This Day In Baseball June 2
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for June 2
1915 – At the Polo Grounds, Babe Ruth and the well-traveled Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees, 7 – 1. It is the last stop on a 29-day road trip for the Red Sox. Ruth allows five hits and hits his second career home run, a three-run shot off Jack Warhop in the 2nd inning. After his homer, Ruth receives two intentional walks. He ends up kicking the bench and breaking his toe, sidelining him for two weeks.
1925 – 21-year-old Lou Gehrig starts a game for the New York Yankees when regular first baseman Wally Pipp is hit in the head during batting practice and complains of a headache – in fact a concussion. Gehrig collects three hits in five at-bats, helping the Yankees to an 8 – 5 victory over the Washington Senators. Gehrig will go on to play in a major league record 2,130 consecutive games, a record since broken by Cal Ripken with a streak of 2,632.
St. Mary’s College football star Larry Bettencourt starts at third base for the St. Louis Browns. A future member of the College Football Hall of Fame, Bettencourt is an All-American center who will later play for the Green Bay Packers. The $6,000 bonus he received is a record for a major league rookie just out of school.
1937 – National League President Ford Frick suspends Dizzy Dean for refusing to retract statements made after a balk call in a game on May 19th, which led to an on-field brawl. Dean forces a meeting with the press at which he denies the statements, and his suspension will be lifted a few days later.
1941 – Lou Gehrig dies of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis at the age of 37 in New York. From that time on, the illness would be known primarily as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”. Gehrig saw his major league record of 2,130 consecutive games played end because of the disease. It was on this day exactly 16 years ago that he broke into the Yankees’ starting line-up.
1942 – Ted Williams of the Boston Red Sox enlists as a Naval Aviator. Williams will finish the season with his team, as will many other players who enlisted or await the draft, which moves slowly despite the early discouragements of the war. Other American League regulars of 1941 enlisted in the military service include Johnny Berardino, Sam Chapman, Bob Feller, Joe Grace, Buddy Lewis, Pat Mullin, Johnny Rigney, Johnny Sturm and Cecil Travis.
1949 – At Shibe Park, the Philadelphia Phillies hit five home runs during the same inning (the 8th) in a 12 – 3 victory over Cincinnati, tying the major league mark set by the 1939 New York Giants. Andy Seminick hits two home runs in the inning, while Del Ennis, Willie Jones and pitcher Schoolboy Rowe have one each. Jones adds a triple as Granny Hamner’s double jumps the extra bases total to 18, still a record. Seminick collects three home runs overall.
George Kell of the Detroit Tigers hits for the cycle in the 16 – 5 second-game sweep of a doubleheader with the Philadelphia Athletics. The Tigers win the opener, 8 – 2, behind the pitching of Ted Gray and home runs by Vic Wertz and Hoot Evers. Wertz has five runs batted in in the opener, and two more in the second game.
The St. Louis Browns win both games of a doubleheader against the Washington Senators, 10 – 5 and 9 – 3. Hank Arft goes 5 for 5 in the opener, while Harry Dorish is the winning pitcher in the second game. Dorish also steals home on the front end of a double steal with Ray Coleman, to become the last American League pitcher in the 20th century to steal home.
Due to the poor lighting during an Alabama-Florida League contest at Peanut Stadium in Headland, Alabama, Ottis Johnson of the Dothan Browns fails to get out of the way of a fastball thrown by Jack Clifton. The 24 year-old Class D minor league outfielder undergoes surgery and spends eight days in the hospital before dying on June 10 as a result of being hit by the Dixie Runners hurler’s pitch.
Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees strikes out six batters in a row to tie an American League record as he shuts out the Chicago White Sox, 3 – 0. White Sox pitcher Jim Wilson allows just six hits, but three of them are home runs by Hank Bauer (two) and Mickey Mantle (one). On a botched hit-and-run attempt, Luis Aparicio is thrown out at second base, ending his streak of 26 consecutive stolen bases.
1959 – A swarm of gnats delays the game between the Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park. After a half-hour interruption, the Chicago grounds crew disposes of the gnats by using a smoke bomb attached to a postgame fireworks display. The Orioles eventually defeat the White Sox, 3 – 2.
1962 – Roberto Clemente’s home run almost reaches Forbes Field’s right-field roof, providing Pittsburgh with an early 3-run lead over Houston which starter Vern Law will not relinquish. As Les Biederman of the Pittsburgh Press recounts: “Roberto Clemente almost made history Saturday, missing by a foot or so of being the first right-handed batter to hit a ball to the right field roof. Clemente’s homer in the first inning landed against the facing of the right field roof, a tremendous blast as it was.” Bobby Bragan, formerly Pittsburgh’s manager but now working for Houston, provides his own account: “The ball was within a foot or so of landing on top of the roof and perhaps two or three feet in fair territory. It probably was the longest ball ever hit to that field by a right-handed batter.”
