Sunday, September 25, 2011
Centennial: Fenway Park groundbreakingPosted by Chris Jaffe
A hundred years ago today, a landmark event occurred in Red Sox history: the groundbreaking for Fenway Park. Iit’s the first major league park in any sport still in use 100 years after its creation (or, it will be once we reach the 100th anniversary of its first Opening Day, but close enough).
Since it opened in 1912, the Red Sox have a home record of 4,452-3,341-31, which ain’t too shabby. That’s a .571 home winning percentage, which is roughly the same as going 93-69.
Some highs and lows for Boston at Fenway: Three times, the Red Sox have won 17 consecutive home games. That’s their most. The streaks peaked on April 19, 1950; May 26, 1978; and July 30, 1988. Conversely, the lost a club record 13th consecutive home game on June 2, 1932.
Their biggest home win? Easy one: a 29-4 beat down on the Browns on June 8, 1950. That’s the most lopsided victory in major league baseball in the 20th century. Boston’s worst hometown drubbing came at the hands of the Yankees, 22-1 on June 19, 2000.
The highest scoring game came just a few years ago, when Boston outlasted the Rangers, 19-17. The stadium has hosted three 0-0 games, including one that went 10 innings against the Browns on Sept. 8, 1929. That was also the last 0-0 game at Fenway.
Longest game? Based on my records, it’s a 8-7 loss to the Mariners on Sept. 3, 1981. Looking a little further at my records (which are fragmentary on some points), the best attended game came on Aug. 19, 1942, when 38,814 saw the Red Sox and Yankees split a doubleheader. At the other end of the spectrum, on Oct. 1, 1964, only 306 saw the Red Sox win 4-2 in a forgettable end of the season game. I’ll bet the weather sucked, too.
And it all started with the groundbreaking for the place, 100 years ago today.
Aside from that, many other baseball events celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is an event occurring X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you want to skim.
3,000 days since the all-time cumulative franchise record for the Arizona Diamondbacks peaks at 82 games over .500 (491-409).
3,000 days since Milwaukee’s Sausage Race is oddly interrupted by Pirate Randall Simon, who knocks over the Italian sausage when he taps it with his bat. The Italian takes the hot dog down with it. The Polish sausage stops to help, and the brat just keeps going, winning the race.
7,000 days since Von Hayes has a three-RBI single. It’s the second time he’s done that this season.
9,000 days since in the last game of the 1987 season, the Tigers beat the Blue Jays, 1-0. That’s it—the Blue Jays have improbably blown their lead. Both Frank Tanana and Jimmy Key go the distance in the game. Key allows only three hits, but one is a home run by Larry Herndon.
9,000 days since Gene Mauch manages his last game.
9,000 days since, as the 1987 season comes to a conclusion, the follower players all make their last appearance in a big league contest: Bill Madlock, Darrell Porter, Davey Lopes, Doug DeCinces, Roy Smalley Jr., Tom Paciorek, and last but certainly not least – Reggie Jackson.
10,000 days since the longest game in AL history ends on a Harold Baines home run: Chicago 7, Milwaukee 6 (25). The game began yesterday but didn’t end until today due to AL curfew rules.
10,0000 days since controversial umpire Joe West tosses two cameraman from the dugout because he’d shown players replays of a controversial call.
10,000 days since Prince Fielder is born. (Speaking of people named Prince, on a completely random note, it’s also 10,000 days since the release of the When Doves Cry single). Neat.
30,000 days since Babe Ruth ties a personal best with seven RBI in a game. This is the third of four times he does it. In this game, as in all his seven RBI performances, he belts two home runs.
1882 Harry Stovey, at one point baseball’s all-time home run king, hits a leadoff, inside-the-park home run off Hall of Famer Old Hoss Radbourn.
1889 News that the players will form their own league next year is leaked to the press.
1898 Jack Taylor, the king of the complete game, makes his big league debut.
1905 Al Orth, a 200-game winner, allows two inside the park home runs in one game.
1907 Honus Wagner steals second, third and home in the second inning against the Giants. Teammate/manager Fred Clarke has four stolen bases as well on the day.
