Apr. 23, 1954 - Hank Aaron hit the first of his 755 major league home runs

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In 1953 the Milwaukee Braves signed Hank Aaron to a major league contract and gave the slugger a Braves uniform with the number five. On April 13, Aaron made his major league debut and was hitless in five at-bats. On April 15, Aaron collected his first major league hit (a double) and inevitably hit his first major league home run on April 23. Over the next 122 games, Aaron batted .280 with thirteen homers before he suffered a fractured ankle on September 5. He then changed his number to 44, which would turn out to look like a “lucky number” for the slugger. Aaron would hit 44 home runs in four different seasons, and he hit his record-breaking 715th career home run off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing, who coincidentally also wore number 44.

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Apr. 8, 1974 - Hank Aaron hit his 715th home run to break Babe Ruth’s home run record

As the 1974 season began, Hank Aaron's pursuit of the record caused a small controversy. The Atlanta Braves opened the season on the road in Cincinnati with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds. Braves management wanted him to break the record in Atlanta, and were therefore going to have Aaron sit out the first three games of the season. But Baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn ruled that he had to play two games in the first series. He played two out of three, tying Babe Ruth’s record in his very first at bat — on his first swing of the season — off Reds pitcher Jack Billingham, but did not hit another home run in the series.

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Apr. 7, 1993 - 21 years ago, The Sandlot was released in theaters

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FOOOORRREEEEVVVEEEEEEERRRRR!

The Sandlot grossed $4 million in its opening weekend and a further $32 million through ticket sales. Figures for worldwide, VHS and DVD sales are estimated to be at $76 million. Since its release on both VHS and DVD, the film has become a cult favorite.

Do these names ring a bell? Scott “Scotty” Smalls, Benjamin Franklin “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez, Hamilton “Ham” Porter, Michael “Squints” Palledorous, Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan, Kenny DeNunez, Timmy Timmons, Tommy “Repeat” Timmons.

"It isn’t hard to be good from time to time in sports. What’s tough is being good every day." - Willie Mays

All day. Every day.

"When I was coming up, I just wanted to play baseball and I’m doing what I love to do most. How can I feel pressure doing what I love to do?" - Miguel Cabrera

"When I was coming up, I just wanted to play baseball and I’m doing what I love to do most. How can I feel pressure doing what I love to do?" - Miguel Cabrera

Oct. 23, 1993 - Joe Carter’s homerun wins the World Series for the Blue Jays

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Joe Carter of the Toronto Blue Jays hit a game-winning, three-run homer off Mitch Williams of the Philadelphia Phillies, giving Toronto an 8-6 victory in Game 6 of the World Series and a second straight world championship.

Carter became only the second player to end the World Series with a homerun. The first was in 1960, when Bill Mazeroski’s leadoff homer in bottom of the ninth inning in Game 7 gave the Pittsburgh Pirates a 10-9 victory over the New York Yankees.

“I actually dreamed of that moment many times,” Carter says today. “I dreamed of that moment when I was a little kid. I’d be sitting at my father’s garage and daydreaming about that moment. I even wrote it down a few times: ‘My dream is to hit a home run to win the World Series.”

relive the moment

Oct. 21, 1975 - Carlton Fisk homers off foul pole to win game six of the World Series

At 12:34 in the morning, Carlton Fisk of the came to bat at the bottom of the 12th. He cracked Pat Darcy's pitch hard to the left. He stood at the plate, bouncing up and down and flailing at the ball as though he was helping an airplane land on a dark runway. “I was just wishing and hoping,” he said at a ceremony a few years ago. “Maybe, by doing it, you know, you ask something of somebody with a higher power. I like to think that if I didn’t wave, it would have gone foul.” Whether or not the waving was responsible, the ball bounced off of the bright-yellow foul pole above the Green Monster for a home run. Fenway’s organist played the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah while Fisk rounded the bases.

Unfortunately, the Boston Red Sox lost the series 4-3 the next night, on a ninth-inning single to center field. In 2005, to commemorate his amazing homer, the Red Sox officially named the left-field pole after Fisk.

Oct. 20, 2004 - The Red Sox overcome 3-0 deficit to advance to World Series

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Johnny Damon hit two home runs, including a grand slam, and the Boston Red Sox beat the New York Yankees, 10-3.

"We stuck together," Damon said, "and erased history."

“The greatest comeback in baseball history,” Red Sox owner John Henry proclaimed.

“All empires fall sooner or later,” Boston president Larry Lucchino said.

“That’s for the ‘03 team, just like it’s for the ‘78 and the ‘49 team,” Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. “I hope Ted Williams is having a cocktail upstairs.

Oct. 5, 2001 - Barry Bonds hit his 71st and 72nd home runs, sets single season record

In 2001 Barry Bonds broke not only his own personal records but several major league records. In the Giants’ first 50 games in 2001, Bonds hit 28 home runs, including 17 in May—a career high. This early stretch included his 500th home run hit on April 17 against Terry Adams of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also hit 39 home runs by the All-star break (a major league record), drew a major league record 177 walks, and had a .515 on-base average, a feat not seen since Mickey Mantle and Ted Williams over forty years earlier. Bonds’ slugging percentage was a major league record .863 (411 total bases in 476 at-bats), and, most impressively, he ended the season with a major league record 73 home runs. On October 4, he tied the previous record of 70 set by Mark McGwire (which McGwire set in the 162nd game in 1998) by homering off of Wilfredo Rodríguez in the 159th game of the season. He then hit numbers 71 and 72 the following night off of Chan Ho Park. Bonds added his 73rd off of Dennis Springer on October 7. The ball was later sold to toy manufacturer Todd McFarlane for $450,000. McFarlane previously bought Mark McGwire’s 70th home run ball from 1998. Bonds received the Babe Ruth Home Run Award for leading MLB in homers that season.

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

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.

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Sept. 23, 1988 - Jose Canseco became the first player in MLB to join the 40-40 club

Jose Canseco stole his 39th and 40th bases of the year and hit his 41st home run to become the first player in MLB history to join the 40-40 club.

The 40–40 club is the group of batters who have collected 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in a single season. Canseco was the first to achieve this, doing so in 1988 after having predicted the feat in April of that year. The most recent player to reach the milestone is Alfonso Soriano, achieving the feat during the 2006 season.

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

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.

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Sept. 2, 1965 - Ernie Banks 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 will end the season with 28 HRs and 106 RBI.

"When you get that nice celebration coming into the dugout and you’re getting your ass hammered by guys, there’s no better feeling than to have that done." - Matt Stairs
One of those quotes that athletes on team sports can relate to.
Did You Know: Stairs holds the all-time MLB record of home runs hit as a pinch-hitter with 23 

"When you get that nice celebration coming into the dugout and you’re getting your ass hammered by guys, there’s no better feeling than to have that done." - Matt Stairs

One of those quotes that athletes on team sports can relate to.

Did You Know: Stairs holds the all-time MLB record of home runs hit as a pinch-hitter with 23 

Aug. 20, 1938 - Lou Gehrig hits record 23rd, and last, grand slam of his career

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.

Do you think Rodriguez will break Gehrig’s record? Would modern pitchers throw to Gehrig or would they walk in a bases loaded run? What do you think?

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