Tom and Ben Grieve, both outfielders, become the first father-son combination to both be chosen in the first round of the amateur draft when the A’s select Ben as the team’s first-round pick (2nd overall). Tom, presently the general manager of the Rangers, was chosen sixth overall by the Senators in 1966.
The Expos pick Serra High School (San Mateo, CA) standout Tom Brady in the 18th round, the 507th player selected overall, in baseball’s amateur draft. The tall, athletic 17 year-old catcher with a powerful left-handed swing and a rocket arm elects to play football at the University of Michigan, before making his record-setting eight Super Bowl appearances as the quarterback for the NFL Patriots.
6/2/1997 – The Tigers used two different lineups in their game in Oakland. Brian Hunter led off the game with a triple to right. Then Damion Easley grounded out to first with Hunter scoring on the play. However, Art Howe pointed out that Bobby Higginson was the proper second batter so he was called out and Hunter placed back at third base. In the press box it was announced that the ground out with the first baseman getting an assist and the pitcher getting the putout would stand as the play. However, according to rule 10.03(d) this is not correct. The complete play included the run scoring, which is why Howe objected. In this case, the play should have been an automatic putout for the catcher not the groundout that occurred. The lost run did not affect the Tigers as Hunter scored when the next batter, Melvin Nieves, drove him in with a sacrifice fly. The Tigers beat Oakland, 8-7.
The Expos will wear Maurice Richard’s uniform number (9) on their right sleeves for the remainder of the year to pay tribute to the late Montreal Canadiens star, who played 18 seasons in the National Hockey League. It is the first time a major league team has chosen to honor a hero from a different sport.
2001 – At Miller Park, the red-hot Chicago Cubs extend their winning streak to 12 games, beating the Milwaukee Brewers, 10 – 4. Matt Stairs hits a three-run home run, while Sammy Sosa and Rondell White add two-run homers, all off Paul Rigdon. Kevin Tapani is the winning pitcher. It is the longest winning streak for the Cubs since they won 15 games in 1936. The streak will finish tomorrow.
2005 – The New York Yankees are swept by the team with the worst record in the majors (16-37), falling 5 – 2 to the Kansas City Royals for their first five-game losing streak in more than two years. Kansas City pitchers allow just six runs in the series. It is the third time in their storied history the Yankees have been swept in three games by the team with the worst record in the major leagues. The other times were in 2000, by the Detroit Tigers, and 1937 by the Philadelphia Athletics. The Royals had gone 78 series without sweeping anyone, the longest drought in the majors since the Phillies went 79 series without a sweep in 1996 and 1997.
In celebration of Rotary International’s Centennial Year, The Player, a 13-foot tall bronze sculpture donated by the Denver Rotarians, is dedicated in front of Coors Field on the corner of 20th and Blake. A 24-inch version of the work of art, created by internationally prominent sculptor George Lundeen, is given annually to the recipient of the Branch Rickey Award, an honor given to a major leaguer in recognition of exceptional community service.
Armando Galarraga throws a one-hitter in a 3 – 0 win over Cleveland but in the eyes of most observers, he has pitched a perfect game: the only baserunner he gives up comes with two outs in the 9th inning, when Jason Donald is called safe on an infield hit by umpire Jim Joyce; however, replays show that the throw from 1B Miguel Cabrera to Galarraga beat Donald to the bag. The Tigers starter thus comes agonizingly close to pitching the third major league perfect game in only a month.
In San Diego, Adrian Gonzalez hits a walk-off grand slam in the 11th inning to lead the Padres to a 5 – 1 win over the Mets. San Diego’s David Eckstein had tied the game at 1 with a single with two outs in the bottom of the 9th against Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez, after 8 scoreless innings by Johan Santana. It’s not the only late-game grand slam hit today: in Toronto, Carl Crawford of the Rays also hits one, capping a six-run 9th inning, to beat the Blue Jays, 7 – 3, and give David Price his American League-leading 8th win of the year.
After retiring 26 consecutive Cleveland batters, Tigers starter Armando Galarraga, appears to have hurled the season’s third perfect game when the throw from the first baseman to the pitcher, covering the bag, clearly beats the baserunner for the final out, but umpire Jim Joyce emphatically calls Jason Donald safe. After seeing the replay, the first base arbitrator tearfully admits his error, apologizing to the 28 year-old Venezuelan right-hander for his blown call.
Aubrey Huff hits three homers and drives in 6 runs, leading the Giants to a 12 – 7 win over the Cardinals. His performance makes a winner of Jonathan Sanchez, despite his walking six batters against only one K in 5 1/3 innings. Huff’s first two long balls come against two pitchers making their major league debut, loser Lance Lynn and reliever Maikel Cleto. Colby Rasmus hits a grand slam in a losing cause.
