San Francisco Seals. Assata October 10, The Union City Reporter. Biography portal Baseball portal. Hidden categories: Use mdy dates from July Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. Six-hundred-thirty-nine victories and three Division II World Series appearances later, Delta Stats acknowledged Ferriss' indelible impact on the program by naming the baseball field after him when he retired in Email This BlogThis! Share to Twitter Share to Facebook. About Me N. Diunte Baseball Happenings details current baseball events, as well as features interviews with a multitude of baseball veterans.
View my complete profile. Baseball Happenings Podcast. Twitter Tweets by ExamineBaseball. My Published Works. E-Mail Contact Us. Ron Locke was a year-old rookie with the New York Mets, looking to make a name for himself as the Mets moved from the Polo Grounds An unlikely reunion for Wil Cordero and his first major league home run. Buckner was vilified in Boston for years, but fans lightened up when they finally broke the curse in Buckner finally returned home to Fenway to a massive standing ovation on Opening Day in to throw out the first pitch after the ceremony to receive their World Series rings.
He also gained a measure of redemption when he displayed sure hands on a episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Just as baseball is filled with incredible stories of triumph, there are many stories of extreme tragedy. The death of Roberto Clemente ranks as one of the most crushing tragedies the sport has ever experienced.
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Clemente wasn't just beloved in Pittsburgh, where he spent his entire year career, but he was a national hero in Puerto Rico. Unfortunately, it was his stature in Puerto Rico that had a hand in setting off the string of events that led to his death. Clemente was one of the game's great humanitarians during his time in the big leagues, which led to his involvement in a relief effort in Nicaragua. On December 23, , the city of Mangua was stricken with a massive earthquake. Managua is the capital city of Nicaragua and densely populated, so the devastation was extreme. He appeared on Puerto Rican television to urge citizens to bring relief supplies to Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
The supplies would then be shipped off to help the victims of the quake. Items were packed and shipped to Managua but instead of going to victims, members of the corrupt Nicaraguan government were intercepting the supplies and keeping them for themselves. Word got back to Clemente that his supplies weren't getting to the right people, so he decided to accompany the next flight. Clemente had such an influence as a humanitarian that his mere presence would assure that the supplies got where they needed. Clemente boarded a flight on New Years Eve that had engine troubles and was overweight by 4, pounds.
Less than two minutes after takeoff, the plane crashed into the ocean. When the Dodgers signed free agent Kirk Gibson after the season, it not only provided the Dodgers with the leader they needed, but also set in motion a string of some of the most improbable events of the s. Gibson's Dodgers did well in , winning the NL West with a record.
They found themselves considerable underdogs to the Mets in the NLCS though as the Mets still had a majority of their legendary team intact. The Mets went in , including a mark against the Dodgers. However, that didn't mean much to Gibson and the Dodgers who took care of the Mets in seven games. Gibson struck two pivotal home runs in the series and made a remarkable catch falling on the wet turf at Shea Stadium in left field.
In game one, the A's had a one-run lead on the Dodgers in the ninth inning with two outs and nobody on base. Mike Davis was up at the plate as the last hope while Tommy Lasorda kept Gibson stashed away in the clubhouse. Davis had power potential to tie the game and when the weak-hitting Dave Anderson was sent into the on deck circle, Eckersley pitched around Davis.
Lasorda then recalled Anderson and sent in Gibson, who had spent the entire game in the clubhouse. He worked the count to and after Davis stole second, Gibson reached out and awkwardly poked a backdoor slider over the right field fence for one of the great home runs in World Series history. Gibson's home run and subsequent gimpy home run trot around the bases remains one of the most iconic moments in Major League Baseball history. In , SI wrote a piece on the rampant use of steroids in the game, using first-hand admissions of use from Ken Caminiti to support their claims.
