This Day In Baseball June 23
On June 23, some noteworthy events – Ernie Shore pitches a no-hitter and many believe it was a perfect game. The Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings complete the longest game in pro history and it features future Hall of Famers on both sides, Rick Wise is a one-man wrecking crew – firing a no-hitter and hitting 2 homeruns vs the Reds and Jimmy Piersall celebrates his 100th career home run by running the bases backward.
Events for June 23
1908 – The Doves and Giants split a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, with the Giants taking the opener, 6 – 3, and Boston winning the nitecap, 9 – 7. Christy Mathewson preserves Joe McGinnity’s win in the first game, pitching a perfect 9th inning; in the nitecap, he relieves Dummy Taylor in the 9th with the score 7 – 7, but the Braves score twice for the win. Fred Merkle cracks his first major league homer, against Patsy Flaherty, in the nitecap.
1909 – At the Polo Grounds, Christy Mathewson wins a doubleheader against Boston. Matty relieves Rube Marquard in the opener with the score tied 4 – 4 in the 9th. After shutting down Boston, the Giants score a run for the 5 – 4 win. Matty then coasts in the nitecap to an 11 – 1 win. Mathewson leaves after two innings with a 4 – 1 lead, and Doc Crandall operates the rest of the way. The official scorer awards the game to Christy.
For the fifth time this month, and sixth time this year, Ty Cobb steals home, doing it in a 4 – 2 Tiger win over the St. Louis Browns. Cobb scores another run when Sam Crawford hits back to Browns P Grover Lowdermilk, who somersaults after catching the grounder and sits on the mound holding the ball. Cobb scores all the way from second base on the play.
Philadelphia Athletics lefty Bruno Haas makes his debut against New York a memorable one as he walks a record 16 batters, and throws three wild pitches. He goes all the way in a 15 – 7 loss, his only major league decision. Haas breaks the American League record of 15 walks, set by Boardwalk Brown and ties Bill George’s major league record. Haas will pitch in just five more games before ending up in the NFL as a halfback for Akron.
1917 – In the first of two games at Boston, Babe Ruth starts for the Red Sox and walks the leadoff man, griping to plate umpire Brick Owens after each pitch. On ball 4, Ruth plants a right to the umpire’s head, and is ejected. Ernie Shore comes in to pitch. Ray Morgan is then caught stealing, and Shore retires all 26 men he faces in a 4 – 0 win, getting credit in the books for a perfect game (the ruling will later be changed, giving the two pitchers a combined no-hitter, but no perfect game). Boston’s Dutch Leonard then beats Walter Johnson, 5 – 0, in the nitecap. Ruth is suspended for his actions, a ban that will last nine days. He also is fined $100.
With two outs in the 6th inning, Brooklyn makes 10 hits in succession against Pittsburgh to equal the major league record. The Robins begin the 7th inning with two more after the 6th inning ends with a runner tagged out at the plate. They win, 19 – 6. Babe Herman hits two home runs during the streak.
The Senators take over first place, winning their third in a row over the White Sox while the Yankees break even in St. Louis. Joe Cronin leads the way with his 5th consecutive multi-hit game. With his two hits today matching his output on the 18th, and 13 hits in the three games of the 19th, 21st and 22nd, Cronin sets the record for most hits in three games (13) as well as four games (15).
1934 – The Cards beat the Dodgers, 5 – 4, with the win credited to Bill Hallahan, who relieves in the 6th inning and gives up a run. In the bottom half, the Cards score five runs, and Dizzy Dean comes in and shuts out Brooklyn in the last three innings. The official scorer refers the decision on the winning pitcher to National League president John Heydler, who gives it to Dean, eventually making his 30-win season possible. Heydler’s telegram reads in part: “Dean pitched great ball during three innings to protect one-run lead and is winner. Hallahan pitched one inning rather poorly and did not stand to lose the game even had he continued.”
Alabama Pitts, the celebrated ex-convict, makes his debut with Albany in a twinbill with Syracuse. He has two hits and makes two spectacular catches in CF in the opener, then goes hitless in the nitecap. Manager Johnny Evers enthuses, “I tell you he’s a sure shot for the big leagues.” Alas, Pitts will only play in the minor leagues.
The league-leading Yanks (37-22) lose their third in a row, dropping a 6 – 5 decision to the second-place Indians. Red Rolfe’s error in the 8th allows the Tribe to tie and Lefty Gomez lets loose two wild pitches in a row in the 9th to allow Joe Vosmik to get to third base. Ab Wright’s single brings home the winner. Mel Harder, in relief in the 9th, wins his 11th.
