1974 | DETROIT, MICHIGAN – Chicago White Sox slugger Dick Allen hit one of the longest home runs ever hit on this date in 1974. Allen was facing the Detroit Tigers’ Dave Lemanczyk in the 5th inning when he hit a mammoth fly ball that struck the façade of the roof in left-center field at Tiger Stadium. Players and fans who witnessed the shot said it was still rising when it hit the roof, not likely, but still estimated to have traveled over 500 feet. The façade was 415 from home plate, 85 feet in the air.
Dick Allen, early in his career he was called “Richie,” came out of the gate strong, winning National League Rookie of the Year honors for the Philadelphia Phillies in 1964.
His personality would prove to be as impactful as his bat. He had his share of verbal and physical altercations and suspensions. His relationship with sportswriters was contentious. He made life interesting for his managers, which is probably why he was traded five times in 15 years.
Regardless of his colorful personality, Dick Allen had talent. Besides Rookie of the Year, he was the American League’s Most Valuable Player in 1972 and twice led the American league in home runs. He finished a 15-year career with a .292 average, 351 home runs, 1,199 runs batted in and 1,099 runs scored.
July 6, 1974 box score/play-by-play
1979 | CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – On this date in 1979 the Chicago Cubs scored 6 runs in the first, 3 in the fourth, 7 in the fifth, 3 in the sixth, 3 more in the eight and still lost.
There were eleven home runs on this windy afternoon at Wrigley Field, a record at the time.
The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Cubs 23 to 22 in ten innings, but not before the Cubs made a miraculous comeback from a 21-9 deficit in the 5th to tie it 22-22 in the eighth.
There were eleven home runs on this windy afternoon at Wrigley Field, a record at the time. The ‘friendly confines’ were overly friendly on this date. It’s as though former NFL great Gale Sayers sneaked into Wrigley Field, which his Chicago Bears called home during football season, and ran off a few touchdowns.
The Cubs’ Dave Kingman had three home runs. Teammate Bill Buckner had a grand slam and seven runs batted in. The Phillies Mike Schmidt hit two home runs, including the game winner.
The 45 combined runs by the Cubs and Phillies today in baseball is not even the record. You have to go back to August 25, 1922 when the same two teams combined for 49 runs when the Cubs beat the Phillies 26-23.
The most runs scored in an American League game is 36, done twice. The Boston Red Sox beat the Philadelphia A’s 22-14 on June 29, 1950. On August 12, 2008 the Red Sox beat the Texas Rangers 19-17.
Chicago Tribune, Chicago, IL, May 18, 1979
May 17, 1979 box score/play-by-play
Runs Scored Records
MLB Rare Feats
1927 | PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – A section of the stands at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl collapsed on this date in 1927 causing a stampede which killed a fan and injured more than 50. The 50-foot section of the lower deck seats down the first base line gave way during a Philadelphia Phillies – St. Louis Cardinals game throwing some 300 fans out of their seats.
According to newspaper reports at the time, “The collapse threw the crowd into a panic and it swarmed on the field…” (The Charleston Gazette, West Virginia). The game was suspended with the Phillies ahead 12-3.
The ball park was officially named National League Park, but gained its moniker Baker Bowl or Baker Field as a reference to one-time owner William F. Baker.
“The collapse threw the crowd into a panic and it swarmed on the field…”
Since the ball park had to be squeezed into Philadelphia’s street grid there were some interesting dimensions. For example, the right field foul pole was just 275 feet from home plate. Right center was only 300 feet away. These softball-like distances required the erection of a wall 60 feet high in right field. By comparison, the “Green Monster” in Boston is 37 feet high.
The Pinstripe Press
The Baker Bowl