Dave Winfield's 3000th Hit (9/6/93)
Throughout his career, you could set your clock to Dave Winfield. With the notable exception of 1979, he wouldn't top any leaderboards, but at the end of the year, the numbers would be there.
In fact, his steady performance over 22 MLB seasons detracted from his Hall-of-Fame credentials in the eyes of some, rather than supported them. "Winfield was always GOOD, but never GREAT for very long, " was the argument.
Whatever your position on the big fella, he still achieved what only 18 men had before him and what 12 (soon to be 13) have achieved since—knock out George Foreman.
No, not really. On September 16, 1993, Winfield joined the 3,000 hit club as a member of his hometown Minnesota Twins, where he'd signed to "end" his career. (He'd instead be traded to Cleveland during the 1994 strike for...dinner. Not making that up.)
Like most of his career achievements, any acclaim surrounding Winfield's feat paled in comparison to the retirement tours of Robin Yount and George Brett that same summer—perhaps because he was never iconic to one franchise as were Yount and Brett.
Still, he got in "The Club", and nine years later, the Hall of Fame.
Notes: Winfield finished up with 3,110 hits—20th-most ever. His 465 home runs place him 34th all-time, but he was 18th when he quit.
The milestone hit helped Minnesota to victory; the Twins entered the 9th down 2-0 and exited it tied thanks in large part to Winfield's hit and eventual tying run.
After Oakland went up again in the 13th, the Twins rallied again in their half, eventually winning 5-4 on a Chip Hale first-pitch RBI single off Roger Smithberg.
Dennis Eckersley was tagged with his ninth blown save; Mike Bordick and Craig Paquette are the A's diving unsuccessfully for Winfield's grounder. #45 Wayne Terwiliger is the first base coach, and the ump giving Dave a congratulatory pat is Chuck Meriwether.
Marlon Byrd Beaned, 5/21/11
A previous video centered around a line drive hitting a bird. Our current, less-jocular video depicts a 90+mph fastball hitting a Byrd...in the head.
Byrd, then with the Chicago Cubs, faced Red Sox starter Alfredo Aceves with one out in the second inning of a scoreless game. Aceves' 1-2 pitch heat-seeked right into the side of Byrd's head.
It is easy from a television screen to opine that the beaning looked worse than it was—considering he sat out the next six weeks, Mr. Byrd would probably take some offense to that, though none was intended.
My point is, when a man reacts to a blow to the head as Byrd did—see video—you're thinking he's suffered irreperable harm. You're certainly not thinking he's gonna pop right back up, as the dazed outfielder (fortunately) did.
Byrd was pinch-run for by Reed Johnson—yes, the same Reed Johnson who, as a Miami Marlin, finished up Giancarlo Stanton's at-bat following his brutal 2014 beaning.
Notes: Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis is shown wincing after Byrd is hit.
Obviously, this was a Turn Back The Clock game with the club sporting uniforms from 1918—Fenway Park also ditched its' PA announcer and music for further authenticity. Julia Ruth Stevens, the 94-year-old daughter of Babe Ruth, tossed the ceremonial first pitch.
Aceves—who also drilled Kosuke Fukudome leading off the game—went five innings with a run allowed in his first start of 2011 after 11 relief appearances. Carlos Zambrano went 5.2 for the Cubs, allowing three ER. Neither SP received a decision.
Down 3-1 late, Chicago dropped eight on Boston in the 8th and won 9-3. Byrd returned July 2, going hitless in his first two games back before settling in. Interestingly, Byrd and Aceves would spend two months as Red Sox teammates one year later.
Pirates Hurler Takes A BLOW (4/24/10)
Chris Jakubauskas' career was one setback after another. He underwent Tommy John surgery as a collegiate and went undrafted. He toiled for years in the Independent Leagues until finally signed by the Mariners. Three more years passed before he reached the majors, at age 30.
Seattle cut him, but Pittsburgh brought him in. In his very first inning as a Pirate—and ultimately very last—his head got in the way of a Lance Berkman (Astros) line drive. Though Jakubauskas never lost consciousness and broke no bones, he'd be out four months, and outrighted to the minors upon recovering. Yet another setback.
(Be sure to spot Pirates catcher Jason Jaramillo in the instant replay; he's nearly able to spear the carom off his pitcher's dome. That's how hard it was hit.)
