This Day In Baseball July 23
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on July 23 This Day In Baseball.
July 23, 1962, Jackie Robinson, the first black player to participate in major league ball during the 20th century, also becomes the first African
-American elected to the shrine.
In 1925, Yankees legend Lou Gehrig hit the first of his major league record 23 career grand slams in New York’s win over the Senators.
July 23, 1978
Riding high after the Yankees fifth straight win over the White Sox, manager Billy Martin
was interviewed at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. While responding to a reporter’s question about Reggie
Jackson and George Steinbrenner, Martin replied: “The two deserve each other. One’s a born liar; the
other’s convicted”. The remarks resulted in Billy’s resignation. This would not be the last time he and
Steinbrenner would part ways.
In 2002, Nomar Garciaparra celebrated his birthday in grand style. As he turned 29, Boston’s beloved shortstop hit three homers in the span of 2 innings as Boston crushed the Rays 22 – 4. By the time he blew out the candles, Nomar became the 26th player to hit five home runs in two games.
Events for July 23
The Yankees start planning for the World Series when they pick up 3B Joe Dugan and one-time Cleveland World Series hero Elmer Smith from Boston, giving up OF Elmer Miller, SS Chick Fewster, SS Johnny Mitchell, and, later, P Lefty O’Doul. The contending Browns and other western clubs howl in protest and this deal will lead to a rule barring non-waiver trades after June 15th.
In a Class C Western Association minor league game against the Topeka Jayhawks, future major league player and manager Paul Richards of the Muskogee Chiefs is summoned from his shortstop position to pitch. The 19 year-old right-hander throws with both hands during his brief appearance on the mound, including an unusual confrontation with a switch-hitter, that briefly results in both the pitcher and the batter continually swapping hands and batter’s boxes, respectively, until the ambidextrous hurler becomes a left-hander and right-hander on alternate pitches, regardless of where the batter places himself.
Using yellow dyed balls, the Cardinals beat the Dodgers 5-2 at Sportsman’s Park. The experimenting with the use of the colored sphere, which is designed to make the ball easier to see for the players and the fans, started in Brooklyn last week and will be tested once more, in a September game played at Wrigley Field.
Although Lou Boudreau is usually given credit for implementing the shift on pull-hitter Ted Williams, White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes becomes the first to employ the defensive alignment against the Red Sox outfielder, who foils the plan when he goes 2-for-5, including a double, in Boston’s 10-4 loss to the Pale Hose at Fenway Park. The Chicago skipper will abandon the strategy when ‘the Kid’ collects four hits in ten at-bats in the two-game series.
After missing 15 games with a torn rib cartilage, Ted Williams is 2 for 4 to help the Red Sox down the White Sox, 13 – 1. Bobby Doerr collects his 18th homer and adds a double and single to back Mickey Harris. Boston has now won nine straight to pull within a game and a half of the first-place Indians.
Dodger Norm Larker hits a ball just inside the first base line, which the Pirates believe to be foul. When umpire Vic Delmore signals it fair, P Bob Porterfield picks up the ball from where it has rolled into the bullpen. Though not playing, Porterfield is ejected for intentional interference with a ball in play. Larker is safe on second base. The Dodgers still lose, 11 – 3, in the doubleheader opener and are now in last place.
Baseball’s pre-eminent hitter (and spitter), Boston’s Ted Williams, is at it again although today, as noted by Bob Holbrook of the Boston Globe, Teddy Baseball branches out, irrigating an unsuspecting gathering of Kansas City supporters. After hitting a 4th-inning grounder to first, writes Holbrook, “Williams jogged part way to first, saw the play was routine and then made an abrupt turn and started back to the dugout. For his lack of fire on this play the Kansas City fans set up a crescendo of boos. Ted bristled and made his dying swan leap, spitting at the fans as he pirouetted through the air. That’s all the fans needed. They set up a thunderous round of boos, the spontaneity of which amazed the observers in this sector.”
1961 – Using 21 pitchers, the Tigers (11) and A’s (10) set an American League record for most hurlers used in an 18-inning doubleheader. At 3 hours, 54 minutes, the second game is the longest 9-inning contest in AL history. The entire doubleheader lasts six hours, 50 minutes, a major league record. The Tigers sweep, 6 – 4 and 17 – 14, taking first place by one percentage point.
