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This Day in Baseball History
May 20th

37 Fact(s) Found
1878 In a 3-1 National League loss to the White Stockings at Chicago's Lake Front Park, right-hander Jim McCormick of the Indianapolis Blues becomes the first player born in Scotland to appear in a major league game. Next season, as a 23-year-old, the Glasgow native will manage the team, which will move to Cleveland, making him the youngest skipper in the history of the game.
1918 In what will become a precursor of a tragic event, Indian outfielder Tris Speaker is struck on the head by a pitch thrown by Red Sox hurler Carl Mays. The submarine pitcher, who will fatally bean Ray Chapman with a ball in 1920 as a member of the Yankees, denies Speaker's allegation that the pitch was intentional.
1919 Red Sox southpaw Babe Ruth 
hits the first of his 16 career grand slams. The bases-loaded home run proves to be the difference when Boston and the 'Bambino' beat the Browns at Sportsman's Park, 6-4.
1920 The Chicago police, dressed as soldiers and farmers, raid the Wrigley Field bleachers, arresting two dozen Cub fans for gambling. All bets are off when Grover Cleveland Alexander blanks Philadelphia, 6-0.
1925 Tris Speaker, scoring from first base on a single, plates the winning run in the Indians' 10-9 walk-off win over the Yankees. The Tribe scores six times in the bottom of the ninth to accomplish the incredible comeback.
1932 Paul Waner, known as Big Poison to his teammates, strokes four doubles in one game, tying a major league record shared with 11 other players. The 29-year-old future Hall of Fame outfielder's quartet of two-baggers enables the Pirates to beat the Cardinals at Sportsman's Park, 5-0.
1940 Tiger slugger Pinky Higgins hits three consecutive home runs at Briggs Stadium, going deep in the fourth, fifth, and seventh innings. The 31-year-old third baseman's offensive output includes a three-run homer and a pair of two-run round-trippers, accounting for seven of the runs in Detroit's 10-7 victory over the Braves.
1945 Pete Gray leads the St. Louis Browns to a doubleheader sweep of the Yankees, scoring the winning run in the nightcap and collecting three hits in the opener. During the Sportsman's Park twin bill, the one-armed left fielder makes ten putouts in the outfield.

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1947 In a game that features no extra-base knocks, the Pirates defeat the Braves at Forbes Field, 4-3. The teams compile a total of 22 hits, all singles, with Pittsburgh collecting a dozen.
1947 A's catcher Buddy Rosar drops Walt Judnich's pop-up, ending his record-setting errorless game streak at 147 games. The All-Star backstop's perfect fielding included the span of the 117 games he played for Philadelphia last season, handling 605 chances without a miscue during the entire campaign.
1948 In front of only 5,001 fans in Chicago, Joe DiMaggio strokes four extra-base hits for the fourth time in his career when he hits for the cycle for the second time in a 13-2 rout of the White Sox. The 'Yankee Clipper' paces the Bombers' 22-hit attack with two homers, a triple, a double, and a single and drives in six runs.
1951 Philadelphia center fielder Richie Ashburn, who will lead the NL in hits this season, goes 4-for-6 and 4-for-5 during the Phillies' sweep of a twin bill from Pittsburgh. The eight hits that Whitey collects during the Forbes Field's 17-0 and 12-4 victories are all singles.
1953 In just their thirteenth home game of the season, the Milwaukee Braves attendance surpasses the entire total of 281,278 fans attending their 77 contests in Boston last year. The team will set a National League record for attendance when 1,826,397 patrons pass through the turnstiles this season, more than the combined total of the last three years in the Massachusetts capital.

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1958 The Cardinals trade Alvin Dark to the Cubs in exchange for hurler Jim Brosnan. Both players will be productive on their new teams during the remainder of the season, with 'Blackie' hitting .297 in 114 games for Chicago, and the newest Redbird right-hander will compile an 8-4 record for St. Louis.
1959 The Yankees slip into last place when the team drops a 13-6 decision to Detroit in the Bronx. The Bronx Bombers' position in standings marks the first time in 19 years that the club has occupied the basement of the American League.

1962 Ken Hubbs collects eight singles in eight trips to the plate during the Cubs' doubleheader sweep of the Phillies at Connie Mack Stadium. The BBWAA will select Chicago's second baseman as the National League's Rookie of the Year.

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1968 For the second time in his career and the second time in franchise history, Jim Fregosi, with a single in the 11th inning, hits for the cycle in the Angels' 5-4 victory over Boston at Anaheim Stadium. The California shortstop became the first player to accomplish the feat for the club in 1964.
1969 At RFK Stadium, Pilots manager Joe Schultz is ejected for disputing Bernie Allen's fourth inning 'foul' two-run home run that ties the score at 4 in a game his team will eventually lose to Washington, 6-5. According to Jim Bouton's account in his book, Ball Four, the Seattle skipper is tossed after offering his glasses to the plate umpire Ed Runge.
1970 With an eighth-inning run-scoring triple, Rod Carew completes the cycle, becoming the sixth player in franchise history and the first Minnesota Twin player to accomplish the feat. The 24-year-old All-Star second baseman's four hits contribute to the team's 10-5 victory over the Royals at Kansas City's Municipal Stadium.
1976 A shoving match, after a home-plate collision between Lou Piniella and Red Sox catcher Carlton Fisk, escalates into an ugly bench-clearing brawl. Yankee third baseman Graig Nettles and Boston's Bill Lee fight so fiercely that the 'Spaceman' suffers a separation of his left shoulder, significantly affecting his pitching career.

