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savafan
07-11-2009, 07:29 AM
http://www.11points.com/Sports/11_Major_League_Baseball_Feats_That_Have_Only_Happ ened_Once

I was on Yahoo yesterday and there was a headline about a rare feat by Albert Pujols -- hitting a sac fly that scored two runners. (The guy on second just ran like hell.)

I thought that was cool until I read the article and it mentioned the last time a two-run sac fly occurred, all the way back in... 2008. Twice.

I'm not down for "feats" like that. That's like saying it's a feat that I bought a new thing of face wash today because I haven't done that since December.

So I put on my best Elias Sports Bureau costume and dug through the Major League Baseball archives to find 11 real feats -- things that have only happened one time, EVER, in MLB history.

And, because some weird, weird **** used to go down in 19th century baseball guys (like players with four arms turning unassisted triple plays while simultaneously fighting off the Kaiser and operating a cotton gin), I'm only counting modern era baseball, 1900 to present.

#1

Back-to-back no hitters. Accomplished by Johnny Vander Meer, Cincinnati Reds, June 11-15, 1938. There have been 223 no hitters in MLB history (averaging out to about two per season), so it's insane that Vander Meer was able to throw no-hitters in back-to-back starts.

Especially considering that he went on to have a lifetime W-L record of 119-121. Which was still good enough to get him into the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame. (No, Pete Rose can't get into that one either. But Jose Rijo did.)

#2

Grand slam on first Major League pitch. Accomplished by Kevin Kouzmanoff, Cleveland Indians, September 2, 2006. On the first pitch he ever saw, Kouzmanoff hit a grand slam of the Texas Rangers' Edinson Volquez, en route to the Indians winning the game 6-5.

As my Cleveland Indians often do, they quickly traded Kouzmanoff to the San Diego Padres for a sack of magic beans. (Given name of said sack of magic beans: Josh Barfield.)

#3

Caught stealing four times in one game. Accomplished by Robby Thompson, San Francisco Giants, June 27, 1986. It was a 12-inning game and the Giants kept sending their "fast" rookie, Thompson. And he kept getting caught. Four times.

What makes that even crazier is that, in the 149 games he played that season, he only successfully stole 12 bases (and was caught 15 times). So by late June, the Giants should've figured out that maybe he wasn't the track star they thought he was.

#4

Steal the same base twice in one inning. (And three bases total... including FIRST?) Accomplished by Germany Schaefer, Detroit Tigers, September 4, 1908. This one's going to take some 'splainin. Until 1920, Major League Baseball had a rule that made it legal to steal bases in reverse order. If you were on second and wanted to go back to first, you could steal it. Which can, in some convoluted ways, make strategic sense.

During the September 4th, 1908, game between the Tigers and Cleveland Indians, Schaefer was on first and a teammate was on third. The Tigers wanted to do a double steal -- Schaefer would break for second, and, when the Indians tried to throw him out, his teammate would steal home. But when Schaefer broke for second, the Indians' catcher didn't make the throw, so Schaefer stole the base without the run scoring.

That wasn't the plan so, on the next pitch, he broke back for first... and successfully stole it without a throw. Then, on the next pitch, he broke for second AGAIN, to try to make the double steal work... but again, the Indians didn't throw.

That makes him the only player in MLB history to steal the same base twice in one inning. (And one of only two players to ever steal first base from second.)

#5

Two triple plays in one game. Accomplished by the Minnesota Twins, July 17th, 1990. This could also be expanded to the only team ever to turn two triple plays in one game... AND LOSE.

The Red Sox hit into two triple plays (one in the fourth, one in the eighth) but still beat the Twins, 1-0.

#6

Back-to-back homers by the same two teammates in one inning. Accomplished by Mike Cameron and Bret Boone, Seattle Mariners, May 2, 2002. In the first inning of the Mariners versus White Sox, Cameron and Boone hit back-to-back home runs. Seattle batted around... and, in the same inning, Cameron and Boone went back-to-back again.

Cameron went on to hit four homers in the game (that's one of those lame "feats" that tons of people have done) and the Mariners won 15-4.

#7

Pitcher with fewest hands (1) throwing a no-hitter. Accomplished by Jim Abbott, September 4, 1993. Jim Abbott didn't have a right hand. He no-hit the Cleveland Indians in 1993.

As an Indians fan, I remember watching that game... and kinda hoping Abbott would get it. After all, who isn't a sucker for stories like this?

I also remember, late in the game, Kenny Lofton trying to bunt his way on and the fans booing. I think it took me until about 2008 to realize that even though Albert Belle was one of the biggest dicks in sports history, Kenny Lofton was kinda a dick too.

