Baseball History: October 3

dave winfield 1974October 3 is a big day in our family as our son was born on that date.

We knew he would love sports because he chose to arrive on important day in baseball history, exactly two weeks earlier than expected.

That Sunday, my football team, the Green Bay Packers didn’t play, so he knew there would not be a game to worry about.

With my wife sleeping in our hospital room, he allowed me to watch the final regular season game for the Cincinnati Reds in 1999, which they won.

Within 45 minutes of the last out of the Reds game, Ryan (named of course after Nolan Ryan) made his entrance into the world destined to be a sports fan.

dennis eckersley 1976He shares his birthday with National Baseball Hall of Fame members Dave Winfield (1951) and Dennis Eckersley (1954).

The Historical Significance of October 3

How many events can you remember from this chronological list?

* The Chicago Cubs win a World Series game in 1945 over the Detroit Tigers 9-0 as Hank Borowy earns the victory.

* Brooklyn’s Cookie Lavagetto breaks up a no-hitter by Bill Bevens of the New York Yankees with two outs in the ninth inning as the Dodgers go on to win 3-2 in the fourth game of the 1947 World Series.

* New York Giants win the 1951 National League pennant on Bobby Thomson‘s home run off Ralph Branca and move on to the World Series.

* The San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-4 in the decisive contest of the 1962 NL playoff series to advance to the World Series.

* Mickey Lolich wins the first of his three victories in the 1968 World Series over the St. Louis Cardinals. He also hit his first major league home run.

* Pittsburgh’s Bob Robertson hits three home runs against the San Francisco Giants in 1971 as the Pirates win game two of the NL Championship Series.

frank robinson 1975* Frank Robinson became the first African-American manager in the big leagues when he is selected by the Cleveland Indians in 1974 to take over the team the following season.

* Hank Aaron gets the final hit of his career with the Milwaukee Brewers in 1976. He finishes with 3,771 hits in his 23 seasons.

* In 1990, George Brett and Willie McGee won batting titles. Brett became the first player to win the American League batting race in three decades after winning crowns in 1976 and 1980. McGee had enough plate appearances to win the NL title despite being traded from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Oakland A’s, which had him switching leagues.

It’s a pretty amazing list. As he celebrates his big day, it’s nice that he understands the importance of the date in baseball history.

Happy Birthday to Ryan, Dave and Dennis.

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