This Day In Baseball June 20
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for June 20
Denny Lyons scores the winning run in the 9th inning to lead Pittsburgh to a 7 – 6 win over Washington. Lyons gets into scoring position by running from first base to third base – across the pitcher’s mound – on a fielder’s choice. The umpire does not see Lyons’s transgression, a common one in the 1890s.
1906 – At Exposition Park, Honus Wagner clubs one of the longest hits in park history, but only makes it to third base. Rounding first, the Pirates player is clipped by 1B Kid Gleason, and Wagner limps his way to a triple. A courtesy runner, Harry Smith, scores for the Pirates on a fly and the Phils then generously allow Wagner to return to SS. But the injury will force him to miss three games.
With no hint that a record is about to be set, the Giants coast to a 14 – 2 lead through eight innings at Boston, then score seven more in the 9th for a 21 – 2 lead. The Braves rally for 10 in the last of the 9th, but lose 21 – 12. The 17 runs are the NL post-1900 record scored by two teams in the 9th. Another 20th century mark set is the 11 stolen bases by the Giants – four by Josh Devore, including two in the 9th – and 14 swipes by both clubs. Thirteen Giants score runs, tying the major league record. The Giants’ Ernie Shoremakes his debut in this game and surrenders eight hits, a walk, and 10 runs (3 earned) in one inning, the 9th, of relief work, but is credited with a save for Hooks Wiltse. It is his only appearance in the NL. Buster Brown takes the loss.
1913 – After New York wins the opener, 9 – 3, Washington starter Bert Gallia hits three of the first four batters he faces in the 1st inning of the nightcap. Three more New York batters are plunked, by relievers Joe Engel (2) and Tom Hughes (1), for a record six. The outcome is the same as New York wins again, 9 – 3. New York leadoff hitter Bert Daniels puts his name in the record book when he gets hit three times.
1916 – Tilly Walker’s home run over the LF wall is the only home run the Red Sox will hit at Fenway Park this season, but it is the lone Boston score today as the Yankees win, 4 – 1. Inserted as a defensive replacement late in the game, Boston SS Everett Scott starts a string of 1,307 consecutive games, all played at SS. He will complete the streak as a Yankee on May 6, 1925. It will be the longest until Lou Gehrig’s 2,130.
The first-place Giants score seven runs in the 3rd to crush the Cubs, 12 – 7. Mel Ott leads the way with two homers – his 16th and 17th – and drives in six runs. Jo-Jo Moore has four hits, including a homer, and Fred Fitzsimmons, who weakens in the 8th, is credited with the win. Charlie Root, who got none out in the 3rd before retiring, is the loser. The Giants now lead the Cards by five games.
The American League-leading New York Yankees trip the Indians twice, 3 – 2 and 3 – 0, at Yankee Stadium. New York ties the first game on Frank Crosetti’s solo homer in the 8th off Bob Weiland, then wins it on Gehrig’s 18th in the 9th. Lefty Gomez, in relief of Johnny Broaca, is the winner. In game 2, Hal Trosky’s single is the only hit off Red Ruffing, who also knocks in a run.
The Tigers score three in the 11th to defeat the Senators, 13 – 10. Heinie Manush, leading the American League in hitting, has four hits and two homers as Washington collects 17 hits. The Tigers get three-hit efforts from Marv Owen, Mickey Cochrane, Charlie Gehringer and Hank Greenberg, who includes a homer. Elden Auker is the winner over Tommy Thomas.
New manager Pie Traynor paces the Pirates to a 6 – 5 win over the Braves, stopping a losing skein of five games. Traynor laces three doubles and a single and scores the winning run in the 9th inning. Arky Vaughan is 4 for 4 for the winners to raise his average to .363, two points off the leaders. Wally Berger keeps the Braves in the game with a two-run homer in the 1st and a game-tying homer in the 9th. Leon Chagnon, in relief of Red Lucas, is the winner.
The Yankees lose to the White Sox, 1 – 0, in 11 innings, their 6th straight loss, then protest a “catch” by Sox LF Moose Solters, contending he dropped the ball in the 2nd inning when he was reaching for his cap. Umpire John Quinn apparently missed the error and the protest is upheld. The game will be replayed September 18, but, for several years, all of today’s records, including Monte Pearson’s loss and Johnny Rigney’s win, will count. It is the first time since 1919 that the Yankees have been shut out in extra innings by one pitcher: they lost on May 19, 1935 in extra innings to two pitchers, Lefty Stewart and Lloyd Brown.
Cleveland IF Bobby Avila hits three home runs going 5 for 6 against the Red Sox. His 15 total bases will stand as a team record until surpassed by Rocky Colavito in 1959. Before today, Avila had hit just one homer against the Bosox. Cleveland outslugs Boston to win, 14 – 8, as Early Wynn earns the complete game win.