They also had candid insight from Curt Schilling and Kenny Rogers, who didn't name names, but who told vivid stories. The article is interesting to read knowing what we know now about steroid abuse during the time. It mentions Canseco specifically, and said the slugger estimated that 85 percent of all Major Leaguers were using steroids. The article goes on to say that Canseco is planning on writing a tell-all book on the subject, which would later become Juiced. They separate themselves from the SI article because they named names, and big names at that.
Complete text of Tom Veducci's article. Enos Slaughter's "Mad Dash" in game seven of the World Series was one of the key moments that kept the Curse of the Bambino alive for 86 years. With the Red Sox and Cardinals tied at three games apiece and knotted at three in the eight inning of game seven, things could not get any tighter than they were in the World Series. Slaughter led off the inning with a single, but after the next two batters made outs, Slaughter was still left standing at first.
Slaughter took off from first and Walker drilled a shot to left-center field. The ball didn't reach the wall, but that didn't stop Slaughter from trying to round the bases. The throw came in to Red Sox shortstop Johnny Pesky, who should have turned and fired the ball towards home.
However, Pesky hesitated for a brief second, making his throw late to home. Slaughter's run ended up being the winning run of the World Series and another chapter in the Red Sox long history of postseason debacles. The Red Sox organization might have more heart breaking moments than any other franchise and the American League East tie-breaker game is right near the top of the list.
The Red Sox had opened a ten-game lead at one point in the American League East and seemed to be on the way to the postseason again. However, a collapse by the Red Sox and a red-hot finish by the Yankees forced a one-game tie breaker at the end of the season. The Yankees had two baserunners with two outs in the seventh, but with their ninth place hitter up, fans couldn't expect too much, especially since Red Sox starter Mike Torrez had been dominant to that point.
However, the person up to bat was Bucky Dent and anyone familiar with the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry knows how that at bat played out. Dent lifted a fly ball deep to left and over the green monster for one of the most improbable heroic home runs of all time. Dent played for 12 years in the Major Leagues and had a grand total of 40 home runs. Only twice in his big league career did he even top five home runs in a single season. Thurman Munson drove home an insurance run and Reggie Jackson came through with a clutch home run to make it It was a good thing that Yankees tacked on those insurance runs because the Red Sox touched Goose Gossage for two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
And it all might not have been possible if they didn't get a home run from their most unlikely source in one of the most exciting games the sport has seen. Of all the great pitching performances by all the Hall of Fame pitchers in huge spots, perhaps the best game ever pitched was done so early in the season by Harvey Haddix. Haddix was a three-time All Star and had a career record of He was an above-average pitcher on decent teams during his career, but what he did on May 29, could not be expected of even the best pitchers in the game. Haddix retired all 27 Braves he faced through nine innings.
However, Braves ace Lew Burdette had kept the Pirates off the scoreboard as well, so the game stood at through nine. Haddix returned to the mound for the next three innings and retired all nine Braves he faced over that time, making it 36 up and 36 down. The Braves Felix Mantilla led off the 13th against Haddix and hit an easy grounder to third. However, the throw pulled the first baseman off the base and the perfect game was over. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk to Aaron, Joe Adcock came to bat.
Adcock cranked what appeared to be the game-winning home run, but Aaron left the basepaths and was passed by Adcock. The National League ruled that Mantilla's run counted, but the other runs didn't, giving the Braves a win. Of all the hard-luck losers in the history of baseball, Haddix may have had it the worst.
No pitcher has come close to matching his feat of retiring 36 straight batters in one game. It's hard to say that the best-pitched game in Major League history resulted in a loss, but it's also hard to say that any game topped 12 perfect innings in a loss on an unearned run. Say what you will about the steroid-tainted home run race of , but when it was happening, it was the most riveting season-long saga the game had seen in quite some time.
Between Babe Ruth's homer season on and the race of , only Roger Maris was able to top 60 home runs during that year stretch. While Maris faced tremendous pressure as most fans were rooting for Mantle to top the record, McGwire was cheered wildly everywhere he went. While whispers of steroid use did follow McGwire at the time, the stigma around the drug and those who used it was not what it is today. McGwire blasted home runs at a record pace and at incredible distances all season and stayed ahead of Maris' pace for all but two games during the season. Louis for a two-game set. In the first game, he blasted a Mike Morgan pitch to become just the second Major Leaguer to ever hit 61 home runs in a season.
