May 24 in sports history: The great American caution flag

The bigger story was that this was the first Stanley Cup win — and the team’s last overall — without Wayne Gretzky, who was traded to the Los Angeles Kings in 1988. Of course, there was still quite a bit of talent in Edmonton to get the team over the hump against the favored Bruins. “We’ve been through a lot of changes,” Mark Messier would go on to say. “But we never lost our winning attitude.”

The raising of Lazzeri

1936: Joe DiMaggio and Lou Gehrig were usually enough to handle a scuffling team like the Philadelphia A’s. Yet few would have envisioned what the crowd at Shibe Park witnessed from Tony Lazzeri. Batting eighth in a loaded New York Yankees lineup, the second baseman rocked the A’s with two grand slams, a solo shot and a two-run triple. The most dominant single game from a position player in Yankees history, Lazzeri’s 11 RBI would fall one short of tying the all-time single-game record set by Jim Bottomley of the St. Louis Cardinals against the Brooklyn Robins in 1924. (Bottomley’s record was finally matched in 1993 by another Cardinal, Mark Whitten.)

Can we go home now?

1994: In the complete opposite of Bottomley’s feat, the Cardinals would set a new MLB record of infamy, as the lineup would leave 16 runners on base…without scoring a single run. David West and three Philadelphia Phillies relievers would somehow prove the adage of “bend, but don’t break” in the 4-0 victory. In the Phillies’ side of the 9th, pinch hitter Pete Incaviglia blasted a three-run homer off Mike Perez to add a little more misery for the Redbirds.

Save big!

1995: Oakland A’s closer Dennis Eckersley collected the 300th save of his Hall of Fame career in a 5-2 win over the Baltimore Orioles. At the time, Eck became the sixth closer to reach the milestone.

2016: Francisco Rodriguez nabbed his 400th save as the Detroit Tigers beat the Philadelphia Phillies, 3-1.

Baseball to the extreme

1918: In the ultimate rubber-arm performance on the mound, Cleveland’s Stan Coveleski pitched 19 innings — you read that correctly — in the Indians’ 3-2 victory over the Yankees. He was helped by a homer from former pitcher Joe Wood.

1947: Hitting for pitcher Gene Hermanski — in the first inning — Brooklyn’s Carl Furillo knocked out a three-run homer. So why was Hermanski pulled so early? Phillies manager Ben Chapman started righty Al Jurisch to only have him pitch to the Dodgers’ leadoff hitters, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson. Reese would strike out, but Robinson walked. Oscar Judd, a lefty, came on to face three left-handed bats: Pete Reiser, Dixie Walker and Hermanski. Reiser walked, but Walker popped out.

Furillo’s homer would give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Yet maybe Chapman’s strategy wasn’t necessary. The Phillies would win the game anyway, 4-3, in 10 innings.

Happy birthday…

  • Former NBA star Tracy McGrady, seven-time All Star who twice led the NBA in scoring. The Hall of Famer was a first-round draft pick of the Raptors in 1997 right out of high school and also played for Orlando and Houston during his illustrious career. He currently serves as an NBA analyst on ESPN. (41)
  • Mitch Kupchak, NBA champ with the Washington Bullets and L.A. Lakers. Kupchak, also an Olympic Gold Medalist, succeeded Jerry West as GM of the Lakers and currently serves as president of basketball operations and GM for the Charlotte Hornets. (66)
  • Joe Dumars, six-time All Star who helped the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons to back-back NBA championships in 1989 and 1990. The Hall of Famer, who spent his entire 14-year career in Detroit, served as the team’s president of basketball operations for 14 years, building the 2004 championship Pistons team. (57)
  • Joey Logano, winner of the 2015 Daytona 500. Logano was the 2009 Sprint Cup Series Rookie of the Year. (30)
  • Former MLB pitcher Bartolo Colon, 2005 Cy Young Award winner. Nicknamed “Big Sexy,” Colon won 247 games over his 21-year career with 11 teams. The four-time All-Star hasn’t pitched since 2018 but recently said he would consider a return to the mound. (47)
  • Wide receiver Nelson Agholor, first-round draft pick by the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015. Agholor had nine catches in Super Bowl LII and now is a member of the Las Vegas Raiders. (27)
  • Pat Verbeek, assistant GM for the Detroit Red Wings and winner of the Stanley Cup with Dallas in 1999. As a player, Verbeek was known as “The Little Ball of Hate,” racking up 2,902 penalty minutes and 522 goals over his 20-year career. (56)

R.I.P.

1966: Golfer Jim Barnes, winner of the first PGA Championship, in 1916. Barnes won four majors and had 17 PGA Tour wins. Standing at 6-foot-4, he was known as “Long Jim” and is one of only eight golfers to have won the U.S. Open, the PGA and the Open Championship. He was 80.

Published at Sat, 23 May 2020 18:51:00 +0000

Source: May 24 in sports history: The great American caution flag.

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