1971 – Four grand slams are hit in the majors, by the Braves’ Earl Williams, the Phillies’ Deron Johnson, the White Sox’s Rick Reichardt, and the Pirates’ Willie Stargell. Williams’ slam comes in a 5 – 4 loss, and the Braves drop a 2nd game, 2 – 0 to the Reds. The Pirates whip Montreal, 7 – 1, and the Sox pummel the Twins, 18 – 8. Johnson’s slam, in the 11th, gives the Phils a split with the Mets.
1972 – Randy Hundley caps the scoring in the 1st inning with a grand slam as the Cubs score 7, all off Don Carrithers, en route to a 15 – 8 pasting of the Giants. The first three runs come on three walks, two wild pitches and three singles. Hundley singles in another run in the 5-run 4th as the Cubs win their 7th straight.
White Sox reliever Ed Farmer swears he will take criminal action against Detroit’s Al Cowens following an on-field brawl in Chicago. Cowens hit a grounder to SS, and then charges the mound instead of running to first base. The action stems from an incident a year earlier when a Farmer pitch shattered Cowens’s jaw. American League President Lee MacPhail will suspend Cowens for seven games. The Tigers win, 5 – 3, in 11 innings.
1993 – In a 3 – 2 loss to Chattanooga, Knoxville Smokies manager Garth Iorg and P Travis Baptist are ejected for breaking a rule banning the use of tobacco in the dugout or clubhouse. Baptist is tossed for chewing it and Iorg for not stopping him. The rule has been in effect for all the minor leagues since June 15th.
1996 – The Indians win their 13th straight over the Red Sox, 5 – 4, on Kenny Lofton’s bloop single in the 9th off Mike Stanton. Jim Thome hits a game-tying home run in the 8th, off Roger Clemens, the 17th straight game in which the Indians have gone deep, a team record. Clemens leaves after 157 pitches with no decision.
1997 – For their game against the Cards, the Reds bring up Aaron Boone from Indianapolis. That’s the good news for the Boone clan. The bad news is they send brother Bret Boone (.205) down to make room for Aaron. Aaron has an RBI and a stolen base in his major league debut as the Reds win, 4 – 2. He also has his first ejection for throwing a helmet. Deion Sanders has a double and home run and his 31st stolen base, high in the majors.
A 4 1/2 hour closed-casket public viewing is held at Busch Stadium for Jack Buck, the 77-year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster, who died from complications following lung surgery. The bronze statue depicting him at the microphone outside the stadium is stuffed with cards, stuffed animals, photographs and other memorabilia in memory of the KMOX legend.
Luis Castillo extends his hitting streak to 34 games breaking the 1922 record established by Rogers Hornsby for the longest hitting streak by a second baseman. The Dominican infielder’s streak, the 14th longest in major league history, also ties Benito Santiago’s record set in 1987 for longest accomplished by a Latin player.
2004 – On Father’s Day with his dad present, Ken Griffey, Jr. nails a 6th-inning fastball off Cardinal hurler Matt Morris over the right field wall at Busch Stadium for his 500th career home run. The Reds center fielder becomes the 20th major leaguer and the sixth-youngest (34) to reach the milestone.
2008 – In last place in the AL East, the Toronto Blue Jays fire manager John Gibbons and three of his coaches; he is replaced by former Jay manager Cito Gaston, who led the team to its two World Series titles in 1992 and 1993. Gibbons is the third manager fired in less than a week, following Willie Randolph of the Mets and John McLaren of the Mariners.
Todd Helton hits a two-run homer in the 9th to lead Colorado to a 9 – 7 win over Pittsburgh. It is Colorado’s 15th win in its last 16 games, as the club has caught fire after naming Jim Tracy as its manager on May 29th. Before Helton’s blow off Jesse Chavez, Chris Iannetta hits a game-tying three-run blast in the 8th while Ian Stewart drives in three runs.
The Red Sox are inching closer after completing a three-game sweep of the Dodgers at Fenway Park, spoiling Manny Ramirez’s return to Boston after his exit under a cloud of controversy in mid-2008. Clay Buchholz has another strong pitching performance, improving his record to 10-4, in the 2 – 0 win in the finale. The Sox are now tied with the Rays, who have gone 3-7 over their last 10 games while Boston has won 6 straight.
Jack McKeon, who first managed in the major leagues with the Kansas City Royals in 1973, is back at the helm at age 80, taking over the Florida Marlins after the resignation of Edwin Rodriguez. This makes him the second-oldest manager in major league history, after Connie Mack. “I’ll probably manage until I’m 95,” quips McKeon. His first move is to bench star SS Hanley Ramirez, who has infuriated previous managers with his sometimes lackadaisical play, because “(I) didn’t like the way he was running yesterday.” In the game, the Marlins lose to the Angels, 2 – 1, as Jered Weaver improves to 9-4 and lowers his ERA to 2.01; Torii Hunter drives in both Angel runs. It’s the Marlins’ 11th consecutive loss – a franchise record – and 19th in their last 20 games.