1978 Willie Stargell hits the longest home run in Montreal's Olympic Stadium history, smashing a ball 535 feet into the 300 club deck level in the right field in the team's 6-0 victory over the Expos. The yellow upper deck seat, which replaced the original red one to commemorate the location of the Pirates' first baseman behemoth blast, is now on display at the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.

1979 Don Sutton becomes the franchise’s winningest pitcher when he is credited with the victory, tossing eight innings in the Dodgers' 6-4 victory over the Reds at Riverfront Stadium. The 34-year-old right-hander’s 210th win surpasses the team mark established in 1969 by Don Drysdale.
1983 Phillies southpaw Steve Carlton becomes the second of three major league hurlers this season to surpass Walter Johnson's career strikeout total of 3,508 K's, a record that had survived for 56 years. In April, Nolan Ryan broke the Big Train's mark, and Gaylord Perry will reach the milestone later in the season.

(Ed. Note - Some websites, including the Hall of Fame, ESPN, and Baseball-Reference, differ with the official MLB stats, crediting the Senator legend with 3,509 career strikeouts, with an extra punch out recorded in his rookie season accounting for the difference - LP).

1985 The record-streak of 458 major league games played from the start of the season ends due to inclement weather. Rain postpones the contest between the Brewers and Indians scheduled to take place at Cleveland Stadium.
1987 In a season of streaks, the second-place Brewers end a 12-game losing streak by beating the Chicago White Sox County Stadium, 5-1. The 21-15 Brew Crew had opened the season with 13 consecutive victories.
1991 Jeff Reardon becomes the fourth major leaguer to compile 300 career saves. The 35-year-old right-handed reliever, who finishes with 367 saves, reaches the milestone when he retires the side in order in the ninth inning of the Red Sox' 3-0 victory over Milwaukee at Fenway Park.
1999 In a twin bill sweep of Milwaukee, Mets' third baseman Robin Ventura becomes the first major league player to hit a grand slam in both ends of a doubleheader. The infielder also hit a pair of 'grand salamis' in a game against Texas while playing for the 1995 White Sox.

2000 After being released earlier in the month by the Mets for not hustling, Rickey Henderson, in his first at-bat for the Mariners, hits his record 76th career leadoff home run, a shot off Esteban Yan in the team's 4-3 loss to Tampa Bay at Safeco Field. With the round-tripper, the future Hall of Fame outfielder joins Ted Williams and Willie McCovey as the third major leaguer to have homered in four different decades.
2001 Barry Bonds becomes the thirteenth player in major league history to hit home runs in four consecutive at-bats. The Giants outfielder went yard in his final two at-bats yesterday, and homers in his first two official turns at the plate today.
2004 Cardinals' catcher Mike Matheny handles his 1,295th chance without an error to establish a major league record for backstops. Charles Johnson, playing for Florida, had set the previous mark in 1997.
2006 After barreling over fellow catcher Michael Barrett in a play he considered hard but clean, A.J. Pierzynski is surprised when the Cub backstop shows his displeasure by punching him in the face. The incident ignites a bench-clearing brawl between the Windy City rivals, leading to a 15-minute delay and four ejections during the White Sox' 7-0 victory at U.S. Cellular Field.

2006 After a 29 at-bats homerless drought, Barry Bonds finally catches Babe Ruth with his 714th home run. The historic homer, which ties the designated hitter for second place for career round-trippers, comes during the second inning of an interleague contest against the A's, with the pitch thrown by southpaw Brad Halsey landing in the first deck of the right-center stands of McAfee Coliseum.

2009 After setting a franchise record in the sixth inning with 11 putouts in the outfield, Jacoby Ellsbury ties the big league mark when he catches the final out of the game for #12. The Red Sox center fielder equals the 1929 performance of Braves' outfielder Earl Clark and Lyman Bostock, who also accomplished the feat in 1977 playing for the Twins. (Ed. Note: Opposing center fielder Vernon Wells of the Blue Jays does not record any putouts in the team's loss 8-3 loss to Boston at Fenway Park. -LP)
2010 Trailing the Reds 9-3 starting the bottom of the ninth, Brooks Conrad's pinch-hit grand slam gives the Braves an incredible 10-9 walk-off victory at Turner Field. The seven-run frame's big blow by the 30-year-old journeyman barely clears the fence, with the ball deflecting off Laynce Nix's glove when the left fielder reaches over the top of the wall at the 380-foot sign.

2012 Babe Ruth's circa 1920 jersey sells to an undisclosed buyer for $4,415,658, the most significant amount ever paid for a piece of sports memorabilia, according to auctionreport.com. The woolen uniform top was probably worn by the Babe during his first season with the Yankees after being traded by Red Sox's owner Harry Frazee.
2017 Terry Collins, a 67-year-old baseball lifer, passes Davey Johnson (1984-1990) to become the longest-tenured manager in Mets history, piloting the team for 1,013 games. The oldest skipper in the major leagues sees his charges hang on to a 7-5 victory when Addison Reed strikes out Angel pinch-hitter Danny Espinosa on a 3-2 count with the bases loaded after three runs have scored in the top of the ninth inning at Citi Field.
2018 Cardinals reliever Jordan Hicks equals Aroldis Chapman's mark for the fastest pitch known in baseball history when he throws, a pair of pitches clocked at 105 mph in the team's 5-1 victory over the Phillies at Busch Stadium. The 21-year-old Redbird rookie right-handed reliever had never appeared in a game above Class A before starting the season with St. Louis this year.

37 Fact(s) Found