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This Day in Baseball History
May 17th

35 Fact(s) Found
1893 Phillies outfielder Billy Hamilton becomes the first player to have hit both a leadoff and walk-off home run in the same game when he blasts a two-run round-tripper off Al Maul, giving the team an 11-9 victory over Washington at the Philadelphia Baseball Grounds. The 27 year-old future Hall of Famer's performance will not be duplicated again until Vic Power accomplishes the rare feat for the A's in 1957.

Amazon Sliding Billy Hamilton: The Life and Times of
Baseball's First Great Leadoff Hitter

1903 Due to Sunday restrictions in Cleveland, a major league game is played in Columbus, Ohio with the 'hometown' Indians defeating the New York Highlanders, 9-2. Neil Park, the home field of several minor league teams, will host four big league contests, including two Tigers game against the Red Sox in 1905 due to the opening of the Grand Circuit Trotting Meet in Detroit.
1906 At Philadelphia's Columbia Park, Rube Waddell's no-hitter is broken up by Ty Cobb. The Georgia Peach spoils the southpaw's no-no with a bunt single in the Tigers' 5-0 loss to the A's.
1925 In a 2-1 loss to the Senators, Indians' outfielder Tris Speaker singles off pitcher Tom Zachary to collect his career 3000th hit. 'The Grey Eagle' becomes the fifth major leaguer to reach the milestone, joining Cap Anson (1897), Honus Wagner (1914), Nap Lajoie (1914), and Ty Cobb (1921).
1939 In the first-ever televised baseball game, Princeton beats Columbia, 2-1, at Columbia's Baker Field. W2XBS, an experimental station in New York City, airs the telecast.
1941 A sold-out crowd, including representatives from each of the other 15 major league clubs, attends Connie Mack Day in Philadelphia to honor the 78 year-old president-manager of the A's. The celebration includes the renaming of the team's home field from Shibe Park to Connie Mack Stadium, a change that doesn't officially take hold until 1953.
1945 Every game on the American League schedule is rained out for the fourth consecutive day. The cry of 'play ball' will not be heard today in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, and Cleveland as the White Sox, Browns, Tigers, and Indians call off their games, respectively, with the Yankees, Red Sox, A's, and Senators.
1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, "Stick in there. You're doing fine. Keep your chin up." Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his "diamond hero" is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates' first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
1956 Due to his slow start in his sophomore season, the Cardinals trade Bill Virdon, last year's Rookie of the Year, to the Pirates in exchange for Bobby Del Greco and Dick Littlefield. The 25 year-old outfielder will finish the season hitting .334 in 133 games for the Bucs and will play a vital role in the team's World Championship in 1960.
1961 Roger Maris, en route to his record-breaking season of 61 home runs, hit his first round-tripper of the year at Yankee Stadium. The eighth inning homer off Pete Burnside, his fourth overall, doesn't help when the Senators beat the Bronx Bombers, 8-7.
1963 At Colt Stadium, Don Nottebart throws the first no-hitter in franchise history when the Colt .45's beat the Phillies, 4-1. The no-no comes in the 197th game since the team's inception last season.

Courtesy of The Deadball Era

1970 At Crosley Field, Braves' outfielder Hank Aaron collects his 3000th hit when he scratches an infield single off of Reds' pitcher Wayne Simpson. 'Hammering Hank' becomes the ninth player in major league history, and the first with 500 home runs, to reach this milestone.

