The first college football game ever televised, Waynesburg vs. Fordham in 1939.
On a steamy August Saturday afternoon in the summer of 1938, New York right-hander Monte Pearson, shown below right, pitched the first no-hitter in Yankee Stadium history. The Yanks beat the Cleveland Indians, 13-0, that afternoon to complete a doubleheader sweep.
Pearson, who was 16-7 that year and won exactly 100 games lifetime, faced the minimum 27 batters, striking out seven. Tommy Henrich and Joe Gordon each homered twice.
In the opener that day, Joe DiMaggio’s third straight triple of the game plated two runs in the bottom of the ninth to cap a three-run rally and give the Yankees an 8-7 victory. A crowd of 40.959 was on hand as the Yankees increased their American League lead to 12 games en route to their third straight championship.
One year later come September, Fordham University defeated Waynesburg College of Pennsylvania, 34-7, at Randalls Island in New York. But that wasn’t the story. NBC filmed the first college football game ever televised, as Bill Stern brought the play by play to viewers.
Waynesburg’s Bobby Brooks made history with a 63-yard touchdown run, the first televised TD. Reportedly, there was no victory dance in the end zone.
The W2XBS broadcast signal had about a 50-mile radius, and there were about a thousand TV sets in the New York metropolitan area at the time. The signal didn’t even reach Waynesburg, about 50 miles south of Pittsburgh. So who saw the game? Who knows?
Columbia Shocks Army
In October of 1947, Army was a huge favorite as the Cadets brought a 32-game winning streak into New York to face Columbia’s Lions. Army had not lost since 1943; Columbia was coming off losses to Yale and Penn.
Army led, 20-7, at the half, but the Columbia combination of quarterback Gene Rossides and received Bill Swiacki brought the Lions back for a stunning 21-20 victory.
And in September of 1961, Roger Maris of the Yankees, pictured left, hit a long home run into the upper deck at the old Yankee Stadium against Baltimore’s Jack Fisher. The round-tripper was Roger’s 60th of the season, equaling the mark Babe Ruth set in 1927. Maris hit number 61 on the final day of the season, setting a record that many feel still stands.
These events, interesting in of themselves, have something else in common. My father was right there for each and every one. He was just 13-years-old at the Pearson no-hitter, a game he attended with other family members. The decision was made to leave once the Indians got their first hit. That never happened.
My Dad went to the Waynesburg-Fordham game with his cousin, who was at that time the manager of a powerful Fordham team. By the time Maris tied the Babe in 1961, my Dad was a father of four, two boys and two girls, including me, the oldest. Of course, my Mom had something to do that.
My Dad took me to my first Yankee game nearly 60 years ago. He also brought me to my first Giants game, also at Yankee Stadium, and to my first Knicks and Rangers games at the old Madison Square Garden.
He’s always been there for me, whether it be cash, advice or a good meal. There’s still nothing I’d rather do than talk sports with my old man. I treasure the times I spend with him always.
Happy Birthday. Love you, Dad.
(Note: My father turns 92 today. World War II veteran, engineer, lifelong Yankee fan, married for 67 years, father of our, grandfather of 13, great-grandfather of 10. He’s the smartest man I’ve ever known.)
of Take a look, give a listen to the 20 greatest home runs in Yankee history. Many are on this list of 100 greatest home runs in baseball history.
Any list of greatest home runs would be incomplete without the immortal Babe Ruth.
Ancient footage played to the music of Queen’s “We are the Champions,” the Bambino makes his mark and challenges all comers to match it. “60. Count em 60,” roared the Babe. “Let’s see some other son of a bitch match that.”
The legendary called shot at Wrigley Field, with motion picture footage that shows Ruth pointing. But where?
3. 1932, Lou Gehrig, 4 HRs, single game
Close as we could come to video with Larrupin’ Lou is this photo. But you get the point, it was a long time ago. And four in one game — not even the great Ruth ever did that.
Great radio call, Joe D goes “high and far over the fence in deep left field” at Wrigley Field to bury the Cubs in another Yankee sweep.
