosley Field pregame ceremonies, sending an electric signal to a table near first base, where MacPhail flips the switch to illuminate the stadium for the contest's 8:30 pm start, a time selected to ensure the departure of daylight.

(Ed. Note: The game, initially scheduled for yesterday, was postponed due to the threat of rain and cooler temperature that had lower attendance to around 20,000, about a third less than stadium capacity. -LP)

1936 At Shibe Park, second baseman Tony Lazzeri becomes the first major league player to hit two grand slams in the same game when the Yankees annihilate the A's, 25-2. The bases-full homers enable the future member of the Hall of Fame to establish a new American League record with 11 RBIs.
1940 The Browns host the first major league game played in St. Louis under the lights. A Friday evening crowd of 24,827, the largest attendance figure in 18 years, watches Bob Feller and the Indians beat the home team at Sportsman's Park, 3-2.
1940 The hometown Giants, in the first night game played at the Polo Grounds, beat the Braves, 8-1. The Manhattan ballpark's $125,000 lighting system works well, allowing the 22,260 patrons to follow the nocturnal contest without any difficulties.
1941 The Braves sign 'Big Poison' Paul Waner after Brooklyn releases the 38-year-old right fielder. The former Dodger joins his younger brother' Little Poison' Lloyd on the Boston roster.
1947 Carl Furillo hits a three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in the first frame of the Dodgers' 4-3 ten-inning loss to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field. The unusual first-frame substitution results from Phillies manager Ben Chapman using right-handed starter Al Jurisch to pitch to the first two Brooklyn hitters before bringing in southpaw Oscar Judd to face the next three lefty hitters, including Gene Hermanski, the batter replaced by Furillo.
1950 Nat Clifton's Harlem Globetrotter contract is purchased by the New York Knicks, making the talented athlete the first black to sign a deal to play in the National Basketball Association. Before his career in the NBA, 'Sweetwater' played first base for the Chicago American Giants in the Negro Leagues.
1956 In Detroit, Mickey Mantle goes 5-for-5 with an intentional walk in the Yankees' 11-5 victory over the Tigers. "The Commerce Comet's" offensive output includes a homer and four singles.
1957 With scouts from all the major league teams watching the game, 18-year-old New Britain (CT) High School senior Steve Dalkowski, author of two scholastic no-hitters last month, strikes out 24 New London batters. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound standout will sign with the Orioles, one of nine clubs to show interest in the southpaw, for the maximum allowable $4,000 bonus but may have received another unreported $12,000 and a new car.
1957 During an off-day at Fenway Park, Ted Williams, using his shotgun, shoots approximately 35 pigeons, sitting on a chair in front of the bullpen of the empty ballpark, predictably upsets the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. However, Red Sox owner and avid sportsman Tom Yawkey's participation in the Kid's target practice helps quell the outrage directed at the superstar ballplayer.
1957 In his first big-league at-bat, Frank Ernaga hits a third-inning home run to deep left field off future Hall of Fame southpaw Warren Spahn in Chicago's 5-1 victory over Milwaukee. The rookie right fielder follows his Wrigley Field round-tripper with a three-bagger in the next frame to become the first Cubs player to have hit a home run and a triple in his major league debut.
1964 Seven of the twenty major league teams do not cross home plate, setting the mark for shutouts in one day. The Twins, White Sox, Yankees, Mets, Phillies, Cardinals, and Giants do not score a run against their opponents.
1964 Harmon Killebrew tags the longest homer ever hit in Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. The Twins left fielder's 471-foot shot, which clears the hedge in left-center field, is hit off Milt Pappas in the eighth inning of a 7-6 loss to the Orioles.
1964 After being first proposed in 1959, a groundbreaking ceremony finally marks the start of construction of the Civic Center-Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis. The development of the area, located amid a blighted area near the city's core that includes Chinatown, is seen by city officials as the start of a new era in St. Louis.
1965 With the sun's glare making fly balls challenging to track during day games, the team paints the Astrodome's clear plastic panes. The $20,000 decision to cover the roof, which reduces the ambient lighting by 40%, prevents the ballpark's natural grass from growing and will lead to the use of Astroturf next season.
1967 Tommy McCraw, with eight RBIs, drives in more than half of the runs in the White Sox' 14-1 rout of Minnesota at Metropolitan Stadium. The Chicago first baseman's offensive output includes a pair of three-run homers and a two-run round-tripper.
1969 For the first time since the start of the season, a span of forty-one games, Don Kessinger does not reach base. The Cubs Gold Glove shortstop grounds out four times and hits into a fly-ball double play in his last at-bat during Chicago's 7-5 loss to the Padres at San Diego Stadium.
1972 At Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Don Rose homers on the first pitch he sees in his first major league at-bat. The right-hander's third-inning round-tripper, his only career home run, and the last hit by an American League hurler for thirty years proves to be the difference in the Angels' 6-5 victory over the A's, earning the 25-year-old his only win in the big leagues.
1973 In a 19-inning marathon, LA outfielder Willie Davis collects six hits in a 7-3 loss to the Mets at Dodger Stadium. The two clubs establish a National League mark by hitting into a combined nine double plays.
1976 Bert Campaneris steals five bases, one shy of the major league mark, in the A's 12-7 victory over the Twins at the Oakland Coliseum. The fleet shortstop will swipe 54 bases, the third-best in the American League this season.
1978 In an inning which lasts over an hour, 15 players score before the first out is recorded when the Florida State League's Tampa Tarpons beat Daytona Beach, 18-2.
1984 The Tigers equal the major league mark set by the 1916 Giants with their 17th consecutive road victory when the team defeats the Angels at Anaheim Stadium, 5-1. The win, a Jack Morris four-hit complete game, breaks the American League record of 16, established by the Senators in 1912.
1986 A "drunk" Billy Martin is "fired" as the co-host of Saturday Night Live by executive producer Lorne Michaels after slurring his lines during a skit. In retaliation, the often-unemployed Yankee manager "sets fire" to his dressing room at the end of the show, which is the season's finale.