The next night, with the Maris family in the stands and Sosa standing in right field, McGwire hit a laser beam off Steve Trachsel down the left field line, just clearing the fence for his historic home run. McGwire embraced his son and shared a moment with the Maris family as he celebrated the accomplishment. McGwire would go on to hit an incomprehensible 70 home runs while Sosa ended up at They would both be passed by Barry Bonds three years later. For close to three decades, Pete Rose was one of the most revered players in Major League Baseball history. He was a champion who played the game with passion and hustle rarely seen by anyone.
Even as a year-old, he sprinted to first base on walks as if he was a year-old rookie. At the time of his retirement in , Rose was the all-time leader in games played, at bats, plate appearances and, of course hits. Allegations surfaced in February of that Rose had gambled on baseball. Outgoing Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and Bart Giamatti did a small investigation and after Rose's denied any involvement, the investigation was dropped. Giamatti retained lawyer Jim Dowd to investigate the allegations and what he found was shocking. He found that Rose bet on baseball, including Reds games in which he was the manager, between Although he never found evidence that Rose bet against the Reds betting on his own team meant that he compromised the integrity of the game.
Despite solid evidence against him, Rose vehemently denied the allegations. He did however accept a voluntary banishment from the game with the possibility to apply for reinstatement after one year. Rose stuck with his denial for 15 years despite the fact that very few people actually believed him. He eventually admitted to betting on baseball in his book My Prison Without Bars.
Babe Ruth's "called shot" is one of the most celebrated and debated moments in baseball history. What is known is that during the World Series, Ruth's final World Series appearance, Ruth made some kind of gesture and then hit a home run off of Charlie Root in the fifth inning of game three. What was said and where he was pointing are all up for debate. By all accounts, Cubs players and fans were really giving it to Ruth during the series.
As Ruth took two strikes from Root, the catcalls became louder and more vulgar, according to newspaper reports. Ruth then made his gesture, which was caught on film that still survives today.
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Then according to the existing radio broadcast, the ball sailed over the centerfield fence where no ball had traveled before. Some contend that he was holding up two fingers after he took the second strike, as if to say "that's only strike two. Ruth himself changed his story multiple times, but in a later newsreel footage , Ruth said the following:. I said, 'I'm gonna hit the next pitched ball right past the flagpole!
Even in Root's obituary , the play was discussed. Root always vehemently contended that there never was a "called shot" and that Ruth was just gesturing towards the Cubs dugout. Root always claimed that if Ruth was calling a home run or gesturing out to him personally, he would have drilled Ruth with the next pitch.
The person closest to the play, Cubs' catcher Gabby Hartnett had the following account of the play:. While those two accounts seem to stack the deck against Ruth, Cubs public address announcer Pat Pieper, who was situated on the field that day and newspaper reporter Joe Williams each claim that Ruth did, in fact, call his shot.
The truth may never be known about Babe Ruth's "called shot" in the World Series, but it's lofty place in baseball lore is not up for debate. Baseball tends to have an ebb and flow between the dominance of hitters and pitchers. However, when pitchers dominated like never before in , Major League Baseball took action. That season is noted as the point when baseball lowered the pitcher's mound to ten inches, down from 15 inches. However, what really should be noted is that became the year when they actually enforced the height of the pitcher's mound.
While the rule book always said the pitcher's mound should be no higher than 15 inches, nobody ever checked from stadium to stadium. In fact, in a Sports Illustrated article , Stan Musial claimed that some teams built their mounds up to 25 inches! Some of the greatest pitching feats of the second half of the 20th century happened during the season. Bob Gibson set a modern record with a 1. Juan Marichal went and threw an incredible innings. He threw 30 complete games during The pitching was so dominant that Carl Yastrzemski led the American League with just a. Whether it was the lowering of the mound or the addition of four expansion teams, batting averages soared in as the tide of dominance started to turn back to the hitters.
