Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July 31, 1983: Earnhardt Sr. Wins at Talledega For The First Time

On July 31, 1983, Dale Earnhardt Sr. took the checkered flag for the first time at Talledega Superspeedway in Alabama. It was Earnhardt's tenth attempt at conquering the track. The win in '83 began a streak of domination for The Intimidatior, he won a Sprint Cup series record ten races at the famous track, along with one Nationwide win and 3 wins in the IROC series making him the most successful driver in the history of Talledega. Jeff Gordon has 6 wins at the track and is the closest to Earnhardt's mark of 10, Dale Earnhardt Jr. has 5 wins at the track and is third on the all time list for wins at Talledega.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

July 30, 1973: Bibby Tosses The First No No In Rangers History

On July 30, 1973,  in a 6-0 win over the defending champion A's in Oakland, rookie hurler Jim Bibby tossed the first ever no hitter in the history of the Texas Rangers organization. Bibby was just the 14th rookie to accomplish the feat. His bid for perfection was lost early when he walked Reggie Jackson to lead off the second but that wouldn't stop him from dominating the potent Oakland lineup. Bibby struck out 13 and walked 6 men before he put the no no in the books.The no hitter came one month after Bibby was picked up via trade from the St. Louis Cardinals. After he picked up the historic win Rangers owner Bob Short gave him a $5,000 raise which was pretty phat at the time considering he was making the league minimum  $15,000 before he outdueled Vida Blue in front of more than 21,000 in Oakland. Bibby's numbers over the years were average at best, in '75 he was moved to the Indians for Gaylord Perry then in '78 he signed a deal with the Pirates where he spent his most productive years. He went 50-32 with the Bucco's and was a key component of the 1979 championship season in Pittsburgh.

Here's the box score:

To date only 21 rookies have tossed a no hitter, you can check out the elite list here:

Monday, July 29, 2013

July 29, 1983: Garvey's Iron man Streak Comes To An End

On July 29, 1983, in the first game of a doubleheader against the Braves at Jack Murphy Stadium in San Diego, the National League's Iron Man steak came to an end when Padres first baseman Steve Garvey severely dislocated his thumb in a first inning collision at home plate. The Braves went onto win the game 2-1, however Garvey's injury was the bigger blow to the team. It put him in a cast and when he had to sit out the second game of the doubleheader it put a stop to 1,207 consecutive games played. The streak began on September 3, 1975 when he was a 26 year old up and coming star with the Dodgers, he not only played in every game he established himself as one of the best men in the game. With his first all star appearance coming in 1974, Garvey would get to the mid summer classic for 8 consecutive seasons while he wore the Dodger blue. He left L.A. in the Fall of '82 and joined the Padres where they had high hopes as they added a key piece to the club. He did return to his old form in '84 and led the team all the way to the World Series where they fell to the Tigers. The 1,207 consecutive games played is fourth on the all time list, only Everett Scott, Lou Gehrig, and Cal Ripken Jr. have played in more consecutive games. Each of those players accomplished their streaks in the American League, making  Garvey the National League Iron Man.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

July 28, 1993: Anthony Young Picks Up A Win... Finally

On July 28, 1993, one of the worst streaks in all of baseball came to an end at Shea Stadium in New York when Anthony Young picked up the win with a 5-4 victory over the Marlins. The hard luck hurler pitched in 74 games between April 19, 1992 before finally getting a decision that night at Shea. It appeared he would suffer his 28th loss in a row when he surrendered a ninth inning run that put the Fish up 4-3, then Young's teammates came through for him in the bottom of the ninth. Jeff McKnight led off the bottom half of the inning going for a pinch hit single. After he was moved over to second on a sac bunt, Ryan Thompson took Young off the hook by knocking in McKnight with a single. Two batters later Eddie Murray hit a line drive walk off double to right that brought Thompson into score. He was mobbed by his teammates as his nightmare came to an end, "The guys treated it like I had won a World Series game for them" he was given a bottle of champagne by his skipper Dallas Green  as they celebrated the end to the streak that no player would ever want to be a part of. Young's losing streak had surpassed Cliff Burton's mark of 23 straight losses as  a member of the Boston Braves in 1910 and 1911. During the losing streak Young did convert 12 consecutive saves but was still in search of the elusive win until he finaly picked it up on that night in New York.  

Here's the box score:

Saturday, July 27, 2013

July 27, 1946: York Hits Two Grand Slams In One Game

On July 27, 1946, Rudy York of the Boston Red Sox hit two grand slams in a 13-6 rout over the Browns in St. Louis. York was just the third player to accomplish the feat as he joined Jim Tabor and Tony Lazzeri in an exclusive club. Since that day at Sportsman's Park 10 other men have joined the two grand slam in a game club, no man has yet to hit three. The season York accomplished the feat was his only full season in Beantown. He parked a total of 17 balls over the wall that season and would help lead the club to the World Series. The two slams were not the greatest highlights for York during the '46 campaign. He hit a walk off homer in Game 1 of the World Series. Then hit another decisive long ball in the third game of the series, despite his heroics the Sox lost the the series in 7 games.