"I can only hope that one day those teammates who have found it convenient to criticize me will realize that we are all in this together. If only we can concentrate more on the games than complaining and bickering and pointing fingers, we would all be better off." - Text from Gregg Jefferies' Open Letter.

In an open letter read on WFAN, a New York sports-talk radio station, Gregg Jefferies, in response to the negative attention from Mets fans, pleads his case to be treated fairly. The embattled infielder's plea leads to a players-only meeting, prompting David Cone to agree with the 23-year-old second baseman that the anonymous derisive quotes from teammates are unfair and should be banned. "I can only hope that one day those teammates who have found it convenient to criticize me will realize that we are all in this together. If only we can concentrate more on the games than complaining and bickering and pointing fingers, we would all be better off."

1993 Indian starter Tom Kramer faces only 28 batters when he beats Texas at Cleveland Stadium, 4-1. The rookie right-hander, who will not return to the major leagues after this season, allows just one baserunner, DH Julio Franco, who hits a fourth-inning home run.
1993 The Mets play their 5000th game in team history, losing to Philadelphia at Veterans Stadium, 6-3. Although New York has a record of 527 wins and 473 losses in the last thousand games, the franchise is still 338 games under .500 since its first contest in 1962.
1994 At Busch Stadium, the Cardinals set a major league record when they leave 16 men stranded on the bases without scoring. The Phillies take advantage of the Redbirds' lack of timely hitting and beat St. Louis, 4-0.
1994 In a 13-6 Oriole win over Milwaukee at County Stadium, Cal Ripken hits his 300th career home run, a three-run shot to deep left field off Teddy Higuera in the third inning. The 33-year-old future Hall of Fame infielder will finish his career in 2001 with 431 round-trippers.
1995 Tossing a scoreless ninth inning in the A's 5-2 win over the Orioles at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, Dennis Eckersley records his 300th career save. The Oakland right-hander becomes the sixth reliever to reach the milestone in major league history.

