Sept. 13, 1996 - Charlie O’Brien is the first catcher to wear a hockey goalie-like catcher’s mask

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Charlie O’Brien was a solid defensive catcher and a modest right-handed batter. He is best remembered for pioneering the hockey-style catcher’s mask. He was playing with the Toronto Blue Jays when he invented this different style of mask.

After getting hit in his mask by two consecutive foul-tip balls in a game, O’Brien had the idea for a new catcher’s mask while he was watching a hockey game. He worked with Van Velden Mask Inc., of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, to develop his idea. The new design, called the All-Star MVP, was approved in 1996 by Major League Baseball. In his 15-year career, O’Brien batted .221 with 56 home runs and 261 runs batted in. He was part of the 1995 World Series Champion Atlanta Braves.

"I’m just like everybody else. I have two arms, two legs and four thousand hits." - Pete Rose

No big difference.

Sept. 11, 1985 - Pete Rose hits a single to become MLB all-time hit leader with 4,192

With his 4,192nd career hit Cincinnati Reds player-manager Pete Rose broke Ty Cobb’s major league record for career hits. Rose was a folk hero in Cincinnati, a homegrown talent known as “Charlie Hustle” for his relentless work ethic.

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"Pitching is the art of instilling fear." - Sandy Koufax

And Koufax is The Artist.

Sept. 9, 1965 - Sandy Koufax becomes first pitcher in baseball to pitch four no-hitters

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Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers, by retiring 27 consecutive batters without allowing any to reach base, became the sixth pitcher of the modern era, eighth overall, to throw a perfect game. The game was Koufax’s fourth no-hitter, breaking Bob Feller’s Major League record of three (and later broken by Nolan Ryan, in 1981). Koufax struck out 14 opposing batters, the most ever recorded in a perfect game, and matched only by San Francisco Giants pitcher, Matt Cain, on June 13, 2012.

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Sept. 8, 1998 - Mark McGwire hits 62nd home run of the year, breaks Roger Maris’ single-season record

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Mark McGwire hit a pitch by the Chicago Cubs' Steve Trachsel over the left field wall for his record-breaking 62nd home run, setting off huge celebrations at Busch Stadium. The fact that the game was against the Cubs meant that Sammy Sosa was able to congratulate McGwire personally on his achievement. Members of Roger Maris’ family were also present at the game. The ball was freely, albeit controversially, given to McGwire in a ceremony on the field by the stadium worker who found it. Members of Roger Maris’ family were also present at the game.The ball was freely, albeit controversially, given to McGwire in a ceremony on the field by the stadium worker who found it.

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"Sport can play a big role in teaching values and principles. It can be a huge developmental tool for life. Just think, teamwork, leadership, work ethic and trust are all part of the game and are also all factors in how we make the most of our lives. So, an essential part of the job of every player, and of all people for that matter, is to help the young people of today learn these lessons so they can live better lives tomorrow." - Cal Ripken Jr

Role model.

Sept. 6, 1995 - Cal Ripken Jr broke Lou Gehrig’s record by playing in his 2,131 consecutive game

Baseball fans within and out of the United States tuned into cable TV network ESPN to watch Cal Ripken Jr surpass Lou Gehrig's 56-year-old record for consecutive games played (2,130 games). The game, between the Baltimore Orioles and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim still ranks as one of the network’s most watched baseball games. Cal’s children, Rachel and Ryan, threw out the ceremonial first balls. Both President Bill Clinton and Vice President Al Gore were at the game. Clinton was in the WBAL local radio broadcast booth when Ripken hit a home run in the fourth inning, and called the home run over the air. When the game became official after the Angels’ half of the fifth inning, the numerical banners that displayed Ripken’s streak on the wall of the B&O Warehouse outside the stadium’s right field wall changed from 2130 to 2131.

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Sept. 4, 1993 - Jim Abbott, who was born without a right hand, pitched a no-hitter

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“I remember it was a cloudy day. A day game, the kind of game I like to throw.” - Jim Abbott

Abbott was a 6’ 3”, two-hundred ten pound left handed fireballer who graduated from the University of Michigan and pitched for the 1988 U.S. Olympic team. Then, without any minor league experience, Abbott was brought into the major leagues by the California Angels organization.

Four years later the one-handed pitcher, who once commented that he wanted to be like Nolan Ryan and not like Pete Gray, realized part of that dream when he tossed this five-walk no hitter in Yankee Stadium.

"It’s a great day for a ball game; let’s play two." - Ernie Banks

Batter up.

Sept. 2, 1965 - Ernie Banks of the Chicago Cubs hit his 400th career home run

Ernie Banks promptly blasted the ball into the bleachers at Wrigley Field like he had so many times before. The three-run home off Curt Simmons was No. 400 for Banks, making him only the 11th player to join that club at the time – and only the second African American to do so, along with “The Say Hey Kid” Willie Mays. Banks finished the season with 28 home runs, 107 RBI’s, a .265 batting average, and played in the All-Star Game.

"My dad taught me that there’s three parts: There’s hitting, there’s defense, and there’s baserunning. And as long as you keep those three separated, you’re going to be a good player. I mean, you can’t take your defense on the bases, you can’t take your hitting to the field, and you can’t take your baserunning at the plate. But defense, is number one." - Ken Griffey Jr.

Defense is numero uno.

Aug. 31, 1990 - Ken Griffey Jr. and Sr. play together for the Seattle Mariners

In their first game together Ken Griffey, Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. hit back-to-back singles in the first inning and would later come around to score.

Ken Jr. was selected with the first overall pick in the 1987 amateur draft and it did not take him long to make it to the Majors. Less than two years later, at the age of 19, Griffey found himself as the starting center fielder for the Seattle Mariners. Meanwhile, his father was in the twilight of his career and had been released by the Cincinnati Reds, leading to his signing with the Mariners. The Griffey’s would end up playing a total of 51 games together before Ken Sr. retired in May of 1991 at the age of 41.

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

Get down and dirty.

Aug. 27, 1982 - Rickey Henderson set the MLB record with his 119th stolen base

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Rickey Henderson's 119th stolen base of the season, breaks Lou Brock's record set in 1974. That season Henderson set a major league single season record by stealing 130 bases, a total which has not been approached since. He stole 84 bases by the All-Star break; no player has stolen as many as 84 bases in an entire season since 1988, when Henderson himself stole 93. Henderson’s 130 steals outpaced nine of the American League’s 14 teams that season.

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