On the way to the Louisville Slugger Factory is the Hall of Fame Walk – where I found Cal Ripken’s bat immortalized! More on my latest Baseball Adventure coming soon …
September 5: “The Star Spangled Banner,” though not yet the national anthem, is played during the seventh inning stretch during the World Series, which becomes a tradition (1918); Walter Johnson gets his 2,287th strikeout, breaking Cy Young’s record (1921); Cal Ripken, Jr., ties Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,130 consecutive games (1995); Mark McGwire becomes the third player to hit sixty home runs in a single season (1998); Vladimir Guerrero gets his 500th RBI (2001). Birthdays: Bill Mazeroski (1936) and Candy Maldonado (1960).
September 6: The Indianapolis Hoosiers attempts its second night game, but the natural gas lighting proves inadequate (1888); for the first time in MLB history, three Canadian-born players were in the starting lineup of a major league team – the Expos’ Denis Boucher, Joe Siddel, and Larry Walker (1993); Fernando Valenzuela ties the National League record of seven shutouts by a rookie pitcher (1981); Cal Ripken, Jr., plays his 2,131st consecutive game, breaking Lou Gehrig’s record (1995); Eddie Murray hits his 500th career home run (1996).
September 7: Eddie Collins steals six bases setting a 20th century record, a feat he will repeat on September 22 (1912); the White Sox use a record 41 players in a double header with Oakland, losing both games (1970); Dwight Gooden strikes out his 228th batter of the season, setting a National League record for a rookie (1984).
September 8: The Polo Grounds is leased by the National Association’s Metropolitan team, and will be converted into the first commercial baseball park in Manhattan (1880); Bob Feller becomes the youngest 20th century player to win 20 games (1939); Bart Giammatti is unanimously elected as the seventh commissioner of baseball (1988).
September 9: Rex Barney, future announcer for the Baltimore Orioles, pitches a no-hitter against the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds (1948); Tigers’ rookies Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammel make their major league debuts (1977); the Baltimore Orioles record the first triple play ever against the Toronto Blue Jays (1978); Robin Yount gets his 3,000th career hit, becoming only the 17th player to do so (1992); MLB expands its postseason and increases the number of divisions (1993).
September 10: New York Giants’ pitcher Mickey Welch becomes the first pinch hitter in MLB history (1889); Deion Sanders becomes the first player to hit a home run and score an NFL touchdown in the same week (1989). Birthdays: Roger Maris (1934), Randy Johnson (1963), and Denys Baez (1977).
September 11: The first baseball game with professional women players takes place in Springfield, IL (1875); Connie Mack makes his MLB debut with Washington (1886); the National Association of minor league clubs signs the National Agreement, which brings professional baseball under one set of comprehensive rules (1903); the New York Yankees play their last game at the Polo Grounds (1922); Frank Robinson hits his 38th home run of the year, tying the record for most home runs by a rookie (1956); Pete Rose hits his 4,192nd career home run, breaking Ty Cobb’s record on the 57th anniversary of Ty Cobb’s last major league game (1985).
Today is Cal Ripken, Jr.’s birthday. We’re very loyal to our team in Baltimore, and perhaps no player is more beloved than Cal Ripken, Jr. Born in Havre de Grace, MD, on August 24, 1960, Cal will forever be our hometown hero. No one messes with Cal.
Cal may have retired from baseball 10 years ago, but his impact on the game is still felt. Here are just a few of his latest accomplishments:
- Cal recently hosted Japanese students at his Ripken Youth Baseball Academy as part of an international exchange program sponsored by the Cal Ripken World Series, the Little League World Series, Ripken Baseball, and the State Department. In fact, Cal will be visiting Japan this fall as part of his duties as a State Department envoy.
- He got our hopes up a couple weeks ago when he said he had an “itch” to return to baseball. Even actor Edward Norton tweeted that it was time for Cal to save the Orioles.
- Earlier this month, Cal and brother Bill managed a team in the Under-Armor All-American game at Wrigley Field. Playing first base during the game: 18-year old Ryan Ripken.
- Of course, earlier this year, Cal’s new young adult book, Hothead, was released – and baseballrebecca got to meet him!
- And if you want to hear more from the Legend himself, he recently did an online chat for the Washington Post.
Happy birthday, Cal! And for the rest of us—let’s have Cal Ripken kind of a day!
1903: Lou Gehrig is born in New York.
1989: Dwight Gooden wins his 100th career game.
1970: Frank Robinson hits two grand slams in one game.
1982: Pete Rose plays in his 3,000th major league game.
1946: Bill Veeck purchases the Cleveland Indians.
1950: Jo DiMaggio gets his 2,000th hit.
1994: David Nied pitches the first complete-game shutout in Colorado Rockies history.
1891: Thomas Lovetts throws the first no-hitter in Brooklyn Dodgers history.
1962: Larry Doby signs with the Chunichi Dragons, becoming the first former leaguer (along with Don Newcombe) to play for a Japanese team.
1988: George Steinbrenner fires Billy Martin for the fifth time.
1947: Jackie Robinson steals home for the first time. He’d do it 18 more times in his career.
1970: The Reds play their final game at Crosley Field.
1979: Rickey Henderson makes his major league debut for the Oakland A’s and steals his first base.
1984: Cleveland Pitcher Bert Blyleven records six putouts in a 9-inning game.
1968: Bobby Bonds debuts with San Francisco and hits a grand slam on his third at-bat.
1988: Cal Ripken, Jr., plays in his 1,000th consecutive game.
Last night – 30 years and one week to the day of the longest baseball game in history – the Bowie Baysox played the longest game in their franchise history: 18 innings in 5 hours and 27 minutes. They’d played 16 inning games twice before, but this one set the franchise record for innings played in a game. And the Baysox won 3-2.
The longest game in baseball history was the Rochester Red Wings v. the Pawtucket Red Sox on April 18, 1981. The game lasted 33 innings over more than eight hours (the game was suspended after 32 innings and resumed on June 23). The Red Wings, a Baltimore Orioles affiliate at the time, featured future hall of famer Cal Ripken, Jr. Wade Boggs played for Pawtucket. The PawSox won 3-2.
Another historic game I missed! (But, then again, I was only 14, so I have an excuse.) Just how do these historic games affect us? On a recent TV news report, the few people who remained at that 33-inning game were asked why they stayed until 4 am in the cold Rhode Island April. Two stated that when they were younger, their parents made them leave a game early, so they vowed to never leave a sporting event early again. Now that’s dedication. I need to step up my game.