Who was the first Major League Baseball player to have his uniform number retired?

In short, the first Major League Baseball (MLB) player to have his uniform retired was Henry Louis ‘Lou’ Gehrig. A first baseman by trade, Gehrig signed for the New York Yankees on April 29, 1923 but, after just seven games, he was sent back down to Hartford Senators of the Eastern League for the remainder of the season. In fact, it was not until June 2, 1925, during an uncharacteristic slump in form, that he made his first start for the Yankees, replacing regular first baseman Wally Pipp.

Yankees manager Miller Huggins was evidently impressed and, before the next game, told Gehrig, ‘You’re my first baseman, today and from now on’. So he was, too, playing 2,130 consecutive games for the Yankees, thereby setting an MLB record that stood until September 6, 1995, when it was finally broken by Baltimore Orioles’ shortstop Calvin Ripken Jr..

Known as the ‘Iron Horse’ because of his dependability, endurance and no mean hitting ability, Gehrig recorded 185 runs batted in (RBI) in 1931 and 173 in both 1927 and 1930, to lie second and tied fifth in the all-time single-season list. He was also instrumental in the Yankees winning the World Series six times, in 1927, 1928, 1932, 1936, 1937 and 1938.

Gehrig played his last game for the New York Yankees on April 30, 1939, voluntarily withdrawing from the starting lineup two days later because of ill health. He was subsequently diagnosed with

amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease (MND), which would claim his life two years later. On July 4, 1939, Gehrig delivered an emotional farewell speech at Yankee Stadium, in which he described himself as the ‘luckiest man on the face of the earth’. His uniform number, No. 4, which reflected his position in the Yankees’ batting order, was officially retired on the same day.

Which was the longest postseason game in Major League Baseball history?

In terms of duration, the longest postseason game in Major League Baseball (MLB) history was Game Three of the 2018 World Series between the Los Angeles Dodgers, of the National League (NL), and the Boston Red Sox, of the American League (AL) at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles on October 26, 2018. The Dodgers eventually won 3-2 in 18 innings, after an elapsed time of seven hours hours and 20 minutes, or one hour and 39 minutes longer than the previous record, five hours and 41 minutes, set by the Chicago Red Sox and the Houston Astros in Game Three of the 2005 World Series.

Dodgers’ outfielder Joc Pederson opened the scoring with a home run in the bottom of the third inning, but his effort was cancelled out by right fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., a.k.a. ‘JBJ’, who hit a two-out solo home run in the top the eight inning to tie the scores at 1-1. The scores remained that way throughout a scoreless ninth, tenth, eleventh and twelfth inning. In the thirteenth inning, the teams scored a run apiece, courtesy of utility player Brock Holt for the Red Sox and infielder Maxwell ‘Max’ Muncy for the Dodgers, both of whom walked initially and eventually made it home after fielding errors.

Four and a half scoreless innings later, Muncy hit a walk-off home run off relief pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to win the game 3-2. Victory for the Dodgers reduced their deficit to 2-1 in the series, but ‘The Crimson Hose’ won Game Four and Game Five, both at Dodger Stadium, to win the ‘Fall Classic’ 4-1.

Which Major League Baseball player has played the most games?

The two professional baseball leagues in North America, the National League (NL) and the American League (AL) were officially founded in 1876 and 1901, respectively. However, they acted as independent, rival organisations until 1903, when they signed a ‘National Agreement’ and joined forces to form Major League Baseball (MLB).

In the better part of a century and a quarter, the record for the most games played in an MLB career is held by Peter Rose Snr., who, between April 8, 1963 and August 17, 1986, made 3,562 appearances for Cincinnati Reds, Phildelphia Phillies and, briefly, Montreal Expos. Rose was a switch-hitter – that is, he batted right-handed against left-handed pitchers and vice versa – and, throughout his career, fielded variously at second base, left field, right field, third base and first base.

