Submitted by BTGrimes on Wed, 10/26/2016 - 11:00am
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - Minnesota Twins center fielder Kirby Puckett was not having a good World Series. The Twins were facing elimination, down 3 games to 2 to the Atlanta Braves. It all changed on this date in 1991.
Puckett hit a triple in the first to drive in a run and later scored. In the third he robbed the Braves' Ron Gant of extra bases by jumping and seeming to hang in mid-air to snag a 400 foot drive off the Plexiglas in left-center field. The future Hall of Famer broke a tie in the fifth with a sacrifice fly to deep center. After the Braves tied it up in the 8th, Puckett singled and stole second, but didn't score.
The game went into extra innings before 51,155 frenzied fans in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. Puckett led off the 11th and hit a 2-1 pitch from Charlie Leibrandt over the left field fence prompting television play-by-play man Jack Buck to say, simply, "And we'll see you tomorrow night!"
The Twins won that game too, and won a World Series that will go down in history as one of the most thrilling.
This baseball history story about Kirby Puckett is brought to you by TODAY in BASEBALL.
Submitted by BTGrimes on Sat, 10/22/2016 - 10:35pm
TODAY in BASEBALL - OCTOBER 22, 1845 - NEW YORK, NEW YORK - According to baseball historian John Thorn in his book, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, the first baseball box score appeared in the New York Herald newspaper on this date in 1845. The box score recorded a game from the previous day between The New York Ball Club and a team from Brooklyn (unfortunately, the actual box score could not be located so we're not certain of the team's name).
The box score appeared to be patterned after cricket, a more commonly played game in Manhattan, New York at the time.
The baseball graphic included a box with two columns listing players for each team in the order of how they batted. It recorded little more than their names, number of outs made and runs scored. It didn't have pitching statistics, except for what the pitchers did at the plate.
Here's an example of another box score from the late 19th Century.
Today the typical box score has, at least, names, positions, at bats, runs, hits and runs batted in. Many box scores also record who had extra base hits, committed errors, hit sacrifice flies, stole bases and stats on all pitchers. Plenty to lose yourself in for a half hour or so. Below is a how-to on a modern baseball box score courtesy of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Is baseball great or what?
This baseball history story about the first box score is brought to you by TODAY in BASEBALL.
Submitted by BTGrimes on Fri, 10/21/2016 - 11:48am
Drama at Fenway
TODAY in BASEBALL history - OCTOBER 21, 1975 - BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - Many regard the game played on this date in 1975 as the best World Series game ever. Certainly game 6 of the ‘75 Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox ranks up there as one of the most exciting. The 12 inning classic is most remembered for Carlton Fisk's walk-off home run - more like "wish-off" home run - to force a game seven, but there was much more.
But the opportunity wouldn't have presented itself to Fisk without teammate Bernie Carbo hitting a pinch hit, 3-run homer with 2 out in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game at 6.
As exciting as that game was, it did not turn out to be a Cinderella story for Boston. Cincinnati won game 7 the next day 4-3.
This baseball history story about Carlton Fisk is brought to you by TODAY in BASEBALL.
Submitted by BTGrimes on Thu, 10/20/2016 - 8:00am
Back from the brink
TODAY in BASEBALL - OCTOBER 20, 2004 - THE BRONX, NEW YORK | By defeating the New York Yankees 10-3 on this date in 2004, the Boston Red Sox became the first MLB team to win a best of seven playoff series after losing the first three games. Every game after the third was an elimination game for the Red Sox, and games four and five were not for the faint of heart.
It was the bottom of the ninth in game 4. The Red Sox were three outs from going home, down 4-3. Kevin Millar walked to lead off. Brian Roberts ran for Millar and proceeded to steal second. Roberts scored the tying run on a base hit by 3rd baseman Bill Mueller. The Red Sox were unable to bring the winning run around, so extra innings it went.
No one scored in the 10th or 11th. The Yankees went down in the 12th without scoring, but the Red Sox wasted little time putting the game away. Manny Ramirez singled to left and David Ortiz followed with a walk-off home run.
The Red Sox trailed late in game 5 too. They tied the Yankees in the bottom of the eighth. Again, it went into extra innings, and again, David Ortiz drove in the winning run with a walk-off single in the 14th.
The Red Sox had to win the next two in Yankee Stadium, which they did, 4-2 and 10-3. The next stop - the World Series. The Red Sox swept the St. Louis Cardinals in four games to win their first World Series since 1918.
This baseball history story about the Red Sox is brought to you by TODAY in BASEBALL.
Submitted by BTGrimes on Tue, 10/18/2016 - 8:00am
Reggie! Reggie! Reggie!
In the fourth inning, Yankee right-fielder Reggie Jackson hit Los Angeles Dodgers' pitcher Burt Hooton's 1st pitch into the right-field seats for a two-run homer. The next inning, Jackson hit Elias Sosa's 1st pitch to almost the same spot for 2 more runs. In the eighth inning, Jackson hit Dodger pitcher Charlie Hough's 1st pitch into the center-field bleachers.
Which was more amazing? Hitting 3 home runs in one World Series game? Hitting each one on the first pitch? Hitting each one off different pitchers? Or, hitting the third one 475 feet into the hitting-backdrop bleachers?
The Yankees won the game 8-4 and the Series 4 games to 2. The last player to hit 3 home runs in a World Series game before Jackson? Babe Ruth, who did it twice. Albert Pujols (2011) and Pablo Sandoval (2012) have done it since.
This baseball history story about Reggie Jackson is brought to you by TODAY in BASEBALL.