In the NCAA Atlantic II Regionals, future major league outfielder Matt Diaz hits four home runs in Florida State's 23-2 routing of Oklahoma. The Seminoles freshman's offensive output, including seven RBIs, ties the school and tournament record for round-trippers.

2000 Shawn Estes pitches a seven-hitter and becomes the first Giants pitcher in 51 years (Monty Kennedy-1949) to hit a grand slam en route to handing the Expos their worst defeat in franchise history, 18-0. The San Bernardino native misses joining Tony Cloninger as the only major league pitcher to hit two slams in a game when he hits a long foul ball before singling with the bases loaded in the eighth inning.
2000 Mark McGwire becomes the fastest player to hit 20 home runs in one season, reaching the mark in 35 games. 'Big Mac' accomplishes the feat in six fewer contests than Mickey Mantle (1956) and his own record (1998).
2000 The commissioner's office suspends sixteen Dodger players and three coaches for going into the stands during the Wrigley Field scuffle with fans on May 16th. The suspensions totaling 60 games for players and 24 games for coaches is the harshest penalty ever handed down by major league baseball.
2000 Ahead by seven runs after five innings of play at Enron Field, the hometown Astros find a way to lose to the Phillies, 9-7. In Milwaukee, two days earlier, with a 9-2 advantage in the bottom of the ninth inning, Houston blew another seven-run lead in the eventual ten-inning, 10-9 loss to the Brewers at County Stadium.
2001 Tossing a 79-pitch one-hitter, Cubs' starter Jon Lieber shuts out the Reds, 3-0. Cincinnati shows a new National League record going 208 games without being blanked, with the 1931-33 Yankees (308) and the 1978-79 Milwaukee Brewers (212) being the only teams with longer streaks.
2001 Lana Blefary, the wife of former Oriole outfielder Curt Blefary, scatters the ashes of her husband's remains at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium. Although little of the demolished stadium remains, she can still fulfill her husband's last wishes.
2002 When a container drops from a low-flying plane, hitting and bouncing off the stadium roof onto the street, Seattle hazardous materials crews close off the roads around Safeco Field for about an hour. The object turns out to be the remains of an unidentified man's cremated ashes.
2003 Broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall become the first non-players featured on a Reds-produced bobblehead. The popular promotion also marks the team's first dual bobblehead.

2006 Carl Crawford, leading the Devil Rays to a 10-8 victory over the Blue Jays, goes 5-for-5 to tie the franchise record for hits in a game. The Tampa Bay left fielder collects five hits, including a home run, scores five runs, and steals four bases in his career night at the Rogers Centre.
2006 Swinging on the first pitch in his first major league at-bat, Adam Wainwright homers in the fifth inning of the Cardinals' 10-4 win over San Francisco at AT&T Park. The 24-year-old right-hander also tosses three innings in relief to record his second career victory.

2007 In his 1,000th major league game, Ichiro Suzuki goes 3-for-6, giving the Mariner outfielder a career total of 1,414 hits. Only Hall of Famer Al Simmons compiled more in the same span of games, collecting 1,443 from 1924-1931 for the Philadelphia A's.
2019 The Twins hit three homers against the White Sox Field in their 11-4 victory at Target Field, joining the 1999 Seattle Mariners as the only other club with 100 home runs in their first 50 games of the season. Minnesota's barrage is part of the MLB teams combining to blast the second-most homers in a single day, going deep 59 times in 14 games, second only to the 62 big flies launched in sixteen games on July 2, 2002.
2019 Major League teams combine to hit the second-most home runs in a single day in baseball history, going yard 59 times in 14 games, second only to the 62 round-trippers blasted on July 2, 2002, in sixteen contests. With the 'Twins' three homers against the White Sox at Target Field as part of today's barrage, Minnesota joins the 1999 Seattle Mariners as the only two teams with 100 home runs in their first 50 games of the season.

46 Fact(s) Found