One of the great arguments in sports is which Major League Baseball record is the toughest to break. It's highly doubtful anyone will top Cy Young's wins or Joe DiMaggio's game hitting streak, but Johnny Vander Meer has a record that would be just as tough to top. He followed that up by twirling a no-no against the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first night game ever played at Ebbets Field.
Despite the famous picture associated with this slide, there were only five players in the inaugural class of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. In , members of the Baseball Writers Association of America were given the chance to vote for the best players of the 20th century. Almost unbelievably, Babe Ruth wasn't the top vote-getter when all were added up. That honor belonged to Ty Cobb, who garnered of the votes.
Ruth and Honus Wagner tied with votes, Christy Mathewson had and Walter Johnson rounded out the class with There was confusion about Young though, as players from the 's were considered in a different ballot. Because Young's career spanned the turn of the century, there was some confusion by voters on whether he was eligible for the BBWA vote. Debates have raged for years and fans have campaigned both successfully and unsuccessfully for players to be inducted.
If Kirby Puckett is in, why not Don Mattingly? Bruce Sutter is in but Lee Smith isn't? The debates are fervent, they are passionate and they are part of what makes the Baseball Hall of Fame great. That quote from George Steinbrenner was among the first he uttered upon announcing his purchase of the New York Yankees and of course nothing could have been further from the truth.
Steinbrenner was extremely meddlesome and demanding during the early part of his ownership, but he restored the Yankees to their glory quickly. Steinbrenner's accomplishments, blunders, felonies and personality are all too big to include in one small Bleacher Report slide, but most people reading this know of them all anyway. Steinbrenner turned the Yankees into a global brand and was at the forefront of the business world even very late into his life. Steinbrenner was one of the first to take advantage of free agency in its infancy and was among the first to spend unabashedly to accrue star power.
He was also one of the first owners to have his team develop its own network. The YES network launched in and gave the team greater leverage and more profit when dealing with television rights. The bottom line is that when George Steinbrenner bought the Yankees, the sports world changed forever.
Baseball purists grumble every time a major change is made to the game and when the wild card was added to the mix in , they grumbled loudly. People who were still angry about things like divisional play, the designated hitter and expansion talked about the watering down of the MLB playoffs and the fact that a team that didn't even win its own division could win the World Series. Bud Selig argued that too many teams were eliminated from contention by the Fourth of July and played meaningless ball all summer. Selig envisioned more teams staying alive, more fans staying interested and subsequently, an increase in attendance.
The wild card created much more excitement towards the end of seasons and gave teams and their fans hope when all hope would have been lost. It helped the game progress towards the 21st Century and allowed for some of the greatest moments in baseball history to happen. It took three years before the Florida Marlins became the first team to win the World Series as a wild card team and since then it has happened four other times. The play has been shown thousands of times since Mays made the catch in the World Series, but it was the timing of the catch and also the throw that made it truly remarkable.
The play came in the eighth inning of game one of the World Series. The Giants and Indians were tied and the Indians had a rally going. With runners on first and second, Vic Wertz smashed a shot directly over Mays' head in centerfield. The ball was estimated to travel feet, but because of the spacious outfield at the Polo Grounds, it stayed in the park. With his back turned to the infield and in a full sprint, Mays ran down the shot, making an over-the-shoulder catch.
He wheeled and threw immediately to the infield. Larry Doby was able to tag from second to third, but Al Rosen, who was on first, stayed put. The Giants got out of the inning, went on to win the game in ten innings and swept the Indians to take home the World Series title. The game lifted the spirits of the public and was essential in raising funds through war bond campaigns and fund raising exhibitions.
However, baseball's place during World War II was not always certain. In fact, even Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis didn't know quite how to proceed. Landis eventually reached out to President Franklin Roosevelt for guidance in January as planning for the season was about to begin. Landis wasn't sure if they should cancel baseball until the end of the war or to proceed with the sport as planned. In what came to be known as the "Green Light Letter," Roosevelt made his case for the continuation of baseball by emphasizing that the country needed the recreation, jobs and overall distraction from the horrors of war.
