The Games That Changed Baseball

Milestones in Major League History

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SKU: 9781476662268 Categories: ,

About the Book

The national pastime’s rich history and vast cache of statistics have provided fans and researchers a gold mine of narrative and data since the late 19th century. Many books have been written about Major League Baseball’s most famous games. This one takes a different approach, focusing on MLB’s most historically significant games.
Some will be familiar to baseball scholars, such as the October afternoon in 1961 when Roger Maris eclipsed Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record, or the compelling sixth game of the 1975 World Series. Other fascinating games are less well known: the day at the Polo Grounds in 1921, when a fan named Reuben Berman filed a lawsuit against the New York Giants, winning fans the right to keep balls hit into the stands; the first televised broadcast of an MLB game in 1939; opening night of the Houston Astrodome in 1965, when spectators no longer had to be taken out to the ballgame; or the spectator-less April 2015 Orioles-White Sox game, played in an empty stadium in the wake of the Baltimore riots. Each game is listed in chronological order, with detailed historical background and a box score.

About the Author(s)

John G. Robertson is a private tutor and sports historian who lives in Cambridge, Ontario. He is also the author of several books on baseball history.
Andy Saunders is a baseball buff who hosts trivia shows in his hometown. He lives in Guelph, Ontario.

Bibliographic Details

John G. Robertson and Andy Saunders
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 276
Bibliographic Info: 39 photos, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6226-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2259-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments    vi

Preface    1

The 43 Most Historically Significant MLB Games

April 22, 1876 (First National League Game) 3

August 17, 1877 (First MLB ­Game-Fixing Scandal) 9

September 4, 1884 (Moses Fleetwood Walker’s Last MLB Game) 15

April 19, 1890 (First Players’ League Game) 20

April 27, 1893 (First Game Using the Modern 6­0’6″ Pitching Distance) 29

April 24, 1901 (First American League Game) 33

October 1, 1903 (First Modern World Series Game) 37

September 23, 1908 (“Bonehead” Merkle Game) 46

October 3, 1915 (Final Federal League Game) 60

October 1, 1919 (Game One of the 1919 World Series) 67

April 14, 1920 (Babe Ruth’s First Game as a New York Yankee) 73

August 16, 1920 (Ray Chapman Fatality) 77

May 16, 1921 (Fans Attain the Right to Keep Balls Batted into the Stands) 84

August 5, 1921 (First Radio Broadcast of an MLB Game) 88

July 6, 1933 (First MLB ­All-Star Game) 92

May 24, 1935 (First MLB Night Game) 96

August 26, 1939 (First Televised MLB Game) 101

April 15, 1947 (Jackie Robinson’s MLB Debut) 105

August 19, 1951 (Eddie Gaedel Comes to Bat) 112

October 3, 1951 (The Shot Heard Round the World) 117

April 14, 1953 (First Milwaukee Braves Home Game) 120

September 24, 1957 (Last Game at Ebbets Field) 125

October 1, 1961 (Roger Maris’s 61st Home Run) 133

April 12, 1965 (First ­Regular-Season MLB Indoor Game) 141

April 14, 1969 (First MLB Game in Canada) 148

October 13, 1971 (First World Series Night Game) 152

April 6, 1973 (Debut of the Designated Hitter) 157

April 8, 1974 (Hank Aaron’s 715th Career Home Run) 161

April 9, 1974 (Debut of the San Diego Chicken) 167

October 21, 1975 (Game Six of the 1975 World Series) 173

September 9, 1979 (Bob Montgomery’s Final Game) 177

October 26, 1985 (Game Six of the 1985 World Series) 182

October 3, 1995 (First ­Post-Season Game Featuring a ­Wild-Card Team) 186

June 12, 1997 (First Interleague Game) 190

September 8, 1998 (Mark McGwire’s 62nd Home Run) 195

July 9, 2002 (All-Star Game Tie) 203

October 14, 2003 (Game Six of the 2003 NLCS) 208

August 7, 2007 (Barry Bonds’ 756th Career Home Run) 215

June 2, 2010 (Jim Joyce’s Blown Call) 222

May 25, 2011 (Buster Posey’s Injury) 229

October 5, 2012 (First ­Wild-Card ­Play-In Game) 234

March 31, 2014 (First Use of the ­Video-Review Challenge System) 238

April 29, 2015 (First MLB Game Played with Zero Paid Attendance) 245

Appendix: Games That Didn’t Quite Make the Cut    251

Notes    252

Bibliography    257

Index    261

Book Reviews & Awards

“the authors did a great job picking and explaining their choices”—Sports Collectors Digest; “well researched and presented…fans should check out this book”—Gregg’s Baseball Bookcase.