This Day In Baseball October 16
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for October 16
American League president Ban Johnson declares Tigers outfielder Ty Cobb the league’s batting champ after questioning Nap Lajoie’s suspicious multi-hit performance in a season-ending doubleheader against the Browns. With the Georgia Peach sitting out the last two games of the season, hoping to hold onto his thin lead, the Cleveland second baseman, with the St. Louis shortstop playing deeper than usual, collected eight hits, six of which were bunts.
1911 – In the World Series, pitchers Rube Marquard of the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Athletics’ Eddie Plank are in command of a 1 – 1 game when Philadelphia’s Eddie Collins hits a RBI double in the 6th inning and Frank Baker bats a home run for a 3 – 1 victory. The Series is even after two games.
1921 – In defiance of a Kenesaw Mountain Landis ban on World Series participants playing post-season exhibitions, Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel and Bill Piercy launch a barnstorming tour in Buffalo. Five days later, they cut it short in Scranton. In the meantime Ruth openly challenges Judge Landis to act. The judge does, fining the players their World Series shares ($3,362.26), and suspending them until May 20th of the following season. Judge Landis also outlaws gentleman’s agreements and cover-ups of players optioned to the minors without proper paperwork. He declares six players free agents, including Heinie Manush, who will ride a 17-year career .330 batting average into the Hall of Fame in 1964.
After five seasons at the helm, Eddie Dyer, who will be eventually replaced by Marty Marion, resigns as the manager of the Cardinals. The former St. Louis skipper won a World Championship as a rookie pilot with the Redbirds in 1946, compiling an outstanding 446-325 (.578) record during his post-war tenure with the club that never included a losing season.
After deliberating for four hours, the Indians’ Board of Directors decide to keep the team in the Forest City after exploring options to possibly shift the franchise to Seattle, Oakland, or Dallas. The Tribe signs a ten-year lease to use Cleveland Stadium at a reduced rent, which includes an escape clause for the city and the club after any season.
1971 – In the World Series, Brooks Robinson drives in Frank Robinson in the 10th inning of Game 6 to give Baltimore a Series-tying 3 – 2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dave McNally gets the victory in relief and Bob Miller is the loser. Pittsburgh’s Roberto Clemente does all he can to win the game single-handed. Stranded after his 1st-inning triple to the wall in left center, his 3rd-inning solo shot puts Pittsburgh up, 2 – 0. He’s retired on long flies in the 5th and 8th innings while Pittsburgh fritters away its modest lead. He comes up in the 10th inning with Dave Cash having just stolen second base. Baltimore manager Earl Weaver walks Clemente intentionally, preferring to face Willie Stargell, and Al Oliver, who flies out to center. All of Clemente’s offensive contributions notwithstanding, the reason the game reaches extra innings is his defensive gem in the bottom of the 9th, a no-look, one-hop strike from Memorial Stadium’s right field corner, 310 feet away, to catcher Manny Sanguillen, preventing the runner at first, running on contact on Don Buford’s two-out double, from even attempting to score. By extending the game, Clemente’s throw will force Baltimore’s best player, Frank Robinson, to win this game with his legs, challenging the arm of centerfielder Vic Davalillo on two consecutive plays. In doing so, Robinson tears his left hamstring and aggravates an already damaged right Achilles tendon; he will be but a shadow of himself in the decisive 7th game.
1974 – Pitcher Ken Holtzman, who hasn’t batted in the regular season because of the designated hitter rule, belts a 3rd-inning home run off Andy Messersmith in Game 4 and gets the 5 – 2 victory. Rollie Fingers holds the Dodgers in relief and Oakland takes a 3-1 Series lead. Holtzman remains the last pitcher in American League history to hit a home run at home.
Major League Baseball gets its first intrastate World Series since 1974, as the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals win their respective playoff series. Kansas City wins the ALCS with a 6 – 2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 7, capping a comeback from a 3 – 1 deficit. While at Dodger Stadium, Jack Clark hits a dramatic three-run home run off the Dodgers’ Tom Niedenfuer with two outs in the top of the 9th inning and first base open, to give the Cardinals a 7 – 5 victory and a 4-2 Series victory
At Dodger Stadium, Don Baylor becomes the first player to participate in three consecutive World Series for three different teams when he pinch-hits in the eighth inning of the A’s 6-0 loss to L.A. in the second game of the Fall Classic. The 39 year-old veteran played with the pennant-winning Red Sox in 1986 and the World Champion Twins in 1987.
1991 – Behind another brilliant performance by pitcher Steve Avery, the Atlanta Braves win the third 1 – 0 game-score of the National League Championship Series to force a seventh game in Pittsburgh. Catcher Greg Olson doubles home the only run of the game in the 9th inning, as Ron Gant collects his sixth stolen base of the Series for a new playoff record.
The New York Mets trip the Atlanta Braves, 3 – 2, to stay alive in the NLCS. John Olerud has all three New York runs with a solo home run in the 6th inning, and a two-run single off John Rocker in the 8th. Brian Jordan and Ryan Klesko hit back-to-back homers in the 8th for the Braves’ two runs. Rick Reed, the Mets starter, shuts out Atlanta over the first seven innings on a single hit.