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With Roosevelt's blessing, Landis declared the baseball season open for business and it ended up playing a bigger part in the war than most anticipated. Aside from the grief, horror and anger, there was just a sense around New York of not knowing what to do. The Major League Baseball season was reaching the home stretch when the attacks took place, but the game was understandably shut down once the attacks happened. It would be the first major sporting event in New York since the attacks.
After a moving ceremony to start the game, the Mets and Braves met on the field and embraced each other in a show of compassion. The teams had been bitter rivals for the past decade, but that night was about more than baseball. The game itself was a tense, affair through seven innings, but Mets reliever and native New Yorker John Franco gave up a run in the top of the eight as the Braves nudged ahead.
In the bottom of the inning, Edgardo Alfonzo drew a one-out walk to bring up Mike Piazza, the face of the franchise. With the count , Piazza drove a pitch deep over the centerfield fence to give the Mets a lead. The hit touched off a massive celebration at Shea Stadium and many point to that moment as the first sense of normalcy that many New Yorkers had since the attacks. On October 7, Curt Flood was part of a seven-player trade between the Cardinals and the Phillies. Flood didn't want to go to the Phillies for a number of reasons and decided to fight the trade The MLBPA, led by Marvin Miller, advised Flood that they would take on the full financial responsibility of the case and thus one of the major milestones in baseball labor was set into motion.
He penned a letter to Commissioner Bowie Kuhn in which he said, in part:. Flood's case was backed by the MLBPA as a whole, but divided the rank and file as some players felt the owners were within their right to trade a player as they wished. However, the loss of Flood's case ended up solidifying the players union even further and laid the groundwork to help institute free agency in Major League Baseball. The case also led to the clause in which players who have played ten years in the majors and the last five with the same team have the right to veto any trade.
Larry Doby never got near the recognition as Jackie Robinson for his efforts in Civil Rights and that's a shame. Less than three months after Robinson broke the Major League color barrier, Doby became the first black player to play in the American League when he was signed to the Cleveland Indians by Bill Veeck.
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While Veeck is more known for concocting some of the crazier stunts the game has seen, he was not only responsible for bringing Doby to the Majors, but Satchel Paige as well. Doby suffered many of the same indignities as Jackie Robinson and handled them with class that matched the pioneer. Doby appeared in seven straight All Star games in the s and received MVP votes in four different seasons. While Robinson gets a ton of credit for being the first black ballplayer, Doby and Veeck integrated the American League less than three months later. Hank Greenberg played during an era with some of the most revered players in Major League history.
While his on-field accomplishments were on par with those immortals, it was what Greenberg stood for off the field that set him apart from that group. Greenberg burst onto the scene as a year-old slugger in for the Tigers and when he won the MVP in after driving in runs, Greenberg became the first true Jewish superstar in American sports. While Greenberg was a trailblazer in that sense, it was what he did in that really made him a pioneer. Greenberg was the first American League player drafted in and served through most of He was honorably discharged on December 5, and was set to continue his baseball career the following spring.
Almost immediately, Greenberg re-enlisted in the Army, putting his career on hold for four years. This time he was the first Major Leaguer to enlist after Pearl Harbor. The journey taken by Satchel Paige from his first game in the Negro League in until he was inducted into the MLB Hall of Fame in is probably the most incredible in baseball history. He started playing when Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth were still active and when he wrapped up his career with a three-inning stint for the Kansas City A's in He was on the same staff as Catfish Hunter. Because cities only wanted to host his barnstorming teams if he was pitching, Paige developed the ability to pitch nearly every day.
He claimed in his Hall of Fame speech that he once pitched in games in a row. What makes Paige's induction in the baseball Hall of Fame so important though is because it marked the end of a journey that started with segregation and racism, and ended with the most revered honor in the sport. Paige's Negro League career spanned 22 years of being held out of the Major Leagues and the racism he faced along the way was unspeakable.