1908 Frank De Haas Robinson, one time co-owner of the Cleveland Spiders and St. Louis Cardinals (at the same time, no less), dies at age 54.
1908 Detroit hurler Ed Summers collects two complete game victories over the A’s, 7-2, and 1-0 (10). In fact, on the same day as Summers' achievement, the all-time cumulative franchise record for the Detroit Tigers hits .500 (576-576). It’s been over that mark ever since.
1908 Hall of Famer Rube Marquard makes his big league debut.
1910 Philadelphia A’s ace Jack Coombs runs his scoreless inning streak up to 53 before surrendering a run in the third inning to the Chicago White Sox.
1913 Lefty Williams, Black Sox starting pitcher, makes his big league debut.
1917 Birth of Johnny Sain, a terrific pitcher who became an even greater pitching coach. Among his other achievements, he threw the last pitch to Babe Ruth, and the first to Jackie Robinson. Oh, and at the plate Sain was almost impossible to strike out, and not just by the standards of a pitcher, either. In 856 career PA, he fanned just 20 times.
1917 Hall of Famer Phil Rizzuto is born.
1917 Cardinals manager Miller Huggins resigns to try his luck with the Yankees. Good move.
1917 Ross Youngs, Hall of Famer who will die young, makes his big league debut.
1919 Frankie Frisch belts the first of 10 career inside the park home runs.
1919 Hal Chase plays in his final game. Good riddance to the most corrupt player ever.
1919 Red Ames, pitcher, plays in his last game.
1920 Lefty Williams plays in his last game, as news of the 1919 World Series fix will soon move from rumor to headline.
1923 St. Louis fines star second baseman Rogers Hornsby $500 for refusing to play even though the team doctor said he could.
1925 Reds teammates Curt Walker and Rube Bressler each hit bases-loaded triples in a 18-7 win over the Dodgers.
1926 Walter Johnson surrenders his only out-of-the-park walk-off home run, as Bill Barrett of the White Sox does it for a 2-1 Chicago win. (Yes, Johnson allowed an inside the park walk-off earlier in his career).
1927 Star shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh plays in his last game.
1929 Yankee manager Miller Huggins dies. When the news reaches the stadium after the fifth inning, the game is halted and both Red Sox and Yankees pay their respects by lining up at home plate. There is a full minute of silence and the flag is put at half-mast. New York wins, 11-10 in 11 innings.
1938 Hall of Famer Goose Goslin plays in his last game.
1940 In a doubleheader against the Reds, St. Louis debuts two new players with nice futures ahead of them: Walker Cooper, and Harry Walker.
1941 The Giants release Gabby Hartnett. No, I never knew they had him either.
1946 Bill McKechnie, one of the game’s greatest skippers, manages his last game.
1946 Bill Veeck offers free admission to today’s game in Cleveland. 12,800 see the White Sox win.
1946 Longtime New York Giants pitcher Hal Schumacher plays his final game.
1949 Indians fans Charlie Lupica, who went atop a flagpole on May 31 and vowed to stay there until Cleveland was in first place, finally comes down. Bill Veeck convinces him that fourth place is close enough. Besides, Cleveland hurler Bob Lemon fans 11 that day, tying his all-time personal best.
1950 Whitey Ford wins, giving him a 9-0 record since getting called up from the minors.
1951 Warren Spahn completes his 11th consecutive start, his all-time best.
1952 Hal Newhouser wins his 200th game, giving him a record of 200-147.
1952 For the second straight day, Mickey Mantle hits a triple.
1953 Knuckleballer Dutch Leonard plays in his final game.
1954 Cleveland sets an AL record with its 111th win of the season. Early Wynn has a no-hitter until the ninth, but then gives up two his.
1954 Yankees ace Allie Reynolds plays in his final game.
1954 It’s a Ted Williams tribute at Fenway, as he says he’s retiring after the season. However, once his divorce is finalized he’ll return in May.