2004 – Roger Clemens cools off the Cardinal bats with seven innings of four-hit ball as the Astros win Game Three of the N.L.C.S., 5-2. Jeff Kent homers in the opening frame and Houston nurses a 3-2 advantage until Carlos Beltran and Lance Berkman drill solo shots to give the bullpen some breathing room . St. Louis still leads the best-of-seven series, 2-1.
Jason Lane homers and Morgan Ensberg hits the decisive sacrifice fly to nip the Cardinals, 2-1, giving Houston a 3-1 edge in the N.L.C.S. Brandon Backe and four relievers hold St. Louis to just five hits. Frustrations spill over for the Redbirds as skipper Tony LaRussa and slugger Jim Edmonds are ejected for arguing pitches with home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. Sparkling defense ends the ninth when Eric Bruntlett and Adam Everett turn a double play on John Mabry’s roller.
Former Manager of the Year (1995 and 2001 Mariners) Lou Piniella inks a three-year contract worth approximately $10 million, which has an option for a fourth year to manage the Cubs. The 64 year-old fiery skipper, who is replacing Dusty Baker (66-96), has a record of 1,519-1,420 during his 18-year managerial tenure with the Yankees, Reds, Mariners, and Devil Rays.
After finishing 93-69 to win the AL West and sweeping the Twins in the ALDS, Ken Macha is fired when the A’s are eliminated from the postseason by the Tigers. Oakland GM Billy Beane cites a lack of communication between the players and the manager, who compiled a 368-280 record and brought the team to the playoffs twice in his four-year tenure in the dugout.
The first pitch of a potential Game 6 of the World Series will begin eight minutes later to accommodate Democrat presidential candidate Barack Obama’s desire to purchase the 8-8:30 p.m. slot on the Fox network, the same airtime the campaign has secured on CBS and NBC. The Tropicana Field game is now scheduled to start at 8:35 p.m.
The Red Sox, behind 7-0 in the bottom of the seventh inning, score eight runs in the three last frames to beat the Rays in Game 5 of the ALCS at Fenway Park, 8-7. Boston’s comeback victory is the biggest postseason rally since the 1929 A’s tallied ten times in the seventh inning to wipe out an eight-run deficit against the Cubs in their 10-8 victory in Game 4 of the World Series.
The Dodgers tie the NLCS at one game apiece by defeating the Phillies, 2 – 1, at Dodger Stadium. After a classic pitching duel between Pedro Martinez and Vicente Padilla, punctuated only by a solo home run by Ryan Howard, the Dodgers score two runs in the 8th, the game-winner on a bases-loaded walk. Jonathan Broxton picks up the save.
The Yankees take Game 1 of the ALCS with a 4 – 1 win over the Angels at New Yankee Stadium. The Yanks take advantage of three Angel errors to score their runs, but the critical play is a two-out pop-up that falls untouched between 3B Chone Figgins and SS Erick Aybar in the 1st, allowing Johnny Damon to score the Yankees’ second run. CC Sabathia pitches 8 innings for the win and Mariano Rivera gets the save.
The Rangers record their first playoff win at home in the 50-year history of the franchise when they take Game 2 of the ALDS, defeating the Yankees, 7-2. The Rangers Ballpark victory ends a ten-game postseason losing streak against New York that includes yesterday’s heartbreaking loss in which Texas had an early 5-0 lead over the Bronx Bombers.
Detroit takes a three games to none lead in the ALCS behind another strong performance by ace Justin Verlander. Verlander gives up no runs through the first 8 innings before allowing a lead-off homer to Eduardo Nunez in the 9th, but needs relief help from Phil Coke, who gets the last two outs in a 2 – 1 win. Delmon Young homers off Philip Hughes for the Bengals’ first run in the 4th, then Quintin Berry scores the second run on a double by Miguel Cabrera in the 5th.
The Tigers shuffle their line-up before Game 4 of the ALCS, and it pays off as they defeat the Red Sox, 7 – 3, to even the series. Torii Hunter and Miguel Cabrera, moved up to the first two spots of the batting order, drive in two runs each as Doug Fister earns the win with 6 strong innings on the mound.
The San Francisco Giants win their third National League pennant in five years by defeating the Cardinals, 6 – 3, in Game 5 of the NLCS. Michael Morse hits a pinch-hit homer off Pat Neshek to tie the game in the bottom of the 8th, and Travis Ishikawa sends the Giants to the World Series with a three-run walk-off shot off Michael Wacha in the bottom of the 9th.
In the NLCS, the Brewers and Dodgers are locked in a 1 – 1 tie until the bottom of the 13th inning, when Cody Bellinger drives in Manny Machado with the winning run on a two-out single, the first run by the Dodgers since the 1st inning. The contest lasts 5 hours and 15 minutes, and requires the use of 16 pitchers.