Thursday, June 5, 2008

This Day in Baseball

Most newspapers will print up a few noteworthy things that happened on This Date in Baseball and on this day, June 5th, the home run gets center stage.

In 1955: Mickey Mantle hit a home run off of Chicago White Sox lefty, Billy Pierce (a key Giant on the 1962 team) that traveled an estimated 550 feet. The ball cleared the left-field upper deck at (the original) Comiskey Park. (Mantle's name popped up yesterday when Yankee shortstop, Derek Jeter, passed him on the all-time hits list for New York Yankees.)

In 1959: Dick "Dr. Strangeglove" Stuart hit the longest home run at Forbes Field. Stuart hit a shot over the center-field wall off Chicago Cub pitcher Glen Hobbie. (1959 was Hobbie's best season in the majors, having won-16 and lost-13, with a 3.69 ERA. Meanwhile, Stuart was legendary in his attempts at fielding his position. He came along before the designated hitter and was among the first in sluggers who's walks-to-strikeouts ratio was embarrassing. Stuart's lifetime BB-301 K's-957.)

1966: Leo "Chico" Cardenas of the Cincinnati Reds hit 4 home runs in a doubleheader. Two in the first game and two in the second game versus the Chicago Cubs. (Chico had his best power numbers that year, hitting 20-HR and driving in 81 runs. In 1971, with the Twins, he hit 18-HR, with 75-RBI. Chico was the 1965 gold glove winner for the National League at the shortstop position. He was one of the slicker fielders who had some pop in his bat, unlike say: Don Kessinger, Bud Harrelson, Gene Alley, Hal Lanier, Dal Maxvill, etc.

1986: San Diego's Steve Garvey was ejected for the first time in his career when he argued a play at home plate. Garvey, the on-deck hitter, protested the last out of a triple play, by the Atlanta Braves. Television replays showed that Bip Roberts (now a broadcaster on Giants' Comcast Network) was indeed safe.

1997: Alex Rodriguez of the Mariners became the first Seattle player to hit for the cycle vs. Detroit.

2001: Colorado pitcher, Mike Hampton hit 2 home runs , 3-RBI and recorded his 8th win as the Rockies defeated Houston 9-4.

Giants are off today. It's travel day to the nation's capital, Washington, DC to face the Nationals for a Friday to Monday series.

Kevin Marquez