Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 1-0, on September 29, 1913 to record his final decision of the season. Johnson would appear in only one more game in 1913 and finished the season with an impressive 36-7 record and a mind-boggling 346.1 innings pitched. Over the course of the season, Johnson also notched two saves, 243 strikeouts, and only gave up 9 home runs and 40 walks. He concluded 1913 with an ERA of 1.14.
On September 24, 1922, Cardinals outfielder Rogers Hornsby hit two home runs off Giant hurlers — one each off brothers Jesse Barnes and Virgil Barnes. The blasts enabled Hornsby to set what was, at the time, the National League record for round-trippers in a season with 42.
Maurice Morning Wills was born October 2, 1932 in Washington, D.C. He began playing semi-professional baseball at the age of 14 and signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1950, upon graduating from high school. He made his major league debut with the Dodgers, now in Los Angeles, in 1959 and spent most of his career with L.A. He was a member of the Dodgers team that won the World Series in 1959, 1963, and 1965.
Wills was named the National League MVP in 1962, stealing a record 104 bases to break the previous modern era mark of 96 set by Ty Cobb. He was named to seven All-Star teams and was the first MLB All-Star Game Most Valuable Player in 1962. Wills also won Gold Gloves at shortstop in 1961 and 1962. Over the course of his fourteen-year career, Wills batted .281 with 20 home runs, 458 runs batted in, 2,134 hits, 1,067 runs, 177 doubles, 71 triples, 586 stolen bases, and 552 bases on balls in 1,942 games.
Wills was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, serving as a representative of the Dodgers Legend Bureau, from 2009 until his death. Maury Wills died on September 19, 2022, at the age of 89.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are saddened by the passing of Dodger legend Maury Wills. Our thoughts are with Wills’ family, teammates and friends. pic.twitter.com/zCtmuSUB0o
‘The written word remains.’ The spoken word dies upon the air. The news bulletin is coming through on the broadcast. The telephone bell rings – your wife asks you if you remembered to post that letter—and by the time you can again give your attention to the announcer, he has passed to another item. Without the newspaper you will never know the result of that baseball match, or the President’s latest message to Congress.
On September 16, 1922 (some sources have the year down as 1923), Cincinnati Reds pitcher Adolfo Luque became so angry over the bench jockeying coming from the Giants bench that he set the ball and his glove down on the mound, then charged straight into the New York dugout. Luque punched Casey Stengel, believing Stengel to be the primary instigator behind the taunting. Luque was ordered to return to his bench by the police, who were attempting to subdue the reaction of the Polo Grounds crowd.
The music for this song is very laid back, but the lyrics are a lot of fun. This tune chronicles that day in 1970 when Dock Ellis threw a no-hitter while high on LSD. I love how the song points out that nobody seemed to realize a no-hitter was in progress while it was happening.
In baseball’s early days, a batted ball that bounced once before clearing the fence was considered a home run. The last “bounced” home run in major league history was hit by Al Lopez of the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 12, 1930, at Ebbets Field. At the start of the 1931 season, the National League would join the American League, which had enacted the rule change in 1929, awarding a ground-rule double to the player who hits the ball over the fence on a bounce.
Today is my birthday: September 9th. 9/9. Oh, yeah — and I was born at 9:50 in the morning.
When an employee at the local running store measured my feet a couple years ago, he informed me that my left foot is size 9.5, and my right foot is size 9. (Don’t laugh, I’ve heard that having differently-sized feet is more common than you would think.)
It seems that the number nine is a big part of my life.
The number nine is a big part of baseball, too.
A team is made up of nine players — there are nine defensive positions and there are nine spots in a batting lineup. In fact, in the early days of the game, a team would often be referred to as a “baseball nine.”
A game consists of nine innings. An immaculate inning is comprised of nine thrown strikes. A baseball is nine inches in circumference.
Scott Flansburg, a.k.a. The Human Calculator, takes the exploration of the number nine in baseball, and in other parts of life, even further in this video:
A bit unrelated, this blog is currently over nine years strong. It’s been a fun run thus far, and I’m excited to continue it!