Mantle, just 20 years old, goes deep on a 3-1 pitch off Joe Black in the sixth inning at Ebbets Field to give the Yankees the lead for good on their way to their fourth straight World Series. Mel Allen with the play-by-play in the sixth – “that ball is going, going…it is gone.” Watch how fast Mantle gets around the bases.
6. 1956, Yogi Berra, 2 HRs, Game 7, World Series
A signature moment for the Yankee catcher, who belted two early two- run homers against Don Newcombe to help the Yankees avenge their loss to Brooklyn the previous year in a 9-0 whitewash. Elston Howard also homered, and Bill Skowron hit a grand slam.
One of the great Phil Rizzuto calls (“Holy cow, he did it, 61 for Maris.”). At one point the camera catches Sal Durante, the fan who got $5,000 for coming up with the ball. Lots going on in this brief cut: fans booing Boston’s Tracy Stallard for going to a 2-0 count against Maris, a young fan running on the field to shake the Rajah’s hand, and Maris being pushed out for a curtain call by his teammates.
The Mick talks about the hardest ball he ever hit, which missed by less than a foot of clearing the right field facade of Yankee Stadium. No player has ever hit a fair ball out of the Stadium old or new — Mantle came the closest.
Watch the gimpy-legged Mantle struggle around the bases after lining his milestone round tripper into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium. Jerry Coleman with the call. Again, kids on the field.
Chambliss helps the Yankees win their first AL pennant in 12 years. Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell with the call. Talk about security in the Bronx — fans storm the field as Chambliss barely makes it around the bases.
Mr. October earns his stripes with an unforgettable performance that matches the heroics of one George Herman Ruth.
” Deep to left. Yastrzemski will not get it. It’s a home run. A three-run homer for Bucky Dent.” Bill White with the call on the blast that brought Yaz to his knees and silenced Fenway Park.
Donnie Baseball ties Dale Long’s record by homering in his eighth consecutive game.
Jeter, a rookie, shares the spotlight with 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier, who gives the Yankees a boost on this controversial eighth inning call that tied the score and made Bob Costas ask “And what happens here?”
Same game as Jeter’s home run, the winning blow by Williams came in the bottom of the 11th. You may have to turn up the volume to hear it — but John Sterling gives a landmark Yankees win call as Bernie goes boom.
With Atlanta on the verge of taking a 3-1 lead in the World Series, Leyritz launches a game-tying, three-run homer to left to tie the game in the eighth. Watch the reaction on the Yankee bench, especially Don Zimmer.
Less than two months after 9/11, two outs in the ninth, game on the line, Martinez homers to tie the score. Derek Jeter’s walk-off wins it in the 10th. And the next night…..
….it happened again. One night after Tino’s shocker, Brosius goes yard with two down in the ninth to tie the score. This time the Yankees win in 12. Joe Buck with the dual calls.
With the score tied in the last of the 11th, Boone hits the first pitch from knuckleballer Tim Wakefield into the left field seats to send the Yankees to the World Series. Look closely in the background. As Boone is rounding the bases, Mariano Rivera is hugging the mound.
This dramatic 14th inning walk-off in the rain gave birth to John Sterling’s Giambino.
YouTubeism baby. A millenial generation shot of A-Rod’s two-run blast that broke a scoreless tie with the Red Sox.
They say history repeats itself. Well it does sometimes, and it did today.
The Yankees comeback from a 9-0 deficit raised the echoes from a Yankee-Red Sox game, just over 62 years ago.
It was April 18, 1950, Opening Day at Fenway Park. Yankees vs. Red Sox.
Boston pounded Yankee starter Allie Reynolds and, like today, led 9-0 entering the sixth inning following Billy Goodman’s two-run homer.
New York rallied, but still trailed 10-4 going into the top of the eighth. Then the Yankees struck for nine runs. Billy Martin, right, making his major league debut, doubled and singled in the eighth inning and knocked in three runs.
The Yankees added to the carnage in the ninth on an RBI double by Joe DiMaggio and a run-scoring single by Yogi Berra to win 15-10.
Sounds familiar, huh.
