Today in Baseball History: May 5th
On May 5, 2007, Roger Clemens agrees to a one-year deal worth $28 million to pitch for the New York Yankees. Appearing in George Steinbrenner”s private suite at Yankee Stadium during the seventh inning stretch, Clemens announces over the PA speaker in dramatic fashion that he will return to the team that he pitched for from 1999-2003. Clemens had came out of retirement in 2004 to pitch for the Houston Astros for three seasons, pitching only part of the year and not attending most of the games in which he didn”t start. He receives the same conditions from the Yankees.
On May 5, 1978, Pete Rose of the Cincinnati Reds collects the 3,000th hit of his career – a single to left field against Steve Rogers of the Montreal Expos. Rose becomes the 13th player in history to reach the milestone. Rose receives a five-minute standing ovation from the 37,823 fans at Riverfront Stadium.
On May 5, 1977, fans at Yankee Stadium throw dozens of newly created “Reggie” bars onto the field, halting play momentarily. Fans had been given free samples of the candy bars, which are named after New York Yankees star Reggie Jackson.
On May 5, 1975, the Oakland A’s release designated runner Herb “Hurricane” Washington, ending his unusual major league career. Washington appeared as a pinch-runner in 105 games with the A’s over two seasons, but never came to bat or played an inning in the field. Washington leaves the game with 31 stolen bases and 33 runs scored.
On May 5, 1962, colorful lefthander Robert “Bo” Belinsky of the Los Angeles Angels fires a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles. Belinsky strikes out nine batters and walks four in beating fellow left-hander Steve Barber, 2-0.
On May 5, 1955, Brooklyn Dodgers lefthander Tom Lasorda makes his first major league start. Lasorda throws three wild pitches in one inning, tying a major league record. Lasorda will enjoy far more success after his pitching career – as a Hall of Fame manager.
On May 5, 1949, former Detroit Tigers second baseman Charlie Gehringer is elected to the Hall of Fame. “The Mechanical Man” batted over .300 in 13 seasons, including 1937, when he won the American League batting title and MVP Award.
On May 5, 1925, 38-year-old Ty Cobb of the Detroit Tigers hits three home runs against the St. Louis Browns. Cobb’s explosion comes as part of a six-hit day, helping the Tigers to a 14-8 win over St. Louis. Cobb also ties a modern record with 16 total bases. The next day, Cobb will blast two more homers to set a record for homers in back-to-back games. Cobb”s outburst of power comes after he tells sportswriters to watch what he can do if he tries to hit home runs.
On May 5, 1922, Bob “Fats” Fothergill becomes the first – and only – man to pinch-hit for the legendary Ty Cobb. Fothergill is actually inserted into the game by Cobb, who is the player/manager of the Detroit Tigers. Fothergill strikes out in the historic at-bat.
On May 5, 1904, Boston ace Cy Young hurls a perfect game against the Philadelphia Athletics. Young outduels another future Hall of Famer, Rube Waddell, winning 3-0. It’s the first perfect game since the rules change that moved the pitching mound to 60 feet, six inches away from home plate.