In Cleveland, 56,659 watch the Indians split with Boston. Cleveland wins the opener, 4 – 1, for their 8th win in a row, then Boston wins the nitecap, 2 – 0, on two Jim Tabor home runs. In the first game, Ted Williams and Doc Cramer collide chasing a fly ball. Williams is knocked unconscious and the ball goes for an inside-the-park home run.
With 52,657 in attendance at the Polo Grounds, the Giants’ Billy Jurges is hit on the head by a pitch thrown by Bucky Walters of the Reds. He leaves the field on a stretcher. A shaken Walters then allows two runs and is lifted. The Giants have a 4 – 2 lead with two out in the 9th, but the Reds score five runs on six hits to win, 7 – 4. Cincy takes the second game, 2 – 0. Jurges will stay in the hospital six days and the Giants will go 39-61 and tailspin from second place to sixth after his injury.
Eleven home runs – a major league record – drive in all the runs scored in a 10 – 9 Tiger win over the Yankees before 51,000 Detroit fans. Detroit has four home runs in the 4th inning as Dizzy Trout, Jerry Priddy, Vic Wertz and Hoot Evers connect. Pitcher Trout’s home run, off Tommy Byrne, is his second lifetime grand slam. Evers hits another home run, an inside-the-park two-run game winner in the 9th off Joe Page to win it. For New York, Hank Bauer connects for two homers, including one in the 4th inning. Joe DiMaggio, Jerry Coleman, Yogi Berra and pinch hitter Tommy Henrich also belt round trippers. It is the first time that nine different players connect for homers in a game.
Jose Aguiar, pitching for the Newport Canners in the Mountain States League, records a 7 – 0 no-hit win versus the Big Stone Gap Rebels. Newport will then be no-hit by Tom Dunovant of the Harlan Smokies, losing 7 – 0, the very next night. Aguiar will throw another no-hitter on August 19th versus the Morristown Red Sox yet finish the season with a pedestrian 12-15 record and a 4.92 ERA.
Luke Easter, obtained last season by Indians owner Bill Veeck from the Kansas City Monarchs, blasts the longest home run ever hit in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium. The 34 year-old first baseman’s 477-foot shot into the upper right deck will be one of two round-trippers he hits in the team’s 13-4 rout of Washington.�
Prime Minister Nobusuke Kishi of Japan, wearing a Yankees cap, is one of 63,787 fans at Yankee Stadium to see New York split with Chicago, winning the first, 9 – 2, and dropping the second game, 4 – 3. Mickey Mantle goes 6 for 9 as the Yankees maintain their 1 1/2 game lead over Chicago. Mantle is leading the American League in hitting and homers and is one behind the Senators’ Roy Sievers in RBIs.
Carl Willey of the Braves pitches a 7 – 0 shutout against the Giants in his first major league start. Another noted starter is Joe Adcock, playing LF for the first time since 1952, who climbs the fence to snag a ball. Willey gives up six hits, including Willie Mays’s 1,000th career hit. Willey is relieved by Don McMahon who becomes the first pitcher to be driven to the mound, when a motor scooter with a sidecar delivers him from the bullpen.
Ernie Banks voluntarily takes the bench as a sore knee brings his 717 consecutive games played streak to an end. The streak started August 26, 1956. The Bank-less Cubs still win, 5 – 3, over the Braves at Wrigley Field. Joe Adcock, who applied the hidden ball trick last August 31st to George Altman, nabs another Cub, Billy Williams, in the 8th.
A major league fielding record is set by Boston’s 1B Dick Stuart as “Dr. Strange Glove” handles three 1st-inning grounders and tosses to P Bob Heffner for putouts each time. Stuart’s teammates and Fenway Park fans give him a standing ovation. The Yankees beat the Sox, 8 – 0. Heffner is just the second pitcher to have three putouts in an inning: Boston’s Jim Bagby (1940) is the other. Rick Reuschel in 1975 will be the next.
After taking Phillies right-hander Dallas Green deep, Jimmy Piersall runs around the bases in the correct order, but backward, to celebrate his 100th career home run. The Mets’ outfielder, who thought of the stunt after being disappointed by the lack of attention Duke Snider’s 400th round-tripper received, will be released two days later by manager Casey Stengel.
Charlie Lau ties a major-league record with two pinch hits in the 8th inning of Baltimore’s 9 – 8 win over the Yankees. The O’s, losing, score seven runs in the inning after two are out. Yanks manager Yogi Berra is criticized by some of his players for lifting starter Rollie Sheldon, who was leading 7 – 2, having allowed just two solo shots by Boog Powell. Rookie reliever Pete Mikkelsen cannot hold the lead as the O’s move into first place.