Here's the box score:

Friday, July 26, 2013

July 26, 1933, Joe DiMaggio and the 61 Game Hit Streak

On July 26, 1933, a 19 year old kid by the name of Joe DiMaggio had his record setting 61 game hitting streak come to an end as his San Francisco Seals prevailed 4-3 over the Oakland Oaks. The 61 games in a row with a hit came 3 years before he found his way to the major leagues and 8 years before he shattered the Major League record with a 56 consecutive games with a base knock. Joe found his way to the Seals in October of  '32 when his brother Vince talked the manager of the club into letting him fill in at shorstop. The '33 season would be his rookie season and it would be one to be remembered as the kid began his hitting streak on May 27th of that season then would pick up a hit in every game until that day in late July. Joe said "Baseball didn't really get into my blood until I knocked off that first hitting streak. Getting a daily hit became more important to me than eating, drinking, or sleeping." The day it came to an end Joe went  0 for 5, his final attempt at extending the record was a long fly ball in the ninth that scored the winning run from third. The minor league streak shattered the mark of 49 set by Joe Ness in 1914 and it put Joe on the radar of Major League clubs. He quickly became a highly sought after prospect, a freak injury nearly ended his career in 1934 but Joe bounced back from it. The Seals dealt DiMaggio to the Yankees in November of 1934, he spent one more season in California before joining the New York club where he continued to make history.

Here's a great article by PBS about the 61 game hitting streak:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

July 25, 1956: Roberto Clemente Hits An Inside The park Walk Off Grand Slam

On July 25, 1956, in a 9-8 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh, Pirates legend Roberto Clemente hit the only walk off inside-the-park grand slam in the history of Major League Baseball. The Pirates had held a 4-0 lead until the eighth, when the Cubs blew the doors open with a 7 run inning. The Buccos came back with a run in the bottom of the eighth, then the Cubs took that run right back in the top of the ninth. With the score 8-5 heading into the bottom of the ninth it looked like the Cubs just might get the W, until Turl Lown loaded the bases without even getting an out. That led to Jim Brosnan being called into the game to face the always dangerous Clemente. Brosnan threw only one pitch, Clemente lined it into left field and was off to the races.  As he came around third he flew through a stop sign and bolted toward home plate like a man on a mission. It was a mission he would accomplish, as he just beat out an Ernie Banks relay to the dish. As Clemente came sliding in he missed the plate then reached back and got a hand on it before a tag could be applied. The fans at Forbes Field went crazy as they had just witnessed something that not only had never been done before, it has not been done since. It goes to show you should always stay until the last out, you damn well know there were people walking to their cars when they heard the cheers of the walk off winner. While others have hit an inside the park walk off homer, not one of them has been of the grand slam variety. That would have been a great one to witness.

Here's the box score:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

July 24, 1983: George Brett's Head Explodes

On July 24, 1983, at Yankee Stadium in New York, George Brett lost his mind after being tossed from the game becasue he had too much pine tar on his bat. The ejection came after he hit what appeared to be a two run shot ff of Goose Gossage that would have put his Royals up 5-4. Instead, Yankees skipper Billy Martin came running out to the umpire, Tim McCelland, to point out the pine tar that was clearly passed the allowed 18 inches above the handle. McCelland voided the homer and called Brett out, ending the game and giving the Yankees a 4-3 win. What followed was one of the most memorable meltdowns in the history of Major League Baseball as Brett came charging out of the dugout like a man possessed. He nearly ran the ump over while steam was coming from his ears, then his head exploded shocking everyone in attendance. I might of stretched that one just a bit but it was the epic meltdown of epic meltdowns. Billy Martin had been waiting for the moment he needed to use Brett's bat against him and the moment he sent the ball over the wall Martin found that moment and worked it to his advantage. While some might have found issue with the umpire, Martin simply made him enforce a rule. The Royals protested the umpire's decision and four days later it was overturned by the President of the American League, Lee McPhail. The ruling was the bat should have been removed not the player, Brett's home run counted and the game would be restarted at that point on August 18th, the Royals held onto the lead and officially won the contest 5-4.

