1996 September

1st  After Baltimore manager has his bat removed in the 5th inning, Seattle SS Alex Rodriguez borrows a bat from Ken Griffey and belts a 3-run homer to lead the Mariners to a 5–1 win over the O’s.  A-Rod’s 34th HR pins the loss on David Wells.

2nd Mike Greenwell of the Red Sox, who has spent much of the year on the DL, drives in all 9 runs in Boston’s 10-inning, 9-8 win over the Mariners. No other player has ever driven in 9 or more runs for his team’s total score. Batting eighth, Greenwell bats five times getting four hits, including the game-winning RBI in the top of the 10th. His only out comes with the bases empty. He has 2 homers and 2 singles, knocking in 7 of the 8 runners on base.

In his first game back in action since undergoing surgery for an aneurysm in his pitching shoulder in May, David Cone hurls 7 hitless innings in New York’s 5-0 victory over the Athletics. Mariano Rivera gives up a hit in 2 innings as he finishes up for Cone. Cone’s remarkable return sends Kenny Rogers to the bullpen.

It’s seems like old timers day as the Cardinals whip the Central-leading Astros, 8–7. Willie McGee, playing for Ron Gant, has 4 hits and 3 RBI, while Ozzie Smith has 3 hits, 3 RBI, and 4 runs.

3rd  Marquis Grissom opens the game with a leadoff HR off the Reds Dave Burba, but its the only hit for the Braves in the Reds 5–1 win. The first-place Braves have now lost 4 straight.

Ron Gant hits 2 doubles and scores 3 times as the Cards move into the NL Central lead with a 12–3 win over the Astros.

Jon Nunnally drives in 4 runs as the Royals top the host Blue Jays, 5-2. Otis Nixon has a pair of steals for the Jays giving him 51 on the year. He is the only player this century to steal 50 bases for four teams (Montreal, Atlanta, Texas).

4th  In pursuit of his 7th batting title, Tony Gwynn is 4-for-4 in the Padres 2-1 win over the Phils.  Gwynn, hitting .352, needs to average nearly 5 at bats in the final 22 games to qualify for the batting title.

Andy Pettitte wins his 20th as the Yankees prevail over the A’s, 10–3. O’Neill and Martinez solo in the 4th inning.  The Yanks last 20-game winner was Ron Guidry in 1985.

6th The O’s Eddie Murray hits his 500th career HR, and his 21st of the year, off Felipe Lira of the Tigers in Detroit’s 5-4, 12-inning win. The game is delayed 2 hours and 20 minutes because of the remnants of a hurricane. Murray becomes the 15th player to reach the magic number. He also becomes just the 3rd player with 500 HRs and 3,000 hits, joining Willie Mays and Hank Aaron.

The Phillies top the Cubs, 4-2, but lose the services of rookie Scott Rolen, who breaks his forearm when hit by a Steve Trachsel pitch.

Dodgers OF Brett Butler returns to the team following two operations for throat cancer. He walks and scores the winning run in LA’s 2-1 victory over the Pirates.

7th Complaining of abdominal pains the day of his scheduled start at Yankee Stadium, Juan Guzman is rushed to New York’s Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital where he undergoes an emergency appendectomy.  He won’t pitch any more this season and his 2.93 ERA will lead the AL.

Mike Mussina shuts out the Tigers, 6–0 for his 19th win, giving the Orioles their only shutout of the year. It takes them 142 games to do it.

The Cards win their 8th in a row as pitcher Donovan Osborne belts his first ML homer—a grand slam—to beat the Padres, 8–3.

The Athletics collect 19 hits and pound the Royals 13–6, as Mark McGwire hits his 48th HR. He also reaches the 100 RBI level.

In the Expos 2–1 win over the Marlins, Marlin LF Joe Orsulak throws out 3 runners in a span of 5 batters.  He throws out 2 Expos at the plate on consecutive plays to end the 3rd, and throws out another in the 4th. Mark Leiter, 4–0, since being traded from San Francisco on July 30, picks up the win.

In Atlanta, John Smoltz strikes out 13 and wins his 21st as the Braves stop the Mets, 6–1. Jermaine Dye hits a 3-run HR off Bobby Jones for the big blow.

In the Phils 4–2 win over the Cubs, Phils 3B Scott Rolen suffers a broken wrist when he is hit by a Steve Trachsel pitch in his 2nd at bat. Rolen has exactly 130 at bats, which means he is still technically a rookie next year. Rolen debuted in the first game of an August 1 doubleheader and played in all 37 games since.

8thIn the Indians DH split with the Mariners, Jim Thome knocks in his 100th run in opener, a 15–4 win. Thome reaches the 30 homer, 100 runs, 100 runs, 100 walks—just the 2nd Indian to ever do that. Al Rosen in 1950 was the other.  Charles Nagy (15-4) wins game 1, while the M’s prevail 6–5 in the nightcap.

