"Whenever I hit a home run, I make certain I touch all four bases." - Babe Ruth

Superstitions.

Sept 30, 1927 - Babe Ruth became the first player to hit 60 home runs in a season

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The 1927 season featured a fearsome New York Yankees lineup of power hitters known as “Murderer’s Row” that included Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzerri and Bob Meusel. Ruth led the American League in home runs throughout the year, but did not appear to be within reach of his record 59 home runs, set in 1921, until he hit 16 in the month of September, tying his record on September 29.

On September 30, in the last game of the season, Ruth came to the plate against lefty Tom Zachary of the Washington Senators in the eighth inning. With the count at 2-1, Ruth launched a Zachary pitch high into the right-field bleachers, and then took a slow stroll around the bases as the crowd celebrated by tearing paper into confetti and throwing hats into the air. Upon assuming his position in right-field for the ninth inning, those seated in the bleachers waved hankies at the famed slugger; Ruth responded with multiple military salutes.

(via athleticpoetics)

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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"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.

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

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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?

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Aug. 14, 1987 - Mark McGwire sets MLB rookie record with his 39th HR

Mark McGwire's two-run home run in the sixth inning landed in the left-field seats and gave the 23-year-old first baseman sole possession of the mark previously held by Wally Berger of the Boston Braves in 1930 and Frank Robinson of the Cincinnati Reds in 1956. McGwire completed his rookie year with 49 home runs.

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Aug. 7, 2007 - Barry Bonds hit his 756th home run to break the all-time career HR record, held by Hank Aaron

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The pitch came on a 3-2 count, when Barry Bonds hit a 435 foot home run, his 756th, into the right-center field bleachers breaking the all-time career home run record, formerly held by Hank Aaron. The fan who ended up with the ball, 22-year-old Matt Murphy from Queens, New York (and a Mets fan), was promptly protected and escorted away from the mayhem by a group of San Francisco police officers. After Bonds finished his home run trot, a ten-minute delay followed, including a brief video by Aaron congratulating Bonds on breaking the record Aaron had held for 33 years, and expressing the hope that “the achievement of this record will inspire others to chase their own dreams.” Bonds made an impromptu emotional statement on the field, with Willie Mays, his godfather, at his side and thanked his teammates, family and his late father. Bonds sat out the rest of the game and was replaced in left field.

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Aug. 6, 1972 - Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s record for HRs with one team

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Hank Aaron's second homer (#661) of the day was a 10th inning blast which enabled the Atlanta Braves to beat the Cincinnati Reds, 4-3. On February 29, 1972, Aaron signed a three-year deal with the Atlanta Braves that payed him $200,000 per year, making him the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball at the time.

During the strike-shortened season of 1972, Aaron tied and then surpassed Willie Mays for second place on the career home run list. Aaron also knocked in the 2,000th run of his career and hit a home run in the first All-Star game played in Atlanta. As the year came to a close, Aaron broke Stan Musial’s major league record for total bases (6,134). He finished the 1972 season with 673 home runs.

July 20, 1976 - Hank Aaron hit his 755th and final home run

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Hank Aaron hit the home run off of Dick Drago of the California Angels in front of his home crowd at Milwaukee County Stadium. His first career home run occurred over 22 years earlier, on April 23, 1954.

Aaron’s home run record lasted for over 31 years, until Barry Bonds broke it in August of 2007. After breaking the record, Bonds would go on to hit only six more home runs in his career, setting the new record at 762.

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July 18, 1927 - Ty Cobb became the first player in MLB history to collect 4,000 hits

Cobb retired after the 1928 season with 4,191 hits, a record that will stand until Pete Rose breaks it in 1985.

Having played his first 22 seasons with the Detroit Tigers, it is only appropriate that Cobb, now playing his first year with the Philadelphia Athletics, gets his 4,000th hit at Detroit’s Navin Field. Cobb reached the 4,000 hit milestone with a double off former teammate Sam Gibson in the first inning of a 5-3 loss to the Tigers.

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July 14, 1968 - Hank Aaron hit his 500th career home run

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With 499 career home runs under his belt, Atlanta Braves slugger Hank Aaron hit a three-run shot in the third inning off Giants’ pitcher Mike McCormick. Aaron was mobbed at home plate by his teammates and presented with an award by Braves President Bill Bartholomay honoring him as the seventh man in baseball history to hit 500 home runs.

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(via athleticpoetics)

June 23, 2003 - Barry Bonds steals 500th base; he’s the only player to hit 500 HR and steal 500 bases

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Bonds finished his career with 762 HRs and 514 steals.

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June 18, 1975 - Fred Lynn had one of the greatest single player games in MLB; he hit 3 home runs, 10 RBI, and had 16 total bases

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The Boston Red Sox were in Detroit facing the Tigers. It was the third game of a three-game series with Boston already taking the first two games. For whatever reason, Lynn had trouble sleeping on the morning of the 18th. Maybe he had an intuition of things to come, as he was about to embark on a legendary day. In the first inning, Lynn smashed an upper deck home run in right to give the Sox a 3-0 lead. In the next inning, Lynn destroyed a pitch that hit the roof of the upper deck in left center. In the third inning, he hit a triple (just missing another home run by three feet) with two more runs scoring to give the Sox an 11-1 lead. Finally, in the ninth inning, he crushed another upper deck home run in right again to score three runs. By the end of the game, which was won by the Sox, 15-1, Lynn had raised his batting average by 15 points.

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June 8, 2005 - Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach 400 career home runs

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At 29 years, 316 days old, Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to reach 400 career home runs.

That year Rodriguez won his second AL MVP Award in three seasons. He became the fifth player to win an MVP award with two different teams, joining Mickey Cochrane, Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson and Barry Bonds.

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