"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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"My father made me who I am. He gave me a basketball and told me to play with the ball, sleep with the ball, dream with the ball. Just don’t take it to school. I used it as a pillow, and it never gave me a stiff neck." - Shaquille O’Neal

Hoop dreams.

Aug. 30, 1991 - Mike Powell set the world record for long jump

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At the 1991 World Championships in Athletics (Tokyo), Mike Powell broke Bob Beamon's almost 23-year-old long jump world record by 5 cm (2 inches), leaping 8.95 m (29 ft 4¼ in). The world record still stands, making Powell the fourth person since 1900 to hold the record for over 20 years. His feat earned him the James E. Sullivan Award and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Overseas Personality Award in 1991. He also holds the longest non-legal jump of 8.99 m (29 ft 5¾ in) (wind-aided +4.4) set at high altitude in Sestriere, Italy in 1992.

Aug. 29, 1974 - Moses Malone is the first ball player drafted from high school

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Moses Malone was immediately signed by the Utah Stars. He became an instant success, averaging 18 points and 14 rebounds per game in his rookie season. He played in the American Basketball Association (ABA) until the ABA–NBA merger in 1976. He then played 19 successful seasons with 7 NBA teams. He won the NBA championship, along with the Finals Most Valuable Player Award, with the Philadelphia 76ers in 1983. His other achievements include 3 Most Valuable Player Awards, 12 consecutive All-Star Game selections, 8 All-NBA Team selections and 6 rebounding titles. He has been inducted to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and was also named in the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History list announced at the league’s 50th anniversary in 1996.

"Enthusiasm is everything. It must be taut and vibrating like a guitar string." - Pelé

Enthusiasm is contagious :)

Aug. 28, 1977 - Pelé played in his final non-exhibition game as Cosmos defeated Sounders, 2-1, for NASL championship

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The game was an offensive slugfest, with the teams combining for 55 shots (29 Cosmos, 26 Sounders). Although Pelé did not score in the New York Cosmos’ 2-1 Soccer Bowl win over the Seattle Sounders, it was his day all the same. After the final whistle blew and the trophy was presented, it was Pele that the new champions hoisted onto their shoulders and carried off to the cheers of a standing-room crowd of 41,270 at Civic Stadium.

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(via athleticpoetics)

"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.

"Pressure is nothing more than the shadow of great opportunity." - Michael Johnson

Seize the opportunity.

Aug. 26, 1999 - Michael Johnson sets 400m World Record with 43.18 seconds

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Michael Johnson breaks Butch Reynolds' 11 year standing 400m world record of 43.29 by running 43.18 at the 1999 Seville World Champs which still stands as the world record today.

Johnson formerly held the world and Olympic record in the 200 m, and the world record in the indoor 400 m. He also currently holds the world’s best time at the 300 m. His 200 m time of 19.32 at the 1996 Summer Olympics stood as the record for over 12 years. Johnson is generally considered one of the greatest long sprinters in the history of track and field. Johnson’s stiff upright running stance and very short steps defied the conventional wisdom that a high knee lift was essential for maximum speed.

"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

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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.

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"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

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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.

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