9th  Thomas Howard and Hal Morris, the first two batters for the Reds, connect for homeruns, but that is all the Cincy scoring as the Dodgers win, 7-2. The win keeps LA tied for the NL West with San Diego.

10th  The Expos use 9 pitchers in a vain attempt to stop the Cubs. Chicago wins, 10–3. The 9 pitchers in a regulation game matches the ML mark set by the 1949 Browns, who used 9 in a season ending promotion.

In the Dodgers 5–4 win over the Reds, Bret Butler breaks his hand on a bunt attempt when he is hit by a pitch. The 39-year-old Butler, who battled back from cancer surgery, is out for the year after playing 5 games.

12th Yankees’ OF Bernie Williams drives home 8 runs in New York’s 12-3 win over the Tigers. Williams hits 2 round-trippers, including a 9thinning grand slam, and a single.

Milwaukee trounces Texas, 15-4, led by second baseman Fernando Vina who goes 5-for-6, with a triple, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs, and 4 runs scored.

Rockies’ OF Ellis Burks steals his 30th base of the season, making him the 19th player in history to join the 30-30 club. He hits his 37th homer of the season and drives in 5 runs in Colorado’s 16-8 win over Atlanta.

13th Toronto C Charlie O’Brien unveils a hockey-style catcher’s mask in the game against the Yankees. The mask is a success, but the Blue Jays lose to the New Yorkers, 4-1. Andy Pettitte wins his 21st.

14th Oakland 1B Mark McGwire becomes the 13th player in history to hit 50 HRs in a season as he connects against Cleveland’s Chad Ogea in the 1st inning of Cleveland’s 9-8 win over the A’s in the 2nd game of a doubleheader. The big first baseman hit his 49th in the 1st inning of the opener, a 9-2 loss to the Indians. Because of injuries, McGwire has played in only 119 or his team’s 150 games.

Mets’ C Todd Hundley hits his 41st HR of the season to set a new major league mark for catchers. The Mets defeat Atlanta, 6-5, in 12 innings. Johnny Bench hit 45 in 1970, but only 38 while behind the plate. Hundley also owns the Mets HR record, previously held by Darryl Strawberry with 39.

The City of Houston and Harris County agree to terms with the Astros to build a $265 million stadium with a retractable roof. The deal needs several approvals, including a November 5 referendum.

15th Baltimore C Mark Parent homers in the 3rd inning of his team’s 16-6 win over the Tigers. The homer gives the Orioles a new major league record of 241 for the season. The Birds have 4 other homers in the game, including Brady Anderson’s 10th leadoff HR of the year, to total 243, 3 more than the 1961 Yanks [they will hit 251 this year]. Cal Ripken goes back-to-back with Bobby Bonilla, the 16th time this year the O’s have hit consecutive homers, tying a ML record.

The Red Sox defeat the White Sox, 9–8, despite 3 solo HRs by Chicago 1B Frank Thomas. Mo Vaughn and John Valentin each hit 2 homers and collect 8 RBIs between them for Boston to power the Sox to victory.

Philadelphia C Benito Santiago drives in all his team’s runs with 3 consecutive HRs in the Phillies’ 6-1 win over the Cubs at Wrigley. Santiago will hit a homer tomorrow in his first at bat to tie a record for consecutive homers.

16th  Paul Molitor of the Twins triples in the 5th inning of Minnesota’s 6-5 loss to KC for his 3,000th big league hit. He becomes the 1st major leaguer to get 200 hits in the same season in which he reached 3,000. Teammate Chuck Knoblauch gets his 1,000th hit in the same game.

Steve Finley’s lead off HR in the 11th gives the Padres a 2–1 over the host Giants. SF’s only run is Barry Bonds 40th, and he joins Aaron and Canseco as the only players with 40 HRs and 30 stolen bases in a season.

The Mariners stop the Rangers, 6–0, as Jamie Moyer pitches 8 innings of hitless ball. Edgar Martinez collects his 50th double, just the 5th player this century to hit 50 doubles in 2 straight years.

In their 5–2 loss to the Braves, Mets OF Lance Johnson hits his 20th triple. He’s the first NLer to reach that plateau since Willie Mays in 1957.

Backed by two 3-run homers from Tim Raines, celebrating his 37th birthday, Jimmy Key stops the Blue Jays, 10–0. Raines 2nd HR, a 457 blast to the Stadium CF, is the longest hit by a Yankee this year. The Yanks are now 3 games up in the AL East.

