This Day In Baseball June 16
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for June 16
Due to inflammation in his right index finger, Larry Corcoran of the White Stockings (Cubs) pitches both left-handed and right-handed in a game against the Bisons. The natural right-hander hurlsambidextrously for four innings, alternating throwing arms, before moving to shortstop in Chicago’s 20-9 loss at Buffalo’s Olympic Park.
1887 – A huge brawl breaks out in the 9th inning of a game between the Browns and Orioles in Baltimore, MD when Curt Welch bowls over Orioles 2B Bill Greenwood in the 9th inning with the score tied, 8 – 8. Thousands of spectators run on to the field, clamoring for Welch’s arrest – or worse. Police have to intervene, and the game is called. Welch is whisked away to safety while Browns pitcher Dave Foutz, a Baltimore native, speaks to the crowd to calm them slightly. However, another mob gathers at the train station, preventing Welch from leaving town. He will be forced to attend a court hearing the next day, where Greenwood pleads in his favor, stating that the play was nothing out of the ordinary in a baseball context, although some of the Orioles’ fans would like to see criminal charges laid. Wisely, the Browns will keep Welch out of the next day’s game to ease tensions.
1909 – Jim Thorpe makes his baseball pitching debut for the Rocky Mount Railroaders (Eastern Carolina League) with a 4 – 2 win over the Raleigh Red Birds. It is the professional play in this year that will later cause him to lose his Olympic gold medals won in the 1912 Olympics (thus violating the amateur status rules). In 1983, thirty years after his death, his medals will be restored by the International Olympic Committee.
Bill Regan becomes the first player in Red Sox history to homer twice in an inning when he hits two round-trippers, including an inside-the-park homer, in the eight-run fourth frame of the team’s 10-5 victory over Chicago at Comiskey Park. The feat will not be accomplished again by a BoSox player until 1990 when Ellis Burks homers twice in the fourth frame of the team’s 12-4 rout of the Tribe at Cleveland Stadium.
Last year’s National League batting champ, Lefty O’Doul, and pitcher Watty Clark, a 20-game winner last season, are traded by the Dodgers to the Giants for first baseman Sam Leslie. Brooklyn’s newest infielder will bat .311 during his three seasons with the team, before returning to New York in 1936.
1940 – A disgruntled group of Cleveland Indians players petition owner Alva Bradley to fire team manager Oscar Vitt. Bradley turns down the players’ request, but eventually watches the team lose its hold on first place during the final weeks of the regular season. The Indians players will be derided as “cry-babies” for their initiative.
Johnny Vander Meer, best known for throwing consecutive no-hitters, becomes the first hurler to start a game by throwing four consecutive bases on balls before retiring a single batter. The Reds’ starter will not make it out of the first inning of the Crosley Field contest, an eventual 6-0 loss to New York.
1953 – Duane Pillette of the St. Louis Browns ends the New York Yankees’ win streak at 18 and the Browns’ team record 14-game losing streak with a 3 – 1 victory in Yankee Stadium. Johnny Mize becomes the 93rd player in major league history to get 2,000 hits when he singles in the only Yankees’ run in the 5th inning.
Charlie Grimm, after the Braves lose the 12th game of their last 17 contests, resigns as the team’s manager, being immediately replaced by coach Fred Haney. The 56 year-old skipper, who is offered a personnel position within the organization, leaves the dugout with a 24-22 record, only 3.5 games behind the league-leading Pirates.
Dixie Howell, in three and two-thirds scoreless innings in relief, limits Washington to four hits, earning his second victory of the season. The 37 year-old’s hitting proves to be the difference when his home runs in the fifth and sixth innings propel the White Sox to an 8-6 victory at Comiskey Park.
In his major league debut, 18 year-old Lew Krausse Jr., signed as an amateur free agent for $125,000 by A’s owner Charlie Finley, throws a three-hit shutout and collects two hits in Kansas City’s 4-0 victory over L.A. at Municipal Stadium. In 1932, the redheaded fireballer’s dad blanked the Red Sox in his final major league appearance, giving the father-son duo back-to-back shutouts twenty-nine years apart.
1962 – An injured Mickey Mantle returns after a one-month layoff and hits a dramatic three-run pinch home run in the top of the 8th inning. Although Mantle’s blast gives the Yankees a 9 – 7 lead, Cleveland comes back to score a run in the bottom of the 8th and wins the game in the 9th, 10 – 9, on a two-run homer by Jerry Kindall.
With the Tribe trailing the Bronx Bombers, 9-8, Jerry Kindall hits a walk-off two-run homer, giving the Indians a dramatic come-from-behind victory. Left-fielder Yogi Berra, watching the second baseman’s homer go over his head to beat his Yankees 10-9 in the bottom of the ninth, probably experiences a “deja vu all over again” memory of Bill Mazeroski’s Game 7 home run in 1960, which ended with the identical score.
Jim Campbell becomes only the second catcher in National League history, the first since 1946, to be credited with three assists in one inning. In the bottom of the third inning in a 4-3 loss to San Francisco at Candlestick Park, the 25 year-old Colt .45’s backstop nails Gaylord Perry trying to advance to third on a fielder’s choice, guns down Chuck Haller in an attempt to steal second base, and ends the frame by throwing out Willie McCovey, who doubled and then tried to take an extra base on a relay to home plate.
One night after beating the Astros with his glove, Roberto Clemente does it with his bat. The Pittsburgh superstar blasts a two-run homer to right field in the 7th inning, snapping a 4 – 4 deadlock and lifting the National League East leaders to a 6 – 4 triumph. The late splurge enables Dock Ellis to make it through the night, surviving a four-run 6th, into which he’d carried a no-hitter. Roberto’s blast, off one of his old favorite bats, comes against Wade Blasingame after Gene Clines’ one-out single; it takes the shape of a line drive to right that keeps rising past Cesar Cedeno, who had first thought he could make the catch before helplessly watching it sail way over his outstretched glove.
The Oakland Athletics hit five solo home runs in a 5 – 1 victory over the Washington Senators. Powerful first baseman Mike Epstein bangs out home runs in his first two at-bats, giving him homers in four straight at-bats over two games. Joe Rudi also adds a pair and Dave Duncan one. Vida Blue (14-2) is the winning pitcher and Denny McLain (4-12) the loser.
1978 – Tom Seaver pitches the only no-hitter of his brilliant career. Seaver strikes out three and walks three as the Cincinnati Reds defeat the St. Louis Cardinals, 4 – 0, at Riverfront Stadium. Seaver had barely missed pitching no-hitters on three previous occasions, losing the bid each time in the 9th inning.
Mario Soto’s second suspension of the season is the result of the Cincinnati starter firing a baseball at a group of opposing players, striking Braves coach Joe Pignatano after he punched Claudell Washington, who was being restrained by umpire Lanny Harris as he charged the mound. The Reds suspends he fiery right-hander for three games due to this incident with Washington, who had been the target of his brushback pitches, getting five games off for pushing the home plate ump.
1989 – Rick Wolff, 37, writing an article on minor-league baseball for Sports Illustrated, finishes a three-day stint playing second base for the Class-A Midwest League’s South Bend White Sox. He replaces Cesar Bernhardt and goes 4 for 7 against the Burlington Braves. Wolff will finish the year with the highest batting average of any Chicago White Sox farmhand.
During a pregame ceremony at Anaheim Stadium, the Angels become the first of three teams to retire Nolan Ryan’s number. The hard-throwing right-hander, who compiled a 138-121 record along with a 3.06 ERA in 291 games with California, will also have his number retired by the Astros and Rangers in 1996.
The 100th anniversary of Cracker Jack is celebrated with a party at Wrigley Field that includes distributing the candy-coated popcorn and peanut treat, that was introduced at the Chicago World Fair in 1893, free of charge to all of the fans attending the Cubs’ game against Florida. Sailor Jack, the company’s mascot, throws out the ceremonial first pitch.
In his first major league at-bat, Marlins catcher Mitch Lyden hits a home run off Jose Bautista in the team’s 6-4 loss to Chicago at Wrigley Field. The second-inning homer will be the only round-tripper in the brief career of the rookie backstop, who will play in just six games, collecting three hits in ten plate appearances.
1996 – Legendary broadcaster Mel Allen dies at the age of 83. In 1939, Allen started doing play-by-play for both the New York Yankees and New York Giants, and later narrated the long-running television show, This Week in Baseball. In 1978, Allen received the Hall of Fame’s Ford C. Frick Award for broadcasting excellence.
At the age of 83, Hall of Fame broadcaster Mel Allen, best known for his years doing play-by-play for the Yankees, dies of heart failure. His “How about that” signature line will become familiar to another generation of fans through the syndicated This Week in Baseball show, which he hosted from the show’s inception in 1977.
In the first regular-season meeting between the two major league teams in Ohio, Reds’ rookie right-hander Brett Tomko tosses 7.1 shutout innings in Cincinnati’s 4-1 win over the Indians at Cleveland’s Jacobs Field. The victory will prove to be costly for Cincy when Barry Larkin ruptures his heel running out a double, putting their All-Star shortstop on the shelf for six weeks.
With a 9 – 6 victory over the Dodgers, Kansas City becomes the first major league team to record three-game sweeps over the Dodgers and Yankees in one regular season. The Angels and Mariners also swept the Yankees and Dodgers in one season since interleague play began in 1997, but both were not three-game sweeps. At this point, Kansas City has posted an 11-4 record since Buddy Bell took over as manager on May 31st.
For the first time in 35 years, the Yankees play a regular season game in the nation’s capital, beating the Nationals in an inter-league contest at RFK Stadium, 7-5. The Bronx Bombers’ previous game in Washington, played in the same ballpark on Sept. 30, 1971, ended with New York being awarded a 9-0 victory when Senators fans, as a protest to losing another franchise for the second time since 1961, refuse to leave the field with their team ahead by two runs in the season finale.
The Seattle Mariners fire general manager Bill Bavasi with the Mariners having the worst record in baseball. Vice-President Lee Pelekoudas takes over the job. Bavasi was criticized for the signings or acquisitions of Jarrod Washburn (20-36 with Seattle), Carlos Silva (3-7), Erik Bedard (4-4) and 1B Richie Sexson.
The Mets continue their roller-coaster season, winning their 6th in a row with an 8 – 4 decision over Cleveland. All nine Mets starters collect at least one hit and either score or drive in a run. Shelley Duncan, making a rare start in LF for the Indians, helps out with some poor defensive play but does atone himself somewhat with a two-run homer off winner Jon Niese.
Jamie Moyer’s first outing at the new Yankee Stadium is a successful one when he limits New York to only three hits in eight innings of work in the 6-3 Phillies’ victory. The Bronx Bombers’ new ball yard is the 48th venue the 47 year-old southpaw has pitched in during his career, surpassing Rudy Seanez’s record for the most appearances in different major league ballparks.
The Braves beat the Mets, 9 – 8, on an anticlimactic play in the 10th inning. After rallying from two runs down in the bottom of the 9th on Brooks Conrad’s two-run homer off closer Francisco Rodriguez, the Braves take advantage of a balk by reliever D.J. Carrasco that allows Diory Hernandez to score the winning run. Before coming back, the Braves blow a 6 – 2 lead by giving up a four-run 5th inning to the Mets. Chipper Jones drives in 5 runs, tying a career best.
Seemingly asleep for 8 innings, the Mets suddenly wake up in the bottom of the 9th as Carlos Marmol is trying to protect a 3 – 0 lead for the Cubs. Marlon Byrd starts off the inning with a solo homer, Lucas Duda draws a walk and John Buck singles. Omar Quintanilla bunts both runners into scoring position before Kirk Nieuwenhuis, hitting .097 for the season, connects for a walk-off three-run homer. Marmol is only pitching because closer Kevin Gregg, who has been perfect in 10 save opportunities so far, is unavailable after pitching in the Cubbies’ last four games.
2014 – Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, winner of eight National League batting titles, passes away from cancer of the salivary gland at 54. He spent his entire 20-season major league career with the San Diego Padres and is the only player to have been a member of their two World Series teams, in 1984 and 1998.
“Major League Baseball today mourns the tragic loss of Tony Gwynn, the greatest Padre ever and one of the most accomplished hitters that our game has ever known, whose all-around excellence on the field was surpassed by his exuberant personality and genial disposition in life.” – Commissioner Bud Selig, on the passing of Tony Gwynn.Tony Gwynn, surrounded by his family at Pomerado Hospital in Poway, CA, loses his battle to salivary gland cancer at the age of 54. The Hall of Fame outfielder, who became the head baseball coach for San Diego State University after spending his entire major league career with the Padres, compiled a.338 career batting average over 20 seasons, collecting 3,141 hits, en route to tying Honus Wagner’s mark of eight National League batting titles.
The Orioles hit 8 home runs in a 19 – 3 demolition of the Phillies, setting a new team record. Manny Machado and Chris Parmelee, in his first game for Baltimore, hit two long balls each, The O’s score 6 runs in the 1st and are off and running, finishing their run with 2 runs off OF Jeff Francoeur in the 8th, including a homer by Ryan Flaherty which sets the new record. For their part, the Phillies complete an 0-8 road trip, their worst since an 0-9 skein in 1883. Jimmy Paredes, David Lough and Chris Davis hit the other homers, while Dustin McGowan, who takes over for Jerome Williams in the 1st, gives up 5 homers in 3 1/3 innings.
2016 – Victor Martinez connects for three homers to lead the Tigers to a 10 – 4 win over the Royals. The Tigers hit six homers in all, with Nick Castellanos, James McCann and Miguel Cabrera adding the other long balls. However, it’s not all good news for Detroit as OF J.D. Martinez breaks his elbow running into the fence while chasing a ball in the right-field corner and will be out for a long stretch.
The Padres and Rockies set a record for most combined runs in a four-game series with a total of 92, breaking the previous record of 88 set in 1929 between the Brooklyn Robins and Phillies. In today’s game, San Diego scores four times in the 9th off closer Wade Davis, the last run coming on a bases-loaded walk, to win 14 – 13 and salvage a split of the series played at Coors Field. For Colorado, Charlie Blackmon goes 15 for 24 over the four games, including four-hit games in the first three contests, and also hits 4 homers, scores 9 runs and drives in 10; for San Diego, Hunter Renfroe hits 5 homers, including 3 in the second game.
1995 – In a wild 16-inning affair at Shea Stadium, the Astros outduel the Mets, 7-5. Brian Hunter’s double drives in Craig Shipley in the 12th to snap a 2-2 tie but Jose Vizcaino’s RBI grounder keeps New York alive. Back-to-back homers by Hunter and Craig Biggio put Houston up in the 15th but a two-run single by Brett Butler ties it again. Jeff Bagwell’s bases-loaded hit is the game-winner. Doug Brocail slams the door to finally silence the Mets.
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