There’s been a lot of weird baseball history to take place on May 6.
That’s probably something of a blanket statement, as you likely can pick out any date over the course of a baseball season and look back over 100-plus years to find plenty of notable events on each day. But there’s just something a little different about May 6.
Or, at the very least, it’s freaking May 6 and there aren’t a whole lot of things better to do than look back at what’s happened on this day in baseball history.
It all starts with some guy named Babe Ruth. On this day 100 years ago, the then-pitcher hit the first home run of his legendary career. With a touch of irony, Ruth hit the home run against the New York Yankees, the team he infamously was sold to a couple of years later. The Yankees ultimately won the game in extra innings because of course they did.
It was the first of 49 home runs Ruth would hit with the Red Sox — he hit a mere 659 as a member of the Yankees. Oh, and just because it’s incredible, here’s a look at Ruth’s Baseball-Reference page, which is a sight to behold.
Fast forward almost two decades to May 6, 1931, the day the Mays family said hey to newborn Willie Mays. All he’s amounted to in his 84 years on this planet is turning himself into one of the greatest players of all time as well as one of the game’s most respected ambassadors. Mays sits tied for fourth all time in home runs with Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez. That means Rodriguez could end up passing Mays on the all-time list as soon as Wednesday night against Toronto, which would add to the wonder of May 6.
Wednesday is also the birthday of another outfielder who has his own (much smaller) and very infamous note in history. May 6 is Izzy Alcantara’s birthday, too (thanks to Cespedes Family BBQ for the heads-up). You may not remember Alcantara for his playing career, as he played 51 unspectacular major league games for the Red Sox and Milawaukee Brewers. If you do remember Izzy, it’s likely for his drop kick. Alcantara was the guy who once drop-kicked a catcher before charging the mound in a game.
May 6 also marks the date of one of the most incredible pitching performances ever. You actually could make the case that Kerry Wood’s May 6, 1998 start against the Houston Astros truly was the most dominant start in baseball history. The young right-hander was incredible that day, tying a major league record with 20 strikeouts in the game. How he allowed a hit let alone a run is beyond comprehension.
Oh, and speaking of 20 strikeouts, May 6, 2007 was a big day for Roger Clemens. He ended the painful speculation and returned to the New York Yankees after three seasons with the Houston Astros. Bad idea, given the fact Rocket went 6-6 with a 4.18 ERA in 2007, the final season of his career. It did, however, give us this hilarious and ridiculous on-air meltdown from Yankees radio announcer Suzyn Waldman.
So there you have it. In addition to the Eiffel Tower officially opening to the public and the Hindenburg disaster, a lot of things in baseball also have happened on May 6 over the years. The more you know.
Thumbnail photo via Twitter/FOXdeportes
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