The Pirates take an early 7 – 0 lead against Mike Pelfrey and the Mets, but New York rallies for 9 straight runs. The Mets score 3 on Carlos Beltran’s three-run blast in the 3rd, add a four-run inning in the 6th to even the score against Paul Maholm, then win it in the 8th with 2 more runs. Mets manager Terry Collins does some fancy maneuverings in the 8th, sending pitcher Chris Capuano to pinch-hit with pinch-runner Willie Harris on first, hoping for a sacrifice bunt; when losing P Jose Veras balks the runner over, Collins calls Capuano back, and sends in Josh Thole to finish the at-bat. In the end, four walks and a wild pitch in the inning sink the Bucs, who lose, 9 – 8, in what is the Mets’ biggest comeback in 11 years.
Two nine-game streaks end today. The Mariners end the White Sox’s string of victories with a 10 – 8 win in 12 innings. Ichiro Suzuki hits a pair of solo homers in the win, as 8 homers are hit on the day. The Athletics also snap a streak, having lost 9 straight before beating the Royals, 9 – 3. Brandon McCarthy is the winner against Luke Hochevar.
2013 – Garrett Jones hits only the second home run to splash down straight into the Allegheny River beyond the right field fence at PNC Park, a two-run blast off Jonathan Broxton that allows the Pirates to tie the score at 4 – 4 in the 8th inning against the Reds. Travis Snider then ends the game with a run-scoring pinch single in the 11th for a 5 – 4 Buc win. Pirates starter Jeanmar Gomez has to leave with tightness in his pitching arm after allowing all four Reds runs in the 1st, but five relievers combine to keep Cincinnati from scoring again through the following 10 innings, with Justin Wilson eventually getting credit for the win.
At PNC Park, Garrett Jones became only the second player and the first Pirate to hit ball into Davy Jones’ Locker on the fly when his two-run eighth inning round-tripper ties the score in the Bucs’ eventual 5-4 win over Cincinnati. In 2002, Houston’s Daryle Ward also launched a shot that splashed into the waters of the Allegheny River.
2014 – In an unprecedented move, the Astros give out a five-year extension with three club options to Jonathan Singleton, who has yet to play his first major league game. Singleton has had problems with substance abuse in the past, but seems to be over them, and the pact guarantees him a minimum of $10 million even if he turns out to be a complete bust in the big leagues. The Astros will soon get to find out if they have made a smart investment, as, contract issues now out of the way, they call up Singleton and install him as their starting first baseman.
For the first time, a team from Belarus makes the European Cup. The Paris Université Club beats Belarus’ Brest Zubrs in the first day of action at the 2015 European Cup. Alex Lukashevich (the first US minor leaguer from Belarus) is the losing pitcher, while Dan Camou has 3 runs and 3 RBI, Christophe Goniot scores 3 and James Murrey fans 10 in a two-hitter in a 14 – 1 loss for the Belarusian entry.
2016 – Trailing the Padres 12 – 2 after five innings, the Mariners suddenly wake up and score 14 runs in two innings to escape with a 16 – 13 win, the biggest comeback in team history. In the 6th, Kyle Seager hits a two-run, bases loaded single, followed by a three-run pinch-hit homer by Dae-Ho Lee, then in the 7th the M’s score nine times to take the lead for good. For the Padres, the roller-coaster ride continues, as in consecutive games they have given up double-figure runs, scored double-figure runs, and then done both in the same game.
2017 – Clayton Kershaw of the Dodgers records his 2,000th career strikeout, the victim being Jonathan Villar, one of 14 K’s on the night for Kershaw. He is the third fastest pitcher to the mark, needing 1,837 2/3 innings, after only Pedro Martinez and Randy Johnson. Max Scherzer is about to catch him, however, as he only needs 19 Ks to reach the mark while having pitched 100 fewer innings than Clayton. The Dodgers win the game, 2 – 1, in 12 innings, while recording a team-record 26 strikeouts and both teams combine for a National League record 42 whiffs. Cody Bellinger homers in the top of the 12th for Los Angeles, while winner Kenley Jansen has now struck out 36 batters without issuing a single walk this year, a major league record.
2018 – Jacob deGrom matches a career high set just two weeks earlier by racking up 13 strikeouts in 7 innings in a start against the Cubs, but the NL ERA leader has to settle for another no-decision as the game is decided in 14 innings. Seven relievers add another 11 strikeouts to give the Mets 24, 2 shy of the all-time mark for an extra-inning game, but it’s the Cubs who break through with 6 runs in the top of the 14th, highlighted by Albert Almora’s two-run double off Buddy Baumann, to win, 7 – 1. Luke Farrell pitches 5 scoreless innings in relief to pick up the win.
1966 – Houston produces nine hits, including eight consecutive singles, in the 12th inning to subdue the Reds, 11-4. The inning starts as a 3-3 tie when Bob Aspromonte singles off Jack Baldschun. Base knocks by Rusty Staub, Ron Brand, Jim Gentile, Joe Morgan, Sonny Jackson, Jim Wynn and Dave Nicholson follow. Staub later doubles in the frame. Claude Raymond survives a bases-loaded scare for the victory.
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