And again: The Yankees also rebounded from a 9-0 deficit to beat the Red Sox on June 26, 1987, at Yankee Stadium. The Yanks knocked out reigning Cy Young and MVP winner Roger Clemens with an 11-run third inning. They then won the game 12.11 on a base hit by Wayne Tolleson in the 10th inning that scored Mike Pagliarulo.
Catcher Jorge Posada played his entire career with the Yankees.
Sometime soon, Jorge Posada will announce his retirement, a Yankee catcher for life.
There’s something to be said for playing an entire career with one team. Players like Ted Williams of the Red Sox, Stan Musial of the Cardinals, and Cal Ripken of the Orioles have done just that and become the faces of their franchises.
Posada caught 1,574 games with the Yankees, third behind only Hall of Fame catchers Bill Dickey and Yogi Berra.
Few realize that Berra did not play his entire career with the Yankees. Early in 1965, a season after being fired as Yankee manager, Yogi started two games as catcher and pinch-hit twice for the Mets, getting two hits in nine at bats before becoming a full-time coach.
Berra is one of many legendary Yankee stars who played for other teams. Babe Ruth began his career as a pitcher with the Red Sox of course, and returned to Boston to play his final season with the Braves. Reggie Jackson, Dave Winfield, Tony Lazzeri, Joe Gordon and Charlie Keller all played for other teams.
Andy Pettitte spent three years with the Houston Astros. Lefty Gomex went 0-1 with the Washington Senators in 1943. Red Ruffing, like Ruth, started out as a Red Sox pitcher. Reliever Joe Page came out of retirement to pitch for the 1954 Pirates.
But there is a core contingent of players throughout the years who spent their entire careers in pinstripes. Here they are, the all-time, all-the-time Yankees:
C — Bill Dickey — .313 career hitter with high of .362 in 1936, 202 home runs, 100 RBIs four straight years, beginning in 1936. (1928-46)
1B — Lou Gehrig — The Iron Horse, 2,130 consecutive games, 493 home run, .340 lifetime batting average. Captain, two-time MVP, 1934 Triple Crown. (1923-39)
2B — Robinson Cano — Seven years with Yankees, hit .300 or better five times, including career-high .342 in 2006. (2005-Present)
SS — Derek Jeter — First Yankee to accumulate 3,000 hits, .313 lifetime hitter, 240 home runs, 339 stolen bases. Rookie of the Year 1995, five Gold Gloves. (1995-Present)
3B — Red Rolfe — Batted .289 lifetime, led American League in runs, hits, doubles in 1939. (1931-42)
OF — Joe DiMaggio — The Yankee Clipper, right, 56-game hitting streak in 1941 is all-time mark. Hit .325 with 361 home runs. Three-time MVP (1936-51)
OF — Mickey Mantle — The Mick, 536 career home runs, .298 average. Three-time MVP, Triple Crown in 1956. (1951-68)
OF — Earle Combs — The Kentucky Colonel, .325 career hitter, led league in triples three times and hits once. (1924-35)
LHP — Whitey Ford — Yankees all-time winningest pitcher, 236 wins, .690 career win percentage highest for 200-game winner. MLB Cy Young winner 1961. (1950-67)
RHP — Spud Chandler — 109-43, including 20 wins in 1943 and 146. Won MVP in 1943. (1937-47)
Relief — Mariano Rivera — Became all-time saves leader last year with 603. Lowest ERA among active pitchers at 2.21. (1995-Present)
C — Jorge Posada — A .276 lifetime hitter with 275 career home runs. (1995-2011)
1B — Don Mattingly — Donnie Baseball, below,.307 career average, MVP in 1985. (1982-95)
2B — Bobby Richardson — Five-time Gold Glove winner, World Series MVP in 1960. (1955-66)
SS — Phil Rizzuto — The Scooter, 1950 MVP, long-time Yankee broadcaster. (1941-56)
3B — Gil McDougald — Utility infielder, Rookie of the Year in 1951. (1951-60)
OF — Bernie Williams — Batting champion in 1998, hit .297 lifetime. Four Gold Gloves. (1991-2006)
OF — Tommy Henrich — Old Reliable, batted .282 lifetime with 183 homers. (1937-50)
OF — Roy White — Batted .271 lifetime with 160 home runs, 233 stolen bases. (1965-79)
LHP — Ron Guidry — Louisiana Lightning, three-time 20-game winner, 170-91 lifetime, AL Cy Young in 1978. (1975-89)
RHP — Mel Stottlemyre — Won 20 games three times, 164-139 career mark. (1964-74)
Notes — Others who received major consideration include catcher Thurman Munson, shortstop Frankie Crosetti and outfielder George Selkirk….The Yankees have had some great relief pitchers through the years, but other than Rivera all wore other uniforms at one time. Wilcy Moore, Johnny Murphy, Joe Page, Luis Arroyo, Sparky Lyle and Goose Gossage were among the top relievers.