Notes: The game was scoreless in the 1st at the time of the play; host Houston did have Michael Bourn on base, however—he'd score along with Berkman on a double by Hunter Pence off Jakubauskas' successor D.J. Carrasco. The Astros came away with a 5-2 victory despite a late Pirates threat.
Jakubauskas got in 33 games with Baltimore in 2011, but was not particularly effective and never pitched in the majors again. He officially retired from pro baseball in early 2014 at 35.
Dag Yabel! (8/31/13)
He's been behind the mike for the Giants for over 25 years. He memorably called the final out of the 2010 World Series, Matt Cain's 2012 perfect game, a couple of no-hitters, 14 years of Barry Bonds and for good measure, Aubrey Huff's inside-the-park homer. Plus countless other special moments in Giants history.
So why has Duane Kuiper's call of an innocent tapper by the opposing pitcher in August generated so much national pub for him, more than the others put together ever did?
Click the video. You'll soon learn.
Notes: This play occured with one out in the third inning. Trevor Cahill is the batter; Ryan Vogelsong the pitcher. 3B Pablo Sandoval completes the play to Brandon Belt at 1B. San Francisco would lose 4-3 on a walk-off hit by Eric Chavez—who wreaked havoc on the Giants during his 1½ Diamondback seasons—in the 9th.
Seattle Refuses To Lose (10/8/95)
You know the story by now: Seattle Mariners team flush with young superstars but low in the standings gets scalding hot in the final two months of the 1995 season, ripping the AL West championship right out of the California Angels' hands.
In the ALDS, they matched up with the Wild-Card New York Yankees—out of the playoffs for 13 years but still the storied franchise with 22 World Series championships to their name.
The M's had fallen in the first two games of the series and not looked particularly crisp in doing so. Upon returning home, they quickly tied the series and fought to a 4-4 tie after 10 innings of Game 5.
New York went up 5-4 in the 11th and sent crowd flipper/former Cy Young winner Jack McDowell to dispatch Seattle. He spectacularly failed, allowing a bunt single to Joey Cora, a conventional single to Ken Griffey Jr., and a two-run walk-off double to Edgar Martinez that sent the "underdog" Mariners—the underdog with an identical win total as a favorite who didn't even win their division—to the ALCS!
(Re-) learned by watching this clip: the on-field pileup didn't last nearly as long as I remembered, Junior's voice really doesn't match his face, and Paul O'Neill has never looked more defeated (1:30)
Notes: Many Mariners starred offensively, but Martinez' blow capped a 12-for-21, 10-RBI ALDS—which, remember, was only five games long. Randy Johnson was the winning pitcher in relief, just two days after firing seven innings of four-hit ball at the Yankees in Game 3!
David Cone (7.2 IP, 4 ER) and Andy Benes (6.2 IP, 4 ER) started for New York/Seattle, respectively.
Yankee defenders involved in the play: Gerald Williams (LF) Tony Fernandez (SS) and Jim Leyritz (C; Williams and Leyritz were subs). Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez were both present for their respective teams, but neither were regulars yet and watched from the bench.
The John McSherry Tragedy, 4/1/96
Disclaimer: I don't rattle easy, but this video rattled me. And if it rattled me, there's a good chance it'll rattle you. Be warned before pressing play that you are basically watching a man die—this might not be something the sensitive TSR visitor would be comfortable viewing.
But if you are...
Opening Day, 1996. Defending NL Central Champion Cincinnati is hosting Montreal at old Riverfront Stadium (Cinergy Field). Umpiring behind the plate is 24-year veteran McSherry. As Reds ace Pete Schourek faces Expo Rondell White with two outs in the first, McSherry calls time-out, clearly under duress. He then motioned for another umpire to presumably follow him into the umpire's dressing room, where he himself began to head.
Sadly, he never made it there. As you'll see in the clip, he goes down and never regains consciousness. Though he's not officially pronounced dead of a massive heart attack until reaching the hospital, those on scene are convinced he was gone immediately.
No Red or Expo felt much like continuing—who could blame them—so the game was postponed and re-started the next day. Schourek beat Jeff Fassero 4-1.
Notes: In addition to the medical staffs of both teams, numerous doctors in attendance rushed onto the field to aid the fallen umpire, who had been slated to receive a heart examination the next day—he'd postponed the appointment in order to work Opening Day.
McSherry's death landed Reds owner Marge Schott in (more) hot water. In response to the tragedy, she showed more annoyance than grief over McSherry's passing and was more upset about the postponement of the game than the loss of a life, and was publicly excoriated.
