TODAY IN BASEBALL courtesy of National Pastime
1956 – Mickey Mantle becomes all-time home run leader for switch hitters when he belts his 136th career round-tripper, a two-out homer in the top of the ninth that ties the score in the Yankees’ eventual extra inning 8-7 victory over Chicago at Comiskey Park. ‘The Mick’ will nearly quadruples the mark, extending the record to 536 before he retires prior to the 1969 season.
2000 – Mark McGwire passes Mickey Mantle into eighth place on the all-time home run career list with 539. ‘Big Mac’ goes deep three times as the Cardinals beat the Phillies, 7-2.
2004 – At the age of 40, southpaw Randy Johnson becomes the oldest pitcher to ever throw a perfect game when the Diamondbacks beat the Braves, 2-0. The ‘Big Unit’ joins Cy Young, Jim Bunning, Hideo Nomo, and Nolan Ryan as the only hurlers to throw no-hitters in both leagues and creates the longest time span between no-no’s, having first accomplished the feat against the Tigers in June of 1990.
And finally…in 2012 Kerry Wood ends his major league career on his own terms when he strikes out the one batter he faces before walking off the mound into an embrace from his six year-old son in front of the Wrigley Field dugout. The 35 year-old much-injured Cubs’ right-hander, an All-Star as both a starter and closer, believes today’s final strikeout to be the most significant and the most memorable moment of his 14-year career.
PLAYERS BORN TODAY
Brooks Robinson (1937), Reggie Jackson (1946), Jim Sundberg (1951) and Joakim Soria (1984)