The Baseball Hall of Fame class is inducted into Cooperstown, highlighted by the unanimous selection of Mariano Rivera in his first year on the ballot; the first time a player has ever received votes from every single voting BBWAA member. Posthumous inductee Roy Halladay is represented by his wife, Brandy, who chooses to leave his cap blank, as does Mike Mussina. Edgar Martinez rounds out the players voted in by the BBWAA, while Harold Baines and Lee Smith receive their due via the Today’s Game Era Committee. Fittingly, Mo closes out the speeches and quips, “I don’t understand why I always have to be the last."
2017: Judge’s titanic blast
Aaron Judge hits a colossal three-run home run that nearly flies out of Safeco Field to help down the Mariners, 5-1. It’s Judge’s first home run since winning the Home Run Derby and his Major-League-leading 31st of the year. Clint Frazier makes a nice diving catch and adds an RBI double to support CC Sabathia, who earns the win on his 37th birthday.
2006: Two for one
Going deep in the third inning at Rogers Centre off Toronto’s A.J. Burnett checks off two milestones for Alex Rodriguez. Not only is the blast his 2,000th career hit, but it also makes him the youngest player to reach 450 home runs.
1988: What could have been
The trade of Seinfeld fame: Jay Buhner is shipped to Seattle for Ken Phelps (and two other Minor Leaguers). Five years later to the day (in 1993), Buhner will have his only career five-hit game, providing the game’s final two runs on a home run in a 10-3 Mariners win against the Yankees at the Stadium.
1984: A pair of Yanks join Monument Park
On Old-Timers’ Day, the Yankees retire the uniform numbers of Roger Maris (9) and Elston Howard (32) and erect plaques in their honor in Monument Park. Howard, the 1963 MVP and first black player to play for the team, is recognized posthumously, while Maris, a two-time MVP (1960 and 1961) whose 61-homer season in 1961 still remains the American League mark, will pass away a little over a year later from lymphoma.
1980: CC Sabathia is born
Carsten Charles Sabathia is born in Vallejo, California. A star in both baseball and football, Sabathia is selected as the 20th overall pick in the 1998 draft by the Cleveland Indians, winning the 2007 AL Cy Young Award before signing with the Yankees as a free agent prior to 2009 and being named ALCS MVP during the club’s title run that season.
1961: Blanchard’s pinch-hit grand slam
Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle hit back-to-back home runs in the first inning, and the Yankees jump out to a 6-3 lead through five innings against the Red Sox at Fenway. But Boston battles back and holds an 8-7 lead in the ninth inning as Johnny Blanchard pinch hits with the bases loaded and two outs. Blanchard takes Mike Fornieles’ offering deep for a pinch-hit grand slam to give the Yankees an 11-8 lead that would end up being the final. Blanchard’s home run was also the sixth pinch-hit grand slam in the AL that season, a new league record.