10th anniversary: Odalis Perez’s big day

10 years ago today, Odalis Perez had quite a day for himself. A decade ago, he barely needed his teammates to win a game – which is nice because they barely helped him.

On Aug. 28, 2002, Odalis Perez was the starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Heading into the day, Perez was having a nice season, with an 11-8 record backed up by a 3.14 ERA. This would be his best game ever.

On the mound, Perez was effective, though not overwhelming. He fanned the occasional batter, but wasn’t ringing up too many Ks. He gave up a few hits, but the Diamondbacks couldn’t really get a rally going. Arizona had five hits through five innings, but had neither scored nor seriously threatened to.

However, the Dodgers were having troubles of their own scoring. Journeyman starter Rick Helling had a shutout of his own going through the first four innings. And with the bottom of Arizona’s order coming up, it looked like a 0-0 game would continue into the sixth.

That isn’t what happened, though for a few seconds it looked like what would happen. The first two batters went down easily. But then came the last man in the order – pitcher Odalis Perez. Normally you wouldn’t think of the opposing pitcher as a tough out. And in Perez’s case, you’d be right. He was a career .132 hitter with just one home run in 391 PA.

But guess what—that home run came right here.

With his bat, Perez gave himself a 1-0 lead, and his arm made it hold. He retired the side in order in the sixth, seventh, and eighth.

However, after eight frames his pitch count was 108, so Arizona skipper Bob Brenly went to his bullpen to close it out. Reliever Mike Koplove struggled a bit, surrendering a leadoff single and a two-out walk, but fanned the other three batters he faced to preserve the win.

And like that, Perez had pitched eight shutout innings for a 1-0 win – with the run coming courtesy his own solo home run. Yeah, that was a big day for Odalis Perez.

Aside from that, many other baseball events celebrate their anniversary or day-versary (which is something that occurred X-thousand days ago) today. Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim over things.

Day-versaries

3,000 days since Jeff Kent’s longest hitting streak peaks at 25 games. It’s the only time he has a hitting streak more than 13 games long.

3,000 days since Charles Johnson plays in his final game.

3,000 days since Rey Sanchez hits a walk-off inside-the-park home run.

8,000 days since Cecil Fielder becomes the first player in 13 years to hit 50 homers in a season.

8,000 days since a slew of men play their last career game, most notably: Chet Lemon, Fred Lynn, Jeffrey Leonard, Dave Collins, Jerry Reuss, Mickey Hatcher, and Ron Oester.

15,000 days since Bob Gibson wins his 200th game for a record of 200-126.

15,000 days since Tom Walker pitches a 15-inning no-hitter for Dallas in the Texas League over Albuquerque.

Anniversaries

1884 New York pitcher Mickey Welch fans the first nine batters to face him in today’s Giants-Spiders game.

1897 Mike Tiernan hits his 100th home run. He’s the fifth member of the club, joining Harry Stovey, Roger Connor, Sam Thompson, and Dan Brouthers. All of Tiernan’s homers have come with the Giants. It’s the first time a guy has hit 100 home runs with one franchise.

1898 Jolly Cholly Charlie Grimm is born.

1899 Hall of Fame outfielder Jesse Burkett hits two inside the park home runs in one game.

1903 The Browns and Indians have their train derail in Ohio, but none of them die.

1907 Tex Neuer of the Yankees has a great debut. Posting a 1-0 win with a complete game shutout. He’ll toss six complete games, post four wins, and have three shutouts over the next month – and then never pitch in the majors again.

1909 Washington’s Dolly Gray walks eight White Sox in the second inning, including seven in a row. Both are major league records.

1913 Pitching legend Walter Johnson’s 14 game winning streak comes to an end in a 1-0 11-innng loss.

1916 The Cubs trade third baseman Heinie Zimmerman to the Giants for second baseman Larry Doyle and two others.

1918 Legendary outfielder Tris Speaker assaults umpire John Connolly over a call at home plate. Speaker is suspended for the rest of the year.

1919 Bucky Harris makes his big league debut.

1921 Jimmie Dykes handles 17 chances at second base in a 12-4 A’s win over the Browns.

1924 Tris Speaker legs out his 200th career triple. He’s the last man to reach that milestone.

1924 Goose Goslin hits for the cycle – complete with an inside the park home run.

1924 Chick Hafey makes his big league debut.

1925 Kiki Cuyler hits two inside the park home run in one game.

1926 Dutch Levsen of the Indians becomes the last pitcher to start and win both ends of the doubleheader, 6-1 and 5-1 over the Red Sox. He doesn’t fan a single batter all day.

