TODAY IN BASEBALL courtesy of National Pastime
1996 – On ‘John Franco Day,’ the New York veteran reliever is ejected from the game, along with eight other players, as the result of participating in a fifth-inning bench-clearing brawl at Shea Stadium. Prior to the game the Mets celebrated their closer’s recent 300th career save, but his unavailability in the ninth leads to three hurlers combining to give up the tying runs in the team’s eventual 7-6 walk-off victory over Chicago.
2003 – In his last at-bat on the current homestand, 38 year-old first baseman Rafael Palmeiro drives a 3-2 fastball thrown by Indian hurler David Elder to become the second player this season and 19th overall to hit his 500th career home run. The 370-foot shot over the right field wall at The Ballpark in Arlington makes Raffy the first native of Cuba to reach the coveted milestone.
2005 – The Red Sox end a game for the second consecutive day by hitting a walk-off home run off the same pitcher, a feat accomplished only five previous times in major league history. A’s closer Octavio Dotel, who also gave up Kevin Millar’s decisive blast yesterday, is victimized today by BoSox backstop Jason Varitek, who goes deep in the ninth to beat Oakland, 6-5.
And finally…in 2006, Hideki Matsui’s streak of playing in every game since starting his MLB career with the Yankees in 2003 ends at 518 games as the left fielder breaks his left wrist attempting to make a diving catch. The 31 year-old Japanese star established the big league record for consecutive games to start a career, surpassing Hall of Fame infielder Ernie Banks, who played in 424 contests at the start of his playing days with Cubs from 1953-56.
PLAYERS BORN TODAY
Charlie Gehringer (1903), Milt Pappas (1939), Dane Iorg (1950) and Francisco Cordero (1975)