TODAY IN BASEBALL courtesy of National Pastime
1968 – Hank Aaron hits home run #500 off Mike McCormick, becoming the eighth major leaguer to reach this milestone. ‘Hammerin’ Hank’s three-run homer over the left center field fence proves to be the difference as the Braves beat the Giants at Atlanta Stadium, 4-2.
2001 – Bobby Valentine wins his 1‚000th career game as a manager when Glendon Rusch and closer Armando Benitez combine to throw a one-hitter in the Mets’ 2-0 victory over the Red Sox. Trot Nixon’s first inning bunt single, a result of the New York starter’s inability to cover first base, is Boston’s only hit in the Shea Stadium contest.
2008 – Josh Hamilton, who at one point goes deep 13 consecutive times, hits a record-setting 28 home runs in the first round of the Home Run Derby, but falls short in the finals, losing to Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, 5-3. With 71 year-old former coach Clay Counsil pitching, the Rangers outfielder breaks Bobby Abreu’s mark of 24 set in 2005.
And finally…in 2009, clad in his White Sox jacket, Barack Obama becomes the first Commander-in-Chief to throw out the ceremonial first pitch in an All-Star game since Gerald Ford tossed the ball at the beginning of the 1976 All-Star Game. After warming up in the White House Rose Garden prior to arriving at Busch Stadium, the 44th president’s pitch barely reaches the plate, but doesn’t bounce thanks to the efforts of Cardinals’ hometown hero Albert Pujols, who moves up from home and reaches out to scoop the low throw.
PLAYERS BORN TODAY
Happy Chandler (1898), Steve Stone (1947), Robin Ventura (1967) and Tim Hudson (1975)