Bob Dylan…singer, poet, painter, fixture in music for five decades, symbol of social unrest.
Johnny’s in the basement
Mixing up the medicine
I’m on the pavement
thinking about the government
(from Subterranean Homesick Blues, 1965)
Yeah that Bob Dylan. Robert Allen Zimmerman. Born May 24, 1941 in Duluth, Minnesota, this iconic figure of American art, is turning 70. Next Tuesday.
Baseball is one of the last things that comes to mind when describing Bob Dylan.Yet there are some strong connections between Bob Dylan and the National Pastime.
The day Dylan was born, a Saturday, the Yankees hosted the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. That day, Joe DiMaggio singled to extend his hitting streak to 10 games, on the way to 56. Ted Williams singled twice, walked twice and raised his average to .383, on the way to .406. In nearly 70 years since, neither DiMaggio’s 56-game streak nor Williams .400 season have been seriously threatened.
The Yankees won the game, 7-6, on the day Bob Dylan was born. Strangely, there is no record of the time of game and attendance that day.
Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?
(from Ballad of a Thin Man, 1965)
Dylan and Maris
In 1961, around the time Dylan’s career was taking off, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth’s record with 61 home runs.In the book “Roger Maris: Baseball’s Reluctant Hero” by Tom Clavin and Danny Peary, the first chapter has a short byte on how Dylan became a fan of Maris during his 1961 home run chase. To quote:
“Among those rooting for Roger Maris as he closed in on Babe Ruth’s record in September of 1961 was a folksinger whose nascent career took off that month in New York City thanks to a rave in the Times and his first studio work. Although he wasn’t much of a sports fan, Bob Dylan felt pride when he learned that the ballplayer making national headlines also hailed from Hibbing, Minnesota.”
Maris was born in Hibbing, and later moved to Fargo, North Dakota, where he is buried, Dylan moved to Hibbing when he was seven-years-old
Dylan has always been an incredibly prolific songwriter, only releasing a fraction of what he records. One of those songs, a rare classic, was written and performed by Bob Dylan and Jacques Levy.It was a ballad of Catfish Hunter, who had just signed a five-year, $3.7M contract with the Yankees. Here’s a little taste:
Used to work on Mr. Finley’s farm
But the old man wouldn’t pay
So he packed his glove and took his arm
An’ one day he just ran away
Nobody can throw the ball like Catfish can.
There’s more Dylan-baseball affinity. In 2004 and later in 2009, Dylan did a par of concert tours at minor league baseball stadiums. The 2009 tour, which also featured Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp, included stops at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket, RI; Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen, Maryland, and the Durham Bulls Athletic Park in Durham, NC.
In 2006, Dylan hosted a program on XM Radio dedicated to baseball. He spun a wide selection of baseball tunes, including Buddy Johnson and Hit Hits Orchestra playing “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball” and Les Brown’s “Joltin Joe DiMaggio,” an old-time band jewel.
In typical Dylan fashion, he told a tale during the virtual seventh-inning stretch of his radio show. He recalled how a Mexican community was destroyed to make the room needed to build Dodger Stadium and then introduced Ry Cooder’s “3rd Base Dodger Stadium” which spoke to the situation.
