In recent weeks I’ve listed a bunch of historical anniversaries here at THT Live. These normally fall into one of two categories: (1) traditional anniversaries (40 years ago today, 20 years ago today, etc), and (2) my personal specialty: “day-versaries,” which note an occasion that happened 10,000 days ago or 20,000 or some similar big round number.
As nerdy as the day-versaries are, I can get even nerdier: Today marks the one billion seconds since Carl Yastrzemski became the 15th member of baseball’s 3,000 hit club. To be precise, the billionth second will come a little before 11 Eastern Standard Time tonight.
Yaz singled against the Yanks in a mid-September night game in 1979 to join the club. The club has become more heavily populated since then obviously—currently there are 27 members and counting. Yaz is still comfortably within the top 10, and second only to Stan Musial among men who played their entire career with one team.
Aside from Yaz’s big hit, the following events also mark an anniversary or “day-versary” today. I’ll put the better ones in bold if you just want to skim.
5,000 days since John Olerud hit for the cycle—one of the two times he did it.
5,000 days since Ivan Rodriguez hit three homers in one game
9,000 days since Enos Cabell played his last game
10,000 days since the A’s signed amateur free agent Felix Jose
1859 Fred Dunlap, great 19th century second baseman, born
1891 Jim Whitney, star pitcher of 1880, dies at age 33.
1892 Pud Galvin, baseball’s first 300-game winner, loses a tough one. He holds the opposing Cubs hitless until the eighth and surrenders only two all game, but that’s all it takes as Chicago triumphs 1-0 for its 13th consecutive win.
1901 Giants owner Andrew Freeman accuses umpire Billy Nash of incompetence and has him barred from the Polo Grounds
1901 Christy Mathewson allows a run, ending a 39-inning scoreless streak. The run is unearned.
1902 Hall of Fame center fielder Earl Averill born
1904 Red Sox shortstop Bill O’Neill commits six errors in one 13-inning game. He muffed three balls in the first inning alone.
1912 AL President Ban Johnson fines each Tiger between $50 and $100 for their one-day strike on behalf of the suspended Ty Cobb. The suspension remains in place.
1919 Giants trade Jim Thorpe to the Braves
1920 Hughie Jennings manages his 2,000th game in the majors, all with the Tigers
1923 Formal transfer of T. L. Huston’s interest in Yankee ownership to Jake Ruppert completed for $1.5 million. Ruppert becomes famous as the owner in their first glory stretch.
1925 Mickey Cochrane hits three home runs in one game. He gets three homers total in his other 133 games on the year.
1926 Early Sheely, White Sox, hits three double and a homer in today’s game. Combined with a trio of doubles in his last three at bats the previous game, that’s a record seven consecutive at bats resulting in extra base hits.
1927 Pie Traynor, who hit only 58 home runs in his career, launches his third one in four days.
1930 Babe Ruth hits three home runs in one game. It’s the first time he’s done it in the regular season, but third time overall, as he twice did it in the World Series. He’s the first player to do this three times in all. In his final at bat of the game, the left-handed Ruth tries to bat righty to gain a platoon advantage over relief pitcher Jack Quinn. After two strikes, he goes back to batting left handed, but fans anyway.
1930 In the same game Ruth homered three times, Max Bishop of the opposing Philadelphia A’s walks five times. It’s the second time in his career he’s done that, something no one else can claim.
1931 Line drive knocks out Brooklyn pitcher Dazzy Vance just one out away from a complete game. Jack Quinn gets the final out for Vance’s win.
1932 Tony Lazzeri has a nice doubleheader, going 6-for-7 with a home run, two doubles, and a triple. One of those hits is his 1,000th career hit.
1934 Giants starting pitcher Freddie Fitzsimmons struck in the back by a fungo bat while warming up. He’s injured and will miss several starts.
1935 Senators purchase Bobo Newsom from the Browns for $40,000
1938 Spud Chandler doesn’t need any teammates, as he combines pitching a complete game shutout with hitting a home run in New York’s 1-0 win over the White Sox.
1938 Silver King, great 1880s phenom pitcher, dies
1940 For the second straight day, Jimmie Foxx hits a grand slam.
1941 Bob Feller has his worst day at the plate: 0-for-5 with four Ks.
1942 Ted Williams launches his 100th home urn.
1943 Fastest night game in AL history: CWS 1, WAS 0 in only 89 minutes.
1943 Hal Newhouser endures his longest outing: 13 IP, 9 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 5 BB, 10 K.
1949 Jackie Robinson drives in a career high six runs despite hitting no home runs. Most guys have at least one homer in their best RBI game. He was 3-for-5 with two doubles and a stolen base. In related news, Robinson’s teammate Pee Wee Reese scores a personal best five runs in a game.
1950 Joe DiMaggio clubs his 13th and final grand slam.
1952 Minor league phenom Ron Neccai, who fanned 27 in a no-hitter just eight days earlier, fans 24 today.
1952 Brooklyn has record-setting 15 runs in first inning versus Reds, en route to 19-1 win. It could’ve been even worse: only two Brooklyn outs came at the plate in the first, the other was a caught steal. Cincinnati starter Ewell Blackwell gets the first guy out, but then the next 19 in a row reach base. According to the 1980s book, The Baseball Hall of Shame, after leaving the game, Blackwell showered, changed, left the park, and went to the bar—and saw the first inning was still going on. By the time it ended, the guy who relieved Blackwell made it to the bar as well. That’s a pretty bad inning.
1953 Red Sox catcher Del Wilber hits pinch-hit home run in third straight pinch-hit opportunity.
1955 White Sox sign amateur free agent Norm Cash. They’ll later trade him away in the 1959-60 offseason, in which they also dump Don Mincher, Johnny Callison, Earl Battey, and John Romano, all of whom will become All-Stars.
