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This Day in Baseball History
May 29th

40 Fact(s) Found
1905 According to legend, Dodger hurler Elmer Stricklett introduces the spitball, helping Brooklyn beat the Giants, 4-3. Before the 1921 season, the spitball will be banned, except for 17 existing spitballers who can keep throwing the slippery pitch legally until they retired, including Burleigh Grimes, the last player to throw a doctored pitch before retiring in 1934 legally.
1909 Recently elected William Howard Taft joins 14,000 fans at Pittsburgh's Exposition Park to watch the Pirates play the Cubs, becoming the first sitting president to attend a baseball game outside of Washington, D.C. The Commander in Chief proves to be a bad luck charm when the Bucs drop an 8-3 decision to Chicago, marking the only time the team loses in 19 games.

1911 Riding the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Cubs complete their 191-mile journey from Columbus (OH) to their game in Pittsburgh in three hours and thirty-five minutes, setting a land-speed record. The trip will last seventy-five minutes longer than it will take Chicago to beat the Bucs at Forbes Field, 4-1.
1916 The Giants beat Boston for their 17th consecutive road win when Christy Mathewson scatters four singles to get the complete-game 3-0 victory at Braves Field. New York surpasses the major league mark established by the Senators, who had won 16 straight games as the visiting team in 1912.
1922 The Supreme Court rules that organized baseball is a sport, not a business, exempting major league clubs from antitrust laws and interstate commerce rules. The unanimous court decision held that professional baseball did not meet the definition of interstate commerce because their travel between states is "incidental" to the business with all the revenue generated from the actual games.
1928 Bill Terry hits for the cycle at Ebbets Field to pace the Giants to a 12-5 victory over the Robins (Dodgers). The New York first baseman becomes the first major leaguer to hit a grand slam in accomplishing the feat.
1941 The Cardinals collect their tenth consecutive win when the team beats the Reds, 10-9, thanks to shortstop Marty Marion's spectacular grab of Ernie Lombardi's line drive, doubling off Ernie Koy to end the contest. The Sportsman's Park victory marks the Redbirds' fifth straight one-run winning decision, including three back-to-back games in the team's last at-bat.
1946 Edward Klep becomes the first white to play in the Negro leagues in a reverse integration role. In a game in Grand Rapids, the Erie (PA) native tosses seven innings for the Cleveland Buckeyes against the American Giants in his debut with the Negro American League team.
1950 David Tracy resigns as the Browns' team psychologist due to the lack of cooperation from the players. The 8-22 last-place team loses confidence in their psychological guru when his use of hypnosis, used to relax the struggling players, fails to improve the club's on-field performance.
1951 Indians GM Hank Greenberg flies to Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to preside over the signing ceremony of Billy Joe Davidson, a 17-year-old American Legion standout. The Marion southpaw, who reportedly agreed to a $150,000 deal to play for the Tribe, compiles a 54-53 record, including a no-hitter, during his six years in the minors but will never throw a pitch in the major leagues.
1955 After Joe Pignatano bats out of order in the Fort Worth Cats lineup, the umpires nullify the Dodger farmhand’s second-inning round-tripper ion appeal by the Shreveport Sports. When the correct number 7 batter, Maury Wills, loses his turn at the plate, the 25-year-old catcher, now hitting eighth, hits another homer.
1956 Gus Bell connects for three consecutive home runs, helping the Reds beat the Cubs, 10-4. The Cincinnati center fielder collects 14 total bases, going 5-for-5 while collecting seven RBIs in the Wrigley Field contest.
1956 In a 10-1 loss to the Dodgers at Forbes Field, Dale Long is held hitless by Don Newcombe, ending his consecutive-game home run streak. The Pirates' first baseman had established a new major league mark by homering in the last eight Pittsburgh contests.
1962 Buck O'Neil, previously a scout with the Cubs, becomes the first black coach in major-league baseball. The future Hall of Famer is not assigned in-game base coaching duties and does not participate in Chicago's College of Coaches system, a revolving managerial position.
1965 Dick Allen's 529-foot blast clears the left-center field roof, over the Coke Sign, at Connie Mack Stadium. The Phillies' third baseman's two-run prodigious poke off Chicago's right-hander Larry Jackson proves to be the difference in Philadelphia's 4-2 victory.
1966 For the second consecutive day, Ron Santo delivers a walk-off home run in extra-innings against Atlanta when his 10th-inning blast gives the Cubs a 3-2 victory at Wrigley Field. Yesterday, the third baseman ended the game with a three-run, 12th-inning homer, beating the Braves, 8-5.
1976 In a pitching matchup that features the Niekro brothers as starters, Astro Joe beat the Braves and Phil, 4-1. Adding insult to injury, Joe hits his first and only home run in his 22-year career off his older sibling.
1978 In a 14-inning one-run loss to Pittsburgh, Phillies' outfielder Garry Maddox ties a franchise record when he swipes four bases. The Philadelphia fleet flychaser equals the mark set in 1906 by Sherry Magee, who accomplished the feat twice that season.
1979 At Dodger Stadium, Dusty Baker, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Garvey, Gary Thomasson, Derrel Thomas, Joe Ferguson, and Davey Lopes set a team record by hitting seven home runs as the Dodgers crush the Reds, 17-6.
1981 The Mets obtain Expos' right fielder Ellis Valentine for relief pitcher Jeff Reardon and Dan Norman, acquired in the 1977 Tom Seaver trade from the Reds. The former Montreal All-Star Gold Glover hits .261 during his two seasons in New York, with Reardon compiling 367 saves while playing for seven teams in his 16-year major league tenure.
1982 LaMarr Hoyt's 14-game winning streak, which started with five victories last season, ends when the Indians beat the White Sox. The 27-year-old right-hander throws his fourth consecutive complete game, dropping a 5-2 decision at Cleveland Stadium.
1985 The Phillies move Gold Glove third baseman Mike Schmidt to first base, replacing him at the hot corner with Rick Schu. The 23-year-old rookie will hit only .252, promoting Schmidt's return to third next season, with Schu becoming a backup for the future Hall of Fame infielder.
1989 In a hastily called press conference in San Diego, Mike Schmidt tearfully informs the press of his immediate retirement. The fans will still select the Phillies' third baseman to start the All-Star Game, scheduled at Anaheim Stadium in July.
1990 A's Rickey Henderson breaks the 62-year-old American League stolen base record with his theft of third base in the sixth inning of a 2-1 loss to the Blue Jays at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum. Hall of outfielder Ty Cobb set the previous mark of 892 in 1928, playing for the Philadelphia A's.