17th  Dodgers’ P Hideo Nomo hurls a 9-0 no-hitter against the Rockies in hitter-friendly Coors Field. Nomo fans 8 and walks 4 in winning his 16th game of the year. Presidential hopeful Bob Dole notes the Nomo no-no by stating, “The Brooklyn Dodgers had a no-hitter last night.”

The Padres jump out to a 6-0 lead over the Giants, but San Francisco fights back to defeat San Diego, 9-7, to drop the Pods 1 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West.

Pittsburgh manager Jim Leyland announces he will leave the Pirates at the end of the season.

18th Boston’s Roger Clemens fans 20 Detroit Tigers, without walking a single batter, to tie his record for most strikeouts in a 9-inning game. The Rocket holds the Tigers to 5 hits en route to a 4-0 shutout.

Cincinnati OF Kevin Mitchell is suspended by the Reds for the final 13 games of the season. After receiving permission to stay behind in San Diego on an off day, Mitchell did not show up in Pittsburgh, as expected, yesterday or today, precipitating the suspension.

20th Frank Thomas hits his 39th HR of the year, a grand slam, to power the White Sox to a 7-3 win over the Twins. Dave Martinez hits a solo shot in his only at bat.  Kevin Tapani gives up a 2-run HR to Rich Becker but emerges the winner. Paul Molitor has a double to extend his consecutive game hitting streak against the White Sox to 32 games (as noted by Retrosheet) over three years.

In a 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays, the Orioles Brady Anderson collects a double, his 86th extra base hit of the year, a new Orioles record. He will finish with 92.  Frank Robinson and Cal Ripken had the old record with 85.  Joe Carter hits his 30th homer for the Jays.

21st In a 6–3 win over Toronto, Eddie Murray hits 19th career grand slam, moving him into 2nd place behind Lou Gehrig (23). The blow comes in the 6thinning off Scott Brow.

Milwaukee scores 10 runs in the first two innings as they blast the Tigers, 13-6. Jose Valentin hits a 3-run HR in the 1stand Jeremy Burnitz has a 2nd inning grand slam, both off Todd Van Poppel as there are 7 homers in the game. Phil Nevin has 2 for the Tigers.

The International Baseball Association approves the participation of professional baseball players in the summer Olympic Games to be held in the year 2000.

Christie’s Fine Art Auctioneers sell a 1910 T-206 Honus Wagner baseball card to an anonymous buyer for $640,000, including the $60,500 auction house fee.

22nd Oakland 1B Mark McGwire becomes the 30th player to homer twice in the same inning as he hits numbers 51 and 52 in the 5th inning of the Athletics’ 13–11 win over Seattle. The A’s score 8 runs in the inning, and the Mariners come back with 7 of their own in their half.

Cincinnati SS Barry Larkin hits his 30th HR of the year in the Reds’ 6–3 win over the Cardinals in the opening game of a twin bill. He thus becomes the first SS to join the exclusive 30-30 club. Mets 3B Howard Johnson is the only other IF to perform the feat. In the nightcap of the twin bill, Reds P John Smiley holds the Cardinals to a single hit—a Royce Clayton single—in shutting St. Louis out by a count of 6–0.

The Pirates win their 11th in a row, defeating the Cubs, 11–3.  Jay Bell homers for his 3rd game in a row as the Bucs post the longest win streak in the majors this year.

24th Boston 1B Mo Vaughn slugs 3 HRs and drives home 5, in the Red Sox’ 13-8 win over Baltimore. Mo now has 44 homers.

Cincinnati 3B Willie Greene leads the Reds to a 6-3 victory over the Cubs by hitting 3 HRs and bringing in 5.

25th The Yankees clinch the AL East title by pounding out 20 hits in a 19-2 win over the Brewers in the opening game of a doubleheader. The New Yorkers score 10 runs in the 2nd inning after plating 4 in the opening frame. Tino Martinez leads with 5 RBIs and David Cone (7-2) is the easy winner. The Yanks take the nightcap, 6–2.

The Red Sox take an 8-1 lead over the Mariners and hold on for an 8-5 victory. Alex Rodriguez hits a 3-run homer in the 8thand Ken Griffey, Jr. follows with a solo. It is the 17thtime that the M’s have hit back-to-back homers, setting a ML season record.

Jim Leyland loses his last home game as the Pirates manager but receives 4 standing ovations.  The Bucs 4th error leads to the go ahead run in the 11th as the Cards win, 8–7.

In a 7–5 win over the Dodgers, Barry Bonds goes 1–1 and receives an intentional walk, giving him a new NL record of 149 walks in a season. He also swipes 2 bases giving him 39. The Dodgers get a homer from Eric Karros, his 34th, and a 2-run pinch homer from Billy Ashby. Of Ashby’s 9 homers, 5 have been pinch hits, one short of Johnny Fredericks record. The Giants win clinches a tie for the NL West.

