This Day In Baseball June 9
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for June 9
Ted Williams clouts the farthest home run ever hit at Fenway Park, a shot estimated to have traveled 502 feet before striking the straw hat of a fan sitting in seat 21 in the 37th row of section 42 in right field. The seat will be painted red to commemorate the location of the Splendid Splinter’s Ruthian blast, although at the time of the homer the area consisted of bleachers, and not individual seats.
6/9/1961 – The Los Angeles Angels were playing a doubleheader at Fenway Park. The Angels lineup for game two had Ken Hamlin batting first and Gene Leek eighth. However, Leek started the game by grounding out and the Red Sox did not comment. The next batter should have been the ninth-place hitter, pitcher Ryne Duren. However, Lee Thomas came to the plate and singled to left. At this point the Sox again did not comment. Leon Wagner, properly following Thomas, singled to right driving advancing Thomas to third. At this point, Boston could not protest the batter since Wagner was the correct one. Thomas scored on a ground out by the next batter, Ken Hunt. In the second inning, sixth place hitter Ken Aspromonte led off with a single and the seventh batter, Steve Bilko, was called out on strikes. Leek should have hit now but Hamlin strode to the plate and beat out an infield hit. The Red Sox now point the improper batter to the umpires and Leek, the proper batter, is called out. The Angels follow the correct lineup for the rest of the game and go on to beat the Red Sox, 5-1.
In the first major league game ever played on a Sunday night, the Colt .45’s extend the Giants’ losing streak to seven games, blanking the visiting team, 3-0. Due to the extreme heat during the days of the Texas summer months, baseball grants permission for games to be played in the evening at Colt Stadium.
Unlike its decision in April to delay the start of the season after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, Major League Baseball lets individual teams decide if they will postpone games when Robert F. Kennedy is killed two months later by an assassin’s bullet. When Houston decides to continue playing their scheduled home contests, Rusty Staub and Bob Aspromonte, both who will be traded at the end of the season, protest by benching themselves in today’s 3-1 loss to Pittsburgh at the Astrodome.
6/9/1972 – The Braves Marty Perez made the last out of the top of the sixth, but he came up to start the seventh. Phillies catcher Tim McCarver proved to be too clever as he pointed out the incorrect batter to the home plate umpire after the first pitch, which was a ball. He did not realize that until the incorrect batter’s plate appearance is over, the team can replace that batter with the proper one or a pinch hitter. The Braves sent up Jim Breazeale in place of Perez as a pinch hitter for the pitcher, who was the correct batter. Breazeale inherited a 1-0 count, but struck out. This was not the first time a team did not understand the rules in order to take advantage of them. If Perez had finished his at bat and made an out, the Phillies could have accepted the play. Most likely Breazeale would have come up as a pinch hitter, which would have been correct since the Perez play would have reset the lineup. The effect would have been to have Perez, a “good field, no hit” shortstop bat an extra time, which would have delayed the top of the order coming up by a batter. It turned out not to matter since the Braves did not score in the last three innings and the Phillies won the game 4-3 with a run in the bottom of the eighth.
6/9/1975 – The Twins were playing the Indians in Cleveland and Minnesota manager Frank Quilici gave the wrong lineup to the Press Box and evidently to the players. Dan Ford, Danny Thompson and Glenn Borgmann were listed officially as batting seventh, eighth and ninth. However, Ford and Thompson batted in reverse order until the ninth inning. In the first, Thompson made the last out of the inning. Ford and Borgmann, who was also out of order now, both grounded out to start the second. In the fourth, Thompson singled but no runs scored in the inning. Thompson popped out to end the fifth. Ford tripled to start the sixth and eventually scored but Cleveland manager Frank Robinson did not object. In the seventh and eighth innings, all three batters made outs. In the ninth inning, the Twins finally batted in the proper order. Ford and Thompson both hit run-producing groundouts. The Twins won in the eleventh inning, 11-10, when Thompson drove in the game-winner with a single to center field. The Twins batted out of order four times and in the correct order twice in the game.
With the score tied 3-3 and the bases loaded in the 12th inning, Garry Hancock decides to drop Pete O’Brien’s long foul flyball to prevent the out from becoming a game-ending sacrifice fly. Wayne Tolleson tags up and scores the winning run for Texas when the umpires rule the left fielder had caught the ball.
Eddie Murray ties Mickey Mantle’s major league mark, hitting a homer from both sides of the plate for the tenth time in his career. The switch-hitting first baseman’s second home run of the game, batting left-handed against Eric Show, proves to be the eventual winning run in the Dodgers’ 5-4 victory over San Diego in the 11th inning at Jack Murphy Stadium.
Oakland signs first-round pick Ben Grieve, giving the recent Arlington HS (TX) graduate a $1.2 million bonus. The 18 year-old’s incentive to sign with the A’s is more money than his father, Tom, also a first-round selection, earned during his dozen seasons in the majors with the Senators, Rangers, Mets, and the Cardinals.
In the third inning of the Angels’ 10-8 win over the Diamondbacks, Anaheim’s Cecil Fielder and Arizona’s Yamil Benitez both hit a grand slam in the Bank One Ballpark contest. It is the first time both teams hit bases-full home runs in the same inning since 1992, when Cubs infielder Ryne Sandberg and Pirates slugger Jeff King also accomplished the feat, playing at Three Rivers Stadium.
For the first time in franchise history, the Rays hit three consecutive home runs when Evan Longoria, Willy Aybar, and Dioner Navarro all connect off Angels’ southpaw Joe Saunders in the second inning of Tampa Bay’s 13-4 rout in Anaheim. The feat will not occur again for the team until James Loney, Wil Myers, and Sam Fuld homer back-to-back-to-back at Tropicana Field in 2013.
In front of a dwindling crowd, made up of mostly remaining Giants fans, Chris Heston strikes out the side in the ninth inning to finish the season’s first no-hitter, a 5-0 Giants’ victory over the Mets at Citi Field. The no-no thrown by the 27 year-old rookie right-hander, making just his 13th career start, is the 17th in franchise history and marks the fourth straight season the feat has been accomplished by a San Francisco hurler, with Matt Cain (2012) and Tim Lincecum (2013 and 2014) throwing complete games without yielding a hit during the past three years.
2015 – After singling the night before in his major league debut, 20-year-old Carlos Correa homers in the ninth inning off Zach Duke in a 4-2 loss to the White Sox. He also gets his first stolen base and first multi-hit game. The former overall first pick in the 2012 draft would go on to win Rookie of the Year honors.
1985 – Joe Niekro becomes the winningest pitcher in club history with a two-hit shutout of the Giants, 5-0. Mark Bailey helps his batterymate with a three-run blast. Niekro had failed in the previous six starts to notch his 138th win as an Astro, leading to offers from Niekro to pay the hitters for helping him set the mark.
1963 – The first Sunday night game in National League history is played at Colt Stadium with Houston blanking the Giants, 3-0, to sweep the series. The Colt .45s got permission from the league after the summer heat made day games an ordeal during the 1962 season. 38-year-old castoff Hal Brown is the hero, relieving Dick Farrell in third inning and allowing just one hit the rest of the way for his first National League win.
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