#8

Triple play without the bat touching a ball. Accomplished by the Seattle Mariners, September 2, 2008. This one's very convoluted, which makes it wonderful. In a Mariners-Rays game, Raul Ibanez of the Mariners got called out on strikes. Meanwhile Adrian Beltre was trying to steal second, and was thrown out. While he was getting thrown out, Jose Lopez tried to score from third and got thrown out at home plate.

Crazily enough, there's also, theoretically, a way for a team to hit into a triple play without the fielder touching a ball. If there are runners on first and second with no outs, the batter needs to hit a catchable infield pop fly. He'd be out number one for the infield fly rule. The runner on first would have to pass the runner on second, making him out number two. And finally, the runner on second would have to get hit by the ball as it lands for the third out. That's never happened in baseball history, though.

#9

Toby Harrah -- records for fielding, inside-the-park home runs AND being the most stereotypical '70s-looking baseball player ever.
One player sets two crazy one-time-only feats. Accomplished by Toby Harrah, Texas Rangers, 1976-77. These were both great one-time-only feats... then I saw they were both accomplished by the same player... and made the executive decision that his accomplishing of two one-time-only feats was, in and of itself, an 11 Points-worthy one-time-only feat.

On June 25, 1976, Harrah became the only shortstop ever to play every inning of a doubleheader and not get a single ball hit to him. Then, one year later, on August 27, 1977, Harrah and his Rangers teammate Bump Wills became the only players ever to hit back-to-back inside-the-park home runs.

#10

2 grand slams in an inning. Accomplished by Fernando Tatis, St. Louis Cardinals, April 23, 1999. In the Cardinals-Dodgers game, Tatis hit two grand slams in the third inning -- both off of the same pitcher, Chan Ho Park. No player has ever hit two in one inning before or since; and no player has ever matched Tatis's eight RBIs in one inning either.

Tatis was batting behind Mark McGwire that game (and that was during the McGwire SMASH! era). Those were Tatis's only two hits for the game, which the Cardinals won 12-5.

#11

Player goes from a hat size of 7.5 to 16 over the course of a career. Accomplished by Barry Bonds, 1986 - 2007. Barry started his career as a talented, thin, second-generation stud prospect. He ended it with a bigger head than the kid in "So I Married an Axe Murderer". And that kid's head looked like an orange on a toothpick.

Edskin
07-11-2009, 08:13 AM
Great stuff...the stealing first is one of the dumbest things I've ever read :) Who knew Dusty managerial career starting so long ago.....

reds1869
07-11-2009, 08:16 AM
Great list. I have another good one:

On July 25, 1930, the Philadelphia Athletics executed a triple steal twice during the same game against the Cleveland Indians. This was the first and only time in Major League history where such an event took place.

Degenerate39
07-11-2009, 08:20 AM
What about father-son back to back home runs?

savafan
07-11-2009, 08:26 AM
What about father-son back to back home runs?

September 14, 1990, The Griffeys. Likely will never happen again either.

Degenerate39
07-11-2009, 08:29 AM
September 14, 1990, The Griffeys. Likely will never happen again either.

Was that the only time it's happened? I knew Jr. and Sr. did it.

savafan
07-11-2009, 08:32 AM
Was that the only time it's happened? I knew Jr. and Sr. did it.

Yes, that's the only time it has happened.

westofyou
07-11-2009, 10:58 AM
Richie Ashburn hit a spectator in the stands with a foul ball during a 1957 game in Philadelphia. (The spectator was Alice Roth, wife of Philadelphia Bulletin sports editor Earl Roth.) Ashburn struck Mrs. Roth again with a foul ball when she was leaving the park on a stretcher

reds1869
07-11-2009, 12:29 PM
Richie Ashburn hit a spectator in the stands with a foul ball during a 1957 game in Philadelphia. (The spectator was Alice Roth, wife of Philadelphia Bulletin sports editor Earl Roth.) Ashburn struck Mrs. Roth again with a foul ball when she was leaving the park on a stretcher

Ouch! Talk about some bad luck.

klw
07-11-2009, 12:55 PM
http://kennethsuskin.blogspot.com/2009/05/more-obscure-baseball-records.html
Here are some more distinctions.

klw
07-11-2009, 01:06 PM
1917: On May 2nd baseball's greatest ever pitching duel, features the Reds Fred Toney and Jim "Hippo" Vaughn of the Chicago Cubs both hurl no-hitters through 9 innings. The Reds would break up Vaughn's no-hitter to win in extra frames, 1-0.