1956 White Sox trade George Kell to the Orioles in six-player trade.
1957 Jim Bunning has his longest career outing: 13 IP, 10 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 11 K, but it results in a no-decision as his Tigers prevail 2-1 over the Orioles in 16 innings.
1957 Boston writers reaffirm their decision to ban women from the press box.
1959 MLB owners opt against expansion. This position won’t last much longer.
1960 Kent Hrbek born
1961 Pirates 13, Phillies 11. The Phillies lead 9-2 early in this game, but it’s 9-9 by the seventh inning stretch. Philly scores twice in the bottom of the seventh for an 11-9 lead, but then gives up two in the top of the eighth and another pair in the ninth inning.
1963 Reds pitcher Jim Maloney fans eight straight from the first through fourth innings, and ends the day with 16 Ks in a 2-0 win. He doesn’t get the complete game, though, pitching 8.1 innings.
1966 Harmon Killebrew hits his 300th home run
1966 Robert Clemente fans four times in one game, the only time he ever does that. He’s 1-for-6. LA 5, PIT 4 (12).
1967 Whitey Ford pitches in his last game.
1968 Billy Williams plays in his 695th straight game, a record for outfielders.
1968 The A’s cumulative all-time franchise record bottoms out at 763 games under .500 (4,730-5,493). Only the Phillies and Browns/Orioles have ever been lower.
1969 Seattle Pilots manager Joe Schultz ejected for offering an ump his glasses
1969 Reggie Jackson hits an inside the park home run, the third of four in his career.
1970 Cardinals’ Steve Carlton fans 16 Phillies, but St. Louis loses 4-3.
1970 Yankee Mel Stottlemyre walks 11 in 8.1 innings vs. the Senators—but New York wins anyway, 2-0.
1975 Reds enter today 20-20, but a win propels them on an 88-34 streak the rest of the season.
1976 When umpires refuse to cross a vendors’ picket line at Three Rivers Stadium, an amateur crew works the game.
1976 Dave Winfield hits his first career grand slam.
1977 According to WPA, Rick Sawyer has the best relief stint in Padres history: 8 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K for a 0.963 WPA. Padres win 11-8 over the Expos in 21 innings. The teams combine for a record nine intentional walks.
1981 Josh Hamilton born
1981 Maybe the best college pitcher’s duel of all-time, as Ron Darling of Yale meets Frank Viola of St. John’s. St. John’s wins 1-0 in 12 innings after Darling throws a no-hitter through the first 11 frames, with 16 Ks. In the 12th, a single, reached on error, and several stolen bases provide the difference.
1985 Orioles release longtime role player John Lowenstein.
1985 Expos release longtime rotation stalwart Steve Rogers, ending his career.
1985 Ryne Sandberg plays an inning at shortstop. It’ll be the last time he takes the field away from second base.
1986 Matt Weiters born
1988 Red Sox retire Bobby Doerr’s number
1989 Ken Griffey Jr.’s first inside the park homer is career homer No. 6.
1990 Barry Bonds bats leadoff for the last time.
1992 Four Angels end up in the hospital, including manager Buck Rodgers, after bus accident. Rogers is the worst off, with a broken rib, elbow, and knee. Ouch!
1993 Dale Murphy plays his last game
1993 Umpire Jim McKean ejects Toronto mascot B. J. Birdie for making gestures the ump finds offensive.
1993 Rickey Henderson has a career-best five RBI when he goes 2-for-4 with a triple and home run in Oakland’s 12-11 win over Chicago.
1995 Mark McGwire’s personal best hitting streak maxes at 18 games. He’s 23-for-69 with six doubles and nine home runs.
1996 Larry Walker gets a double, triple, and two home runs—but never does get a single to complete the cycle.
1996 Ken Griffey hits his 200th home run.
1996 4.8 quake in third inning of Giants-Expos game. The game proceeds, as it’s just a mild quake and the Giants win 8-5.
1996 Terry Mulholland, veteran relief pitcher, hits a 407-foot home run. He began the day with the third-worst batting average among anyone with at least 400 at-bats.
1997 Roger Clemens wins his 200th game: 200-111 for his career.
1997 MLB debut: Keith Foulke
1998 Jim Edmonds gets his 100th home run.
1998 Herbert Aaron, father of Hank Aaron, dies at age 89
2000 Rickey Henderson bashes lead-off home run for second straight game
2000 Major league teams combine for six grand slams on this day, a record.
2001 Barry Bonds clubs his eighth homer in five games, tying a record.
2002 Randy Johnson fans his 3,500th batter
2002 Tampa pitcher Joe Kennedy tosses a complete game, ending a 194 game stretch without one for Tampa.
2003 Geoff Jenkins hits three home runs in a game for the second time
2004 Alex Rodriguez plays his first game in Texas as a Yankee, and predictably gets booed.
2005 As New York’s Dae-Sung Koo faces Randy Johnson, in the Mets dugout Mike Piazza tells his teammate David Wright that he’ll give $1 million to charity if Koo gets a hit. Koo doubles. Piazza sticks up to his word, creating a 20-year plan of $50,000/year to give to charity.
2005 Giants unveil statue of Juan Marichal
2005 Rangers hit four home runs in third inning.
2007 The all-time bottoming out of the Colorado Rockies’ cumulative franchise record occurs on this day: 164 games under .500 (1,043-1,207). (They tie the 164 games under mark on June 3, 2009).
2009 Last game: Troy Percival
2010 Pitcher Brad Penny tears his lat while hitting a grand slam in third inning versus St. Louis. He’ll be out for the year.
2010 Roy Oswalt says he’s willing to waive his no-trade clause.
2010 Edwin Encarnacion of Toronto hits three home runs in one game.