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Sunday, 1 April 2012

Baseball Player

The first perfect game in baseball history was achieved by John Lee Richmond on June 12, 1880. Before the game against Cleveland on June 12, Worcester Worcesters pitcher Richmond was up all night taking part in college graduation events, and went to bed at 6:30 AM. He caught the 11:30 AM train for Worcester and then pitched a perfect game in the afternoon contest to beat Cleveland, 1–0.

Lee Richmond

Lee Richmond once had a physics professor explain to him that a curveball couldn't exist, and it was only an optical illusion. In response to this, Richmond invited the entire faculty to watch him pitch.

Moses Fleetwood ″Fleet″ Walker (October 7, 1857 – May 11, 1924) is credited with being the first African American to play major league baseball. He made his major league debut on May 1, 1884 for the Toledo Blue Stockings, a club in the American Association. Walker played one season as the catcher of the Toledo Blue Stockings. He then played in the minor leagues until 1889, when professional baseball erected a color barrier that stood for nearly 60 years.

Moses Fleetwood Walker

William Henry "Whoop-La" White was an American baseball pitcher who played all or parts of  ten seasons in Major League Baseball, primarily for the Cincinnati Reds in the National League (1878–1880) and the Cincinnati Red Stockings in the American Association (1882–1886). He holds the records of 75 complete games and 680 innings pitched in one season,

Whoop-La White is also remembered as the first, and for many years only, major league player to wear eyeglasses on the baseball field.

Pitching against the Philadelphia Athletics at the Huntington Avenue Grounds in 1904. Cy Young of the Boston Americans threw the first perfect game in the modern era of baseball.

Elmer Stricklett is considered to have been the first baseball pitcher to master the spitball. He pitched in Major League Baseball for the Chicago White Sox and Brooklyn Superbas from 1904 through 1907. He learned the pitch while pitching in minor league baseball, and taught it to National Baseball Hall of Fame members Ed Walsh and Jack Chesbro.

The first unassisted triple play in major-league baseball was achieved on July 19, 1909 by Neal Ball of the Cleveland Naps when they played the Boston Red Sox. (An unassisted triple play occurs when a defensive player makes all three putouts by himself in one continuous play, without his teammates making any assists).


Cincinnati Reds pitcher Adolfo Luque became the first Latin player to appear in a World Series in 1919. As a blue-eyed, fair-skinned, white Cuban, he was one of several white Cubans to make it in Major League Baseball at a time when non-whites were excluded.

Cleveland shortstop Ray Chapman (January 15, 1891 – August 17, 1920) was hit on the head and fatally wounded by a fastball from Carl Mays of the New York Yankees. He died the next day, becoming the only Major League Baseball player die from an injury received at a MLB game.

Ray Chapman

When Wally Pipp, first baseman of the New York Yankees, asked for a day off due to a headache in 1925, he was replaced in the line-up by Lou Gehrig, who then started the next 2,128 consecutive games.

In 1938 pitchers intentionally walked and pitched around Hank Greenberg as he closed in on Babe Ruth's (at the time) record of 60 home runs in a season, because they didn't want a Jew to break Ruth's record.

Joe Nuxhall became the youngest player ever to appear in a major league game, when he pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Cincinnati Reds on June 10, 1944 at the age of 15 years, 316 days.

Cal Ripken Jr of the Baltimore Orioles surpassed the 56-year-old record when he played in his 2,131st consecutive game on September 6, 1995, against the Califoria Angels in front of a sold-out crowd. Fans later voted his 2,131st game as Major League Baseball's "Most Memorable Moment" in MLB history.  Ripken played in an additional 501 straight games over the next three years, and his streak ended at 2,632 games when he voluntarily removed his name from the lineup for the final Orioles home game of the 1998 season.

Ripken in 1996 at Yankee Stadium

The first players elected to Baseball Hall of Fame were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson & Walter Johnson in 1936.

The mustache that Frenchy Bordagaray grew in 1936 is likely to have been the only mustache worn in Major League Baseball between 1914 and 1972.

Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians threw the only Opening Day no-hitter in the history of Major League Baseball against the Chicago White Sox on April 16, 1940. Feller was assisted by Indians second baseman Ray Mack when he made a diving play to record the final out. The Indians beat the White Sox 1–0.

Cleveland Indians' Bob Feller Dennis Goldstein Collection/

Joe DiMaggio (see below) holds the Major League Baseball record of hitting safely in 56 consecutive games (1941). The day after his 56 game hitting streak ended, DiMaggio embarked on a second streak that lasted 16 games. Had he hit in game #57, he would have had a 73 game hitting streak.

Joe Nuxhall became the youngest player ever to appear in a major-league baseball game at the age of 15 years and 316 days in 1944. He pitched two-thirds of an inning for Cincinnati, giving up five runs on five walks and two hits. Eight years later he came back to the big leagues and stayed for 15 years.

Satchel Paige at age 46 became the oldest pitcher to throw a complete game on August 6,1952.

Yankees pitcher Don Larsen, pitched the first and only perfect game in World Series history during New York Yankees 4 games to 3 victory over the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1956, earning himself MVP honors. It is also the only no-hitter thrown in any post season game.