The piece of artwork was done by Tim Carroll, he used all pine tar to paint it. Check out Tim's page here:

Watch the incident here: Classic.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

July 23, 1996: Kerri Strug Battles Through the Pain

On July 23, 1996, Kerri Strug won the hearts of sports fans all over the United States after performing a nearly flawless final vault to secure the first women's Olympic team Gold Medal in history. What made the performance so memorable was the fact that she had severely sprained her ankle on the first attempt but found the strength to pull off the improbable perfect vault in the second attempt. After the failed attempt left her injured she sucked it up, sprinted down the runway and performed a one and a half twist and landed cleanly before collapsing to the mat in pain. After she was helped up the score 9.712 flashed on the scoreboard which sent the American team into a wild celebration. When the Americans gathered to collect their medals Strug's coach Bela Karolyi had to carry her to the podium. It was a truly powerful moment in the history of American sports as she showed heart and resilience on the way to winning Olympic gold.

You can watch it here:

Monday, July 22, 2013

July 22, 1963: Liston vs Patterson II

On July 22, 1963, Sonny Liston made quick work of Floyd Patterson in Las Vegas to retain the World Heavyweight Title. Liston had taken the title from Patterson in September of '62 with another first round knockout. The second fight was almost a mirror image of the first one as Liston got the job done in 2 minutes and 10 seconds, just 4 seconds slower than the first bout.  As soon the bell rang Liston was on the attack, within a minute Patterson had hit the deck he got up quickly but it didn't last long as Liston was absolutely pummeling him. After Patterson hit the canvas for a second time he sprung to his feet and was knocked back down in the blink of an eye, the fight was over and Liston was still the champ. It was a truly dominant performance.

You can watch it here:

Sunday, July 21, 2013

July 21, 1970: Clay Kirby Gets Pulled During a No No

On July 21, 1970, San Diego Padres hurler Clay Kirby was lifted for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth inning despite the fact he had a no hitter going against the New York Mets. The pinch hitter struck out then Jack Baldschun came into pitch for the Friars and gave up 3 hits and 2 runs in the 3-0 Mets win. The game started a bit rough for Kirby, he walked Tommy Agee to lead off the game then Agee stole second, after a quick out Ken Singleton reached with a walk, then both Agee and Singleton  moved up on a double steal  before Art Shamsky hit a ground ball to second baseman Ron Slocum, who threw him out as Agee scored. The Mets had scored the run without a hit being recorded, from there Kirby found the zone, he walked 3 more men but not one New York hitter was able to pick up a hit against him. Despite the fact that Kirby hadn't allowed a hit, his manager Preston Gomez sent Cito Gaston to hit for him in the bottom of the eighth, Gaston had been nursing an injury but he had some pop in his bat and the skipper thought it gave them an opportunity to win, he was wrong. After the crowd let the skipper know their displeasure Gaston struck out, Baldschun just made matters worse by giving by giving up a hit to the first batter he faced on his way to giving up two runs. The Padres were in just their second year of existence, they were not a very good team as they only won 63 games all season, to this day they are the only team that does not have a no hitter pitched in franchise history. I bet if the ole skipper would have known the history that followed he would have kept Kirby in the game

Here's the box score:

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 20, 1976: 755

On July 20, 1976,  Hammerin Hank Aaron hit the 755th and final home run of his career off of California's Dick Drago in the 7th inning of a 6-2 Brewers win over the Angels in Milwaukee. Aaron broke into the league with the Milwaukee Braves in 1954, his first long ball came on May 23rd of that year, when he took St. Louis' Vic Raschi deep, coincidentally it was Raschi's last game in a Cardinals uniform. Aaron became a model of consistency as he recorded 15 seasons with 30 or more home runs on his way to becoming the all time home run leader. His first 398 home runs came in Milwaukee before the Braves moved in 1966. His next 335 came in Atlanta. On Opening Day in 1974, Aaron blasted the 714th home run of his career to tie Babe Ruth's all time record, 4 days after tying the Babe he surpassed him and became the all time home run leader. The '74 season was his last with the Braves, he had spent more than 20 years in the organization before being traded to the city in which it all started, Milwaukee. Aaron spent the final two years of his career with the Brewers, he hit 22 homers while he was with the Brew Crew with the most important one of them all coming on that July day in Milwaukee. The 755 stood as the all time record until Barry Bonds surpassed it in 2007, in the eyes of many the number 755 and the name Hank Aaron are still #1 on that list.