He finally got the chance to pitch in the majors in and despite the fact that he was 42 years old when he broke in, he put together a five-year career in which he was two-time all star. Paige's induction into the Hall of Fame was important as it marked another barrier broken in the sport. Although the Hall of Fame's first class was elected in , it took 35 years before the league recognized the accomplishments of Negro League players for induction.
When Ted Williams gave his induction speech in , he urged the committee to consider Negro League players, which they finally did with Paige's induction in Incidentally, if you have some free time, give Satchel Paige's Hall of Fame induction speech a read. The Major League Baseball strike was one of the worst work-stoppages in major sports history. It was the fourth work stoppage in 22 years and the eight overall in baseball history. The strike caused the cancellation of nearly games and the entire post season, including the World Series.
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It was the first time a major American sport lost their entire postseason due to a work stoppage. The strike lasted days and reached the height of animosity when owners approved the use of replacement players as spring training rolled around in There were a number of notable on-field ramifications of the cancellations of the remainder of the season.
The strike cut short what was the best season the Montreal Expos had ever had. They sat with the best record in baseball at and had a six-game lead in the NL East. The strike also cost Don Mattingly his first chance at postseason play as the Yankees also had a commanding lead in the AL East. Tony Gwynn was flirting with a. The strike ended during spring training of and teams returned to play a shortened game schedule in mid-April to great animosity from the fans.
The sport was said to have suffered the consequences of the strike for four years until the home run race of rejuvenated interest in the game nation-wide. Everyone is familiar with the trade that sent Ryan from the Mets to the Angels. He stayed in California for eight seasons where he developed into one of the top strikeout pitchers in the game. The only real knock on Ryan was that when you got past all the strikeouts, he lost nearly as much as he won.
Ryan had a record of while in California, which worked out to an average season of Ryan declared free agency after the season and made it known that he was seeking to become baseball's first million dollar player. Angels' general manager Buzzie Bavasi cited his less-than-spectacular won-loss record and refused to meet Ryan's demands. The Astros though were a different story.
Ryan was a native Texan and the Astros had been in existence less than two decades. They hadn't made much of an impact on the game during their time, and in Ryan they saw the chance to make a big splash. He racked up strikeouts at a tremendous rate, trotted out to the mound for over innings a year and he lost just about as much as he won. Ryan had a ton of spectacular moments over his career and even if he didn't have a staggering winning percentage, he still was worth the price of his million dollar contract.
Bud Selig may not go down as the most popular baseball commissioner of all time, but he can't be criticized for allowing the game to become stagnant. Selig has generated many progressive ideas that have allowed the game to rapidly evolve in the two decades he has been in power. Among the ideas that he pushed forward against the will of baseball purists was interleague play.
As baseball looked to become more fan-friendly in the years after the player's strike, one of the major changes they made was the approval of interleague play. The biggest attraction was the idea of geographical rivals finally playing against each other in games that count. The top draws were the Mets vs. Yankees "Subway Series," the Cubs vs. To give an idea just how big interleague play was in New York, the first Subway Series game between the Mets and Yankees in drew just about as many fans as the Yankees World Series home games against the Padres.
Some detractors of interleague play point out the meaningless matchups like the Mariners vs. Attendance still shows an increase during interleague play and as long as teams are making money on it, interleague play will be here to stay. After Bill Dickey spent the season as a player-manager, the Yankees seemed like they made a smart hire for when Bucky Harris led the team to a World Series title. The Yankees were still an elite team and needed a good leader to continue their success.
So when they hired a quirky manager with a career record of , fans and the media were understandably skeptical. It would be Casey Stengel who had the last laugh though. Despite the fact that he never led a team to a finish higher than fifth place and finished above. The Yankees won the World Series in each of Stengel's first five seasons and seven times in his year managerial stint.
