Tomorrow marks the six-year anniversary of Justin and B.J. Upton becoming the first brothers to each hit their 100th career home run on the same day. Saturday is the 36th anniversary of another “first,” when Joel Youngblood became the first player to collect two hits for two teams in two different cities on the same day. On August 4, 1982, Youngblood was playing for the Mets in an afternoon game at Wrigley Field. He singled to drive in two runs, was replaced in center field, and was traded to the Montreal Expos. Youngblood rushed to Philadelphia for the Expos game that night, where he hit a seventh-inning single.
The game of baseball is rich with Fantastic Firsts. Here are some of our favorites.
- Chicago White Sox owner, Bill Veeck, becomes the first to put player names on the backs of their jerseys.
- Slugger Dave Kingman is the first ever to play for teams in four different divisions in the same year [Mets, Padres, Angels, Yankees].
- Baltimore Orioles outfielder Frank Robinson is named AL MVP.Having been named NL MVP while playing for the Cincinnati Reds in 1961, Robbie becomes the first – and only – player to win MVP honors in both leagues.
- While playing shortstop and managing the Cleveland Indians, Lou Boudreau moved his infield to the right of second base to combat Ted Williams, who was a dead-pull hitter.It was the first defensive shift in baseball and is commonly used today.
- Davey Johnson, who was the first player to hit two game-winning grand slams in one year, resigns as skipper of the Baltimore Orioles.It was the one and only time in MLB history that a manager resigned on the same day he was named Manager of the Year.
- Ed Rommel is the first umpire to wear glasses during a regular season game.
- The Milwaukee Braves hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs in one inning.Led by sluggers Eddie Matthews, Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock and Frank Thomas, the Braves became the first team to belt four consecutive homers.
- Harvey Haddix became the first pitcher to throw 12 perfect innings.He then lost the game in the 13th. Talk about heartbreak !
- Robin Ventura is the first to hit grand slam home runs in both games of a doubleheader. Against the Texas Rangers four years earlier, Ventura hit two grand slams in the same game, becoming just the eighth player in history to accomplish that feat.
- In the same season he broke the color barrier and became big league baseball’s first black player, Jackie Robinson is named Rookie of the Year.It was the first year MLB honored it’s Rookie of the Year.
- After winning the AL Cy Young Award with the Cleveland Indians in 1972, 40-year-old right-hander Gaylord Perry captures the NL Cy Young Award in 1978. Perry is the first to garner pitching’s most prestigious award in both leagues.
- In a game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh on September 15, San Francisco manager Al Dark played Felipe, Matty and Jesus Alou in the outfield at the same time. It marked the only occasion in MLB history that three brothers played in the same outfield.
- The Dodgers become the first baseball franchise to purchase their own team airplane.That same year, they flew the coop, leaving Brooklyn for Los Angeles.