40 years ago today, a White Sox slugger did something very rare—and then did it for a second time in the same game.
The fun began in the top of the first inning of that game against the Twins. After a walk and single led off the game, Dick Allen came to the plate against 21-year-old future Hall of Famer Bert Blyleven with two on and two out. He lashed one to center, and proceeded to gallop around the bases for a homer and an early 3-0 White Sox lead.
It was Allen’s sixth career inside the park home run, but his first in years. Six years minus one day to be exact, as Allen had hit a special inside-the-park homer on Aug. 1, 1966: an inside the park walk-off shot. So while Allen was a quality base runner, you wouldn’t expect him to do it a second time that day.
Allen fanned in his next plate appearance, but in the fifth inning he got the better of Minnesota’s pitching and defense once again. With a runner on first, Allen again shot one to center and dashed around the bases for his second insider the park home run of his day. The Sox had a 6-0 lead, and would go on to win, 8-1.
Allen came to the plate once more, reached on error, and was then pulled for a pinch runner. He’d already done his job on the day.
1972 would prove to be the best season of Allen’s career. He led the league in homers and RBIs, and until mid-September also topped the AL in batting average. It’s the latest in the season anyone has led the league in all the triple crown categories. Allen had to settle for winning the sabermetric triple crown—home runs, RBIs, and OBP.
As great as he was in 1972, this might have been his best day with two homers and five RBIs. It was really part of an incredible streak for Allen. Four days earlier on July 27 he’d had another two home run game—only that time he had a typical two over-the-fence homers. Allen had yet another two homers game on July 22. In all, in nine games from July 22 to 31, he batted 13-for-27 with a double and eight homers for an OPS of 1981. As a general rule of thumb, when your OPS is approaching 2000, you’re doing pretty good for yourself.
Oh, one note before moving on. While two inside the park home runs in one game is certainly rare, it has happened since then. To be exact, it’s happened once since then—on Oct. 4, 1986. That was also a White Sox-Twins game, only this time a Twin hit the pair of inside the park home runs: infielder Greg Gagne. The winning pitcher that day was 35-year-old Bert Blyleven, the same man who allowed Allen’s pair blasts.
While Blyleven undoubtedly preferred Gagne’s game, the Allen game is the only one celebrating its anniversary—40 years ago today.
Aside from that, plenty of other events today celebrate their anniversary or “day-versary” (which is something occurring X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d prefer to just skim over things.
4,000 days since Danny Almonte throws a perfect game in the Little League World Series. It’ll later turn out he’s too old to pitch in this game, though.
7,000 days since the Expos sign amateur free agent Orlando Cabrera.
1886 Star second baseman Laughing Larry Doyle is born.
1888 Gus Weyhing throws a no-hitter, Philadelphia 4, Kansas City 0.
1888 Super base stealer and Hall of Famer Billy Hamilton makes his big league debut.
1891 Hall of Famer fireballer Amos Rusie becomes the youngest player to hurl a no-hitter at age 20 years and two months.
1892 Baseball pitcher Art Nehf is born.
1897 Cardinals pitcher John Grimes hits six batters in one game, which is still the record for a nine-inning game.
1899 Slugging outfielder Mike Tiernan plays in his last game.
1908 Fred Tenney steals first in attempt to draw a throw from the catcher to let the runner on third advance.
1910 Cub pitcher King Cole throws a shortened game no-hitter: seven innings against the Cardinals.
1921 Hall of Fame pitcher Eppa Rixey wins his 100th decision. His record is 100-114 at this point. He’ll be 166-137 for the rest of his career.
1922 Hank Bauer is born.
1922 Young star Austin McHenry plays in his last game. He’ll be dead by the end of the year.
1930 Lou Gehrig ties his personal best by driving in eight runs in one game. The day before, he had six. Today, he smacks a grand slam, and two doubles and New York needs all of it, as they narrowly edge Boston, 14-13.