Dick Stuart homers in the first inning in the Phillies’ 5-1 win over New York at Shea Stadium. ‘Dr. Strangeglove’, who played in Boston for the last two seasons, becomes the first player to have gone deep in each of the 19 major league ballparks now in use. (Ed. note – Nineteen ballparks because both Los Angeles teams, the Angels and Dodgers, share the ballpark in Chavez Ravine. – LP)
The disappointing Pirates continue to flounder, splitting a pair with the last-place Astros, dropping the opener thanks in large part to outsize slugging by the “Toy Cannon”, Jimmy Wynn. Four of Houston’s eight runs ride home on Wynn’s two homers, the last of which is a three-run, tape-measure coup-de-grâce which puts Houston up by 8 before Pittsburgh even shows a pulse. The culminating “Cannon Shot” passes over the batting cage to the left of the 457-foot mark on the way out, putting it in the company of historic shots by Rogers Hornsby, Josh Gibson, Ralph Kiner, Dick Stuart and Roberto Clemente. As it turns out, the Pirates do eventually compete and what looked like icing will prove to be Houston’s margin of victory as they hold on and outlast Pittsburgh, 8 – 5.
Mickey Lolich loses his tenth straight game, setting a Tigers’ record for consecutive defeats when Detroit drops a 4-2 decision to the Yankees at Tiger Stadium. After the game, the 26 year-old southpaw, who will win nine of his next ten starts for the pennant contenders, is called up to the mobilized 191st National Guard unit to help quell riots which are taking place in the vicinity of the ballpark.
1967 – Jim Wynn clubs two homers in the 8-5 opener of a doubleheader split in Pittsburgh, including a mammoth three-run bomb that lands on a Little League diamond in back of Forbes Field. Houston has the league leader in each triple crown category (Wynn 25 HRs, 75 RBIs; Rusty Staub .358 BA) but sit, as a team, in last place. The Pirates get revenge in the nightcap, 15-2.
Willie McCovey hits two home runs as the National League beats the American League, 9 – 3, for its 7th straight All-Star Game win, with McCovey named All-Star MVP. Mel Stottlemyre starts for the AL when Denny McLainis late arriving from a dental appointment. An interesting sidelight is provided by Roberto Clemente’s sole turn at bat. He strikes out at the hands of “Sudden” Sam McDowell but, on the way there, one swing of the bat will furnish Larry Dierker’s most vivid memory from the game: “With all of the long balls, the one I remember most was hit by Roberto Clemente. The Great One hit it all the way into the upper deck, but it was foul. I had seen balls hit farther, but I had never seen a ball hit that far to the opposite field!”
At Washington’s RFK Stadium, the National League scores early and often to coast to an easy 9-3 victory over the AL in the 40th All-Star Game. Cardinals southpaw Steve Carlton, the starting and winning pitcher, hits a double in the third inning off Blue Moon Odom to become the last hurler to get an extra-base hit in a Mid-Summer Classic contest.
In a surprise statement released after the All-Star Game played in Pittsburgh, Hank Aaron, who had indicated on many occasions that he had no interest in the position, publicly declares he would accept a Braves’ offer to manage the team “simply because there are no black managers in baseball.” The superstar’s comments create an awkward situation the next day when Atlanta announces the organization has hired Clyde King to replace Eddie Mathews, dismissed three days ago.
At Three Rivers Stadium, Frank Taveras is picked off first base in an unusual play. After getting a big lead, to get a good jump on a sac bunt, the Pirates shortstop is picked off when the catcher throws the ball to first base with the Phillies right fielder Jay Johnstone covering the base to complete the 2-9 play.
Orioles outfielder Reggie Jackson, tying an American League record shared by five players, hits a home run in his sixth consecutive game. The 13th inning round-tripper off Danny Frisella does not help in the Birds’ 4-3 loss to the Brewers, who scored two runs in the top of the frame in the Memorial Stadium contest.
1979 – At Wrigley Field, the Reds and Cubs complete a game suspended on May 10th because the Cubs had to catch a plane. That contest was tied 7 – 7 after nine innings. Both teams score in the 11th and the Cubs win in the 18th on a run-scoring single by Steve Ontiveros. The Cubs then win the regularly-scheduled game, 2 – 1, with Willie Hernandez getting the victory.
1988 – A wild pitch by Bruce Ruffin plates Craig Reynolds with the winning run in the ninth as Houston upends the Phillies, 7-6. Two runs down in the eighth, the Astros rally on a pinch homer by Louie Meadows, a pinch triple by Terry Puhl and a sacrifice fly by Gerald Young. Dave Smith wins in relief.