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.
Rick Wise hits two home runs and drives in three runs as he faces only 28 batters and no-hits the Reds, 4 – 0 on 95 pitches. He goes deep against Ross Grimsley and Clay Carroll. Pete Rose is retired as the final out. The Phillies’ hurler will again hit two home runs in same game this season on August 28th.
1981 – Dave Koza drives in Marty Barrett with a bases-loaded single in the bottom of the 33rd inning, giving Pawtucket a 3 – 2 win over Rochester and ending the longest game in professional baseball history. The game had been suspended April 19th after 32 innings and eight hours, seven minutes of play, but the continuation takes only 18 minutes to complete. Bob Ojeda pitches one inning to earn the win. Future major league stars Wade Boggs and Cal Ripken Jr. go a combined 6 for 25.
1984 – At Wrigley Field, in game that will be known as “the Sandberg game”, the Cubs’ Ryne Sandberg goes 5 for 6 with game-tying home runs off Cardinals relief ace Bruce Sutter in both the 9th and 10th innings. He drives in seven runs to lead Chicago to a 12 – 11 win in 11 innings. It is the first time Sutter has given up two home runs to the same batter in the same game. Dave Owen’s bases-loaded single wins it. Willie McGee hits for the cycle and drives in six runs in a losing cause.
In a game that will be best remembered for Ryne Sandberg’s two late-inning game-tying home runs, Willie McGee hits for the cycle in St. Louis’ 12-11 loss in 11 innings to the Cubs. With his triple in the second inning, a fourth-frame single, a sixth inning home run, and an RBI double in the tenth, the Cardinals center fielder drives in six runs in the Wrigley Field contest.
Mike LaCoss pitches a three-hitter and belts his first major league home run, off position player Dane Iorg, as the Giants pound the Padres, 18 – 1. Tying a record, 14 Giants get hits and 13 come around to score in the game. In his next at-bat, on June 29th, LaCoss will belt the second and last homer of what will be a 14-year career. That homer will be served up by Tom Browning of the Reds. Iorg gives up four runs in his inning, but does strike out CF Randy Kutcher.
George Steinbrenner fires Billy Martin for the fifth time, replacing him with Lou Piniella. In 1985, Piniella was fired and replaced by Martin. In 1987, Martin was fired and replaced by Piniella. New York’s 40-28 record is the 4th best in the big leagues, but the Yankees have just completed a 2-7 road trip.
6/23/1992: With the Blue Jays visiting Arlington, TX, the game started with a sunny sky and 93-degree heat. Nolan Ryan, in the penultimate year of his career, was looking for his first victory of the season. He had struck out three batters (career strikeouts 5,571 through 5,573 for Ryan) in two innings. Dave Winfield hit a wind-aided solo homer to lead off the top of the second, his 419th career blast. However, a severe band of thunderstorms swept into the area and, after a 55-minute wait, the game was called off. Thus, Ryan lost the three punch-outs and Winfield lost what would have been his only career home run off fellow Hall of Famer Ryan.
A brawl during a Class A Florida State League game between the Charlotte Rangers and the West Palm Beach Expos results in a record $4,425 in fines, and 44 suspensions. With both benches and bullpens emptying, the only players who escape without fines or suspensions are either in the clubhouse or not at the game.
Oakland P Bobby Witt narrowly misses hurling a perfect game, defeating Kansas City on a 4 – 0 one-hitter. Umpire Gary Cederstrom calls Greg Gagne safe on a close play at first in the 6th inning, for the Royals’ only hit, but TV replays show that Gagne was out. The play goes 1B Troy Neel to Witt covering. Witt fans 14 and does not walk a batter in his masterpiece.
The Reds defeat the Giants, 7 – 5, in a contest which sees San Francisco P Pat Gomez throw three consecutive wild pitches in the 8th inning. Gomez’s next pitch, like the three previous ones, bounces in the dirt, but C Kirt Manwaring is able to block it, preventing Gomez from becoming just the third pitcher ever to throw four wild pitches in an inning.
In Cleveland, Matt Lawton has four hits and Brad Radke wins his fourth straight start as the Twins top Cleveland, 7 – 2. Pat Meares has a two-run homer for the Twins. For Cleveland, Sandy Alomar Jr. extends his hitting streak to 22 games with a single and Jim Thome accounts for all the scoring with two solo homers.
