This day in baseball: Double leadoff homers

On May 30, 1913, Red Sox outfielder Harry Hooper became the first major leaguer to lead off both games of a doubleheader with a home run. The feat would not be repeated until 80 years later, in 1993, when A’s leadoff hitter Rickey Henderson opened each game of a twin bill against Cleveland with a homer.

Harry_Hooper 1912

Hooper in 1912 (Wikipedia)

Quote of the day

My dream was to play football for the Oakland Raiders. But my mother thought I would get hurt playing football, so she chose baseball for me. I guess moms do know best.

~ Rickey Henderson


Rickey Henderson’s Hall of Fame speech

Considering his reputation for an inflated ego, referring to himself in the third person and the like, Rickey Henderson’s Hall of Fame induction speech is pleasantly humble.  He seems genuinely appreciative of the opportunity to join the big names in Cooperstown.

Quote of the day

If my uniform doesn’t get dirty, I haven’t done anything in the baseball game.

~Rickey Henderson

This day in baseball: Rollie Fingers wins MVP

On November 25, 1981, Rollie Fingers of the Milwaukee Brewers became the first relief pitcher ever to win the American League MVP award.  He narrowly beat Rickey Henderson by 11 points for the honor, taking 15 first place votes to Henderson’s 12.  That year, Rollie Fingers also won the Cy Young Award for the American League.

USA Today

USA Today

This day in baseball: Nolan Ryan reaches 5,000

On 22 August 1989, Nolan Ryan threw a 96 mph fastball to strike out Rickey Henderson — the 5,000th strikeout of his career.  Over the course of the game, Ryan struck out 13 batters and gave up only five hits, but still ended up losing to Oakland 2-0.  To this day, Nolan Ryan remains the only pitcher in Major League Baseball history to strike out 5,000 batters (5714 total).  Coming in second is Randy Johnson, with 4875 strikeouts.

Photo source: Sports Illustrated