1927 George Uhle, terrific pitcher for a stretch, loses his 100th decision for a 132-100 record so far in his career.

1930 Harry Heilmann has the last of 10 career multi-home run games.

1930 It may very well be the greatest Cubs-Cardinals game of all-time, as the Cardinals battle to beat the Cubs 8-7 in 20 innings as the two teams fight in a pennant race.

1933 Charlie Gehringer gets his 100th career triple.

1934 Hall of Famer Sunny Jim Bottomley gets his 2,000th hit. It takes him just 1,651 games to do it.

1936 Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons enjoys the best start of his career, allowing one run over 13 innings for a 92 Game Score.

1936 Don Denkinger, famous (or is it infamous?) umpire, is born.

1937 Paul Derringer wins his 100th decision for a 100-112 career record. He’ll be 123-100 in the rest of his career, which features better run support than the first half of his career.

1938 It’s Connie Mack Day at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. The A’s sweep a twin bill from the White Sox. It’s their seventh doubleheader in the last eight days.

1939 Joe DiMaggio gets eight RBIs in one game, a personal best he’ll later tie.

1939 Charlie Root wins his 189th game with the Cubs, passing Mordecai Brown as all-time franchise leader. Root is still No. 1 on the Cubs wins list all these years later. Root also issues his first balk in over 12 years and 2,000 innings in the game as well.

1939 Cleveland’s Jeff Heath punches a taunting fan who is leaning over a railing. The umpire misses it so Heath gets away with it.

1940 Ray Brown of the Homestead Grays wins his 27th consecutive decision in the Negro Leagues.

1941 Joe McCarthy becomes the fifth manager to win his 1,500th decision. He’s also the second man to do it this week, as Bill McKechnie joined the club on Aug. 25. Connie Mack, John McGraw, and Fred Clarke are also in the club. McCarthy’s record is 1,500-917.

1943 Joe Medwick has a personal best six RBIs in one game. He’s 3-for-5 with a double and home run in the Giants 12-0 win over the Dodgers.

1943 Lou Piniella is born.

1945 17-year-old Tommy Brown of the Dodgers becomes the youngest player to ever steal home.

1945 It’s a big day in baseball history as Jackie Robinson meets Branch Rickey and signs with Dodgers. Rickey tells Robinson, “I want a player with the guts not to fight back.”

1946 Mike Torrez, pitcher, is born.

1948 For the second time in three days, Stan Musial hits a walk-off home run.

1950 The Indians take a 12-1 lead on the Red Sox but end up losing 15-14. Bob Lemon suffers through his worst Game Score (7) with this line: 3.1 IP, 7 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 4 BB, and 1 K.

1950 Earle and Roy Mack buy 54 percent interest in the A’s from their younger half-brother Connie Mack Jr.

1950 Hank Sauer belts three home runs in one game.

1950 Ron Guidry is born.

1951 The Giants 16-game winnings streak ends – but the Dodgers are now up by only six games.

1952 Cincinnati trades Ewell Blackwell to the Yankees for four players and $35,000.

1952 Robin Roberts begins a streak of 28 consecutive complete games.

1954 The White Sox win, putting manager Paul Richards 79 games over .500 (336-257), his peak.

1956 17-year-old Mike McCormick is signed to a bonus contract with the Giants.

1957 Ed Roebuck has what WPA says is the best relief stint in Dodgers history (in the WPA era history). He tosses nine shutout innings for a 1.132 WPA.

1959 Art Ditmar combines a complete game shutout and also hits a home run. Yankees 4, Senators 0.

1963 Today’s Senators-Twins game, like yesterday’s game, is postponed by the March on Washington festivities in town.

1965 Harvey Haddix appears in his last game.

1967 Hawk Harrelson signs as a free agent with the Red Sox.

1967 Johnny Bench makes his big league debut.

1968 Bobby Bonds draws a walk-off walk for a 4-3 Giants win over the Astros.

1968 The Astros arrives in Chicago just in time for the Battle of Michigan Avenue between protesters and Chicago police officers outside the Democratic National Convention. Larry Dierker and some of his teammates see it all from their hotel rooms at the Conrad Hilton.