Rose was NL Rookie of the Year in 1963, by which time he had already earned his nickname ‘Charlie Hustle’, after demonstrating the head-first slides that would become his trademark against a New York Yankees team featuring Mickey Mantel and Edward ‘Whitey’ Ford, to name but two, in spring training. As part of the so-called ‘Big Red Machine’, as Cincinnati Reds were known during the seventies, he won consecutive World Series in 1975 and 1976 and, having been traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in 1979, won the ‘Fall Classic’ again in 1980.

By the time he retired, unofficially, as a player on November 11, 1986, Rose also had 4,256 hits to his name, more than anyone else in MLB history. However, the latter part of his career was overshadowed by accusations of gambling, to which he later admitted, leading to a ban from MLB and, hence, ineligibility for the Baseball Hall of Fame, in August, 1989.

Was ‘Shoeless Joe’ Jackson part of the Black Sox Scandal?

The Black Sox Scandal was a Major League Baseball (MLB) scandal, which resulted in eight members of the Chicago White Sox being banned from professional baseball for life after they were accused of accepting bribes to lose the 1919 World Series to the Cincinnati Reds. One of the accused was star outfielder Joseph Jefferson Jackson – nicknamed ‘Shoeless Joe’ after batting in his socks, while nursing blistered feet, as a youngster – although his personal complicity has been hotly debated ever since.

Before the Cook County Grand Jury, on September 28, 1920, Jackson confessed to having received $5,000, of a promised $20,000, to throw the World Series in favour of Cincinnati, although he also testified that he had made no intentional errors during the whole series. In fact, his overall batting average, .375, was the highest on either side during the World Series.

Likewise, he attested that he never met, or spoke to, any member of the gambling syndicate allegedly bankrolled by New York racketeer Arnold Rothstein. Neither did he attend any meeting of White Sox players, with or without the gamblers, at which the’fix’ was discussed, as later corroborated by his fellow accused players. Pitcher Claude ‘Lefty’ Williams revealed that Jackson was named as a participant to increase the players’ credibiliy in the eyes of the gamblers.

The following August, Jackson stood trial and, despite his grand jury confession being read, in full, to the jury, he was acquitted, along with all seven team-mates, through lack of evidence. Neverthless, the newly-appointed Commissioner of Baseball, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis, banned all eight players from playing professional baseball in perpetuity. Later, Jackson repeatedly denied having confessed his guilt to the grand jury and pointed towards his World Series statistics as proof of his innocence.

Which Major League Baseball (MLB) player hit the most home runs in a single season?

On October 5, 2001, San Francisco Giants’ left fielder Barry Bonds hit a 440′ home run over the right-center field fence at Pacific Park, San Francisco, off Los Angeles Dodgers’ pitcher Chan Ho Park, to beat the single-season home run record (70) set by St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman Mark McGwire three seasons earlier. Two innings later, Bonds hit another, over the center field fence, off the same pitcher and, two days later, blistered a knuckleball from another Dodgers’ pitcher, Dennis Springer, over the right field fence to finish the season with a remarkable 73 home runs.

Of course, like McGwire, Bonds set the record during the so-called ‘steroid era’ and has repeatedly been denied entry to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, presumably because of his alleged association with performance-enhancing drugs in the latter part of his career. Controversial though his record may be, it should not be forgotten that, in 2001, Bonds played in 153 of 162 games, batting at third or fourth in the Giants’ lineup, and was walked a total of 177 times. Furthermore, the depth of the outfield at Pacific Park (now, of course, Oracle Park) makes it a pitcher-friendly ballpark, such that Bonds only hit one more home run at home than he did elsewhere.

Calls for Bonds’ record to be expunged from the record books will, no doubt, continue but, for as long as it remains, it seems unlikely to be broken. Since 2001, a player has hit more than 50 or more home runs in a season 12 times, but the closest anyone has come to beating Bonds’ record is 62. Indeed, that was the number recorded by New York Yankees’ outfielder Aaron Judge in 2022, thereby beating the American League single-season record set by former Yankees’ right fielder Roger Maris in 1961.