1932 Exactly six years to the day since he last did it, Washington outfielder Sam Rice hits an over-the-fence home run.
1933 St. Louis signs aging spitballer Burleigh Grimes.
1934 Hall of Fame catcher Ernie Lombardi belts a pinch-hit grand slam.
1934 Lou Gehrig reaches base for the 52nd straight game, his personal best.
1935 Indians pitcher Mel Harder hits only four homers in his 20-plus year pitching career, but two come in one game off Chicago’s Ray Phelps. Despite that, Harder and the Indians lose anyway, 6-4.
1936 Jim Bottomley has his 18th and final multi-home run game.
1937 Carl Hubbell loses his 100th decision. His record is 184-100.
1937 In a radio interview in Chicago, outfielder Jake Powell says he’d like to “hit every colored person in Chicago over the head with a club.” He’ll get a 10 game suspension for this.
1938 At age 37, Gabby Hartnett steals his first base in three years.
1941 In honor of Lefty Grove recently winning his 300th game, The Sporting News has the following banner headline on their front page: Now it’s a magic dozen: with Grove latest and maybe last 300 game winner.” Even back then, people were talking about there being no more 300 game winners.
1941 The Red Sox and Browns set a record for longest nine inning game in AL history: three hours and 11 minutes. I believe that record has since been broken. St. Louis wins, 16-11.
1942 Charlie Gehringer’s final career home run is a pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth. Detroit loses, though, as it just turns a 7-4 deficit into a 7-6 loss.
1944 Joe Medwick hits his 500th double.
1951 Bob Feller wins his 224th game with the Indians, passing Mel Harder as the franchise all-time win leader. He still is, all these years later.
1954 Joe Adcock has one of the greatest days in baseball history, homering four times and hitting a double that nearly clears the fence. His 18 total bases in one game will be a record that lasts nearly a half-century until Shawn Green breaks it in 2002.
1955 Lou Boudreau notches his 1,000th managerial victory. His record: 1,000-941.
1955 Roy Campanella hits his 200th home run.
1955 White Sox pitcher Dick Donovan undergoes an emergency appendectomy.
1957 Former Cub first baseman Leon Durham is born.
1959 Al Kaline hits the first of two career inside the park home runs.
1959 Don Drysdale fans 14, a personal best he’ll twice tie.
1960 The Southern Association’s Memphis-Chattanooga game is postponed due to excessive heat.
1960 Hank Aaron is caught stealing twice in one game, the only time that ever happens to him.
1962 Ford Frick proposes interleague play in 1963. It doesn’t take.
1963 Paul Foytack makes unwanted big league history by becoming the first pitcher to surrender back-to-back-to-back-to-back homer runs.
1964 Harmon Killebrew’s 259th career home run is his first ever walk-off homer.
1965 Baltimore release one-time Phillies star pitcher Robin Roberts.
1965 Houston release former White Sox great Nellie Fox.
1966 Jim Bunning goes 0-for-4 with four Ks, arguably his worst game ever at the plate. He wins, though, 8-1 over Pittsburgh.
1969 According to Jim Bouton’s book Ball Four, Bouton takes 10-year-old Marvin Standifer and puts him in the bullpen with a warm up jacket and hat. He tells the bullpen coach that the kid has good stuff.
1972 Cleveland tops Milwaukee 1-0 with the only run coming on a walk-off error.
1974 Veteran pitcher Steve Barber plays in his last game.
1975 Gabe Kapler is born.
1979 Sabermetric darling Bobby Grich gets his 1,000th hit.
1979 Longtime shortstop Don Kessinger plays in his last game.
1981 A settlement is reached ending the players’ strike. The first game will be the All-Star game on Aug. 9.
1981 At age 35, Darrell Evans plays his first full game at shortstop. He’d played one inning there before – and that was yesterday.
1987 Eddie Murray hits his 300th home run.
1987 Cleveland trades what’s left of Steve Carlton to Minnesota.
1989 Robin Yount hits his 200th home run.
1989 The White Sox trade longtime starting pitcher Jerry Reuss to Milwaukee.
1990 Nolan Ryan wins his 300th decision, giving him a 300-267 career record.
1991 Jack Clark hits three home runs in one game for the Red Sox. The third homer is a walk-off homer in the 14th inning. It’s his eighth and final career walk-off. It’s also his 18th and final career extra-inning home run. Only Willie Mays has more extra-inning homers than Clark. Who knew Clark had so many extra inning shots?
