"Baseball is a game, yes. It is also a business. But what it most truly is, is disguised combat. For all its gentility, its almost leisurely pace, baseball is violence under wraps." - Willie Mays

More than a game.

Sept. 29, 1954 - Willie Mays of the Giants made his famous over the shoulder catch

The Catch refers to a memorable defensive baseball play by Willie Mays during Game 1 of the 1954 World Series between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians at the Polo Grounds in New York on a ball hit by Vic Wertz.

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Sept. 21, 1986 - Jets beat Dolphins, 51-45, with Ken O’Brien and Dan Marino setting an NFL record of 884 passing yards

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The two quarterbacks put on a legendary offensive performance as they set NFL single game records of 884 net passing yards and ten touchdown passes, records that still stand to this day. Dan Marino completed 30 of 50 passes for 448 yards and six touchdown passes. Ken O’Brien threw for 479 yards and four touchdown passes all to wide receiver Wesley Walker, including one with no time left on the clock to force overtime. A game that saw record setting performances from two quarterbacks fittingly ended with a long pass. The New York Jets completed the comeback with a 51-45 victory in overtime. To this day, it is the highest scoring game between the teams (96 total points).

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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.

"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 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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"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

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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. 10, 1934 - Babe Ruth announced his retirement

"I’m definitely through as a regular player at the end of this season." - Babe Ruth

In 1934, Ruth had his last complete season. By this time, years of high living were starting to catch up with him. His conditioning had deteriorated to the point that he could no longer field or run. Nonetheless, he could still handle a bat, recording a .288 batting average with 22 home runs. On September 30, 1934, in what turned out to be his last game at Yankee Stadium, Ruth went 0 for 3 in front of only about 2,500 fans. By this time, he had reached a personal milestone of 708 home runs and was ready to retire. Sure enough, his career as a New York Yankee was over. Ruth did play part of the 1935 season with the Boston Braves.

I knew I’d have a shot, have a chance. And when that chance came I’d make the most of it.” - Victor Cruz
All you need is one chance.

I knew I’d have a shot, have a chance. And when that chance came I’d make the most of it.” - Victor Cruz

All you need is one chance.

#‎MotivationalMondays‬

No matter what hat you wear, tip it to The Captain.

#‎RE2PECT‬

"When we lost, I couldn’t sleep at night. When we win, I can’t sleep at night. But, when you win, you wake up feeling better." - Joe Torre

Winning makes everything feel better.

July 2, 1941 - Joe DiMaggio hits in 45th consecutive game

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"Baseball didn’t really get into my blood until I knocked off that hitting streak. Getting a daily hit became more important to me than eating, drinking or sleeping," said Joe DiMaggio while continuing this hitting streak until he reached 56 straight games (May 15 – July 16, 1941), a record that still stands.

On the first day of July 1941, Joe DiMaggio tied the 43-year-old record of "Wee" Willie Keeler by hitting safely in both games of a doubleheader against the Red Sox. Joltin’ Joe had at least one one hit in 44 straight games.

On July 2, the Yankees again faced the Red Sox. Joe DiMaggio was intent on getting a hit in his 45th straight game and setting a new major league record at Yankee Stadium. In his third at bat, with two teammates on bases, hungering for a hit, Joe belted the ball into the seats for what would be one of the 30 home runs he would hit that historic 1941 season. He had the record, and it had come against arch-rival Boston.

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