LoganBuck
07-11-2009, 01:20 PM
Brandon Phillips One Man Double Steal a couple years ago. That had only happened twice before, and his was the only clean attempt.

kaldaniels
07-11-2009, 01:50 PM
I certainly believe you but I'm surprised only 1 time a runner has stolen same base in 1 inning

RedFanAlways1966
07-11-2009, 02:00 PM
No really a feat, but (thankfully) has only happened once...

Ray Chapman was the only professional baseball player to be killed by a pitched ball. An outstanding shortstop for the Cleveland Indians, Chapman was the leadoff batter in the top of the fifth inning in a game against the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds in New York City on 16 August 1920. He was 0-for-1 on the day but batting .304 on the season, and the count was one ball, one strike, as he leaned in near the plate. New York Yankees pitcher Carl Mays (1891-1971), using his distinctive underhand style, tossed a fast spitball that came high and inside, breaking Chapman's cranium with an audible pop. The ball dribbled toward Mays, who fielded it and threw to the first baseman before realizing that the sound he had heard was not the crack of the bat.

Chapman fell to the ground, blood rushing from his ear, and remained motionless in the dirt for several minutes. He then struggled to his feet with teammates' assistance, and took a few halting steps toward the clubhouse before collapsing again. After that he never regained consciousness, and died at St. Lawrence Hospital the following morning. According to news accounts, the pitched ball had left a 3-inch depressed fracture in his skull.

Chapman's death led to two rule changes the following season. The spitball was banned, although established pitchers who threw spitters were given a "grandfather clause" and permitted to continue pitching spitballs for the remainder of their careers. It was thought that Chapman must have been unable to see the ball clearly as it approached, so the other rule change instructed umpires to replace the game ball whenever it became soiled and less than brilliantly white -- an expense that team owners had previous resisted. Batting helmets were not required until 1971.

In Chapman's last game, play resumed after the ambulance left. He was replaced by pinch-runner Harry Lunte (1892-1965), who was forced out at second base on the next play, but the Indians won the game, 4-3. Mays was exonerated of any wrongdoing after a brief inquest by the Homicide Bureau of the District Attorney's office. Chapman's wife, pregnant at the time of his death, remarried two years later and killed herself by drinking poison in 1928. Their daughter died in a measles outbreak the following spring.

http://www.nndb.com/people/450/000179910/

klw
07-11-2009, 02:24 PM
Wasn't there a Reds Cubs game where only one ball was used the whole game. That surely will never happen again- especially with the Schott era in the past.

savafan
07-11-2009, 02:29 PM
Wasn't there a Reds Cubs game where only one ball was used the whole game. That surely will never happen again- especially with the Schott era in the past.

I can't fathom that even being possible.

George Anderson
07-11-2009, 02:33 PM
Wasn't there a Reds Cubs game where only one ball was used the whole game. That surely will never happen again- especially with the Schott era in the past.

There would have to be no foul balls hit in the stands for the entire game.

Besides no umpire is going to walk out on the field with only one ball.

George Anderson
07-11-2009, 02:36 PM
In 1962 the Cleveland Indians traded catcher Harry Chiti to the New York Mets for a player to be named later. A few weeks later Chiti was sent back to the Indians as the player to be named later. Chiti became the only player to be traded for himself.

Babe Herman once doubled into a double play.

Marv Throneberry had a triple, but was called out for missing first base, and second base!

Jose Canseco while playing the outfield had a ball hit off his head, over the wall for a home run.

Brutus
07-11-2009, 02:37 PM
There would have to be no foul balls hit in the stands for the entire game.

Besides no umpire is going to walk out on the field with only one ball.

Right. I think MLB even mandated that every so often they have to change balls (this was done back in the day because of pitchers trying to scuff balls on purpose). So even if there were no foul balls, you'd still have to go through probably 6-10 baseballs in a game.

savafan
07-11-2009, 02:43 PM
I know a few weeks back, a fan, I believe in Seattle, caught two homerun balls in the same game in the same inning. I can't imagine that has happened too often, if ever, before.

westofyou
07-11-2009, 02:44 PM
No really a feat, but (thankfully) has only happened once...

Ray Chapman was the only professional baseball player to be killed by a pitched ball. An outstanding shortstop for the Cleveland Indians, Chapman was the leadoff batter in the top of the fifth inning in a game against the New York Yankees at the Polo Grounds in New York City on 16 August 1920. He was 0-for-1 on the day but batting .304 on the season, and the count was one ball, one strike, as he leaned in near the plate. New York Yankees pitcher Carl Mays (1891-1971), using his distinctive underhand style, tossed a fast spitball that came high and inside, breaking Chapman's cranium with an audible pop. The ball dribbled toward Mays, who fielded it and threw to the first baseman before realizing that the sound he had heard was not the crack of the bat.