In Detroit, Yankee righty David Cone strikes out 16, his highest total in six years, and Cecil Fielder hits a three-run homer as New York wins, 5 – 2. Cone, who had shoulder surgery to repair an aneurysm on May 10, 1996, allows four hits, including homers by Bob Hamelin and Damion Easley, in eight innings.
2003 – Stealing second base at Pacific Bell Park in the 11th inning, Barry Bonds becomes the first player to hit 500 homers and steal 500 bases in his career. The Giants’ left fielder may not only be the charter member of the 500-500 club, many believe, including him, he will most likely be its only member, as no one else may ever reach this plateau.
At Fenway Park, Manny Ramirez hits two homers totaling 964 feet, but he also leaves the bases loaded twice and the Blue Jays come back on the Red Sox, 9 – 6. Manny’s shots are 463 feet and 501 feet, the latter banging the net around the Coke bottle in left. It’s measured at 501 feet, a suspicious one foot short of Ted Williams’ 502-foot homer for the Fenway record.
2005 – Making his professional debut, Yakima Bears hurler Ryan Doherty pitches a perfect 6th and 7th, striking out three of the six batters he faces, during a 3 – 2 loss to the Vancouver Canadians. At 7′ 1″ , the right-hander from Toms River, New Jersey, who signed a free agent contract with Arizona after pitching for Notre Dame, becomes the tallest pitcher in professional baseball history, surpassing Jon Rauch who stands a mere 6′ 11″. A year later, another 7′ 1″ pitcher, Loek van Mil, will make his US debut after having pitched in the top Dutch league in 2005.
White Sox starter Jose Contreras establishes a franchise mark, surpassing LaMarr Hoyt and Wilson Alvarez, by winning his 16th consecutive decision when Chicago beats the Astros 7-4 in a matchup of last year’s World Series rivals. The Cuban right-hander, whose last defeat occurred on August 15 last season against the Twins, hasn’t been beaten in his past 21 regular season starts.
In an inter-league contest against the Mets at Shea Stadium, Mariners’ right-hander Felix Hernandez becomes the first pitcher in the 31-year history of the franchise to hit a home run. The round-tripper, which comes off fellow Venezuela ace Johan Santana, is also the first grand slam hit by an American League pitcher since Steve Dunning of the Indians homered off A’s moundsman Diego Segui in 1971.
2009 – Chase Utley homers and drives in four runs as Philadelphia crushes Tampa Bay, 10 – 1, in a rematch of last year’s World Series. Ryan Howard is back in the Phils’ line-up after a bout of sinusitis over the previous days put an end to his major league leading 343 consecutive games played streak. The Phillies score 6 runs in the 1st on their way to building a 10-run lead against rookie starter David Price. 46-year-old Jamie Moyer picks up the 251st win of his career.
Even when he loses, Nationals super-rookie Stephen Strasburg is almost untouchable. The Royals only score one run and strike out 9 times in 6 innings, but still hand him his first career loss, 1 – 0, behind Brian Bannister’s outstanding start. Strasburg collects his first hit and now has 41 strikeouts against only 5 walks in his first four starts.
He may have missed the season’s first month, but the Mariners’ ace, Cliff Lee, is still baffling hitters. He picks up is his 4th complete game of the season in defeating the Cubs, 8 – 1, also earning his 6th consecutive win and lowering his American League-leading ERA to 2.39. Michael Saunders homers and drives in 4 runs in support of Lee’s pitching.
The Marlins fire manager Fredi Gonzalez and two coaches, naming AAA New Orleans manager Edwin Rodriguez to replace him, although rumors are that owner Jeffrey Loria wants to convince former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine to take over the team. The move comes with Florida in 4th place in the NL East, but with a respectable 34-36 record. Loria explains that he wants to give the team a new impulsion.
In a move that surprises its players, the fourth-place Marlins (34-36) fire their manager, Fredi Gonzalez, along with bench coach Carlos Tosca and hitting coach Jim Presley. Edwin Rodriguez, the skipper of the team’s Triple-A affiliate in New Orleans, is named to fill the position on an interim basis.
It’s not always easy being (furry and) green. The Phillie Phanatic, making a special appearance at a Lehigh Valley IronPigs game in Allentown, PA, is struck by a foul ball while entertaining the fans from the top of the first-base dugout in the 3rd inning. He is taken to hospital but released shortly afterwards. Tom Burgoyne, the man inside the costume, suffers only a bruise above the eye.