1955 The New York Giants’ season ends on a bizarre note: Bobby Hofman hits into a season-ending triple play against the Phillies. Phillies shortstop Ted Kazanski starts the triple play, after previously in the game hitting an inside the park home run. No player will repeat that combo until May 19, 2010. After the game, Giants manager Leo Durocher resigns to become a broadcaster.
1955 Eddie Joost plays his final game.
1955 Ralph Kiner plays in his final game.
1956 Early Wynn throws his 11th consecutive Quality Start, his personal best. His line in that time 7-3 W-L, 92.2 IP, 70 H, 20 R, 17 ER, 28 BB, 49 K, and a 1.65 ERA.
1956 The Massachusetts state legislature passes a bill to fine fans for using profanity during games. (This is prompted by experiences involving the fans and Ted Williams earlier this year.) The bill will later be killed.
1956 Sal Maglie throws a no-hitter, as the Dodgers beat the Phillies, 5-0.
1959 Gus Zernial, slugger, plays his last game.
1960 Joe Torre makes his big league debut.
1960 St. Louis signs amateur free agent Jose Cardenal.
1960 Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey makes it official—longtime star Ted Williams is retiring. This time it's for real.
1963 The Cardinals announce they’ll retire Stan Musial’s number. Oh, and they’re making him a vice president for the team, too.
1964 Dick Allen hits an inside the park home run to tie the game for the Phillies in the bottom of the 10th inning against Milwaukee, but the Braves win two frames later, 7-5. It’s part of the historic Phillies Phlop of 1964. It’s Philadelphia’s fifth straight loss, and the Phils now lead the league but just 1.5 games.
1965 Satchel Paige plays in his final game, pitching three scoreless innings for the Kansas City A’s, allowing only one hit—to Carl Yastrzemski.
1966 Al Kaline has maybe his worst game at the plate, fanning three times in three plate appearances. He has other three-K games, but always in more than three PA.
1966 Dick Allen enjoys his best game according to WPA. He goes 4-for-6 with a walk, a strikeout and a home run as the Phillies top the Cardinals 4-3 in 13 innings. Allen homers in the fourth to give Philly a 1-0 lead, singles in the tying run in the bottom of the ninth, and then singles home the winning run in the 13th.
1968 Mickey Mantle, playing in his last game at Yankee Stadium, ruins a no-hit bid for Luis Tiant. Mantle’s first-inning single is the only base hit off Tiant, who pitches a complete-game shutout for the Indians with 11 strikeouts and two walks.
1968 Ron Santo belts a walk-off grand slam, giving the Cubs a 4-1 win over the Dodgers.
1969 David Weathers is born.
1969 Tony Womack is born.
1971 Les Cain of Detroit pitches six innings in a 10-7 win over the Yankees. He’ll later claim that Billy Martin forced him to work with a sore arm, causing permanent damage, and sue over it.
1973 It’s Willie Mays Day at Shea Stadium. Mets top the Expos, 2-1.
1974 For the seventh time in his career, Bert Blyleven wins a 1-0 game with a complete game shutout. He’ll do this 15 times, the most by any pitcher since Walter Johnson. This game is a 1-0 Twins victory over the A’s.
1974 Off the field baseball experiences one of its most profound medical advances as Dr. Frank Jobe performs a revolutionary surgery on Tommy John.
1974 The Pirates top the Cardinals 13-12 in a wild 11-inning slugfest. Until the ninth, it’s 9-8 Cardinals. Then 12-8 heading into the bottom of the ninth, but Pittsburgh scores four to tie it.
1975 Sonny Siebert plays in his last big league game.
1976 For the 12th time, Bert Blyleven wins a 1-0 game with a complete game shutout, as his Rangers top the Royals.
1976 Gary Matthews belts three home runs in one game.
1976 Hall of Fame pitcher Red Faber dies.
1977 Randy Hundley, catcher, plays in his last game.
1978 Joel Pineiro is born.
1978 Larry Cox does something fairly rare for a catcher: belt two triples in one game.
1980 Brian Kingman loses his 20th game of the season, something no one else will do for over 20 years. Even odder, Kingman will be the first 20-game loser on a team with a winning record since Dolf Luque.
