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Thread: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    http://www.11points.com/Sports/11_Ma..._Happened_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.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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  3. #2
    Worth The Wait
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    Great stuff...the stealing first is one of the dumbest things I've ever read Who knew Dusty managerial career starting so long ago.....

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    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.

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    Senor Votto Degenerate39's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    What about father-son back to back home runs?
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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate39 View Post
    What about father-son back to back home runs?
    September 14, 1990, The Griffeys. Likely will never happen again either.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    Senor Votto Degenerate39's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    Quote Originally Posted by savafan View Post
    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.
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    Maple SERP savafan's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate39 View Post
    Was that the only time it's happened? I knew Jr. and Sr. did it.
    Yes, that's the only time it has happened.
    My dad got to enjoy 3 Reds World Championships by the time he was my age. So far, I've only gotten to enjoy one. Step it up Redlegs!

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    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

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    We Need Our Myths reds1869's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    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.

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    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once


  12. #11
    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    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.

  13. #12
    I hate the Cubs LoganBuck's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    Brandon Phillips One Man Double Steal a couple years ago. That had only happened twice before, and his was the only clean attempt.
    The Sox traded Bullfrog the only player they've got for Shottenhoffen. Four-eyes Shottenhoffen a utility infielder. They've got a whole team of utility infielders.

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    Viva la Rolen kaldaniels's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    I certainly believe you but I'm surprised only 1 time a runner has stolen same base in 1 inning

  15. #14
    For a Level Playing Field RedFanAlways1966's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    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.

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    Member klw's Avatar
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    Re: 11 Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Happened Once

    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.


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