Tim Hudson pitches 8 scoreless innings and launches a rocket home run into the left field stands off Ricky Romero in the 7th inning to drive in both of his team’s runs as the Braves beat the Blue Jays, 2 – 0. Hudson retires 20 straight batters before Mike McCoy draws a walk to lead off the 9th and Yunel Escobar follows with an infield single. Craig Kimbrel then steps in to strike out the next three batters to end the game and earn his 20th save.
Commissioner Bud Selig rejects a proposed television deal between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Fox Sports for “not being in the interests of the Los Angeles Dodgers franchise, the game of baseball and the millions of loyal fans of this historic club.” He adds that the deal “would have the effect of mortgaging the future of the franchise to the long-term detriment of the club and its fans.” The rejection also invalidates the terms of the divorce settlement between owner Frank McCourt and his wife Jamie announced on June 17th. As McCourt is relying on the deal’s approval to meet immediate payroll demands and operating expenses, he risks falling into insolvency, which may prompt Major League Baseball to take over operation of the club in order to put it up for sale.
Things look bleak for the Angels as they stake the Mariners a 7 – 0 lead in the middle of the 3rd, with ace Felix Hernandez on the mound. But they manage to score in four consecutive innings, including 5 runs in the 5th, and even though the Mariners add a couple of insurance runs, they finally take the lead with two more runs in the bottom of the 8th to win, 10 – 9. The Halos manage seven consecutive hits, including a pair of homers by Peter Bourjos and Mark Trumbo, against “King Felix” in the 5th inning. The winning run scores when Yoervis Medina walks Alberto Callaspo with the bases loaded.
Pedro Alvarez drives in all of the Pirates’ runs with a single, a double and a homer to lead the Bucs to a 5 – 3 win over the Reds, as the team continues to keep pace with St. Louis and Cincinnati in the highly competitive NL Central. The three division rivals have the three best records in the major leagues at this point of the season.
Seung-yeop Lee becomes the Korea Baseball Organization’s career home run leader with his 352nd dinger, surpassing former teammate Joon-hyuk Yang. Lee goes deep off Hee-sang Yoon as the Samsung Lions beat the SK Wyverns, 5 – 3. The amazing part of this is that Lee missed eight seasons while playing in Nippon Pro Baseball.
2014 – The Blue Jays erase an eight-run deficit to defeat the Reds, 14 – 9. The Reds score 8 runs in the 2nd inning to knock out Liam Hendriks. Edwin Encarnacion starts the comeback with a three-run homer off Mat Latos in the 3rd, but the Jays are still down, 9 – 3, in the 6th inning, when they begin scoring in earnest. The score is tied at 9 in the 9th when they jump on closer Aroldis Chapman to take their first lead, capped by another three-run homer by Encarnacion, off Sam LeCure, for the final score.
Max Scherzer of the Nationals comes agonizingly close to pitching a perfect game but has to settle for a 6 – 0 no-hitter over the Pirates. With two outs in the 9th, he hits pinch-hitter Jose Tabata with a pitch after retiring the first 26 batters in order as Tabata appears to lean into the pitch. Scherzer then retires Josh Harrison on a fly ball to end the game.
The Diamondbacks trade P Bronson Arroyo and 2014 top draft pick Touki Toussaint to the Braves in return for IF Philip Gosselin. As both Arroyo, recovering from Tommy John surgery, and Gosselin are currently on the disabled list, the deal is largely a salary dump, allowing the D-Backs to get Arroyo’s $9.5 million salary off the books.
Corey Seager hits three homers in the Dodgers’ 12 – 0 win over the Mets. He drives in 6 runs as the Dodgers have hit 9 homers in two games against the struggling Mets, while rookie Cody Bellinger continues his red hot hitting with his NL-leading 22nd homer. Brandon McCarthy pitches 6 innings for the win and Brock Stewart works the final three for his first career save.
Joe West becomes the third umpire in major league history to work 5,000 regular season games when he is behind the plate in a game between the Diamondbacks and Rockies. Neither team existed when he began his career in the National League back in 1976. His 40 seasons as an umpire are a record, and he trails only Bill Klem and Bruce Froemming for the total number of games.
2018 – The Rangers bring out the first hyphenated battery in major league history in their game against the Royals as Austin Bibens-Dirkx is the starting pitcher and throws to Isiah Kiner-Falefa, who his making his first start as a catcher. While their names may pose a spelling challenge, the pair work well togerther, as Bibens-Dirkx picks up his first win of the year, 3 – 2.
1970 – 19-year-old Cesar Cedeno makes his major league debut in a 9-6 triumph over the Braves. He singles twice off George Stone as Houston builds an early lead. Homers by Johnny Edwards and Bob Watson appear to put the game away but Atlanta makes a furious rally which ends only when Fred Gladding fans Bob Aspromonte with two aboard for the final out.