Here's the box score:

Here is the home run log of Hammerin Hank's Career:

Friday, July 19, 2013

July 19, 1960: Marichal Impresses in His Debut

On July 19, 1960, in a 2-0 win over the Philles at Candlestick Park, future Hall of Famer and San Francisco Giants legend Juan Marichal allowed just one hit and struck out twelve in his major league debut. The young righthander with the distinctive leg kick and delivery won more games than any other pitcher in the 1960's. The Dominican born Marichal won 238 games over the next fourteen seasons in San Fran, only Christy Mathewson and Carl Hubbell have won more games with a Giants uniform on. One of the greatest highlights of his career came in June of '63 when he no hit the Houston 45's. Marichal became a perennial all star as he won 20 or more games 6 times, he also had two seasons in which he won 18 games. Marichal never did win a Cy Young award despite having numbers that would blow just about anyone away, unfortunately for him Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson were just as dominant so he never did take home the hardware.The man that became known as "The Dominican Dandy" left San Francisco in 1973, he won 5 more games with the Boston Red Sox in '74 then retired after a cup of coffee with the Dodgers in '75.  Marichal was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1983.

Here's the box score:

Bob Costas interviews Marichal here:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

July 18, 1987: Mattingly Goes Deep In 8 Straight

On July 18, 1987, Don Mattingly tied a major league record when he blasted a home run to lead off the fourth inning at Arlington Stadium in Texas. The blast was the eighth game in a row that the Yankees first baseman went yard which had only been done by Dale Long of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1956, it has since been matched by Ken Griffey Jr. who did it in 1993. The record tying campaign began on July 8th when Mattingly went deep twice in a 13-4 win over the Twins in New York. From there he kept swingin and the ball kept flyin over the walls. Just two days before the record tying shot Mattingly had his second two run home run game which gave him 10 dingers during the stretch. Long and Griffey only hit eight over their eight game stretch. 41,871 fans packed Arlington Stadium, many were there just to see if Mattingly could tie the record, he didn't disappoint. Juan Guzman served up the historic round tripper that cut Texas' lead down to 2-1, one batter later Claudell Washington took Guzman deep to tie the game up. The Rangers responded with three runs in the fifth then two more in the eighth as they knocked Mattingly's Yankees off 7-2. Even though his team lost the game he had accomplished something that is a rarity in baseball to say the least. The next day Mattingly went 2 for 4 but couldn't get one over the fence to make himself the lone record holder, however he had joined a pretty elite club.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

July 17, 1941: DiMaggio's Streak Comes To an End

On July 17, 1941, one of the most famous streaks in sports came to an end in Cleveland, Ohio, when Joltin Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak was snapped as the Yankee Clipper went 0 for 3 in front of more than 67,000 at Cleveland Municipal Stadium. The streak began with a single and an rbi against the Chicago White Sox on May 15, 1941, he then went on a tear that might not ever be matched. Over the next two months DiMaggio hit .408 with 15 homers and 55 ribbies as he reached base in every single contest until that night in Cleveland. DiMaggio nearly got a hit in the first inning as he scorched one down the third base line that was backhanded by Cleveland's Ken Keltner who rocketed it over to first retiring him for the first time. After drawing a walk in the fourth he got another chance in the seventh but once again he hit it to Keltner who fired it over to first and set down the Yankees star.  Joe's final shot at 57 came in the eighth, he hit a hot shot up the middle that was snagged by Lou Boudreau who stepped on second then threw to first as he turned the double play and ended the record breaking streak that has stood as a record for more than 70 years. The Yankees did win the game 4-3, but it was probably a bittersweet win as the streak was over. Joe's 56th consecutive game with a hit came one day earlier, he went 3 for 4 with a double. Pete Rose's 44 game hitting streak in 1978 is the closest anyone has come to DiMaggio's record. It might never be broken. has a game by game account of the streak, it's really really cool. Here's Game 1 of the streak: after you get done reading the account you can just click on the next one.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

July 16. 1971: Prefontaine Wins on Ifter's Error

On July 16, 1971, at the Pan-Africa-U.S.A. International Track Meet in Durham, North Carolina, American Steve Prefontaine ran his way to victory after an unusual error by Ethiopian Mirus Ifter. Prefonataine and Ifter were in a thrilling battle in the 5,000 meters as they headed into the final two laps of the event when Ifter suddenly sprinted to a 100 meter lead and continued the pace as everyone in attendance at Duke University sat stunned. The the unthinkable happened, as the gun sounded to signal the final lap Ifter thought he won the race and threw his arms up in celebration as Prefontaine ran by him on the first turn. Prefontaine easily won the race while Ifter didn't quite know what had happened.  Ifter did not speak English which added to his confusion, he had never participated in a race that a gun signaled the last lap which led to the error that cost him a victory. It's the equivalent of a stock car driver doing a donut on the infield when he sees the white flag wave, gotta wait for the checkered flag.