Jonathan Lethem wrote a piece called “The Genius of Bob Dylan” in Rolling Stone on the September 7, 2006, issue around the release of Dylan’s album Modern Times. In a footnote to the piece, Lehtem asked Dylan what baseball team was his favorite.
Dylan responded: “The problem with baseball teams is all the players get traded, and what your favorite team used to be – a couple of guys you really liked on the team, they’re not on the team now – and you can’t possibly make that team your favorite team. It’s like your favorite uniform. I mean, yeah, I like Detroit. Though I like Ozzie [Guillen] as a manager. And I don’t know how anybody can’t like Derek [Jeter]. I’d rather have him on my team than anybody.”
FOOTNOTE: Twice had the opportunity to see Bob Dylan perform in concert. On September 16, 1978, I saw him at the Portland Civic Center, the first time in my life I set foot in the state of Maine (been to all 50 states). Earlier that day, the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 3-2, a ninth inning sacrifice fly by Thurman Munson, giving Catfish Hunter the victory. That win ultimately led to the game that made Bucky Dent famous. Also saw a Dylan performance at the Mid-Hudson Civic Center in Poughkeepsie, New York, about a dozen years ago.
Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak has held up for nearly 70 years. It’s one of 10 baseball records that will never be broken.
People like top 10 lists. They’re neat and tidy. They cut to the chase. They can be controversial. And they work. Ask David Letterman.
Throughout the past three years, the SportsLifer has posted a wide variety of top 10 lists. Here’s the top 10 of top 10s.
SportsLifer also appears on Bleacher Report, and this blog earned a gold medal with more than 5,000 reads. And it’s been grounds for debate, soliciting 39 comments on the SportsLifer web site alone.
Another Bleacher Report hit, this one led to a silver medal with 2,000 viewers.
An early SportsLifer blog, posted after Brett Favre retired from the Packers. Upon further review and based on his ill-fated comebacks, Favre slips from third to fifth, behind Dan Marino and Otto Graham.
One of the popular Lords of The Ringless postings, which also feature running backs, quarterbacks and MLB and NBA players.
A natural rivarly and a natural top 10. Did you know Horace Clarke knocked in the winning run in the longest game the Yankees and Red Sox ever played — 20 innings.
Art Monk, Washington Redskins wide receiver and NFL Hall of Famer, tops this homeboy list.
This list was sparked by the Giants upset of the previously unbeaten Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. That epic ranks second behind the Jets win over the Colts in Super Bowl III.
GOOD! HE DID IT! BRYCE DREW DID IT! VALPO HAS WON THE GAME A MIRACLE!” What a shot!
Who knew “Old Eagle Eye” had nearly 3,000 hits and and still leads all first baseman in putouts and total chances. Beckley retired after the 1907 season. Remember.
Bucky Dent’s home run in Boston in the 1978 Yankee-Red Sox game playoff game tops the list of games the SportsLifer has seen….in person.
Three is a magic number in baseball. Three strikes and you’re out. Three outs in an inning. Babe Ruth wore #3.
When Alex Rodriguez, above, hit three home runs iagainst Kansas City on August 14, it marked the 30th time a Yankee player hit three homers in a single game.
Lou Gehrig achieved the feat four times, and hit four in one game, the only Yankee to perform that feat. Joe DiMaggio did it three times.
So did the Babe, although only one of his three occurred during the regular season. Ruth hit the final three home runs of his storied career in 1935 for the Boston Braves in a game at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, and retired soon afterwards.
A-Rod joins Tony Lazzeri, and Bobby Murcer as the only other Yankees to hit three in a game two times. Rodriguez had three HRs and 10 RBIs against Bartolo Colon and the Angels in 2005.
In all 20 Yankees have accomplished the feat, including eight Hall of Famers — Ruth, Lazzeri, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Johnny Mize, Mickey Mantle and Reggie Jackson.
Ruth’s World Series Heroics
Ruth was the first Yankee to hit three in a game, against the Cardinals at old Sportsman Park in St. Louis in 1926 in the World Series, right. The Babe must have loved St. Louis, repeating the feat in 1928 to power the Yankees to a four-game sweep.
