This Day In Baseball May 25

Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.  

Events for May 25

Bypassing the customary Willie Mays-Roberto Clemente on-field rivalry, Willie plays directly to Roberto’s constituents as he makes his bid for the Nobel Peace Prize. Bob Stevens of the San Francisco Chronicle explains: “The second largest crowd in Forbes Field history, 35,797 booing partisan fans, saw cool Willie Mays stop a free-for-all in the opening game. Even in the lair of the Pirates and despite their double defeat, Mays was the hero of the hour. In the middle of a player melee precipitated by a recurrence of a beanball feud that first broke out when Pittsburgh visited San Francisco, Willie tackled a near-berserk Orlando Cepeda to keep him from causing havoc with a bat.” The mêlée stems from a May 7th meeting between the teams and culminates in today’s 5th inning free-for-all with Pirates manager Danny Murtaugh charging P Ruben Gomez and being fended off by the Giant headhunter, now taking his turn at bat. Understandably concerned is Gomez’s fellow Puerto Rican. Stevens continues: “Among the first to his Puerto Rican countryman’s aid was 200-pounder Cepeda, eyes flashing and fists swinging at anything in sight in his lunge to get at Murtaugh. Unable to reach his immediate objective, Cepeda broke free from the milling athletes and picked up the lead-filled bat the batters swing to loosen up before going to the plate. He barely got a hand on it when from nowhere came Mays, head down and charging as hard as he could. Willie slammed into his first baseman, flattened him and pinned him until other players could help restrain the maddened Cepeda in his quest for blood. With Orlando subdued, the abortive riot broke up and Murtaugh was sent to the showers. No Giants were tossed from the contest, even though many people figured that they started the war May 7 in San Francisco when Curt Raydon and Marv Grissom began head-hunting. Mays was given a tremendous hand by the filled stands…”