In the pitchers’ hell known as Coors Field, the Rockies take a pair from the Mets, out-slugging them, 10 – 7 and 11 – 10. The two games feature 59 hits, including eight home runs, off 17 pitchers. In the 1st inning of the nitecap, Dante Bichette, Andres Galarraga and Vinny Castilla hit consecutive homers off Pete Harnisch. Galarraga hits another in the 3rd, one of his six hits for the day.
7/23/1997: Troy O’Leary hit a ball to Fenway’s right field corner off Oakland’s Gary Haught to lead off the seventh inning. The ball was touched by a fan but called in play by first base umpire Ted Barrett. All replays showed that the ball was clearly over the wall and touched by a fan in the seats. O’Leary legged out a triple on the play.
Following the Giants’ 2-11 mark since the All-Star break, San Francisco picks up Joe Carter from Baltimore and Jose Mesa, Alvin Morman and Shawon Dunston from the Indians. The Giants send Steve Reed (1.48 ERA in 50 appearances) and minor leaguer Jacob Cruz to Cleveland, and Darin Blood to Baltimore. The Giants receive cash in both swaps.
1998 – Down 6-0 in Los Angeles after the first inning, Houston rallies for five in the eighth to tie the game then tallies twice more in the tenth for an 8-6 comeback win. Moises Alou’s two-run homer leads the charge. Ricky Gutierrez draws a bases-loaded walk for the game-winner then Derek Bell singles home an insurance run.
The Pirates obtain C Joe Oliver and C Humberto Cota from the Devil Rays for OF Jose Guillen and P Jeff Sparks. Guillen, who drove in 154 runs in his first two seasons, has been sub-par this year after arriving at spring training a month late due to visa problems. Pittsburgh is desperate for catching help following the injury of Jason Kendall earlier this month.
The Astros hit four homers off Cardinal hurler Andy Benes to tie the major league record for homers allowed by one pitcher in an inning. The 2nd-inning uprising helps Houston set a team record for homers in one inning and tie a team record with six home runs for the game. The Astros win, 15 – 7. Benes is the 17th pitcher to surrender four homers in a single frame, and the second this year.
The Big Red Machine rolls into Cooperstown, delivering first baseman Tony Perez, manager Sparky Anderson and Reds announcer Marty Brennaman into the Baseball Hall of Fame along with 1975 Red Sox World Seriesrival Carlton Fisk. Also enshrined are 19th Century Cincinnati second baseman Bid McPhee and Negro League star “Turkey” Stearnes.
2000 – Bill Spiers drills two home runs and drives in six for a 15-7 triumph over St. Louis at Enron Field. His seventh-inning grand slam off Heathcliff Slocumb during a six-run frame puts this one out of reach. Lance Berkman also goes deep twice. Andy Benes is tagged for four Houston homers in the second inning – two-run shots by Spiers and Jeff Bagwell followed by solo blasts from Berkman and Richard Hidalgo.
2005 – At SBC Park, uniform number 36 is added to the second deck of the left field bleachers, joining nine others as the Giants honor Gaylord Perry. The Hall of Famer, who won 134 of his 314 career victories with San Francisco, remembers his 37-year old son, Jack, who died last month of complications from leukemia.
In a 3-1 victory over the Indians at Jacobs Field, Francisco Liriano and four Twins relievers establish a club record with 17 strikeouts in a nine-inning game. The Minnesota starter reached double-digit whiffs (10) for the third time this season, with Pat Neshek, Dennys Reyes, Juan Rincon, and Joe Nathan adding seven more punchouts over the last four innings.
In a slugfest at Angel Stadium, Los Angeles collects a season-high 19 hits, beating the Indians, 14-11. The hit parade is led by Howie Kendrick (4), Jeff Mathis (4), and Casey Kotchman (5), making it the first time in franchise history three different players have had four or more hits in the same game.
2009 – Mark Buehrle of the White Sox pitches the 18th perfect game in major league history in shutting down the Rays, 5 – 0. Dewayne Wise, inserted as a defensive substitute in the 9th, saves the gem by reaching over the left-center field fence to deprive Gabe Kapler of a home run. It is the second career no-hitter for Buehrle, who threw one on April 18, 2007. After the game, he receives a congratulatory phone call from President Barack Obama, a staunch White Sox fan.