Ruth had his only regular season “hat trick” with the Yankees on May 22, 1930, in Philadelphia’s Shibe Park in the first game of a doubleheader which the Yankees lost, 15-7. Gehrig repeated the feat the following day in the first game of a another doubleheader in Philadelphia, a 20-13 victory over the A’s. Oh yes, Ruth and Lazerri also homered in that game.
Reggie Jackson is the only other major leaguer ever to hit three home runs in a World Series game. In just three swings in Game Six of the 1977 World Series against the Dodgers, Jax lifted the Yanks to to their first championship. in 15 years.
Gehrig is the only Yankee to hit four home runs in a single game, on June 4, 1932, against the Athletics in Philadelphia. He was the first player in the modern era to hit four in a single game. He belted the circuit clouts in his first four at bats in a 20-13 win against the A’s. Gehrig missed a fifth home runs by inches, when his drive was caught in the furthest reaches of deep centerfield.
In that same game, Lazzeri became the only player in major league baseball to finish a natural cycle with a grand slam.
Other Interesting Yankee Trey Factoids
On May 21 and 22, 1930, Ruth and Gehrig hit three home runs in successive games.
Mantle, Tommy Tresh and Tony Clark hit homers from both sides of the plate in their 3 HR games
Bobby Murcer hit four consecutive home runs — three in the second game — in a 1970 doubleheader against the Indians at Yankee Stadium.
Reggie Jackson, left, hit a home run in his final at bat in Game Five and three in a row during Game Six of the 1977 World Series. (My friend Matty was at the game at Yankee Stadium, and missed all three Reggie homers. But that’s a story for another blog.)
Johnny Blanchard in 1961 and Mickey Mantle in 1962 are the only other Yankees to hit four home runs in a row.
Lazzeri hit two grand slams and a third home run and drove in an American League record 11 runs in 1936 in a 25-2 rout of the Athletics at Shibe Park in Philadelphia. Poosh em up Tony was also the first Yankee to hit three home runs in a single game in the regular season, in 1927.
On three separate occasions, the Yankees have lost a game in which a player hit three home runs — Ruth in 1930, Mize in 1950 and Mike Stanley in 1995.
DiMaggio’s first three home run game in 1937 resulted in an 11-inning, 8-8 tie with the St. Louis Browns in Sportsman’s Park.
Mize holds the MLB record for most times hitting three home runs in a game — six. Five came with the Cardinals and Giants in the National League. He was the first player to hit three home runs in a game twice in one season in 1938 and did it again in 1940.
Mize had his final three home run game with the Yankees in 1950, just five days after DiMaggio performed the feat for the third time.
The Yankees as a team have hit three home runs in a game twice in different seven seasons — 1927, 1930, 1932, 1950, 1977, 1995, and this year.
Earlier this year, Mark Teixeira became the first Yankee to hit three home runs in a game at Fenway Park since Gehrig in 1927.
Yankees Who Have Hit Three Home Runs in One Game
1926 — Babe Ruth (World Series)
1927 — Tony Lazzeri
1927 — Lou Gehrig
1928 — Babe Ruth (World Series)
1929 — Lou Gehrig
1030 — Babe Ruth
1930 — Lou Gehrig
1932 — Lou Gehrig (4 HRs)
1932 — Ben Chapman
1936 — Tony Lazzeri
1937 — Joe DiMaggio
1939 — Bill Dickey
1940 — Charlie Keller
1948 — Joe DiMaggio
1950 — Joe DiMaggio
1950 — Johnny Mize
1955 — Mickey Mantle
1965 — Tom Tresh
1970 — Bobby Murcer
1973 — Bobby Murcer
1977 — Cliff Johnson
1977 — Reggie Jackson (World Series)
1995 — Mike Stanley
1996 — Darryl Strawberry
1995 — Paul O’Neill
1997 — Tino Martinez
2004 — Tony Clark
2005 — Alex Rodriguez
2010 — Mark Teixeira
2010 — Alex Rodriguez