Category Archives: Birthdays & Anniversaries

1978 HEADLINE: Joe Morgan Becomes The 1st Member Of The ‘200/500 Club’

1978 HEADLINE: Joe Morgan Becomes The 1st Member Of The ‘200/500 Club’

On this day in 1978, Joe Morgan of the Cincinnati Reds hit the 200th home run of his incredible baseball career.

And while the 200-HR plateau had been accomplished by hundreds of players prior to Morgan, he was the first to accomplish that feat with 500 stolen bases to his credit as well.

Displaying an all-around offensive arsenal, Morgan was a rare player that could beat his opposition with his speed and ability to hit for power and average.

Only three players have accomplished the same feat since – Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor, and Barry Bonds.  But Morgan was the first, and he set the trend!!

Congratulations and Happy Anniversary to Joe Morgan!!!

1986 HEADLINE: Mark McGwire Hits 1st Home Run Of Major League Career!!

1986 HEADLINE: Mark McGwire Hits 1st Home Run Of Major League Career!!

Mark McGwire hit the first home run of his major league baseball career on this day back in 1986.

Before ‘The Bash Brothers’.  Before #71.  Before the steroid allegations.  Before all of this, Mark McGwire was an athleticly gifted player with an elite skill of hitting the long ball.

And on this day 27 years ago, home run #1 of 583 was smacked into the outfield seats of Tiger Stadium.    I doubt that the 20,000 fans in attendance thought much of this young kid from the opposing team.  To them he was the enemy.  And nobody knew that just 1 year later he would set the rookie record for home runs in a season with 49.  And nobody there thought for a second that this guy was going  to be the one to rescue the sport in 1998 when the game and it’s fan base were both spiraling downward…

But he did it.  Mark McGwire became ‘Big Mac’ right in front of our eyes.  And most of us enjoyed the thrilling ride that he took us on.

And it all started on this day back in 1986.

Happy Anniversary Mark McGwire!!!!

Happy Birthday Rollie Fingers!!!

Happy Birthday Rollie Fingers!!!

Rollie Fingers turns 68 years old today.

While Rollie Fingers may best be known for his famous facial hair, his solid baseball career earned him quite a bit of fame too.

A 17-year veteran, boasting 341 career saves and seven All-star appearances, Fingers was a dominant relief pitcher for more than a decade.

His best work was during the 1981 season while playing for the Milwaukee Brewers.  In that season, Fingers posted a 6-3 record while also collecting 28 saves.  He had a 1.04 ERA with 78 innings pitched.  And in those appearances he struck out 61 batters while walking just 13.  Fingers’ dominance was enough to earn him the league’s Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards – a truly remarkable feat!!

Rollie Fingers is a 3-time World Series champion.  His efforts on the 1972-74 Oakland A’s teams help the team from ‘The Bay’ become one of baseball’s greatest dynasties!!!

With such an impressive resume, it is kind of shocking that Fingers has a losing record.  For his career, he is 114-118.  So for his birthday, I would like to give Mr. Fingers a ‘do-over’ of the 1978 season in which he went 6-13.  I am hoping for 5 more wins than losses so this Hall of Famer could hold his head even a little higher with his above .500 winning percentage!!

Happy Birthday Mr. Fingers!!!

Cal Ripken Jr. & The Streak!!!

Cal Ripken Jr. & The Streak!!!

On September 6, 1995, Cal Ripken broke the all-time Major League Baseball record for consecutive games played.  Lou Gehrig’s record stood for an amazing 56 years, but on this day Cal eclipsed his 2,130th consecutive games played streak.

Amazingly he did not miss a single game in 13+ years!!!  We honor you Cal for this amazing baseball record.

Cal Ripken Is The Owner Of 2 Most Valuable Player Awards!!!

Cal Ripken Is The Owner Of 2 Most Valuable Player Awards!!!

What is amazing about Cal Ripken, and his 21 seasons in the big leagues is that his production was pretty consistent throughout.  Sure, just like every player with a lengthy career, Cal had spikes of success in various aspects of the game.  But the consistent approach and results that he achieved from his hard work made him a superstar.

Let’s take a look at the two best years of his career.  By the way, they came 8 years apart.

In 1983, in just his second full season in the majors, Cal began to dominate.  Collecting 211 hits, a career high, Cal put it all together in ’83.  He made the full-time switch to shortstop and his offensive game thrived.  He became a key cog in the Orioles’ offensive attack, and his efforts helped land his team in the World Series.  By the end of the 1983 campaign, Cal was sitting with 47 doubles, 27 homers, 121 runs scored, and 102 RBI.  Cal became an All-Star in 1983 and also won his first Silver Slugger award.

In 1991, Cal Ripken won is second MVP award.  He thrived again offensively, this time collecting 210 hits.  And the power numbers kept coming as he tallied 46 doubles and 34 home runs, while driving in 114 and scoring 99 times.  Cal was once again an All-star in ’91 and he also won his first ever Gold Glove award for his excellent defensive play.

Cal Ripken Jr. Won The Silver Slugger Award ’8′ Times!!!

Cal Ripken Jr. Won The Silver Slugger Award ‘8’ Times!!!

As a player that never won a batting title or put together a string of 200+ hits seasons year after year, Cal Ripken remained at the top of his game for most of his 21 years in the majors.

And of all of the stats and awards that he amassed during that time, the most impressive accolade that Cal may have achieved would be his 8 Silver Slugger awards.

At the end of each season, a player at each defensive position from each league is honored with the award.  It goes to the best hitter – and Cal was put into that position for 8 of his 21 season – good for a 38% clip!!

When you ask a fan of the game who the best hitters of the ’80s are you will get responses like Gwynn and Boggs and Mattingly and Molitor.  Ripken deserves to be mentioned in that conversation too!!!

Cal Ripken Owns 2 Gold Gloves!!!

Cal Ripken Owns 2 Gold Gloves!!!

Always known as a capable defender, Cal Ripken played during an era of some amazingly skilled defensive players.  And while he may not have been at the top of that mountain for a very long time, Cal managed to win 2 Gold Glove awards during his career.

Coming in the back-to-back seasons of 1991 and 1992, Cal soared to the top of the food chain as the best defensive shortstop in the American League.  In those years, Cal amassed fielding percentages of .986 and .984 while handling over 1,500 opportunities in the field!

Just another reason that Cal ranks as one of the best all-around players of his era.