Thanks to a spectacular grab by defensive replacement DeWayne Wise of Gabe Kapler’s bid for a leadoff home run in the ninth inning, Mark Buehrle tosses the 18th perfect game in major league history, a 5-0 gem over the Rays at U.S. Cellular Field. The 30 year-old southpaw, who received a congratulatory call from President Obama, a big White Sox fan, becomes the second pitcher in franchise history to throw two hitless games for the team, matching Frank Smith’s accomplishment when the right-hander did it against the 1905 Tigers and the 1908 A’s.
With a bases-empty homer in the first, a ground-rule double in the fifth, a two-run triple in the sixth, and a single in the eighth inning of the Diamondbacks’ 7-4 loss to San Francisco at Chase Field, Kelly Johnson becomes the fourth player in franchise history to complete a cycle. The Arizona second baseman joins Luis Gonzalez (2000), Greg Colbrunn (2002), and Stephen Drew (2008) to accomplish the feat with the D-Backs.
Teams get an early start on the trading deadline, as a number of deals are consumated today. Most stunning is the Mariners sending OF Ichiro Suzuki to the Yankees in return for minor league Ps D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar. In other trades, the Marlins send P Anibal Sanchez and IF Omar Infante to the Tigers in return for P Jacob Turner and minor-leaguers Rob Brantly and Brian Flynn; in a major league first, the teams also swap picks in next season’s amateur draft. The Angels acquire P Barry Enright from the Diamondbacks for future considerations, while the Cubs send P Ryan Dempster to the Braves, although that deal is pending Dempster’s approval, which will not come.
Wearing their home whites and batting in the bottom of the innings, the visiting Reds drop a 5-3 decision to the Giants in the second game of the twin bill at San Francisco’s AT&T Park. The make-up game of a washout of a July Fourth contest, which could not that could not take place in the home ballpark, set up the possibility for the first time in major league history that an away team produced a walk-off win on the road had Cincinnati come back from their two-run deficit in the bottom of the ninth.
The A’s make the first deal of the trading deadline season, sending P Scott Kazmir to the Astros in return for two minor leaguers, P Daniel Mengden and C Jacob Nottingham. In another deal, the Pirates re-acquire 3B Aramis Ramirez, who last played for them 12 years earlier, in return for P Yhonathan Barrios.
2016 – In a bizarre incident, White Sox ace Chris Sale is scratched from a scheduled start against the Tigers because of what General Manager Rick Hahn describes as a “clubhouse incident”. Sale apparently was upset at this team’s decision to wear throwback uniforms from the late 1970s, including their infamous dark blue long-collared jerseys, and in a fit of sartorial criticism, destroyed the uniforms with a pair of scissors. Matt Albers makes an emergency start wearing the Sox’s 1980s white jerseys. Sale’s tantrum will result in a five-day suspension handed by the ChiSox and he will be traded for a package of prospects after the season.
The Cubs defeat the Cardinals, 5 – 3, thanks to a two-run homer by Willson Contreras off Michael Wacha in the 6th, to clinch a first-place tie with the Brewers in the NL Central. Kyle Schwarber also homers for Chicago, while Randal Grichuk and Paul DeJong hit solo shots off Jose Quintana, who wins his second straight start since being acquired by the Cubs in a mid-season trade. Milwaukee has blown a 5 1/2 game lead since the All-Star break, while the Cubs had not been in first since June 6th.
In a doubleheader in the Gulf Coast League, both games end as seven-inning no-hitters tossed by the GCL Nationals against the GCL Marlins at Roger Dean Stadium in West Palm Beach, FL. In the opener, Joan Baez (6 innings) and Jose Jimenez (1 inning) combine on a 4 – 0 shutout, then in the second game Jared Johnson, making only his second professional start, starts off with four hitless innings before handing the ball to Gilberto Chuwho finishes the feat by tossing three perfect frames, completing the 1-0 win.
2019 – The Yankees defeat the Twins, 14 – 12 in 10 innings in a game that features 5 lead changes and the Yankees coming back from 6 runs down at one point. Didi Gregorius has 5 hits and 7 RBIs, while Aaron Hicks ends it with a great diving catch in centerfield, robbing Max Kepler with the bases loaded. Both Taylor Rogers and Aroldis Chapman blow save opportunities in the 9th to force extra innings.