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 1980: Johnny Bench Surpasses Yogi

On July 15, 1980, in an 11-7 win over the Expos at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati, Johnny Bench established a new mark for home runs by a catcher when he connected for his 314th round tripper. The Reds catcher surpassed the one and only Yogi Berra. The blast came just two batters after George Foster broke a 4-4 tie with a 3 run home run of his own. Bench added two more runs to the board to cap off a 5 run inning for the Reds. Bench, arguably the best catcher the game of baseball has ever seen would finish his career in 1983 as the all time home run leader at the catcher position. He went yard a total of 327 times while he was the starting catcher and parked another 62 balls over the wall while starting at different positions. The 14 time All Star and 2 Time World Series Champ was not only known for the pop in his bat he also won 10 Gold Gloves on his way to establishing himself as one of the best to ever play the game.

Here's the box score:

Only Carlton Fisk and Mike Piazza have hit more home runs from the catcher position, here's a list of the all time leaders for dingers by a catcher:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14, 1966: Jim Brown Stuns The World By Announcing He Is Retiring

On July 14, 1966, Jim Brown announced that he would be retiring from the Cleveland Browns to pursue an acting career. Brown had broke into the league in 1957 and quickly became one of the greatest running backs the game had ever seen. He led the league in rushing in every season he played in besides the '62 campaign, that season he ranked fourth among all running backs. The 3 time League MVP made it to the Pro Bowl every single year he was a part of the NFL and he also won a Championship in 1964. Brown caught the acting bug before the '64 season, he played a Buffalo Soldier in a movie called Rios Conchos, it wasn't a hit by any means but he had found something that would eventually steer him away from the gridiron and toward the silver screen. Brown's dominance continued on the field in '64 and '65 then he found a role in a film called the  Dirty Dozen that was set to be filmed in London. Delays in production meant that it would interfere with training camp and Browns owner Art Modell wasn't having it. He let his star running back know if he wasn't in camp that he would be fined $1,500 for every week he missed, Brown let Modell know that he would be retiring instead of paying any fine that the owner thought was necessary. It was a shocking announcement for all fans of the NFL especially for those in Cleveland. When Brown left the game, he held records for most rushing yards in a game, a season and a career. He also owned the record for all purpose yards in a career and the best average per carry with 5.22, that is a record that still stands today. Brown would go onto star in a variety of films and television shows, he never did step on the field as a player again. It's quite the way to end a Hall of Fame career. I guess if it made him happy more power to him, but I can't help but wonder how many more yards he would have added to his career totals. Brown currently sits 9th on the all time rushing list.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

July 13, 1934: The Bambino Hits 700

On July 13, 1934, Babe Ruth reached 700 home runs with a 2 run shot off of Tommy Bridges in the third inning at Navin Field in Detroit. The big blast helped lead the Yankees to a 4-2 victory over the Tigers. The Bambino's homer gave the Yankees an early 2-0 lead that they would not relinquish. After Detroit cut the lead in half in the bottom of the third both starting pitchers would not let a run cross the plate until the eighth when Bridges got into a bit of  mess that Bill Dickey helped clean up for the Yankees. Dickey knocked in two runs with a double to give the New Yorkers a little breathing room. The Tigers came back with a run in the bottom of the eighth then their bats went silent as Ruth and the Yankees celebrated a milestone and a win. It was the 14th home run of the year for Ruth, he hit 8 more to finish with 22 bombs on the season. He hit his last 6 dingers as a member of the Boston Braves in 1935. Ruth hit 714 home runs in his storied career, his first came on May 6, 1915, his last three came on May 25, 1935. The 714 home runs stood as the all time record until Hammerin Hank Aaron hit his 715th in 1974.

Here's the box score:

Friday, July 12, 2013

July 12, 1955: Stan The Man Leads The National League To Victory With a 12th Inning Blast

On July 12, 1955, Stan The Man Musial led the National League to a 6-5 victory with a walk off home run in the 12th inning at Milwaukee County Stadium. Musial's shot was a record breaker, he came into the game tied with Ted Williams and Ralph Kiner with three long balls in the Mid Summer Classic, his fourth homer was an instant classic as it won the game for the National League. The game was a true battle, the American League scored 4 in the first then another in the sixth to give them a 5-0 advantage, the National League fought back with runs of their own in the seventh and eighth to tie the ball game up at 5. When Musial stepped into the box to lead off the twelfth inning the American league backstop Yogi Berra said to him "My feet are killing me" Musial shot back "Relax, I'll have you home in a minute" and he wasn't kidding. Stan jumped on the next pitch and sent the American Leaguers packing. Musial holds several All Star records, he made 24 appearances in the game which has only been matched by the great Willie Mays, he has the most total bases in the history of the game with 40 which is another record he shares with Mays, he is the only player to hit 6 home runs in the contest with his fifth coming in 1956, before his final all star long ball in 1960.

