July Fourth Baseball memories

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Since Baseball is the National Past Time of the United States, and the country just celebrated the fourth of July, I thought a little patriotic cross border good will was in order. So, thanks to some research help from the internet, here is a little July 4, this date in Baseball History. From 1881 to 1939 there were some memorable moments and unbelievable events. Great summer time trivia too, so cut them out and bring them to the camp site.

In 1881 at Riverside Grounds in Buffalo, Mickey Welch throws two complete game victories as the Troy Haymakers sweep a doubleheader from the Bisons in National Association action, 8-3 and 12-0. Three years later during American Association action in 1884, Guy Hecker of the Louisville Colonels pitches complete games to win both ends of a doubleheader. The Youngsville, Pennsylvania native does not walk a single batter as he beats the Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers, 5-4 and 8-2.

The first game in Chicago to begin the new century, saw approximately one thousand people in the crowd of 10,000 fans attending the game at West Side grounds celebrate Independence Day by firing pistols into the air. Chicago beat Philadelphia 5-4 in 12 innings. Wonder if anyone was killed?

On July 4, 1904 with the A's scoring two runs in the 20th inning, Rube Waddell beats Cy Young and the Red Sox, 4-2 with each hurler pitching a complete game. That’s 20 innings of complete game pitching. In 1908 with two outs and an 0-2 count in the ninth inning, Giants’ pitcher George 'Hooks' Wiltse loses his perfect game when he hits opposing pitcher, George McQuillan, with a pitch. Wiltse still keeps his no-hitter intact as the Giants win 1-0 in the tenth. During the 1911 game in Chicago, Armando Marsans and Rafael Almeida become the first Cuban natives to appear in a major league game as they both make their debut for the Reds. Appearing as pinch hitters in the eighth inning, Almeida strikes out and Marsans singles in the 8-3 loss to the Cubs at Chicago’s West Side Grounds.

A year later in 1912, Tigers’ pitcher George Mullins celebrates the nation's birthday and his own by throwing a no-hitter against the St. Louis Browns. In addition to his excellent pitching, the 32-year old also collected three hits and drove in two runs during the 7-0 victory. Skipping ahead to 1925. In a battle of lefties at Yankee Stadium, Herb Pennock and Lefty Grove of the A's hook up in a 15 inning pitchers' duel which the Yankees win, 1-0. Pennock retires the first 18 batters and the last 21 batters he faces.

It got a little rough in 1932. Bill Dickey (not our Bill Dickie) punched and broke Carl Reynolds’s jaw after the Senator collided with him at home plate. The American League suspends the Yankees’ catcher for 30 days and fines him $1,000 for his one-punch fight. Thirty days for a jaw, wonder what a concussion should be.

And probably the most poignant game ever played on July 4 was in 1939. Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium. They retired the "Iron Horse’s" uniform number 4, it will be the first ever to be retired. After emcee Sid Mercer informs the sell-out crowd the man of the hour is too moved to speak, Gehrig changes his mind when Skipper Joe McCarthy encourages him, and Gehrig delivered a keynote address for Baseball, fans of the game and baseball history describing himself as "the luckiest man on the face of the earth."

Organizations: National Association, American Association, Red Sox Yankees Reds American League

Geographic location: Chicago, United States, Buffalo Youngsville Pennsylvania Yankee Stadium

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