History Headlines

Reposted with permission. This article originally appeared as an ESPN.com Insider piece.

Buster Olney is on vacation this week, but guest bloggers will be here each day in his place. Today we have Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

(Don Sparks/National Baseball Hall of Fame Library)

By Helen Stiles

Roberto Clemente, once a Brooklyn Dodger?  Who knew?  Most of us only remember Clemente in a Pittsburgh Pirates uniform, but Clemente started his Hall of Fame career as a Dodger.

Ron Blomberg's bat he used when he became the first DH on April 6, 1973.

By Ross Newhan

If Charles O. Finley, the visionary insurance man who owned the Oakland A's from 1960 to 1980, had totally gotten his way, baseball would be using orange balls and rainbow painted bases.

That never happened. But one of Finley’s other pet projects – the designated hitter – is still around today and has forever altered the baseball landscape.

Hall of Famer Walter Johnson was hailed as the best pitcher in baseball by fellow Hall of Fame Rube Marquard and pitcher "Smoky" Joe Wood. (NBHOF Library)

The San Francisco Giants rode outstanding pitching to the 2012 World Series title.

But 100 years ago, outstanding pitchers seemed to be in every big league dugout. And for three of those pitchers, the 1912 season remains a season of near perfection.

In 1912 – for the only time in the game’s long history – a trio of hurlers put together in-season winning streaks of at least 16 games.

Future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson earned the nickname "Mr. October" when he hit three home runs in three at bats. (NBHOF Library)

It took only three pitches for Reggie Jackson to beat the Dodgers and win Game 6 to capture the 1977 World Series title for the New York Yankees. 

Three home runs in three at bats – each on the first pitch. 

“I have never seen anything like that in a championship game situation,” said Dodger great Steve Garvey of that game 35 years ago on Oct. 18, 1977. “He beat us singlehandedly. And actually that’s exactly what he did. He knocked in five runs and we only scored four.” 

Hall of Famer Joe Medwick's Triple Crown season has gone unmatched in the National League for 75 years. (NBHOF Library)

The last time a National League batter won the Triple Crown, Franklin Roosevelt was President of the United States and Kenesaw Mountain Landis was Commissioner of Baseball.

World War I was still known as “The Great War.” And “World War II” was not yet part of our language.

Class of 2011 Inductee Bert Blyleven was traded to the Twins on August 1, 1985, just before the trade deadline. (Lou Sauritch/NBHOF Library)

COOPERSTOWN, NY – Forty-eight Hall of Fame players have spent their entire career with one big league franchise. 

For the other 159 Hall of Famers who earned their election on the playing field, changing teams was a part of their resume. 

As the big league trading deadline approaches at 4 p.m. ET today, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum presents some of the most famous deadline deals involving some future Hall of Famers: 

From May 30, 1982, through Sept. 19, 1998, Cal Ripken played in 2,632 straight games for the Baltimore Orioles. (NBHOF Library)

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – For the second year in a row, Cal Ripken Jr. is celebrating the 30th anniversary of an event that stands as a testament to his durability.

Last year, he celebrated the 30th anniversary of the longest game in professional baseball history, a 33-inning marathon between Ripken’s Triple-A Rochester Red Wings and fellow Hall of Famer Wade Boggs Pawtucket Red Sox that began on April 18, 1981 and went 32 innings into the night and morning of April 19th before being resumed for the final inning on June 23rd.

COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. – They are the definition of “rare” – a club so unique that only a little more than one percent of all big league players have been admitted.

They are the members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame – 297 of the game’s most influential and successful heroes. But within Club 297 lies a subset even more unique: The nine umpires enshrined in Cooperstown.

World Series. Extra Innings. Walk-off home run. And that was only Game 6.

The Cardinals and Rangers will take the field in St. Louis again tonight for the 36th decisive World Series Game 7 in major league history. Game 7 is the dramatic culmination of an entire 162-game season plus playoffs into a winner-take-all one game finale. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any more exciting, the season once again comes down to one final day.

"This is pretty special," Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols told MLB.com. "This is what baseball is all about."

Syndicate content