For those of you who missed it, Chad Qualls’s celebration after striking out Omar Quintanilla in the eighth inning last night was not exactly his smoothest moment. Bad luck didn’t stop there for the Marlins, however, as the Mets came out victorious, 4-2.
On 29 July 1988, in a game against the Baltimore Orioles, Royals outfielder Bo Jackson stepped up to the plate in the top of the fourth. As pitcher Jeff Ballard started his windup, Jackson attempted to call time out. Realizing at the last possible second that his request wasn’t granted, Jackson managed to recover himself enough to slam an impressive three-run homer to help Kansas City win 6-3 in Baltimore.
During my 18 years I came to bat almost 10,000 times. I struck out about 1,700 times and walked maybe 1,800 times. You figure a ballplayer will average about 500 at bats a season. That means I played seven years without ever hitting the ball.
On 26 July 1879, Syracuse Stars starting pitcher Harry McCormick pitched a 1-0 shutout against the Boston Red Stockings. The source of the Stars’ lone run? In the bottom of the first inning, McCormick hit a home run off Boston starter Tommy Bond. It is the first known occurrence in Major League baseball history in which the pitcher’s own homer was the only run of the game.
Huddled together for comfort on warm park benches
They sit in the inappropriate noonday sun
With sagging souls and bellies, wearily watching
The baseball boys in bright and agile bronze,
Uneasy knowledge in them of a time
When they, like these, could hit and fitly run
For beckoning bases. Playing then was prime
Before the fast and curving years descended
Upon them one by one, and struck them out.
O baseball boys, see here your final score!
For we grew faces in our flowery years
Soft-smooth as yours, our limbs were likewise limber,
Our throats as statuesque, our muscles moved
As mightily, our waists were just as slender.
Our voices carried, and we played as long
As sunlight lasted, heedless of the fears
Of old men whispering on the twilight benches.
Here’s a fun infographic I found. It is, by no means, a complete history of baseball, but it does touch on some interesting highlights.
Lou Gehrig hit his first grand slam home run on 23 July 1925. It would prove to be the difference in the game as the Yankees defeated the Senators 11-7. Over the course of his seventeen-year career with New York, Gehrig would hit a record-setting 23 grand slams, a mark thus far matched only by Alex Rodriguez.