26th Oakland C Terry Steinbach hits a 6th-inning HR in a 7-5 victory over Seattle, giving the Athletics their 241st HR of the season. They become the second team this season to surpass the mark formerly held by the 1961 Yankees.

At Arlington, the Rangers prevail over the Angels, 6-5, pinning the loss on Jim Abbott (2-18), who goes the distance. His 18 losses will lead the league, while his 7.49 ERA does not qualify (142 IP). Pudge Rodriguez drives in one of the Texas runs with a double, his 45thof the year as a catcher, setting a ML record (Lucroy will break it in 2014).

27th After being ejected for arguing a strike call in the 1st inning of Baltimore’s game against the Blue Jays, Orioles’ second baseman Roberto Alomar spits in the face of umpire John Hirschbeck. Alomar claims he was provoked by Hirschbeck, but the incident will set off a national debate. After the game, Alomar remarks, “I used to respect him a lot. He had problems with his family when his son died—I know that’s something real tough in life—but after that he just changed, personality-wise. He just got real bitter.”  When the ump hears about the remarks tomorrow he will charge into the Orioles locker room and have to be restrained by fellow ump Joyce. Alomar will apologize to Hirschbeck and the two will become friends. Alomar later raises money for the charity that Hirschbeck starts.

Barry Bonds steals his 40th base to become the 2nd player, after Jose Canseco, to reach 40 homers and 40 steals in a season. He has 42 homers. San Francisco tops Colorado, 9–3, with a 7-run 7th.

The Angels score 2 runs in the top half of the 15th inning, then hold on as Texas fights back for 1 in their half, to earn a 4-3 victory. LF Garret Anderson gets 6 hits for California and drives home 3 runs.

28th  The Padres assure themselves of at least a tie in the NL West as the beat the Dodgers, 4–2, for their 2nd win in a row over LA.

Robby Alomar, playing because his suspension is appealed, sends the Orioles into the playoffs with a 10th-inning HR to give them a 3–2 win over the Blue Jays.

The Yankees Andy Pettitte and 4 relievers clip the Red Sox, 4–2, pinning the loss on Roger Clemens (10–13) in his last appearance in a Boston uniform. Clemens strikes out 10 and allows homers to Mike Aldrete and Bernie Williams. The Sox are reluctant to grant the Rocket’s request for a 4-year contract.

29th Cincinnati 1B-OF Hal Morris ends the season with a pair of hits in the Reds’ 6-3 win over the Cardinals, giving him a major league season-high 29-game hitting streak.

The Blue Jays beat Baltimore on the final day of the season, 4–1, behind Pat Hentgen. Hentgen wins his 20th, joining Jack Morris as the 2nd Blue Jay pitcher in history to win 20.  The O’s only run is Brady Anderson’s lead off HR, his 50th HR of the year. The Orioles end the year with a ML record 257 HRs. Both the Mariners (245) and the A’s (243) surpass the old record of 240, set by the 1961 Yankees.

Chris Gwynn, brother of Tony, hits a 2-run pinch-hit double in the 11th inning to give the Padres a 2–0 win over the Dodgers. The double is off Chan Ho Park and the win cinches the NL West pennant for the Pods. The Dodgers lose all 4 games in the series.

The Rockies beat the Giants, 12–3, as Andres Galarraga has 3 hits, 3 runs and 3 RBIs. He finishes the season with 150 ribbies, the first to reach that mark since Tommy Davis in 1962, and his 47 homers leads the NL. Dante Bichette collects his 141st RBI giving the Rockies two players with 140+ ribbies, the first time 2 teammates have topped the mark since the Red Sox of 1950. Vinnie Castilla hits his 40th homer, joining Ellis Burks and Galarraga as the second team (Braves) to have 3 teammates reach that mark. The Rocks are the first team to score 900 runs since the 1953 Dodgers, but they give up more than 900 as well. Dante Bichette steals his 31st base giving the Rockies have 201 stolen bases and 221 homers. They are the only team in the 20th Century to top 200 SBs and 200 HRs.

Albert Belle has no RBIs in the Indians 4–1 loss to the Royals and finishes with an AL-high 148.

The regular season ends with 4,962 homers hit, compared with 1993, the last full-season, when 4,030 homeruns were hit. Seventeen players hit 40 homers, 43 hit 30 homers or more, and 83 hit 20 homers. Previous high numbers: eight, 28, 79. The Orioles, Mariners and A’s all beat the 1961 Yankee team homer record.

30th Boston fires manager Kevin Kennedy and Philadelphia fires manager Jim Fregosi. Kennedy had plenty to work with: the Sox used 56 players in 1996, matching the ML record set by the Philadelphia A’s in 1915 (It will be topped in the 21stcentury).