TODAY IN BASEBALL courtesy of National Pastime
1979 – Against the team that traded him, Lou Brock reaches the 3000 hits milestone when his line drive caroms off Dennis Lamp’s pitching hand in the 3-2 Cardinal victory over the Cubs at Busch Stadium. The 40 year-old Redbird outfielder, who will retire at the end of the season with a lifetime .293 batting average, is the fourteenth Major Leaguer to reach the coveted plateau.
1987 – Billy Williams joins Ernie Banks as the second Cubs player to be honored by having his uniform number (26) being retired by the team. Sweet Swingin’ Billy from Whistler (AL) played 16 of his 18 Major League seasons in the Windy City, hitting .296 and 392 home runs for the team that plays on the North side of Chicago.
1995 – At Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, baseball legend Mickey Mantle, 63, succumbs to liver cancer with his estranged wife Merlyn at his side. Ironically, prior to a moving tribute in the Bronx ballpark for the fallen hero, the Yankee Stadium scoreboard displays “At Bat: 7” until the start of the game because the leadoff batter for the Indians, Kenny Lofton, wears number 7.
And finally…in 2013, for only the second time in big league history beginning in 1916, the earliest year the records are available, the leadoff batters for both teams homer in their first at-bat and and then add another round-tripper in the same game when Seattle’s Brad Miller and Tampa Bay’s Ben Zobrist each hit a pair of homers in the Mariners’ 5-4 win at Tropicana Field. Chuck Knoblauch of the Twins and Detroit’s Tony Phillips last accomplished the feat in 1994 at Tiger Stadium.
PLAYERS BORN TODAY
Mudcat Grant (1935), Jay Buhner (1964), Alex Fernandez (1969) and Dallas Braden (1983)