Chapman fell to the ground, blood rushing from his ear, and remained motionless in the dirt for several minutes. He then struggled to his feet with teammates' assistance, and took a few halting steps toward the clubhouse before collapsing again. After that he never regained consciousness, and died at St. Lawrence Hospital the following morning. According to news accounts, the pitched ball had left a 3-inch depressed fracture in his skull.

Chapman's death led to two rule changes the following season. The spitball was banned, although established pitchers who threw spitters were given a "grandfather clause" and permitted to continue pitching spitballs for the remainder of their careers. It was thought that Chapman must have been unable to see the ball clearly as it approached, so the other rule change instructed umpires to replace the game ball whenever it became soiled and less than brilliantly white -- an expense that team owners had previous resisted. Batting helmets were not required until 1971.

In Chapman's last game, play resumed after the ambulance left. He was replaced by pinch-runner Harry Lunte (1892-1965), who was forced out at second base on the next play, but the Indians won the game, 4-3. Mays was exonerated of any wrongdoing after a brief inquest by the Homicide Bureau of the District Attorney's office. Chapman's wife, pregnant at the time of his death, remarried two years later and killed herself by drinking poison in 1928. Their daughter died in a measles outbreak the following spring.

http://www.nndb.com/people/450/000179910/
Once in MLB, several times in ML

klw
07-11-2009, 03:01 PM
Oops looks like the one baseball game has been done at least twice.


http://www.nationalpastime.com/site/index.php?query=one+ball&action=simple_search

August 4, 1908
In Brooklyn, the last-place Cardinals blank the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers), 3-0. The entire Washington Park contest is played with just one ball.

June 29, 1913
Only one baseball is used during the Reds 9-6 win over the Cubs at Redland Field. There are no home runs or foul balls which land the stands during the contest.

savafan
07-11-2009, 03:07 PM
Oops looks like the one baseball game has been done at least twice.


http://www.nationalpastime.com/site/index.php?query=one+ball&action=simple_search

Wow, nice find though! Quite impressive.

GoReds33
07-11-2009, 04:20 PM
I know a few weeks back, a fan, I believe in Seattle, caught two homerun balls in the same game in the same inning. I can't imagine that has happened too often, if ever, before.
That was Cleveland, but it was great. I couldn't believe it myself.

RedFanAlways1966
07-11-2009, 04:24 PM
Sammy Sosa hit 20 homers in the month of June 1998. It is the only time a MLB player has hit 20 homers in a single month.

Most HR in a Month
Sammy Sosa, Cubs - 20 HR, June 1998
Rudy York, Tigers - 18 HR, Aug. 1937
Babe Ruth, Yanks - 17 HR, Sept. 1927
Willie Mays, Giants - 17 HR, Aug. 1965
Albert Belle, Indians - 17 HR, Sept. 1995
Barry Bonds, Giants - 17 HR, May 2001
Sammy Sosa, Cubs - 17 HR, Aug. 2001

savafan
07-11-2009, 04:29 PM
04-12-1909

Doc Powers is the first baseball related death when he crashes into the wall trying to catch a popup fly. He finishes the game, has surgery when it's over, two more after that, then passes away on 04-26-1909.

savafan
07-11-2009, 04:31 PM
On August 4, 1982, Joel Youngblood became the only player in history to get hits for two different teams in two different cities on the same day. Youngblood had driven in the winning run for the Mets in an afternoon game at Wrigley Field against the Chicago Cubs, and then singled in a night game for the Montreal Expos in Philadelphia after he had been traded. Interestingly, the two pitchers he hit safely against, Ferguson Jenkins of the Cubs and Steve Carlton of the Philadelphia Phillies, are both in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Chip R
07-11-2009, 04:37 PM
04-12-1909

Doc Powers is the first baseball related death when he crashes into the wall trying to catch a popup fly. He finishes the game, has surgery when it's over, two more after that, then passes away on 04-26-1909.


Eric Davis certainly could have joined Powers in that catagory.

savafan
07-11-2009, 04:45 PM
Eric Davis certainly could have joined Powers in that catagory.

Thank God he didn't!

Charley "Red" Barrett was a career .500 pitcher during eleven seasons with the Reds, Braves, and Cardinals. It was on August 10th, 1944, pitching for the Braves against his former team the Reds, that Barrett made history. He threw not only the shortest night game in history at one hour and fifteen minutes, but also the complete game with the fewest pitches ever. Barrett needed only fifty-eight pitches to shutout the Reds 2-0 with only two hits and no walks.