1981 Dwight Evans gets his 1,000th hit.
1981 Willie Randolph has possibly his worst game at the plate, going 0-for-4 with three strikeouts, as the Orioles triumph over the Yankees, 1-0.
1981 The often-injured Rocco Baldelli is born.
1983 Darren Daulton makes his big league debut.
1984 Ken Singleton plays in his last game.
1984 Tug McGraw appears in his final big league contest.
1984 Red Sox manager Ralph Houk announces he’ll retire upon the season’s conclusion.
1986 The Houston Astros clinch the NL West when team ace Mike Scott throws a no-hitter, fanning 13 with two walks. Houston 2, San Francisco 0.
1987 For the only time in his consecutive games streak, the Orioles pull Cal Ripken after just one plate appearance. (He will have zero PA on Aug. 7, 1989, though). Ripken plays just one inning, but it keeps the streak going.
1988 Jack Morris pitches a one-hitter, allowing only a seventh-inning single by Mickey Tettleton.
1989 Andre Dawson legs out his first inside the park home run in over six years. It’s the third and final one of his career, but his current team loses to his old team in 10 innings: Expos 4, Cubs 3.
1989 Bob Forsch plays in his final game.
1989 Jerry Hairston Sr. last appears in a major league game.
1990 The first eight Yankee hitters all gets hit in a 15-3 win over the Orioles.
1992 Seattle and Texas combine to use 54 players in a 4-3 Mariners win in 16 innings. Seattle uses 29 players.
1997 Joe Orsulak plays in his last game.
1997 The Expos release Lee Smith, ending his career.
1998 Several prominent players appear in their last game on this day: Dave Stieb, Doug Drabek, Terry Pendleton and Randy Myers.
2000 Derek Jeter connects for his 1,000th hit in his 780th game.
2001 Pittsburgh’s Craig Wilson sets an odd record: He gets a hit in six consecutive innings. He did it in the last three frames of yesterday’s game and does it again in the first three innings in a 13-1 win over the Cubs today.
2001 In a major league first, two teammates hit three home runs in the same game: Richie Sexson and Jeromy Burnitz for the Brewers in a game against the Diamondbacks. For Burnitz, it’s his second three-homer game.
2001 Tim Raines joins Rickey Henderson and Ted Williams as the only people to steal a base in four different decades.
2002 Andruw Jones hits three home runs in one game.
2002 The Brewers replace Wendy Selig-Prieb as president and Dean Taylor as GM. Ulice Paynce becomes president and Doug Melvin the GM.
2003 Carlos Delgado belts four homers in one game. It’s the fifth time he’s had at least three home runs in one game.
2004 For the third and final time in his career, Barry Bonds receives five walks in one game.
2007 Shawn Green gets his 2,000th hit.
2007 Several players appear in their last game, including: Aaron Sele, Roberto Hernandez, Ryan Klesko and Steve Kline. Also, Curt Schilling appears in his last regular season game, but his last overall game will come in that year’s World Series sweep by Boston over Colorado.
2007 Milton Bradley suffers an odd injury. He’s hurt when his manager tries to restrain him during an argument with an umpire.
2007 Neal Huntington becomes the new GM for the Pirates.
2008 Eric Gagne plays in his last game.
2009 Alex Rodriguez, age 34, steals three bases in a game, something he last did over 11 years ago.
2010 The Rockies hit three triples in one inning against the Giants. It goes triple-triple-homer-triple in the bottom of the fifth.
History instructor by day, statnerd by night, Chris Jaffe leads one of the most exciting double lives imaginable; with the exception of every other double life possible to imagine. Despite his lack of comic-book-hero-worthiness, Chris enjoys farting around with this stuff. His new book, Evaluating Baseball's Managers is available for order. Chris welcomes responses to his articles via e-mail. Oh, and now he's on twitter.