1971 After being released by the Twins and Braves earlier in the season, Luis Tiant signs as a free agent with the Red Sox, beginning a love affair with the fans in Boston. 'El Tiante' will struggle, winning just one of eight decisions for the team this year, but during his eight-year tenure with the BoSox, the Cuban right-hander will compile a 122-88 (.601) record, including three seasons with 20 or more victories.
1971 Tom McCraw hits perhaps the shortest home run in baseball history. The 140-foot round-tripper is the result of three Indians colliding trying to catch the ball, a short pop fly to left center near second base.
1971 With his walk-off homer, Ralph Garr ties a major league record for the most round-trippers in extra innings when he goes deep in the 10th and 12th frames in the Braves' 4-3 victory over New York. The Atlanta left-fielder called the 'Road Runner' by his teammates, is the fourth player to accomplish the feat and the first to do so since 1966, when Art Shamsky went yard in the 10th and 11th in a losing cause for the Reds at Crosley Field.
1973 At Anaheim Stadium, a horrific injury dampens Bobby Valentine's promising major league career when his spikes get caught in the outfield's chain link fence attempting to catch a home run ball hit by Dick Green. The 23 year-old speedster, who had started the season hitting .400 in April, suffers a multiple compound leg fracture and will miss the rest of the season, eventually finishing his playing days as a utility player with the Padres, Mets, and Mariners.
1977 At Wrigley Field, the Cubs tie a franchise record, hitting seven home runs during a 23-7 pounding of the Padres. Larry Biittner goes deep twice, with Dave Rosello, Gene Clines, Bobby Murcer, Jerry Morales, and Steve Ontiveros also clearing the ivy.
1978 Pinch-hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at-bats as a pinch hitter.
1979 The Phillies beat the Cubs in a fifty-hit slugfest in the Windy City, 23-22. The 11 home runs hit in the game tie a major league mark, established by Chicago and their opponents playing in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field in both 1967 (Reds) and 1977 (Mets).
1984 Padres second baseman Alan Wiggins ties a National League record by stealing five bases in one game in the team's 5-4 victory over Montreal at Jack Murphy Stadium. Dan McGann (1904), Davey Lopes (1974), and Lonnie Smith (1982) also accomplished the feat in the Senior Circuit.
1985 The Rangers fire skipper Doug Rader and replace him with the Mets' third base coach Bobby Valentine. Before returning to New York in 1996 to manage his former team, 'Bobby V' will compile a 581-605 record (.490) during his eight seasons in Texas.
1992 Using only 21 dates, the Blue Jays reach the one-million mark in attendance sooner than any team in major league history. The 1991 Blue Jays and the 1981 Dodgers shared the previous record.
1993 Mariners' third baseman Mike Blowers becomes the 13th player in major league history to hit grand slams in consecutive games. The fourth inning bases-full round-tripper off Craig Lefferts contributes to Seattle's 16-9 victory over Texas at Arlington Stadium.
1996 Trailing the Mariners, 13-10 in the bottom of the ninth at Camden Yards, Chris Hoiles gives the Orioles an incredible comeback victory with a walk-off grand slam. The decisive home run comes with two outs off Norm Charlton.

1998 In front of nearly 50,000 fans on Beanie Baby Day at Yankee Stadium, David Wells retires all 27 batters he faces, defeating the Twins, 4-0. It is only the 13th perfect game in modern major league history.
2002 After the Twins score three times in the top of the 14th at Yankee Stadium to take a 13-10 lead, Jason Giambi hits a one-out grand slam off reliever Mike Trombley to give the Bronx Bombers a one-run victory. The dramatic home run becomes a signature at-bat for the newly acquired slugger, who until now had not been warmly accepted by the New York fans.
2002 At Bank One Ballpark, Erubiel Durazo drives in nine runs with three homers and a double. The Diamondbacks first baseman's offensive output helps Arizona beat Philadelphia 12-9.
2003 The Rays tie a major league record when the team does not record a single assist in their 2-0 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards. The Tampa Bay pitchers whiff nine Baltimore batters and collect the other 15 outs on balls hit in the air during their eight innings in the field.
2005 With the first ten pitches he throws in the major leagues, 22 year-old Ervin Santana allows a collective cycle to the first four Indian batters he faces: a triple by Grady Sizemore, a double by Coco Crisp, a single by Travis Hafner, followed by a home run blasted by Ben Broussard. The Angels' prized rookie right-hander will redeem himself by recording a five-hit shutout in his second major league start, beating the White Sox, 4-0.
2007 Shea Stadium, home of the New York Mets, becomes a huge recording studio as Sesame Street's Bob McGrath along with a chorus of 15,000 school children sing an uplifting song to Ronald Sterling, a seven year-old with the immune deficiency disorder Wiskott-Aldrich Syndrome. The non-profit group, Songs of Love Foundation, which creates personalized songs for sick children throughout the country, arranged for the '...You're a Grand Slam' tune to be sung and recorded at the ballpark, with the baseball-loving youngster listening on the phone.

2008 With San Francisco's 3-1 interleague loss to the White Sox, Barry Zito becomes the first Giants' hurler in 98 years to start a season with eight consecutive losses. Jesse Burkett opened the 1890 campaign without a victory, also losing eight straight decisions.
2009 Pudge Rodriguez hit his 300th career home run, a fourth-inning shot off of Chicago's Rich Harden, in the Astros' 6-5 win at Wrigley Field. The perennial All-Star catcher will finish his 21-year major league career with 311 round-trippers.
2012 Yan Gomes becomes the first Brazilian to appear in a big league game when he plays third base in the Blue Jays' 4-1 victory over the Yankees at the Rogers Centre. The 24 year-old Sao Paulo native enjoys a 2-for-3 day at the plate in his big league debut.
2015 The Marlins fire manager Mike Redmond (155-207), who had his contract extended through 2017 before the final game of last season as a reward for Miami improving by 15 victories during his second year at the helm. After seeing his team get off to a disappointing 16-22 start, the 44 year-old skipper will be replaced by the team's general manager Dan Jennings, who has never played in the majors and has never managed at any professional level.
2016 The Braves fire manager Fredi Gonzalez after team gets off to a 9-28 start, a game worse than the first 37 games played by 1962 Mets, historically considered one of the worst teams in baseball history. During the departed skipper's first three seasons in Atlanta, the club won 279 games from 2011 to 2013, the best record in the National League during that span.

35 Fact(s) Found