BASEBALL ODDITIES IN SEPTEMBER
The kind of stuff you just don't see everyday...
SEPTEMBER 1, 1964...Giants' relief pitcher Masanori Murakami makes an appearance against the Mets and becomes the first Japanese-born player to play in the U.S. major leagues.
SEPTEMBER 2, 1971...Dodgers' right fielder Bill Buckner and second baseman Jim Lefebvre collide while chasing a 200-foot fly ball hit by Cesar Cedeno of the Houston Astros. Cedeno runs the bases for an inside-the-park grand slam home run.
SEPTEMBER 3, 1928...Forty-two year-old Ty Cobb, now of the Philadelphia Athletics, goes to the plate as a pinch-hitter in the 9th inning and cracks a double off Senators' pitcher Bump Hadley. This at-bat provides the last hit of Cobb's career, giving him 4,191 hits in 24 seasons.
Cobb retires after the 1928 season with a .367 lifetime batting average, and as the holder of 90 major league records.
SEPTEMBER 4, 1916...Two pitching legends throw the final games of their careers in the second game of the doubleheader. Longtime pitching great, Christy Mathewson, now with the Reds as the field manager, makes his first start as a Reds' pitcher. Mathewson went 372-188 with the New York Giants before coming to Cincinnati in a July trade. He had given up on his pitching career due to a bad back, but after a few good workouts, he thought he would give it another shot.
Mathewson starts against longtime nemesis, Mordecai 'Three Fingers' Brown, of the Chicago Cubs. Each pitcher goes the distance. Mathewson allows 8 runs on 15 hits and manages to win the 373rd game of his career. Brown allows 19 hits and loses the game by the score of 10-8. Brown, a six-time 20-game winner, finishes his career with a record of 239-130.
After today's performance, Mathewson apologizes for the rough outing and says he will never pitch again.
SEPTEMBER 5, 1971...Hard-throwing right-hander J.R. Richard of the Houston Astros, ties Karl Spooner's major-league baseball record by striking out 15 batters in his major-league debut. The Astros beat the San Francisco Giants 5-3.
SEPTEMBER 6, 1995...Baltimore's Cal Ripken, Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig's consecutive game record by playing in his 2,131st straight game.
SEPTEMBER 7, 1974...Reds' second baseman Joe Morgan plays with a badly sprained ankle and falls at home plate while swinging at a pitch from Dodgers' reliever Mike Marshall. Morgan refuses Sparky Anderson's request to come out of the game and then belts Marshall's next pitch over the right field wall to break the 5-5 eighth-inning tie. The Reds hold off the Dodgers in the ninth-inning for a 7-5 win.
SEPTEMBER 8, 1965...Kansas City A's regular shortstop Bert Campaneris becomes the first major league player to play all nine positions in one game. Campaneris moved from one position to another at the start of each inning. He made an error while playing right field in the sixth-inning for his only miscue of the ballgame. He pitched the eighth-inning and faced his cousin, and Angels’ outfielder, Jose Cardenal. Campaneris won bragging rights when Cardenal popped out. He allowed just one run on a hit and two walks. In the ninth-inning, he strapped on the ‘tools of ignorance’ as the A’s catcher and then injured his shoulder during a home plate collision! The Angels eventually won the contest in 13 innings, 5-3.
SEPTEMBER 9, 1965...Dodgers' ace Sandy Koufax throws a perfect game against the Cubs in L.A. to become the first modern pitcher to have four no-hitters. Koufax fans the final 6 batters, and 7 of the last 9 for a total of 14 K's. Cubs' pitcher Bob Hendley counters with the best-pitched game of his career,...a one-hitter! Dodgers 1, Cubs 0.
SEPTEMBER 10, 1974…St. Louis Cardinals' speedster Lou Brock ties and breaks Maury Wills' single season major league record of 104 steals set in 1962. Brock records his 104th and 105th steals against the Phillies.
SEPTEMBER 11, 1966…Jim McAndrews of the Mets defeats Fergie Jenkins and the Cubs, 1-0. This is the fifth time that Jenkins has lost a 1-0 game this season.
SEPTEMBER 12, 1962…Twenty-seven year-old Washington Senators’ pitcher Tom Cheney racks up 13 K’s in 9 innings before setting the major league record for most strikeouts in an extra-inning game. He no-hits Baltimore from the ninth-inning through the 16th inning and ends the game with 21 K’s in 16 innings. Senators 2, O’s 1.