Jim Gentile of the Baltimore Orioles becames the first player in baseball history in 1961 to hit grand slams in consecutive innings.

On September 8, 1965 in a game against the California Angels, Kansas City’s Bert Campaneris played a different position every inning, becoming the first major-leaguer to play all nine positions in a game. Catching in the 9th, he was injured trying to block the plate from runner Ed Kirkpatrick.

San Francisco Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry, six years after quipping, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run," hit the first and only home run of his career just hours after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.

In 1971 Satchel Paige became the first black League player to be voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The American League used the designated hitter rule for the first time in 1973. Ron Blomberg was the first player to bat as a DH and when Orlando Cepeda signed with the Boston Red Sox, that same year, he was the first player signed by a team specifically to be a designated hitter.

At Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium on April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron hit his 715th career home run to surpass Babe Ruth's 39-year-old record.

During his career, Hammerin' Hank Aaron performed at a consistently high level for an extended period of time. He hit 24 or more home runs every year from 1955 through 1973, and is the only player to hit 30 or more home runs in a season at least fifteen times.

In 1977, the first openly homosexual baseball player, Glenn Burke, ran onto the field to congratulate his Dodgers teammate Dusty Baker after Baker hit his 30th home run in the last game of the regular season. Burke raised his hand over his head as Baker jogged home from third base. Not knowing what to do about the upraised hand, Baker slapped it. They have been credited with inventing the high five.

Hall of Fame baseball player Dave Winfield is the only professional athlete to have been drafted in the first round of the NFL, NBA and MLB.

19-year-old Dwight Gooden set the baseball record for strikeouts in a season by a rookie in 1984 with 277, pitched in 218 innings. He usurped Herb Score's rookie record of 245 in 1955.

In 1986 Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens set a major league record by striking out 20 batters in a nine-inning game against Seattle. That broke Nolan Ryan’s record of 19.

Minnesota Twins pitcher Joe Niekro was suspended for 10 days for possessing a nail file on the pitcher's mound in 1987. Niekro claimed he had been filing his nails in the dugout and put the file in his back pocket when the inning started.

During the 1988 Major League Baseball season, pitcher Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers set the MLB record for consecutive scoreless innings pitched. Over 59 consecutive innings, opposing hitters did not score a run against Hershiser.  The Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher's streak of 59 innings spanned from the sixth inning of an August 30 game against the Montreal Expos to the tenth inning of a September 28 game against the San Diego Padres, not counting eight scoreless innings he pitched to start Game 1 of the 1988 National League Championship Series on October 4.

Hershiser pitching for the Dodgers in 1993.By jimmyack205 - Hershiser Pitching 2, Wikipedia Commons

When Nolan Ryan struck out Rickey Henderson on August 22, 1989, he became the first Major League Baseball pitcher to record 5,000 strikeouts.His 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history by a significant margin.

Earvin "Magic" Johnson Jr. earned about $18 million, excluding endorsements, during his career as point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 1980s. He used the money to launch Magic Johnson Enterprises – a business that grew to be worth in excess of £1 billion. 

The phrase "Manny being Manny" is named after Dominican-American professional baseball outfielder Manny Ramirez (b 1972) because of his frequent quirky behavior. Such instances of this behavior included inducing his Red Sox teammates to drink alcohol which he had spiked with Viagra and wearing Oakley THUMP while playing the outfield.

Mike Greenwell of the Boston Red Sox holds the major league record for the most RBIs that accounted for all of his team's runs. In 1996, he batted in nine runs in a game against the Seattle Mariners.

In 1998 Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa each chased the home run record set previously by Roger Maris in 1961. Both men ended up breaking the record; McGwire with 70 and Sosa with 66.

Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants surpassed Mark McGwire's single-season home run total with his milestone 71st and 72nd home runs on October 5, 2001. He ended the season with 73, which is still the MLB record for most home runs in a single season.

Bonds in 1993

Barry Bonds broke baseball great Hank Aaron’s record by hitting his 756th home run on Father's Day, June 17, 2007. 

Bonds is the lone member of the 500–500 club, which means he hit during his career at least 500 home runs (762) and stolen 500 bases (514). 

Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton has recorded the hardest hit batted ball, with a ground ball with a recorded 123.9-mile-per-hour (199.4 km/h) exit velocity, and the longest distance for a home run, at 504 feet (154 m), 

Cuban-American Aroldis Chapman threw the fastest pitch ever recorded in Major League Baseball on September 24, 2010 for the Cincinnati Reds against the San Diego Padres. The pitch was clocked at 105.1 mph (169.1 km/h), according to PITCHf/x. On July 19, 2016, Chapman matched his previous record of 105.1 mph when he threw a ball to Baltimore's J. J. Hardy.

Chapman pitching for the Cincinnati Reds in 2011

Among pitchers who tossed at least 50 innings in a season, Aroldis Chapman owns the best (52.5 percent, 2014) season in baseball history in terms of strikeout percentage 

President George W. Bush was the first managing general partner of a Major League team (the Texas Rangers) to become President of the United States.

Of the over 18,500 players have played in the major leagues since 1851, over half have come from abroad or one of six states: California, Pennsylvania, New York, Illinois, Ohio and Texas.

A baseball player only needs to spend one day in the major leagues to earn free healthcare for life.

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