The 1955 game winner was voted the top moment in All Star game history in 2011:

The artwork was done by Bruce Kay, it can be found at Fine Art America:

Thursday, July 11, 2013

July 11, 1985: The Ryan Express Reaches 4,000 K's

On July 11, 1985, at the Astrodome in Houston, Nolan Ryan became the first player in the history of Major League Baseball to strike out 4,000 men as his Astros beat the New York Mets 4-3 in 12 innings.  Ryan came into the game 7 strikeouts away from the historic milestone and would reach it in the top of the sixth inning when he set Danny Heep down with a strikeout, a two minute standing ovation by fans and teammates acknowledged what The Ryan Express had just accomplished. Ryan's day on the mound came to an end in the 7th he left the contest with the score knotted at 3, he had struck out 11 men on the day. Ryan's first strikeout came on September 11, 1966, he fanned Atlanta's Pat Jarvis to begin a long run of frustrating batters. Only 3 other men have reached the 4,000 plateau. Ryan is the only man to reach the 5,000 strikeout mark which he did in August of 1989. He finished his career with an eye popping 5,714 strikeouts, Randy Johnson sits behind him on the All Time K list with 4,785.

Here's the box score:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

July 10, 1999: Brandi Chastain's Penalty Kick Wins It For The United States

On July 10, 1999, more than 90,000 fans packed the Rose Bowl in Pasadena to watch the United States take on China for the Women's Wold Cup. It was a classic match that was tied after 120 minutes of regulation and overtime play, leading to a shootout that will never be forgotten. After both teams put the ball in the back of the net 4 times, the weight of the world was on Brandi Chastain's shoulders as she was a kick away from bringing the United States a World Cup championship. Chastain launched a shot into the upper right hand corner of the goal to win it for the United States. As soon as the ball hit the netting Chastain ripped her jersey off and fell to her knees as she was overwhelmed with pure joy before her teammates mobbed her. It truly was a great moment in sports.

Watch the goal and listen to Chastain reflect on it here:

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 9, 1968: The National League Outduel The American League In Houston

On July 9, 1968, a number of firsts happened at the All Star game at Astrodome in Houston, Texas. It was the first 1-0 decision, the first time the game was played indoors, and the first time it was played on an artificial turf. The only run of the game came in the first, the inning began with a single by Willie Mays off of Luis Tiant. After a pickoff attempt got passed Harmon Killebrew, Mays trotted into second on the error, then Tiant's day got worse as he threw a ball four wild pitch over the head of Curt Flood which moved Mays to third and put another duck on the pond. Tiant was able to induce Willie McCovey into a double play that eliminated Flood and himself, but Mays would score and unbeknownst to him it would be the only run of the contest. The game was a combined  pitching duel by both teams. After Jim Fregosi of the Angels began the game with a leadoff double, 20 straight American League hitters went down in order as Don Drysdale, Juan Marichal, Steve Carlton baffled batter after batter. The American Leaguers only managed two more hits, both of them were doubles off of Tom Seaver, both times their rally ended with strikeouts. Ron Reed and Jerry Koosman pitched a perfect ninth inning to secure the National League win. The six National League hurlers struck out 11 men, with five of those strikeouts coming from Tom Seaver.  The American League pitchers did a pretty decent job of their own after Luis Tiant gave up the first inning run, they struck out nine but couldn't get any run support to give them a shot at victory. Willie Mays was named the MVP of the contest which might not have happened if it wasn't for an injury to Pete Rose that led to Mays getting the starting nod. While most All Star games feature a plethora of offense, this one featured some of the finest pitching an All Star game had ever seen.

Here'as the box score:

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 1941: Ted Williams Wins The All Star Game With a Walkoff

On July 8, 1941, Ted Williams led the American League to victory in the All Star game with a two out three run home run to give his squad a dramatic 7-5 victory at Briggs Stadium in Detroit. The National League looked to have control as Pittsburgh's shortstop Arky Vaughn blasted two home runs that helped them carry a 5-2 lead as they headed into the eighth inning. The A.L. got a run back in the eighth when Dom Dimaggio knocked his older brother Joe in to cut the lead down to two. The fateful bottom of the ninth started with a quick out, from there things didn't go the direction of the National Leaguers. A walk and two singles later the bases were jammed and the American League had their backs against the fences. Joe Dimaggio stepped to the plate with hopes of keeping the rally going when he hit in what looked like a sure double play that would have ended the game, the ball was mishandled by Brooklyn's Billy Herman as he made a wide throw to first that ended up giving Dimaggio a rbi and kept the game alive for the one and only Splendid Splinter Ted Williams. Williams ran the count to 2-1 before he pounced on the pitch that would win it. It was a shot to deep right that he immediately knew had just won the ballgame as he rounded first he had a little skip in his step and was clapping his hands as he rounded the first base bag. It was a heartbreaker for the National League, however it added another chapter to the legendary career of Ted Williams who was one of the greatest to ever play the game.