The Washington Nationals win another game, completing a three-game sweep of the Mariners with a 1 – 0 victory. Nats starter Jason Marquis takes a no-hitter into the 6th, which is broken up by his opponent Michael Pineda’s first major league hit. The only run scores in the bottom of the 9th off Chris Ray, thanks to a single by Michael Morse, a bunt single by Danny Espinosa, followed by another bunt by Ivan Rodriguez which loads the bases as 1B Adam Kennedy unwisely attempts to cut down pinch-runner Brian Bixler at third base instead of settling for the sure out. Jerry Hairston then forces out Bixler at home on a hard-hit grounder to short, but Jayson Nix follows with a game-ending sacrifice fly, scoring Espinosa. Following the game, in a stunning turn of events, Washington manager Jim Riggleman hands in his resignation. He justifies his decision by GM Mike Rizzo’s refusal to negotiate an extension of his contract for 2012. Bench coach John McLaren takes over as interim manager with the team one game above .500, its best record since 2005, the result of having won 11 of its last 12 games. Rizzo expresses his disappointment at the turn of events, stating: “I was always taught that one of the cardinal rules of baseball was that no individual can put his interests before those of the team.”
Jim Thome hits a walk-off homer off Tampa Bay’s Jake McGee in the bottom of the 9th to give the Phillies a 7 – 6 win. It is Thome’s 609th career homer, tying him with Sammy Sosa for 7th place on the all-time list, and the 13th in walk-off fashion, the most in history; five players have hit 12, and all are Hall of Famers: Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Babe Ruth. The 900th win of manager Charlie Manuel’s career moves the Phillies out of last place in the NL East. Earlier in the 9th inning, Jonathan Papelbon had blown a 6 – 4 lead for his first blown save of the season, but Thome’s blast makes him the winner.
The Blue Jays and Marlins are tied at 1 after 8 innings, when the Jays erupt for 6 runs in the top of the 9th. Edwin Encarnacion leads off the inning with a solo homer off Steve Cishek and Colby Rasmus later hits a grand slam as Toronto ends up with a 7 – 1 win that puts Miami in last place in the NL East.
Jim Thome sets a major league mark with his 13th career walk-off home run, a solo shot over the left-field wall in the bottom of the ninth inning, giving the Phillies a dramatic 7-6 victory over Tampa Bay. Before today’s historic round-tripper at Citizens Bank Park, the 41 year-old five-time All-Star Thome had shared the record with five Hall of Famers: Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, and Frank Robinson.
The Pirates are also playing well, completing a three-game sweep of the Angels on the road with a dramatic comeback in the top of the 9th. Trailing 6 – 3, they tie the game against closer Ernesto Frieri, with a two-out pinch double by Russell Martin being the key blow, then add four runs in the top of the 10th. Travis Snider is the hero, as he hits a bases-loaded single that ends up scoring three runs when LF J.B. Shuck lets the ball get past him all the way to the wall. Leading 10 – 6, closer Jason Grilli, who has been almost perfect so far this year, gives up three runs, but strikes out Mike Trout with the tying and winning runs in scoring position, as the Bucs hold on for a 10 – 9 win.
2017 – With a four-run rally in the 9th, the Royals come back to defeat the Blue Jays, 5 – 4. It is their 10th win in their last 12 games and brings them back to .500 for the first time since April. They had been 0-29 when trailing after 8 innings until Whit Merrifield caps the rally with a two-run double.
For the third straight game, the Dodgers win on a walk-off homer, and for the third straight game, it’s a rookie who hits the winning blow. After Matt Beaty and Alex Verdugo, it is Will Smith’s turn to play the hero as he launches a three-run pinch homer in the bottom of the 9th for a 6 – 3 win over the Rockies.
Tensions boil over in the clubhouse of the struggling Mets after a 5 – 3 loss to the Cubs at Wrigley Field as manager Mickey Callaway accuses Newsday beat reporter Tim Healey of antagonizing people. The exchange quickly degenerates as P Jason Vargas also gets involved and threatens to knock out the journalist while Callaway shouts for him to leave the clubhouse, using choice profanities.
1995 – Derek Bell caps a four-hit night with the game-winning RBI as he drives home Brian Hunter for a 3-2, twelve-inning triumph over the Cubs. Craig Shipley had tied it in the bottom of the ninth with a sacrifice fly off Randy Myers. Todd Jones fans five of the seven Chicagoans he faces to get the victory.
1986 – Glenn Davis slugs a two-run shot off Ted Power in the bottom of the ninth to shock the Reds, 7-6. Davis had earlier singled home a run. Larry Andersen is the winning pitcher without officially facing a batter. He tags out Buddy Bell at the plate after tossing a wild pitch that ends a ninth-inning Cincinnati threat.