Today in Baseball History: June 9th
On June 9, 2008. Reds” center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. hits his 600th home run, becoming the sixth player to reach that milestone. The shot comes in the first inning in Florida against the Marlins.
On June 9, 1995, former major leaguer Zoilo Versalles dies at the age of 55. Although Versalles batted only .242 over a 12-year career, he carved a permanent niche in baseball history when he was named the American League’s MVP Award in 1965. Versalles hit 19 home runs and stole 27 bases that season, helping the Minnesota Twins win their first AL pennant.
On June 9, 1966, the Minnesota Twins become the first team in American League history to belt five home runs in one inning. Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew and four other players-Rich Rollins, Zoilo Versalles, Tony Oliva, and Don Mincher-reach the seats against Catfish Hunter and Paul Lindblad in the 9-4 win over the Kansas City A’s.
On June 9, 1963, the Houston Colt .45s host the first Sunday night game in major league history. Due to the extreme heat in Texas, the Colt .45s play the San Francisco Giants in the evening at Colt Stadium. Houston wins the game, 3-0, in front of a crowd of 17,437. The Colt .45s will move into the air-conditioned Houston Astrodome two years later.
On June 9, 1961, Ryne Duren of the Los Angeles Angels sets an American League record by striking out seven consecutive Boston Red Sox batters during a 5-1 win. Duren will finish the game with 11 Ks.
On June 9, 1946, Mel Ott is involved in a strange “daily double.” The New York Giants’ skipper becomes the first manager ejected from both ends of a doubleheader because of arguments with umpires. To make matters worse, the Giants lose both games to the Pittsburgh Pirates.
On June 9, 1933, future Hall of Famer Walter Johnson assumes the managerial reins of the Cleveland Indians. The former Washington Senators’ pitcher and manager will lead the Indians to a third-place finish in 1934, but will be forced to resign his post midway through the 1935 season.
On June 9, 1930, future Hall of Famer Chick Hafey removes himself from a game because of trouble with his eyes. Hafey’s decision signals the beginning of serious eye and sinus problems that will plague him for the rest of his career.
On June 9, 1914, Honus Wagner becomes the first player in baseball’s modern era to reach 3,000 hits. The Hall of Fame shortstop collects the milestone hit during the Pittsburgh Pirates’ 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
On June 9, 1901, the New York Giants bang out 31 hits against the Cincinnati Reds, establishing a major league record for most safeties in a single game. Al Selbach goes 6-for-7 and scores four runs to help the Giants win the game, 25-13.