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Baseball's Greatest Moments
Baseball has the longest, most storied history of any professional sport. Throughout it's long, colorful history, it's had many unforgettable moments. In no particular order, here are some of the greatest moments in baseball history.
Jackie Robinson Plays Professional Baseball
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in the majors. Despite ridicule and persecution, Jackie Robinson was a classy player and played his hardest everywhere he went. He won the first Rookie of the Year award (1947), won the MVP in 1949 and helped the Brooklyn Dodgers to the franchise's first World Series title in 1955. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1962. He fundamentally changed the game for the better.
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Lou Gehrig's Farewell
On July 4, 1939 Lou Gehrig gave an impassioned farewell at Yankee Stadium. The "Iron Horse" ended his illustrious career because of a debilitating illness. In his emotional speech in front of 62,000 loyal fans, he said, "Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about about the bad break I got. Yet today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for 17 years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans."
Johnny Vander Meer's Back-to-Back No-Hitters
In just his second season the the bigs, 23-year-old Johnny pitched BACK-TO-BACK no-hitters. The first was against the Boston Braves on June 11, 1938. The next was on June 15, 1938 against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pete Rose later said, "No one will ever break Vander Meer's record. To break it, someone will have to pitch three no-hitters in a row. Nobody is ever going to do that."
Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard Round the World"
On the last day of the 1951 season, Bobby Thomson hit a game-winning three-run home run in the bottom of the 9th to win the pennant. The Giants had been 12.5 games behind the Dodgers and capped an unbelievable come back with this "shot heard 'round the world." This homerun ended in Russ Hodges' historic call: "The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant! The Giants win the pennant!"
Don Larsen's Perfect Game in the World Series
On October 8, 1956, Don Larsen (of the Los Angeles Dodgers) pitched a perfect game against the New York Yankees. It was Game 5 and the World Series was tied 2-2. Larsen had pitched decently through the season but had pitched very poorly in Game 2. Nevertheless, Larsen was perfect on October 8 and that is still the only perfect game ever pitched in World Series history.
Ted Williams' Final Game
By the end of his career, The "Splendid Splinter" had become one of the best hitters ever. He was the last player to hit .400, he won the Triple Crown twice, he was a six-time batting champion, and he was an MVP twice. He had a career .344 batting average, a .482 OBP, and 520 career HR. In his last at-bat on September 28, 1960, he his a home run in front of the loyal Boston fans at Fenway Park. His first at-bat and last at-bat were homeruns. He was an incredible player.
Roger Maris Hits 61 HR
In 1961, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's long-standing single season home run record of 60 HR. This was in a time before the "livlier" baseball, smaller ballparks, and steroids. This was a season long affair with lots of hype. The Yankee faithful revered Ruth, but appreciated Maris's talent and ability.
Hank Aaron Breaks Babe Ruth's All-Time HR Record
On April 8, 1974, Hank Aaron set a new career home-run record by blasting his 715th career HR. Over his career, "Hammering Hank" won 2 batting titles, led the league in HR's 4 times, and led the league in RBI's 4 times. He won a NL MVP and was the first player with 3,000 career hits and 500 HR's. He didn't have the crazy single season production of other power hitters, but he was incredibly consistent.
Pete Rose Breaks Ty Cobb's All-time Hit Record
On April 13, 1984, Pete Rose became the second player in history to reach 4,000 hits. By the end of his career, Pete Rose had the all-time record for most hits. He was a hustler and a competitor who hated to lose. He took every game seriously, no matter the score or the stakes. Despite his off the field struggles, he was a fantastic baseball player.
Cal Ripken Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig's record
One of baseball's classiest players, Cal Ripken Jr. broke Lou Gehrig's record of 2,130 consecutive games played. Over his accomplished career, Ripken won 2 AL MVP awards, 2 Gold Gloves, 3,184 hits, 431 HR and 19 All-Star appearances. He was a mainstay of baseball during some of its most trying times.
2004 Boston Red Sox World Series Championship
In 2004, the Boston Red Sox overcame decades of heartbreak and bad luck to win the World Series. They had lost the first three games of the ALCS to their dreaded rival, the New York Yankees. Then, they did what no baseball team has ever done in the playoffs: they came back from 0-3 to win the series in 7 games. They went on to win the World Series.
What do YOU think? There are so many incredible moments to choose from. Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments.
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