One Throw, Two Outs (10/4/06)
This particular clip holds a special place in my heart. It has the always-hilarious element of two runners dashing home practically at once, and—best of all—those two runners are Dodgers! (We here at TSR are longtime Giants supporters.)
It occured in the 2006 NLDS, in the second inning of Game 1 at Shea Stadium, New York. Facing Mets starter John Maine with Jeff Kent on second and J.D. Drew on first—and zero out—rookie catching sensation Russ Martin clears the bases with a double to right...but not in the way you'd initially think.
You see, Kent broke extremely late from second, getting himself tagged out by a mile at home courtesy of ex-Dodger Paul LoDuca. Curiously, the trail runner Drew was sent right behind him....see video for conclusion.
Afterward, Dodgers 3B coach Rich Donnelly explained his decision to send Drew...which kind of makes sense.
(The only way this blooper could be improved upon: Kent got up too quickly. A still-shot of Kent and Drew both lying dejected on their bellies would be framed on my wall with an accompanying smart-aleck caption.)
Notes: All three Mets involved in the play were ex-Dodgers: RF Shawn Green, 2B Jose Valentin, and LoDuca—though not all three were together at once.
Martin was actually driven home by the next batter, Marlon Anderson, putting LA on top early in spite of itself. But New York's Carlos Delgado—in the first playoff game of his 14-year career—went off, going 4-for-5 against the Dodgers shift with a homer as the Mets triumphed 6-5. They'd sweep the series, but lose to STL in the NLCS.
Maine was an emergency starter for the Mets in place of injured El Duque Hernandez; he went 4.1 IP with one run allowed.
Marcus Camby HEAVES! (3/26/12)
If anyone were to do a biographical write-up of Camby's 18-year NBA career, it would focus on the portion spent with the Toronto Raptors, New York Knicks and Denver Nuggets—Camby's five-week tenure with the post-lockout, 34-32 Rockets at age 38 wouldn't be more than a footnote...
...were it not for this shot.
On March 26, 2012—four days past Camby's 38th birthday—the Rockets trailed the visiting Kings 72-71 as the third quarter wound down. Following a missed layup by Tyreke Evans, Camby collected the carom and heaved—a 90-foot swish! Unfortunately for Houston, the shot was wiped off—he hadn't quite let it go when time expired.
For Camby—who was in his fifth of 19 Rockets games—the shot would have been lifetime three-pointer #16. (He did go on to make two as a Rocket, retiring with 18.)
Notes: Houston trailed by as many as 16 early before finally going ahead in the 4th quarter; the game went into overtime where free throws by newcomer Earl Boykins—who'd literally joined the team an hour before tipoff to fill the ill Kyle Lowry's void—dispatched the mediocre Kings.
Camby played 21 minutes, blocked three shots and grabbed seven rebounds.
#54 Patrick Patterson—who led the Rockets with 24 points—is the Camby teammate who hogties him following the shot.
The MoPete Miracle (3/30/07)
There's miracle shots, and there's miracle shots. What's the difference?
Derek Fisher's buzzer-beater against the Spurs in '04 was a miracle shot. Ray Allen's 3 to sink the Spurs in 2013 was a miracle shot. Christian Laettner hit a miracle shot for Duke in 1992. Just this month, Stephen Curry drilled a miracle 3 to send a playoff game into overtime.
Morris Peterson's 3 classifies as a true miracle shot because his Raptors had lost the game. It was over. There was no play being run for Peterson; the Raptors had not just come up with the ball after a defensive stop. The game was over. All Washington had to do was hold the ball and draw breath.
But the Wizards, as you'll see in the video, couldn't do that—specifically F Michael Ruffin.
Victory snatched from the hands of defeat separates a miracle shot from a miracle shot.
Real-life correlation: a prosecutor goes through the motions during closing arguments, knowing full well his/her words will do nothing to change the not-guilty verdict.
Suddenly, the defendant hops up and incriminates him/herself in response to the prosecutor, winning their case as the stunned defense team—much like the Wizards' stunned defense team—stands agape.
Peterson's 3 only tied the game (at 109), but Toronto went on to win in overtime.
Notes: Peterson, a former starter who wasn't seeing many minutes as of late, had only been inserted into the game for this play; he was nailed firmly to the bench for the first 47:55 and for all but nine seconds of OT!
Ruffin finished with zero points, five rebounds and one very ugly turnover in 26 minutes. The final score: Toronto 123, Washington 118.
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