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Baseball history unpacked, May 7

Starlin Castro, the exploits of Babe Ruth the pitcher, Herb Score, Willie Davis, and other factoids

Castro’s debut
Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images

Last time out, we touched on the first pro game, the balata ball, Rick Monday Day, and other fun stuff. Today we shine the light of day on the exploits of Babe Ruth the pitcher, Herb Score, Willie Davis, and others.

Here’s a handy Cubs timeline.

Today in baseball history:

  • 1903 - In the first game of what will become one of baseball’s fiercest rivalries, the Pilgrims beat the Highlanders at Boston’s Huntington Avenue Grounds, 6-2. The teams will change their names, but the intense competition between the Red Sox and Yankees will become legendary. (1)
Huntington Avenue Grounds
  • 1917 - Red Sox left-hander Babe Ruth outduels Walter Johnson in the team’s 1-0 victory over the Senators at Griffith Stadium. The game’s lone run scores on an eighth-inning sacrifice fly hit by the Boston southpaw, who will turn out to be a fairly good hitter. (1)
Griffith Stadium

“That was one of the easiest plays I ever made,” Wright said. “I couldn’t help it.”

Good reading about Glenn Wright.

With St. Louis runners occupying first and second base in the ninth inning, Jim Bottomley scorched a drive that seemed destined to land in the outfield. Wright ran over toward second, speared the sharp drive, touched the keystone sack and then tagged the befuddled runner tearing into second. One of baseball’s greatest plays was over in a few seconds as fans in the ballpark did not realize what they had just witnessed until Pittsburgh came up to bat in the bottom of the ninth inning. — Goodreads.

  • 1957 - Indians’ hurler Herb Score suffers a season-ending injury when he’s struck in the face by Yankee Gil McDougald’s line drive. The 1955 Rookie of the Year, who won 20 games in his sophomore season last year, never regains his winning form, although the southpaw will blame a torn tendon in his pitching arm, and not the horrific accident on the mound for his lack of achievement. (1)
  • 1969 - Willie Davis, furious with the Wrigley Field Bleacher Bums because of their continual verbal abuse of him, tells his Dodgers teammates that he wants to hit a home run in the middle of the group, which he does in the sixth inning to tie the score. The LA center fielder exacts a bit more revenge on the heckling horde when his 12th-inning two-run round-tripper proves to be the difference in the 4-2 defeat of the Cubs. (1)

Box score.

  • 2008 - In the Reds’ 9-0 victory over the Cubs at Great American Ball Park, Jon Lieber joins Phil Norton (2000) in becoming only the second hurler in franchise history to allow four homers in one inning. Joey Votto, who will hit three round-trippers during the game, Adam Dunn, Paul Bako, and Jerry Hairston all take the Chicago starter deep in the second inning. (1)
  • 2010 - Starlin Castro, the first major leaguer to be born in the 1990’s, becomes the sixth Cub in franchise history to hit a home run in his first big league at bat, going deep off Homer Bailey in Chicago’s 14-7 win over Cincinnati at Great American Ball Park. The 20 year-old rookie shortstop also becomes the first player to compile six RBIs in his first game in the majors when he delivers a bases-loaded triple in addition to his second inning three-run blast to deep right field. (1)

Box score. Cubs call up shortstop Castro.


Thanks for reading.