Stengel managed the Yankees from and only missed the World Series twice. They finished second in despite winning games and had a disappointing third-place finish in The New York Mets have been in existence for 50 years and the best player who ever suited up for the franchise continues to be Tom Seaver.
In , the era of free agency had begun in Major League Baseball and players were seeing riches like never before. Seaver was a big part of that as the Mets player rep in the negotiations that brought free agency to baseball. Seaver was unable to cash in immediately on the new rules though because he had signed a big contract just before salaries skyrocketed. Donald Grant. Grant held a grudge against Seaver for his role as a player rep and when Seaver criticized Grant for not participating in free agency, the war was on.
Making matters worse, influential Daily News columnist Dick Young sided with Grant on the issue and made that very well known in the press. The final nail in the coffin was a column by Young in which he mentioned Seaver's wife, along with Nolarn Ryan and his wife. I could not abide that. I had to go. In a move dubbed "The Midnight Massacre," Seaver was dealt on June 15th to the Reds for a collection of mediocre players who filled the gaps on some of the worse Mets since the season. The haul for the one Hall of Fame pitcher to play a chunk of his career with the Mets?
The current version of the Braves have one of the longest and most celebrated histories in all of American sports. The team's roots date all the way back to when they were the Boston Red Stockings. They were named the Boston Braves from with a short four-year period mixed in when they were the Boston Bees. The Boston Braves were basically famous for three things: the place where Babe Ruth ended his career, the World Series miracle win, and the "Spahn, Sain and pray for rain" years.
With attendance dwindling in the s, reaction in Boston was tepid when they decided to uproot the franchise and move to Milwaukee. What happened next though helped shape the landscape of baseball and set in motion events that would make baseball what it was today. Their first year in Milwaukee, fans went wild over the Braves.
They drew an NL-record 1. Louis Browns all relocated to new cities. However, their short stay in Milwaukee was more successful and influential than anybody could have imagined in when they were basically the laughing-stock of the league. While it's true the stadiums were able to accommodate the cities' football and baseball teams, the stadium designs themselves had no imagination and no creativity.
Camden Yards replaced Memorial Stadium, which was the Orioles home from until it closed in Known as "The Old Gray Lady," the stadium was usually half-empty during Orioles games as they averaged less than 25, fans a game over the stadium's final ten years.
The opening of Camden Yards renewed the interest of baseball fans in Baltimore and also landed the city on the map of "must-see" stadiums like Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium. While the park itself was beautiful and unique, it's real impact on the game was that an outbreak of copycat stadiums opened up around the Major Leagues. Although the stadiums themselves didn't mimic Camden Yards, just about every new stadium built went for the same "retro" feel.
What should have been a historic chase of one of the most hallowed records in all of sports, turned into a spectacle of animosity and controversy as accused cheater Barry Bonds chased down the revered Hank Aaron in With Bonds closing in on Aaron's career home run mark of , one of the sport's "magic numbers," it seemed the only people supporting him were the fans in San Francisco. Bonds was heckled and booed mercilessly and creative signs about Bonds' steroid abuse dotted the stands in opposing ballparks.
On August 4, Bonds hit home run No. It took Bonds three days before he connected for home run No. Coincidentally, Basick's father actually pitched to Aaron in a game in after he had hit No. The home run touched off a short celebration in which Bonds thanked the crowd for their support. Conspicuously absent from the game were baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Aaron himself. The classy Aaron did record a congratulatory message to be played on the scoreboard despite the fact that rumors have it that he was less than pleased with the steroid-enhanced home run record pursuit. It's hard to imagine now in this day where an athlete's every move, whether public or private, seems to be broadcast across social media, but not too long ago that wasn't the case.
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Even the newspaper reporters were part of the club. They reported on the games and other happenings surrounding the teams, but nothing personal. What it turned into was a tell-all about the season and the previous six seasons he spent with the Yankees. Bouton's peek behind the curtain talked of rampant drug use, heavy drinking and partying, bickering about roles on the team and any subject that had been taboo to publication up to that point.