1969 Bowie Kuhn announces the publication of a baseball encyclopedia, and holds up a copy of the 6.5 pound book.

1970 Juan Marichal wins his 200th game. His record is 200-97. Only he, Lefty Grove, Whitey Ford, and Pedro Martinez got to 200 wins before 100 losses in the post-Pete Alexander era. Marichal will go 43-45 from here on out.

1970 Denny McLain dumps water buckets on two Tigers beat writers, in what McLain claims is a joke. No one laughs.

1970 Troubled Boston slugger Tony Horton appears in his last game. He’ll go to the hospital for depression and mental problems. He’ll recover mentally, but never return to baseball.

1971 The Yankees release Bobby Cox.

1971 Rick Wise hits two home runs in one game, one a grand slam. It’s the second two-homer game of the year for him. The other was a no-hitter.

1971 It’s Ron Santo Day at Wrigley Field. Ron Santo first publicly announces that he’s diabetic.

1974 Al Kaline hits a walk-off home run off Frank Tanana. It’s Kaline’s sixth and last walk-off.

1979 The Dodgers release Andy Messersmith.

1982 Carlos Quentin, outfielder, is born.

1983 Atlanta trades Brett Butler, Brook Jacoby, a third player, and send $150,000 to the Indians for Len Barker.

1983 Keith Hernandez lays down his last sacrifice bunt. He’ll have 3,536 more PA without another one.

1983 Cesar Geronimo plays in his final game.

1985 Todd Worrell makes his big league debut.

1985 Pete Rose gets a walk-off walk. It’s the second and final one of his career.

1986 Cal Ripken steals two bases in one game for the only time. The O’s as a whole are steal crazy, going 7-for-7 on the bases. It’s the only time an Earl Weaver managed team has more than five swipes in one game.

1987 Fred Lynn smacks a pinch-hit, walk-off solo home run for a 6-5 Baltimore win over the Angels.

1988 Tommy John ties a personal worst with a Game Score of 4. His line: 4.1 IP, 12 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, and 0 K.

1989 For the first time ever, it’s a matchup between dueling defending Cy Young Award winners. The Mets and Frank Viola top the Dodgers and Orel Hershiser, 1-0.

1989 Big Daddy Rick Reuschel allows seven his in one game – all of which are doubles. He also gets seven outs and allows seven runs.

1990 Edgar Martinez hits the only walk-off home run of his career. It’s his 13th of 308 total home runs for him.

1990 Frank Thomas hits the first of over 500 career home runs.

1990 Larry Jackson, former big league pitcher, dies.

1991 Tom Glavine posts his 50th win, for a 50-49 record. He’ll be 255-154 in the rest of his career.

1992 Roger Clemens at the age of 30 years and 24 days, wins his 150th game. He’s 150-69 at the moment and will go 204-115 the rest of the way.

1992 Jack Clark plays in his last game.

1992 The Brewers destroy the Blue Jays 22-2. Milwaukee gets 31 hits in the contest.

1993 Juan Gonzalez hits three home runs in one game.

1993 For the third time this year, Nolan Ryan goes on the DL.

1995 Barry Larkin belts his 100th home run.

1996 The Angels trade Chili Davis to the Royals for Mark Gubicza and another player.

1996 Pittsburgh trades Denny Neagle to Atlanta for two players and a player to be named later. The PTBNL will be Jason Schmidt.

1996 St. Louis releases Mike Morgan.

1997 Ivan Rodriguez lays down his only sacrifice bunt between Sept. 1993 and June 2002.

1997 For the only time in his career, Mike Piazza steals two bases in one game.

1998 Paul Molitor bops his 600th career double.

1998 Jason Giambi gets on base six times in one game for the only time: four hits and two walks.

1999 Bobby Cox becomes the 16th manager to win 1,500 games. He’s 1,500-1,194 so far. In the game, Kevin Millwood pitches 10 IP for the Braves. It’s the only time any Atlanta gets more than 27 outs in one game.

2000 A Frank Thomas hit in the fourth inning is the only one Tim Hudson allows all day in a 3-0 one-hitter wins for the A’s over the White Sox.

2003 Jose Reyes of the Mets becomes the youngest player to homer from each side of the plate. He’s 20 years old.

2004 Tony Clark hits three home runs in one game for the Yankees.

2005 The Cubs retire Ryne Sandberg‘s No. 23.

2008 Cristian Guzman hits for the cycle.

2009 Albert Pujols hits his eighth career walk-off home run. He’s had two more since then.

2009 Anaheim acquires Scott Kazmir from the Tampa Bay Rays.

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