This Day In Baseball May 12
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 12
In a National League contest played at the South End Grounds, Umpire Van Cort infuriates the visiting Detroit Wolverines when he calls their batter out on a third-strike foul tip. Mike Hines, the Beaneaters’ backstop, clearly did not catch the strike three because the ball becomes wedged in his catcher’s mask.
Issuing just one walk, which spoils his bid for a perfect game, A’s right-hander Chief Bender, who is part Chippewa, throws a 4-0 no-hitter at Shibe Park against the Cleveland Naps (Indians). The home plate umpire is Bill Dinneen, who tossed a no-hit game against the White Sox playing with the Pilgrims (Red Sox) in 1905, making him the only person in big league history to both throw a no-hitter and call one as an umpire.
Carey Selph of the Chicago White Sox collects his ninth strikeout of the season. But it won’t happen again. Selph will go another 89 games without striking out, to set a major league record, hitting .283 in 396 at-bats in his second and last season. Selph’s record will last until 1958, when Nellie Fox sets a new mark with 98 consecutive games whitout striking out.
Ted Williams apologizes to Red Sox fans for the ‘insulting’ gestures he made after being booed by the Fenway Faithful for allowing the eventual winning run to score on his second error of yesterday’s game. In response to the patrons’ vocal displeasure, the ‘Splendid Splinter’ had bowed three times to various sections of the Boston ballpark and made an obscene gesture with his finger.
Bill Murray, anchorman on Saturday Night Live Weekend Update reports 42 year-old Chico Escuela (a fictional baseball player portrayed by Garrett Morris) has informed the Mets that he is quitting baseball. Although baseball has been “berra berra good…” to him, a crushing blow off the bat of Dodger first baseman Steve Garvey into the Dominican’s infielder’s crotch ends an inspiring comeback.
Jerry Goff, playing in his first game of the season, ties a modern major league record when he allows six passed balls in the Astros’ 7-6 loss to the Expos at Olympic Stadium. The 32 year-old Houston backup backstop, filling in for starter Rick Wilkins, who caught all 13 frames of yesterday’s extra-inning loss to Montreal, equals the dubious mark for misplaying six pitches in one game shared by Harry Vickers (1902 Reds) and Geno Petralli (1987 Rangers).
In a Jet magazine article, Frank Thomas, “hurt” and “embarrassed” by the portions of his ESPN interview that ABC’s “Nightline” used in their segment about Jackie Robinson, says the piece misrepresented his remarks. The White Sox All-Star was shown saying that he rarely thinks about Robinson’s efforts in breaking down baseball’s color barrier.
Not only is Milwaukee’s 4-hour, 22-minute, 14 – 8 drubbing of Chicago the longest 9-inning game in National League history, it also features one of the longest home runs in the history of Wrigley Field. A picture circulated by the Associated Press puts it this way: “Rick Frohock celebrates on the rooftop of a three-story building on Waveland Ave. behind the left-field bleachers of Wrigley Field after catching a home run hit by Chicago’s Glenallen Hill against the Brewers. It was believed to be the first time a ball landed on top of the apartment building.” Hill’s shot is estimated at 490 feet by the next day’s press accounts and eventually measured at 500 feet.
Major League Baseball is ordered by arbitrator Alan Symonette to reinstate nine of the 22 “resigning” umpires let go two years before, and to grant back-pay for the time missed. The order also states that veteran umpires Frank Pulli and Terry Tata do not need to retire after the season, as previously planned.
In one of the most remarkable at-bats in major league history, Alex Cora fouls off 14 consecutive pitches and then hits the 18th pitch over the right field fence for a two-run home run off Cubs pitcher Matt Clement. The homer extends Los Angeles’s lead to 4 – 0. The Dodger Stadium crowd cheers each foul ball as the total starts to be displayed on the scoreboard.
In one of the most remarkable at-bats in big league history, Alex Cora fouls off 14 consecutive pitches and then hits the 18th thrown to him by the Cubs’ Matt Clement over the right-field fence for a two-run home run which doubles LA’s lead to 4-0. The Dodger Stadium crowd cheered each foul ball, watching the increasing total displayed on the scoreboard.