1991 Robin Ventura hits a walk-off home run against Rich Gossage. It’s the second of six walk-off homers for Ventura. His first was 11 days ago. It’s also the 100th loss of Gossage’s career for a 117-100 career record.
1992 Tim Wakefield makes his big league debut. He tosses three wild pitches in it, the most he ever has in any appearance.
1993 The Reds trade Tim Belcher to the White Sox.
1993 The Royals trade Jon Lieber to the Pirates.
1993 Montreal retires No. 8 for Gary Carter. I also have this listed occurring in 2003 on this day. Must be one of those two years.
1994 Seattle’s all-time cumulative record bottoms out at 388 games under .500 (1,206-1,594).
1995 Detroit trades David Wells to the Reds.
1995 Minnesota trades Kevin Tapani to the Dodgers.
1995 The Mets trade Bret Saberhagen to the Rockies.
1996 MLB suspends Chris Sabo for seven games for using a corked bat.
1996 Milwaukee trades Greg Vaughn to the Padres.
1997 The White Sox nearly blow a 9-0 lead to the Angels, but hang on to win, 14-12. The two starting pitchers have a combined Game Score of five. That’s not an average, but combined Game Score.
1997 They call it the White Flag Trade. The White Sox send Wilson Alvarez, Roberto Hernandez, and Danny Darwin to the Giants for Keith Foulke, Bob Howry and three others. There is anger in Chicago as the team is still in the division hunt, but Cleveland is about to catch fire anyway, and this does help the Sox down the road.
1998 Colorado trades Ellis Burks to San Francisco.
1998 Troy Glaus makes his big league debut.
1999 Kansas City trades Kevin Appier to Oakland for three guys.
2000 St. Louis trades Will Clark to Baltimore, where he’ll end his career.
2001 Colorado trades their 1990s ace pitcher Pedro Astacio to Houston.
2002 The White Sox send Bob Howry to the Red Sox.
2002 In a five-player trade between the Mets and Padres, San Diego gets Jason Bay.
2002 The Royals all-time franchise record hits .500 (2,657-2,657). They’ll fall under it the next day and have been under it ever since then.
2003 Alex Rodriguez hits his second career walk-off grand slam.
2003 The Reds trades Aaron Boone to the Yankees.
2003 New York trades Robin Ventura to the Dodgers.
2003 The Twins top the Orioles 10-9 in a wild one. They score the game-tying run in the ninth on a miraculous play. On two out, two-strike swinging strike three that appears to end the game, the ball gets away from Baltimore’s catcher to become a wild pitch. On the play, Doug Mientkiewicz scores the tying run – from second base. In the 10th, Minnesota gets a game-winning single when a seeing-eye grounder gets through a five-man infield.
2004 The Red Sox, Cubs, Expos, and Twins pull off a four player trade. Boston gets Doug Mientkiewicz, Chicago gets Nomar Garciaparra and Matt Murton, Montreal gets Alex Gonzalez, and the Twins get a minor leaguer.
2005 Detroit sends Kyle Farnsworth to Atlanta.
2005 Minnesota releases Bret Boone.
2005 Jason Giambi whumps his 300th home run.
2007 Boston trades Joel Pineiro and cash to St. Louis.
2007 Houston sends Morgan Ensberg to San Diego as part of a conditional deal.
2008 A White Sox-Twins game in Minnesota is stopped for five minutes. After umps eject Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, fans throw balls on the field, and Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen pulls his players from the field.
2009 Cleveland trades Victor Martinez to Boston.
2009 Washington trades Nick the Stick Johnson to Florida.
2009 San Diego trades Jake Peavy to the White Sox.
2009 Toronto trades Scott Rolen to the Reds.
2010 Carlos Gonzalez hits for the cycle.
2010 The Cubs trade Ted Lilly and Ryan Theriot to the Dodgers.
2010 The Indians trade Kerry Wood to the Yankees.
2010 Houston trades Lance Berkman to the Yankees.
2010 Kansas City trades Kyle Farnsworth and Rick Ankiel to the Braves.
2010 Pittsburgh trades Octavio Dotel to the Dodgers.
2011 The Dodgers trade Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals.