This Day In Baseball June 17
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for June 17
1880 – John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays pitches a perfect game against the Buffalo Bisons, winning 5 – 0. Losing pitcher Pud Galvin makes the last out. This is the second perfect game in the National League in six days; the first one was pitched by Lee Richmond on June 12th. The next perfect game by a National League pitcher will not happen for 84 years, when Jim Bunning turns the trick on Father’s Day in 1964.
6/17/1891 – The Colts (now Cubs) played in Cleveland. Through the seventh inning, the Colts’ Bill Hutchinson batted in Malachi Kittridge’s place in the batting order but the Spiders let it go. In the seventh, Fred Pfeffer walked and Hutchinson, batting out of turn, singled, moving Pfeffer to third. As Kittridge stepped to the plate, the Spiders told umpire Tim Lynch that Hutchinson batted out of turn. This out ended the inning, killing the Colts’ rally.
6/17/1898 – Washington was in Boston and its official lineup had Zeke Wrigley seventh, and Bert Myers eighth. Apparently, they batted out of order in the second although that is not desribed completely in any newspaper story we have seen. In the fourth with a runner on second and one out, the number seven hitter was due up. Myers came up and made an out. With the Myers play accepted by Boston, the proper next batter was the number nine hitter, the pitcher Win Mercer. Wrigley then came up, singled in a run, and Bostson objected. The home plate umpire, Tom Lynch, called Wrigley out to end the inning, not Mercer who had failed to bat when his turn came.
During the second game of a twin bill in Boston, Paul Waner, standing on first base, gestures to the official scorer, Jerry Moore of the Boston Globe, not to credit him with a hit on the ground ball in the hole that was knocked down by Reds shortstop Eddie Joost. ‘Big Poison’ doesn’t want a questionable roller to be his historic 3000th hit, which the Braves right-fielder will collect with a clean single after tomorrow’s off day.
1943 – Boston Red Sox player-manager Joe Cronin inserts himself as a pinch-hitter in both games of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Athletics – and hits three-run home runs in each at-bat, becoming the first major leaguer to pinch-hit home runs in both ends of a doubleheader. The Red Sox win the opener, 5 – 4, but lose the second game, 8 – 7. Cronin will pinch-hit 42 times this year with 18 hits, including an American League record five pinch-hit homers.
Although he will continue to play in the minor leagues until 1955, Ed Levy appears in his 40th and final game of his three-year tenure in the major leagues. The Irish Catholic first baseman, born as Edward Clarence Whitner in 1911, is asked to start using his stepfather’s surname by Yankee team president Ed Barrow to help the club attract more Jewish fans to the Bronx ballpark.
Fred Haney, named yesterday to replace Charlie Grimm, wins two games in his managerial debut with the Braves when the team sweeps a doubleheader against the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 5-4 and 3-1, starting a streak of 11 consecutive victories. The club’s former coach will compile a 341-231 (.596) record, guiding Milwaukee to two pennants and a world championship during his four seasons at the helm.
Joe Adcock’s ninth-inning home run off Brooklyn right-hander Ed Roebuck, his second round-tripper of the game, proves to be the game-winner in the Braves’ 5-4 victory over the Dodgers. The blast to left field, which clears an 83-foot wall at the 350-foot mark, is believed to the only homer ever to land on the roof at Ebbets Field.
1960 – Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox hits his 500th career home run against the Cleveland Indians at Cleveland Stadium. Williams’ two-run shot off Wynn Hawkins helps the Red Sox beat Cleveland, 3 – 1. Williams becomes the fourth player in major league history to hit 500 home runs, joining Babe Ruth, Jimmie Foxx, and Mel Ott.
1962 – Chicago Cubs outfielder Lou Brock hits a home run into the right-center field bleachers at the Polo Grounds, 460 feet from home plate, in the first game of a Chicago doubleheader sweep over the New York Mets, 8 – 7 and 4 – 3. Known more for his speed than his power, Brock becomes the second player to reach that section of seats. Joe Adcock was the first.
In a play that is emblematic of the struggling Mets, first baseman Marv Throneberry’s apparent first inning triple becomes an out on an appeal play for missing second base in an 8-7 loss to the Cubs at the Polo Grounds. When New York manager Casey Stengel questions the call, he is told by the umpire, according to legend, “Don’t bother arguing, Casey, he missed first base, too.”
1967 – A nine-hour and five-minute doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Athletics sets a major league record for the longest ever. The first game includes a rain delay, and the second goes 19 innings before a Dave Duncan home run gives the Athletics a 6 – 5 victory. Detroit wins the opener, 7 – 6.
After completing the first 1000 games in franchise history with a winning percentage of .332, the Mets compile a 517-482-1 record in their next thousand contests. During the span, that includes Tom Seaver winning 12% of the team’s victories, New York wins two National League pennants and a World championship.
6/17/1976: Aurelio Rodriguez of the Tigers capped off a four-run top of the sixth inning with a two-run homer which tied the game with the Twins at 4-4. However, the game was called due to rain in the bottom of the frame before the Twins could complete their time at bat or score a run. The score thus reverted to the end of the fifth, giving Dave Goltz a shutout and the Twins 4-0 victory.
1978 – Ron Guidry of the New York Yankees strikes out 18 batters in a four-hit, 4 – 0 shutout of the California Angels, to set an American League record for a left-handed pitcher in a single game. Guidry, who strikes out 15 in the first six innings, posts his 11th consecutive victory without a loss. The performance will help coin a new nickname for Guidry as the team’s announcer, Phil Rizzuto, begins to refer to him as “Louisiana Lightning”, inspiring a new Yankees tradition as the fans begin to clap rhythmically each time there are two strikes on the batter.
Inspired by Ron Guidry’s performance of striking out 15 Angels in six innings and finishing the game with 18 Ks to establish a new American League mark for southpaws, the crowd at Yankee Stadium initiates a new baseball tradition when they begin to rhythmically clap each time there are two strikes on the batter. The left-hander’s performance in the 4-0 victory over California will lead the team’s television announcer, Phil Rizzuto, to coin a new nickname, referring to the Lafayette native as ‘Louisiana Lightning’.
Indians’ GM Jim Campbell announces the team has temporarily closed a 10,500 seat area in the bleachers at Cleveland Stadium due to the behavior of some rowdy fans, who pelted Milwaukee’s outfielders Gorman Thomas and Sixto Lezcano with miscellaneous objects during yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Brew Crew. The Tribe will reopen the section at the end of the month, after putting in place tighter security and limiting the sale of beer.
1987 – Former Kansas City Royals manager Dick Howser dies from brain cancer at the age of 51. The popular Howser, who led the Royals to the 1985 World Championship, fell ill during the 1986 season. He attempted to return to managing in spring training in 1987, only to give up the comeback because of his weakened condition. His uniform number, 10, will be retired by the club on July 3rd.
Dodger farmhand Mike Piazza, believing he was low balled in his contract negations, takes exception to the team giving a reported bonus of $500,00 to top draft pick Ryan Luzinski, a 220-pound catcher from Holy Cross High in Delran, New Jersey who will never play in a major league game. Next season, Piazza will be selected as the National League’s Rookie of the Year, and will hit .331 in seven seasons for LA.
Baseball owners vote overwhelmingly, 26-2, in favor of expanding the playoffs for the first time since 1969. The new system, which is set to begin in 1994, will double the number of teams that qualify for the postseason to eight by realigning each league to three divisions, with two teams qualifying as wild cards. The 1994 strike will delay its implementation by one year, however.
Carlos Baerga of the Cleveland Indians hits three home runs in a 9 – 5 loss to the Detroit Tigers. Detroit hits five home runs of their own, including a pair each by Travis Fryman and Dan Gladden. Baerga, Fryman and Gladden also tie an American League record for three players with two or more home runs in a nine-inning game.
1995 – Relief pitcher Mitch Williams is released by the California Angels. Williams, who considered retirement last year after being released by Houston, ends his career with a unique statistic on his resume: 526 hits and 537 walks allowed in 684 2/3 innings pitched. He is the only pitcher in major league history with more than 250 innings to allow more walks than hits.
6/17/1996: Raul Mondesi had a three run homer and Todd Hollandsworth hit a two run shot for the Dodgers in the top of the first against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Cub pitcher Mike Campbell also allowed two other hits. After two batters in the bottom of the first and a 1:38 rain delay, those hits and the Dodgers 5-0 lead were wiped out.
1997 – The Freeway Series hits the street in Los Angeles, CA, and the Dodgers drive home with the first victory in this interleague play on Todd Zeile’s second home run of the game. The Dodgers trail the Angels by one run in the 9th inning, but tie the game on a wild pitch and win it, 4 – 3, on Zeile’s homer.
2001 – Blake Stein of the Kansas City Royals strikes out 8 straight batters, and 11 in 5 2/3 innings, but the Milwaukee Brewers beat Kansas City, 5 – 2. Only Nolan Ryan (twice), Ron Davis and Roger Clemens have struck out eight in a row in the American League. Tom Seaver holds the major league record with 10 consecutive strikeouts, which was set in 1970.
Blake Stein ties an American League record when he records eight consecutive strikeouts in the Royals’ 5-2 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park. The right-hander’s streak started with striking out Richie Sexson for the last out of the first inning and ended after he fanned Mark Loretta to start the fourth frame.
The Philadelphia Phillies enter a 25-year agreement with Citizens Bank, one of the nation’s largest commercial bank holding companies, which includes naming Philadelphia’s new baseball facility, Citizens Bank Park. At the new ballpark, a gigantic Liberty Bell towering 100 feet above street level will come to life after every Phillies home run.
The Phillies enter into a 25-year naming rights agreement to call their new home Citizens Bank Park, promoting one of the nation’s largest commercial holding companies. At Philadelphia’s newest ballpark, a gigantic Liberty Bell, towering 100 feet above street level, will come to life after every Phillies homer.