SEPTEMBER 13, 1909…Tigers’ star center fielder Ty Cobb hits an inside-the-park homer against the St. Louis Browns to clinch the American league home run title. In fact, all of Cobb’s nine homers this season have been of the inside-the-park variety!
SEPTEMBER 14, 1914…Umpire Mal Eason ejects Boston Braves’ shortstop Johnny Evers from the ballgame for swearing. Evers claims that he was swearing at the baseball, not the umpire.
SEPTEMBER 15, 1963…The three Alou brothers, Felipe, Matty, and Jesus, play together in the Giants’ outfield during a 13-5 romp over the Pirates.
SEPTEMBER 16, 1958…Detroit Tigers’ lefty pitcher Frank “Yankee Killer” Lary beats the mighty New York Yankees for the seventh time this season. Tigers 4, Yankees 2.
SEPTEMBER 17, 1984…Mets’ rookie pitcher Dwight Gooden fans 16 batters for the second consecutive start and ties a MLB record for 32 K’s in consecutive games.
SEPTEMBER 18, 1976…Cleveland Indians’ player/manager Frank Robinson strokes a pinch-hit single against the Orioles in his last major league at-bat.
SEPTEMBER 19, 1986…White Sox’ pitcher Joe Cowley wins his last major league game by throwing a no-hitter against the Angels. Cowley will finish his career with Philadelphia the following season with a 0-4 record.
SEPTEMBER 20, 1958…Hoyt Wilhelm, well known as a knuckle-balling reliever, is given a rare start and responds by tossing a no-hitter against the Yankees. The Orioles picked up Wilhelm after the Indians placed him on waivers last month.
SEPTEMBER 21, 1964…Reds’ pitcher John Tsitouris throws a 1-0 shutout over Philadelphia to send the Phillies into a ten-game losing streak. The first-place Phillies will not survive the dreadful streak and will lose the NL pennant to the St.Louis Cardinals.
SEPTEMBER 22, 1911…Forty-four year-old Boston Braves’ pitcher Cy Young throws a 1-0 shutout against the Pirates to win his 511th and final big league game.
SEPTEMBER 23, 1984…Sparky Anderson becomes the first big league manager to win at least 100 games in a season in each league as the Tigers defeat the Yankees, 4-1. Anderson led the Cincinnati Reds to 100-win seasons in 1970, 1975, and 1976.
SEPTEMBER 24, 1991…The Mets’ Howard Johnson hits his 37th HR of the season to set a NL record for homers by a switch-hitter. He will finish the year with 38 HR’s and 117 RBI’s, becoming the first switch-hitter to lead the NL in RBI’s.
SEPTEMBER 25, 1965…Satchel Paige, believed to be about 59-years-old, becomes the oldest player to ever appear in a major league game. The onetime Negro League pitching star is the starting pitcher for the Kansas City A’s. He throws three innings of shutout ball before being relieved by pitcher Diego Segui. The ageless wonder allows only one hit, a first inning double to Carl Yastrzemski. Boston goes on to win, 5-2, in Kansas City.
SEPTEMBER 26, 1916….Washington Senator’s pitcher, Walter ‘The Big Train’ Johnson concludes his 1916 season with 25 wins and 20 losses. In a league leading 369 2/3 innings of pitching, Johnson does not allow a home run, an all-time record.
SEPTEMBER 27, 1952…During the Braves’ final win in Boston, third baseman Eddie Mathews becomes the first rookie in major league history to hit three homers in one game. Before there was Mike Schmidt, there was Eddie Mathews.
SEPTEMBER 28, 1995…Montreal Expos’ pitcher Greg Harris becomes the first pitcher to throw with both arms in a major league game. Harris faces four batters, throwing to two batters with his right arm and to two batters with his left arm, in the ninth-inning of a 9-7 loss to the Cincinnati Reds.
SEPTEMBER 29, 1949…Braves’ infielder Connie Ryan doesn’t like the idea of playing in the rain and protests by wearing a raincoat while in the on-deck circle. Umpire George Barr looks over at Ryan and gives him the thumb, sending Ryan to an early shower. (pun intended)
SEPTEMBER 30, 1988…Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher Dave Stieb beats the Baltimore Orioles, 4-0, with his second consecutive one-hitter. Baltimore’s Jim Traber bloops a hit over the head of first baseman Fred McGriff with two outs in the 9th inning to spoil Stieb’s no-hit bid.