In the second game of a doubleheader, the Indians lose, 3 – 0, to the Blue Jays against Shaun Marcum and two relievers. The historic note goes to Cleveland, which is involved in the 6th unassisted triple play in franchise history (3 for them, 3 against them) and the 14th overall in major league annals. In the 5th, Cliff Lee lets the first two men reach. Lyle Overbay hits a liner that is caught by a diving Asdrubal Cabrera at second. Cabrera steps on the bag to force Kevin Mench, then tags out Marco Scutaro to complete the trifecta. Also of note is that Ron Hansen, involved in a 1968 unassisted triple play against Cleveland, is at the game as a Phillies scout.
In the nightcap of a twin bill against the Blue Jays, Asdrubal Cabrera completes the 14th unassisted triple play in major league history. The Indians second baseman catches Lyle Overbay’s line drive, then steps on second to force out Kevin Mench, and gets the third out tagging Marco Scutaro, the runner from first base.
Major League Baseball issues a warning to the Phillies after investigating allegations made by the Colorado Rockies that bullpen coach Mick Billmeyer used binoculars to steal signs from the centerfield bullpen in the game between the teams on May 10th. In today’s game, Colorado wins, 4 – 3, as Miguel Olivo goes 5 for 5, capping his perfect day with a walk-off home run off Chad Durbin in the 10th inning.
The Nationals continue to surprise, beating the Mets, 6 – 4, at Citi Field, thanks to Roger Bernadina’s first two homers this year. The second is a two-run shot off closer Francisco Rodriguez in the 9th inning and comes moments after Bernadina makes a diving game-saving catch to rob Jeff Francoeur with the bases loaded. Nats starter Craig Stammen contributes the other 3 RBI but does not figure in the decision; instead, reliever Tyler Clippard picks up his major-league leading 7th win, followed by Matt Capps’s 14th save, which is also a major league high so far this season.
Due to security concerns raised as a result of the G-20 Summit in Toronto, MLB switches the Phillies’ scheduled visit to Canada to play the Blue Jays to Philadelphia. The visitors will be considered the home team, batting last, and can employ a designated hitter in the National League’s Citizens Bank Park.
Yankee right fielder Alfonso Soriano becomes only the seventh player to collect a thousand hits in both leagues when he singles off Mets starter Bartolo Colon in the bottom of the second inning of the team’s 9-7 loss at the Bronx ballpark. The 38 year-old Dominican outfielder, who is also the first major leaguer to record 100 HRs, 500 RBIs, 500 runs, and 100 RBIs in each circuit, joins Frank Robinson, Dave Winfield, Vladimir Guerrero, Fred McGriff, Orlando Cabrera, and Carlos Lee in reaching the milestone.
The Red Sox’s bats are red hot as they score 11 or more runs for the fourth straight game in defeating Houston, 11 – 1. They are the first team to score in double figures in four straight games since 2007, and by also collecting 14 or more hits in all four games, match a feat last performed by the 1930 Philadelphia Athletics. Jackie Bradley extends his hitting streak to 18 games, longest in the majors so far this year. Boston has now won 14 of its last 18 games.
Buster Posey homers in the 17th inning to send the Giants to a 3 – 2 win over the Reds, in a game that takes 5 hours and 28 minutes. Posey’s shot off Robert Stephenson is the latest walk-off homer in San Francisco’s history, bettering a 16th-inning blast by Willie Mays in 1963. Umpire Tony Randazzo has to leave the game in the 13th, feeling the after-effects of having been hit in the face by a Johnny Cueto fastball back in the 5th.
George Springer has a great day, going 5 for 5 with 2 homers as Houston defeats Texas, 15 – 5, completing a four-game sweep. He starts his day with a leadoff homer off Adrian Sampson and caps it off with a two-run shot off Brett Martin in the 6th, also scoring five times. For his part, teammate Alex Bregman also homers twice and drives in 5 while Corbin Martin is a winner in his big league debut.
2007 – Roy Oswalt sails to his sixth win in a 10-4 bombing of the Diamondbacks. Mike Lamb and rookie Hunter Pence crunch three hits apiece, including a home run. Carlos Lee and Luke Scott also go deep. Lee leads the league in RBIs with 34. Craig Biggio ties Sam Crawford on the all-time hits list at 2,964 while passing Carl Yastrzemski for seventh on the all-time doubles list (647).
1978 – Reliever Tom Dixon singles home Julio Gonzalez in the 14th inning for a wild 5-4 victory in New York. It’s his first big league hit. Houston scores twice in the ninth to reach extra innings then takes the lead in the 12th on a two-run homer by Enos Cabell. Ken Forsch can’t hold the lead, setting up Dixon’s heroics.
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