Watch the historic shot here;

Here's the box score:

Sunday, July 7, 2013

July 7, 1973: Bille Jean King Defeats Chis Evert For Another Wimbledon Title

On July 7, 1973, Billie Jean King beat Chris Evert in straight sets to take home the Wimbledon singles title for the eighth time in five years. King was a seasoned 30 year old veteran at that point while her opponent was an up and coming 18 year old kid who had a very bright future ahead of her. King's dominance at Wimbledon began with three consecutive singles titles from 1966 to 1968 then would take the title in '72 before the '73 victory over Evert and then again in 1975. Wimbledon was a special place for King, it was a place she dreamed of playing at while growing up. Then would not only realize her dream she would win a record 20 career titles at tennis' most famous court, six singles, ten doubles, and four mixed doubles. Evert would have her own success at Wimbledon after the '73 defeat she came back in '74 and took the title, she would win it two more before it was all said and done. King won her final singles title at Wimbledon in 1975, her career at that court alone helped make her a legend in the world of sports.

Watch the match here:

Saturday, July 6, 2013

July 6 1933: The First Ever MLB All Star Game

On July 6, 1933, the first ever Major League Baseball All Star game was played at Comiskey Park in Chicago and Babe Ruth stole the show. The game was billed as "The Game of the Century" as the greatest collection of baseball talent was together to play on one field. The American League took an early 1-0 lead after pitcher Lefty Gomez knocked in Jimmie Dykes in the second inning. The Sultan of Swat increased the lead to 3-0  in the third with a line drive two run shot off of St. Louis' Wild Bill Callahan, everyone in the park knew it was gone the moment it came off the bat. The only runs the National League could muster came in the sixth, after Pepper Martin knocked in a run on a sacrifice. Frankie Frisch parked one over the wall to narrow the score to 3-2. Earl Averill picked up an rbi single in the sixth for the American League which would prove to be the final run of the contest as Lefty Grove shut the door on the National League with three shutout innings to secure the 4-2 win. The Great Bambino not only helped lead his team to victory with his bat, he also helped with his glove, in the eighth Ruth made a spectacular catch after Chick Hafey smoked one to right that would have surely scored Franke Frisch from first. 47,595 souls witnessed this historic game in Chicago, the game was thought up by a sportswriter by the name of Arch Ward who had worked for the Chicago Tribune, he might not of knew it then but it was an idea that would land him a spot in the history of the great sport of baseball.

Check out the box score:

Friday, July 5, 2013

July 5 1947: Doby Makes His Debut

On July 5, 1947, Larry Doby became the first African American to play in the American League when he came into pinch hit for the Cleveland Indians in the seventh inning of a game against the White Sox at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The 23 year old was just the second African American to break Major League Baseball's color barrier as he followed Jackie Robinson into the sport that was in a time of change. That July 5th was a whirlwind day for Doby, after inking his deal with the Indians, the owner of the club Bill Veeck personally drove him to Comiskey Park. His debut at the dish wasn't what he had hoped for as he was called into pinch hit for pitcher Bryan Stephens in the seventh inning with one out and runners on first and third, Doby worked the count to 2-2 before striking out. While it might not have been the perfect way to start a career in the big leagues, it was another step forward for Major League Baseball and good times were on the way. The young centerfielder only made 29 appearances in '47 and hit just .156 before the campaign came to an end. His first full season in the league came in '48 and he showed the people of Cleveland why he was there by batting .301 with 14 homers as he helped lead the club to a World Series Championship. Doby only got better, he made the first of 7 consecutive all star appearances in '49 and would lead the league twice in home runs in '52 and '54. While Doby's debut in Major League Baseball was not as widely publicized as Jackie Robinson's, it was just as important as he helped baseball take another step forward. In 1978, Doby became just the second African American to manage a big league club after Bill Veeck hired him to manage the White Sox, his career as a manager was short lived but it was another example of times that were changing and he was a part of that change. In 1998, a special veterans committee elected Doby to the Baseball Hall of Fame where he will forever be immortalized as not only one of the greatest players to step on the field but as a pioneer who helped the sport move forward.