1990 The Mets fire Davey Johnson, citing the lack of team discipline in the talented team that reached the postseason only twice during his six years at the helm. Third base coach Bud Harrelson replaces the popular manager, who averaged 96 victories a season, leading the club to the World Championship in 1986.

(Ed. Note: The new manager will keep New York in contention until the end of the season, but the club dismisses him with a few games remaining next season starts, with the team ending up in fifth place. - LP)

1994 The Braves deal outfielder Deion Sanders to the Reds for outfielder Roberto Kelly and minor league hurler Roger Etheridge, who will never appear in a major league game. Kelly will remain in Atlanta only this season, batting .286 in 63 games, while Sanders stays with Cincinnati for four years, compiling a .260 average for his new team.
1996 Cal Ripken hits his 334th career round-tripper to move past Eddie Murray for first place on the Orioles' all-time list. The Baltimore shortstop goes deep over the left-field wall off Sterling Hitchcock in the sixth inning of the team's 9-8 defeat to Seattle at the Kingdome.
1997 After acquiring Hideki Irabu from the Chiba Lotte Marines, the Padres send the Japanese right-hander to the Yankees, completing the trade that dealt Gordon Amerson (minors) and Homer Bush to New York for Rafael Medina, Ruben Rivera, and $3,000,000. The 28-year-old refused to sign with the San Diego, insisting he would only play with the Bronx Bombers, but often incurs owner George Steinbrenner's wrath during his three years in the Big Apple, where he posts a mediocre 29-20 record.
2000 At Yankee Stadium, Randy Velarde completes the tenth unassisted triple play in major league history. With runners on first and second, Shane Spencer hits a line drive to the A's second baseman, who catches the ball, tags out Jorge Posada coming from first base, and steps on second, tripling up Tino Martinez, who took off for third, to complete the rare event.

