"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.

Read More

"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

image

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.

"If you can get an out on one pitch, take it. Let the strikeouts come on the outstanding pitches. Winning is the big thing. If you throw a lot of pitches, before you know it, your arm is gone." - Dwight Gooden

Get the W.

Aug. 25, 1985 - Mets’ Dwight Gooden is the youngest pitcher to win 20 games in a major league season

image

In 1985 Dwight Gooden pitched one of the most statistically dominating single seasons in baseball history. Leading MLB with 24 wins, 268 strikeouts and a 1.53 ERA (the second lowest in the Live Ball Era, trailing only Bob Gibson’s 1.12 in 1968) Gooden earned the major leagues’ pitching Triple Crown. He led the National League in complete games (16) and innings pitched (276⅔). From his second start onward, Gooden’s ERA never rose above 2.00. At age 20, he was the youngest pitcher of the last half-century to have an ERA+ above 200. Gooden’s ERA+ was 229; 23-year-old Dean Chance (200 ERA+ in 1964) was the only such pitcher under the age of 25 to do so.

Read More

"Somebody’s gotta win and somebody’s gotta lose and I believe in letting the other guy lose." - Pete Rose

It’s that simple.

Aug. 24, 1989 - MLB permanently banned Pete Rose for betting on baseball games

image

The Major League baseball rule Pete Rose violated is: “Rule 21 MISCONDUCT, (d) BETTING ON BALL GAMES, Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.”

Pete Rose voluntarily accepted a permanent place on baseball’s ineligible list. Rose accepted that there was a factual reason for the ban; in return, Major League Baseball agreed to make no formal finding with regard to the gambling allegations. According to baseball’s rules, Rose could apply for reinstatement in one year but Bart Giamatti said, “There is absolutely no deal for reinstatement. That is exactly what we did not agree to in terms of a fixed number of years.” Rose, with a 412–373 record, was replaced as Reds manager by Tommy Helms. Rose began therapy with a psychiatrist for treatment of a gambling addiction. Rose’s ban has prevented the Reds from formally retiring his No. 14 jersey.

"One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something." - Nolan Ryan

Prove it.

Aug. 22, 1989 - Nolan Ryan became the first pitcher in MLB to get 5,000 strike outs

image

A fan favorite, Nolan Ryan was 42 years old and a 21-year major league veteran in 1989, but continued to deliver consistently powerful pitching. He was 14-7 coming into the game on August 22, with 219 strikeouts, and needed just six more to reach the 5,000-strikout milestone. Rickey Henderson led off the top of the fifth inning with Ryan sitting on 4,999. Henderson, as he did so often in his long career—he retired as the all-time walks leader—worked the count full, fouling off two pitches at a 3-2 count before swinging at and missing a low, 96-mile-per-hour fastball. After the game, Henderson told The New York Times, ”It was an honor to be the 5,000th. As Davey Lopes says, ‘If he ain’t struck you out, you ain’t nobody.’ ”

Read More

"The ballplayer who loses his head, who can’t keep his cool, is worse than no ballplayer at all." - Lou Gehrig

Be a consummate professional. Keep your cool.

Aug. 20, 1938 - Lou Gehrig hit his 23rd, and last, grand slam

image

Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez hit 23 career grand slams, the most by any player in Major League Baseball history. Meanwhile, Don Mattingly set the one-season record with six grand slams in 1987 – remarkably, the only grand slams of his major league career. Travis Hafner tied Mattingly’s Major League record in 2006.

Did you know that eleven of Lou Gehrig’s legendary twenty-three grand slams were hit in Yankee Stadium — including the first of his Major League career?

Read More

"Enjoying success requires the ability to adapt. Only by being open to change will you have a true opportunity to get the most from your talent." - Nolan Ryan

Change to win.

Web Analytics