Hollcat
07-11-2009, 06:20 PM
Shouldn't Chan Ho Park also make the list for giving up the GS's to Tatis?

mth123
07-11-2009, 06:23 PM
nevermind

Big Klu
07-11-2009, 10:05 PM
Richie Ashburn hit a spectator in the stands with a foul ball during a 1957 game in Philadelphia. (The spectator was Alice Roth, wife of Philadelphia Bulletin sports editor Earl Roth.) Ashburn struck Mrs. Roth again with a foul ball when she was leaving the park on a stretcher

Sounds like a scene from a Leslie Nielsen movie!

BCubb2003
07-11-2009, 10:23 PM
We're still waiting for the legitimate quadruple play.

reds44
07-11-2009, 10:45 PM
I was surprised to see that only 1 player has ever stolen the same base twice in one inning. With the amount of times you see teams bat around every year, I would think it would have happend more then that.

reds44
07-11-2009, 10:48 PM
Brandon Phillips One Man Double Steal a couple years ago. That had only happened twice before, and his was the only clean attempt.
That was solid, then he tried to do it against the Red Sox a few weeks later and it didn't end so well.

What about the Nationals/Astros game the other night? Joel Hanrahan got a W for a team he wasn't even on.

Hap
07-12-2009, 11:08 AM
I remember this game in 2003 (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/B07310CIN2003.htm)when Russell Branyan doubled off the wall into a double play.

Jason Larue was thrown out at the plated when he wasn't hustling, and then Branyan was tagged out by the centerfielder when he was off second base dusting himself off thinking the play was over.

I doubt that has ever happened and it could only happen to Jim Bowden's Reds (although technically, Bowden had recently been fired).

Chip R
07-12-2009, 11:42 AM
I remember this game in 2003 (http://www.retrosheet.org/boxesetc/2003/B07310CIN2003.htm)when Russell Branyan doubled off the wall into a double play.

Jason Larue was thrown out at the plated when he wasn't hustling, and then Branyan was tagged out by the centerfielder when he was off second base dusting himself off thinking the play was over.

I doubt that has ever happened and it could only happen to Jim Bowden's Reds (although technically, Bowden had recently been fired).


I'm fairly sure it's happened before but remember when Sean Casey was thrown out at 1st from left field when he played for DET? In his defense, I believe he slipped but that's a pretty dubious accomplishment.

westofyou
07-12-2009, 12:05 PM
I'm fairly sure it's happened before but remember when Sean Casey was thrown out at 1st from left field when he played for DET? In his defense, I believe he slipped but that's a pretty dubious accomplishment.
Last night the KC OF got a runner out at home on a force play.

In another game a runner was awarded a base when the catcher directed the ball with his mask towards his glove, 2 things I have never seen before.

TheNext44
07-12-2009, 12:17 PM
Not sure if this is the only time it happened, but in 1987, Tom Lawless got more hits in the postseason (3) than he did during the regular season (2), and he was on the 25 man roster the entire regular season.

He actually did not get his first hit during the regular season until Aug. 12, even though he was on the 25 man roster every day. He got his second hit on the last day of the season.

Screwball
07-12-2009, 12:36 PM
I'm fairly sure it's happened before but remember when Sean Casey was thrown out at 1st from left field when he played for DET? In his defense, I believe he slipped but that's a pretty dubious accomplishment.

I remember that. He thought his liner had been snagged by the 3B, so he stopped running and flipped his helmet up in disgust. By the time he realized the ball had made it into left it was too late (Casey's slower than a turtle with arthritis), although it was a somewhat close play at first.

mth123
07-12-2009, 05:43 PM
Not sure if this is the only time it happened, but in 1987, Tom Lawless got more hits in the postseason (3) than he did during the regular season (2), and he was on the 25 man roster the entire regular season.

He actually did not get his first hit during the regular season until Aug. 12, even though he was on the 25 man roster every day. He got his second hit on the last day of the season.

So he was on a hot streak going into the post season. That explains it.

UKFlounder
07-12-2009, 06:04 PM
Dickie Noles of the Cubs was traded for himself.

According to this link, others have had the same thing happen, though it didn't list them. (I know wiki is not reliable, but I'm confident about the Noles info. I just needed something to confirm what I thought I remembered and which team he was on. I thought he was a Phillie at the time. )

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dickie_Noles


In 1962 the Cleveland Indians traded catcher Harry Chiti to the New York Mets for a player to be named later. A few weeks later Chiti was sent back to the Indians as the player to be named later. Chiti became the only player to be traded for himself.