2000 At the age of 104, Fred Roberts, the oldest living Dodger fan, makes his first visit to Dodger Stadium. Wearing a jersey with the number 104, the World War I veteran cheers as Shawn Green's sixth-inning grand slam helps to beat Al Leiter and the Mets, 4-1.
2001 The Diamondbacks beat the Giants at PacBell Park, 1-0. The 18-inning contest, which takes five hours and fifty-three minutes to play, establishes a franchise mark for Arizona in both innings played and time.
2002 Yankee fireballer Roger Clemens becomes the third major leaguer to strike out ten or more batters in at least 100 games. Nolan Ryan (215) and Randy Johnson (175) are the other hurlers to have accomplished the feat.
2003 The Red Sox trade their All-Star third baseman Shea Hillenbrand (.303, 3, 38) to the Diamondbacks for 24-year-old reliever turned starter Byung-Hyun Kim (1-5, 3.56). The 24-year-old South Korean right-hander wins eight of 13 decisions, helping Boston capture the American League Wild Card.
2010 Roy Halladay throws the 20th perfect game in major league history, outdueling Josh Johnson in the Phillies' 1-0 victory over the Marlins at Miami's Sun Life Stadium. The former American League Cy Young Award winner, obtained from Toronto in the off-season, joins Jim Bunning as the only hurlers in franchise history to accomplish the feat.

2010 The Giants call up Buster Posey to start at first base, and the 23-year-old rookie responds by going three-for-four with three RBIs in a 12-1 rout of the Diamondbacks at AT&T Park. The eventual National League's Rookie of the Year does not become the team's starting catcher until the team trades Bengie Molina to Texas at the end of June.
2010 Kendry Morales breaks his left ankle jumping on home plate while celebrating his walk-off grand slam that beat Seattle, 9-7. The freak injury results in the 26-year-old talented Angel first baseman missing the rest of the season.

2014 In the Blue Jays' 8-6 loss to Kansas City at the Rogers Centre, Edwin Encarnacion hits two two-run homers, both off Royals right-hander James Shields, to set a franchise record for home runs in a month with 16. The Toronto first baseman also shares the American League mark for most home runs in May with Yankees legend Mickey Mantle.
2016 The Yankees, limited to only one hit, defeat the Rays, 2-1, thanks to Starlin Castro's seventh-inning home run off Jake Odorizzi at Tropicana Field. The last time New York won a game while being the victim of a one-hitter occurred 102 years ago when the team beat the Indians at the Polo Grounds, 1-0.
2016 At The Ballpark at Harbor Yard, United States softball star Jennie Finch becomes the first woman to manage a pro baseball team when she leads the Bridgeport Bluefish to a 3-1 win over the Southern Maryland Blue Crabs in an Atlantic League contest. The Olympic gold medal-winning pitcher, an All-American at Arizona, is married to Casey Daigle, who pitched briefly for the Diamondbacks and Astros.
2021 At Target Field, Josh Donaldson, scoring from second on a first-inning ground-rule double by Nelson Cruz, tallies the two millionth run in baseball history. Unlike Bob Watson of the Houston Astros, who scored the one-millionth run 46 years ago, the Twins' third baseman was unaware of the historical significance of crossing the plate.

40 Fact(s) Found