At New Hampshire’s Holman Stadium, the Nashua Pride of the independent Atlantic League celebrate the 32nd anniversary of the Watergate break-in by giving away Richard Nixon bobbleheads to the first 1,000 fans in attendance. The minor league promotion, which included free entrance to anyone named Woodward or Bernstein and eighteen and a half minutes of silence to match the time of the gap in the infamous Watergate tape, had no reports of stolen signs during the game.
In interleague play, the Arizona Diamondbacks give up 10 runs in the 3rd inning of their 13 – 6 loss to the Cleveland Indians. The Diamondbacks, who allowed 10 runs in the 6th inning on June 15th to the Cubs, become the first team since the 1969 Mets to allow 10 runs in an inning in consecutive games. The Mets did it on one day, during a July 30th doubleheader against Houston.
In the Mariners’ 5-4 win over Florida at Safeco Field, Felix Hernandez strikes out the side on nine pitches to become the 13th pitcher in American League history to throw an immaculate inning. King Felix’s fourth frame victims include Jeremy Hermida (swinging), Jorge Cantu (swinging), and Mike Jacobs (looking).
After a 9-6 victory against the Angels in the first game of a West Coast road trip, the Mets fire manager Willie Randolph, pitching coach Rick Peterson, and first base coach Tom Nieto, shortly after 3 a.m. Eastern time. The team’s 18th manager, who compiled a 302-253 record in 3+ seasons with New York, will be replaced by bench coach Jerry Manuel on an interim basis until the end of the season.
Ivan Rodriguez catches the 2,227th game of his career, breaking Carlton Fisk’s record, in Houston’s 5 – 4, 10-inning loss to his former team, the Texas Rangers. For Texas, Omar Vizquel, the all-time leader for games played at shortstop, picks up his 2,677th hit, tying Luis Aparicio for most hits by a Venezuelan player.
Fans attending tonight’s game at Fenway Park will have an opportunity to win food and prizes, along with one lucky patron, sitting 500 feet from the plate, receiving a pair of tickets for a future contest. The Red Sox are treating their fans to celebrate the 500th straight sellout at home, a streak begun on May 15, 2003, in which almost 18 million have seen the club compile a 326-173 record over the first 499 games of the record span.
2010 – The Rockies’ Ubaldo Jimenez continues to dominate. After today’s 5 – 1 win over the Twins, he leads the majors with 13 wins (against only one loss) and a 1.15 ERA, drawing comparisons to Hall of Famer Bob Gibson’s record-setting 1968 season. Since Lefty Gomez in 1932, only Roger Clemens had started 13-1.
2011 – Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie reach a divorce settlement that will determine the fate of the team. A judge will decide at a one-day trial on August 4th whether the team is the sole property of Frank McCourt, as he claims, or community property of the former couple, as his wife pretends. If the ruling is the latter, the property will be split 50-50 between the two estranged spouses, forcing the sale of the team. But even if Frank McCourt’s claim is upheld, his shaky financial situation, including an expected $100 million payment he is likely to be ordered to make to Jamie, could also result in the team’s sale. The divorce settlement will become null three days later when Commissioner Bud Selig rejects a proposed television deal with Fox Sports on whose execution the settlement was based.
2013 – Max Scherzer of the Tigers improves to 10-0, pitching 6 innings of one-hit ball in a 5 – 1 win over the Orioles. He is the first major league starter to go 10-0 since Roger Clemens in 1997, and just the second in Tigers history, following George Mullin, who began the 1909 season with 11 straight wins.
Despite violence and unrest in the Ukraine, the country makes its first appearance in a European Cup in 14 years. KTNU Elizavetgrad is one-hit by DOOR Neptunus hurlers Misja Harcksen, Floris Timmer and Jorian van Acker in a 6-0 loss; only Roman Boyko connects safely. The team will do better tomorrow, topping France’s Templiers de Sénart in extra innings.
Shades of the 1980s ? The Royals take over first place in the AL Central with an 11 – 4 win over the Tigers as they batter Max Scherzer for 10 runs in 4 innings on their way to their 9th straight win. The Royals had not been in first place this late in a season since 2003, when they managed to ride a surprise strong start to a freakish winning record, although they finished well out of the postseason picture.
With their ninth straight victory, the Royals take over the lead in the American League Central, beating last year’s Cy Young Award winner, Max Scherzer, and the Tigers at Comerica Park, 11-4. The last time Kansas City had sole possession of first place after playing 70 games was on June 25, 1980, when they led Chicago by 8.5 in the AL West, en route to winning the American League pennant.
2015 – Michael Pineda makes a bid for a no-hitter until Christian Yelich of the Marlins leads off the 7th inning with a home run; Pineda leaves after two more outs, getting credit for a 2 – 1 Yankees win, although, even if he had not given up a hit, he would likely not have had the chance to pitch any deeper into the game due to pitch count concerns. Miami almost ties the game in the 8th, but Adeiny Hechevarria’s run on a fielder’s choice by Dee Gordon is overturned after Yankees manager Joe Girardi successfully challenges the call. Alex Rodriguez has a pair of hits for New York, bringing him within 3 of the 3,000 hit club.
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