Check out Doby's career numbers and his accomplishments  here:

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4, 1984: The King Records His 200th and Final Win of His Career

On July 4, 1984, "The King" Richard Petty added the 200th and final win of his career to his resume as he drove to victory lane at the Firecracker 400 at Daytona. More than 80,000 witnessed the historic victory by Petty who had sat behind the wheel of a stock car since 1959 when he was named NASCAR's rookie of the year, from there he developed into one of the most dominant drivers the sport has ever seen. He won the points championship a record seven times as he called victory lane his second home for more than 30 years. Petty always considered the July race at Daytona just another race, as the Daytona 500 was "the race", however, that July race in 1984 was more than just another race. With the President of the United States Ronald Reagan in attendance "The King" would ride to victory one last time, he would later say that winning in his last race in front of the President was his best memory at Daytona. Richard Petty's career came to an end after the 1992 season, he not only won the 200 races he finished in the top ten more than 700 times on his way to becoming a true legend in the sport of NASCAR. In 1992, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom only 20 other men from the world of sports have been bestowed that honor.

Happy 4th of July everyone, be safe and enjoy.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 3, 1912: Rube Marquard Wins His 19th Consecutive Game

On July 3, 1912, in a battle of lefties at the Polo Grounds in New York, Rube Marquard set a modern day record as he picked up his 19th consecutive win of the season as his Giants beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 2-1. To date no other pitcher has recorded more consecutive wins in a single season. The road to 19-0 was due in large part to great run support as the Giants averaged nearly 7 runs per game in the 18 starts before he picked up his record setting 19th win. Things tightened up a bit in June for the hurler, after the team scored 3 runs or more in his first twelve starts the bats cooled off. Four of his last six wins were by one run and the Giants won the fifth by two. The 19th consecutive win did not come easy, Marquard gave up nine hits and the Dodgers had baserunners in every inning except one. Marquard worked his way out of jam after jam as he frustrated the Brooklyn squad who could only scratch a run across as they left 14 men stranded on the basepaths, twice they had the bases loaded but just couldn't get the job done when it counted. The opposing pitcher Nap Rucker was much sharper than his counterpart as he only gave up four hits but still surrendered two runs, it would be all that Marquard would need to make history. The streak would come to an end on July 8th as he lost to the Cubs, however his record has stood the test of time. Marquard and the Giants would go onto meet the Boston Red Sox in the 1912 World Series, despite two complete game wins by Marquard the Giants lost the series in a classic 7 game battle.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July 2, 1921: Dempsey vs. Carpentier

On July 2, 1921, more than 90,000 people packed into Boyle's Thirty Acres in New Jersey to watch American Jack Dempsey defend his title against Frenchman George Carpentier in what was billed as "The Fight of the Century", it would hardly live up to the billing as most experts believed Dempsey would dominate and they were right. From the second the match started Dempsey was on the offensive, he worked the body of his opponent at every opportunity to take away Carpentier's strength which was more of a long range style of fighting. Dempsey who was known as "The Manassa Mauler" absolutely mauled his opponent as the fight continued until the fourth round when he finally put him away. Just one minute and sixteen seconds into the fourth Dempsey rocked Carpentier with a combo that sent him crashing to the canvas, he would regain his footing at the count of nine, he looked like he was ready to continue but that would only last a couple seconds. Carpentier hardly had a chance as Dempsey came at him with a hard right to the ribs, then a crushing right hook to the jaw, Carpentier hit the canvas once again, at the count of eight he made a feeble attempt at getting off the mat but just couldn't do it. Dempsey would retain the title he had held since July 4th of 1919. The match produced a number of firsts, it was the first to feature a legitimate European challenger, the first to be nationally broadcast on radio, and the first to bring in more than 1 million dollars at the gate. Dempsey held the title until 1926 when he lost to Gene Tunney.

Monday, July 1, 2013

July 1, 1990: Andy Hawkins Tosses A No No But Still Takes A Loss

On July 1, 1990, Andy Hawkins of the New York Yankees no hit the White Sox at Comiskey Park but still lost the game. Hawkins was a victim of brutal defense that led to 4-0 win for the Sox. The defensive meltdown by the Yankees started in the eighth, with two outs Sammy Sosa hit a grounder down the third base line that was mishandled by Mike Blowers. Hawkins walked the next two batters  to load'em up, then Robin Ventura lifted a lazy fly ball into left that looked like a rally killer, not quite. Jim Leyritz misjudged the ball and it went off his glove, from there the wheels fell off the bus as the three baserunners came flying around to score. Hawkins' pain wasn't over just yet, another lazy fly ball came back to haunt him, this time it was a shot to right by Ivan Calderon that Jesse Barfield dropped, it brought Ventura into score. Scott Radinsky set down the side in order in the top of ninth to secure the W for the White Sox, while Hawkins sat in the Yankees dugout shellshocked by what had happened. A year later, Major League Baseball took away Hawkins' no hitter as they had redefined as an official no hitter as "one in which a pitcher or pitchers complete a game of nine innings or more without allowing a hit, so not once but twice did Hawkins lose the no no. Heartbreaker.

Check out the box score: