August 25, 1985, Dwight ”Doc” Gooden of the New York Mets becomes the youngest pitcher to win 20 games in a season. At 20 years, nine months, and nine days – one month younger than Bob Feller was when he won 20 games in 1939 – Gooden defeats the San Diego Padres, 9-3. Gooden would not follow Feller into the Hall of Fame but had 194 career wins and was part of two world champions. Curiously, through his 12 post season starts, Gooden was never victorious in a single one.

Holy Cow!

August 25, 1956, the New York Yankees release longtime shortstop Phil Rizzuto, ending his playing career. The Yankees cut Rizzuto in order to make room for another Hall of Famer – outfielder Enos Slaughter. In 1957, the Yankees will add Rizzuto to their broadcasting crew. Four years earlier on this date, Rizzuto was involved in the controversial play, in a 1-0 win over the Yankees, Virgil Trucks of the Tigers pitches his second no-hitter of the season. The no-hitter is in doubt for three innings when a play made by shortstop Johnny Pesky in the third inning is under debate. Rizzuto’s grounder is ruled an error, then a hit, before finally being switched back to an error.

A pair of dazzling rookies:

1997 – Boston’s Nomar Garciaparra singled twice to extend his hitting streak to 27 games, breaking the American League rookie record set by Guy Curtright of the Chicago White Sox in 1943. The Red Sox come back to beat the Mariners 9-8. Garciaparra’s streak survived thirty games.

1986 – Oakland A’s third baseman Mark McGwire hits his first major league home run, a 450-foot blast to center field off Walt Terrell, as Oakland beats Detroit 8-4 at Tiger Stadium.

Born on this day:

Future Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers is born in Steubenville, Ohio on August 25, 1946. After a brilliant amateur career that included American Legion Player of the Year honors, Fingers would make his major league debut with the Oakland A’s in 1968 and became one of baseball’s top relievers.

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