By Sweeny Murti
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On July 1, 1987, 24-hour sports talk radio was born — but the internet was still a glint in the corner of our eye. Fast forward to 2012 and thanks to wonderful sites like http://www.baseball-reference.com and http://www.retrosheet.org, we can look up what happened in baseball on the exact day that WFAN went on the air 25 years ago:
The Yankees scored 5 times in the top of the 12th to beat the Blue Jays 6-1. The attendance of 47,828 doesn’t sound unusual today, until you realize the game was in Toronto, not New York.
Here was the Yanks’ starting lineup:
Rickey Henderson DH
Bobby Meacham SS
Don Mattingly 1B
Dave Winfield RF
Gary Ward LF
Claudell Washington CF
Rick Cerone C
Paul Zuvella 2B
Wayne Tolleson 3B
Mattingly and Tolleson each went 3 for 5. Jimmy Key and Cecil Fielder (key members of the World Champion Yankees 9 years later) were both in the starting lineup for Toronto. Tommy John threw 7 shutout innings but took a no-decision. Lefthander Pat Clements got the win. He was acquired by the Yankees in the Rick Rhoden deal that sent a young Doug Drabek to Pittsburgh. Remember, that’s Clements… not Clemens.
Speaking of… Roger Clemens threw a complete game 6-hitter as the Red Sox beat the Orioles 6-2. It was career win number 47 for the 24-year old Clemens. Cal Ripken, Jr. played in his 843rd consecutive game.
Chicago beat Oakland 5-3 in 10 innings when Greg Walker hit a walk-off home run off Dennis Eckersley. This would not be the most famous walk-off home run given up by Eck. Reggie Jackson hit career home run number 559 for Oakland. Ozzie Guillen and Kenny Williams were in the starting lineup for Chicago, and Jerry Hairston, Sr. pinch-hit.
The California Angels beat Cleveland 10-5. Steve Carlton took the loss for the Indians. .
Kansas City beat Minnesota 4-3. 26,899 fans showed up in KC…for one game…to see the Royals.
Milwaukee clobbered Detroit 13-2. Same Brewers team that started the year 13-0. They were now 2 games over .500, 9 games behind the division-leading Yankees.
Texas beat Seattle 7-3. Ken Phelps was in the starting lineup for the Mariners. One year later he would be traded to the Yankees for Jay Buhner. And Frank Costanza would never forgive George Steinbrenner.
Over in the National League:
(Interleague play?? What a stupid idea that is!)
Gary Carter hit two home runs to lead the Mets over the Cardinals 9-6 at Shea. The win left the defending World Champs 5 ½ games behind the Cards in the NL East. The Mets’ starting lineup:
Mookie Wilson CF
Tim Teufel 2B
Keith Hernandez 1B
Gary Carter C
Kevin McReynolds LF
Lee Mazzilli RF
Howard Johnson 3B
Rafael Santana SS
Sid Fernandez P
Cincinnati beat Houston 6-4. John Franco got the save for the Reds despite giving up a home run to Glenn Davis leading off the 9th.
San Diego beat LA 4-0 on a complete game 4-hitter by Eric Show. Kevin Mitchell hit two home runs for the Padres.
Chicago edged Montreal 1-0. Losing pitcher Bob Sebra struck out 14 and gave up just 3 hits, the last one was a 9th inning home run by Jerry Mumphrey. The winning pitcher was Greg Maddux, who threw a complete game 4-hitter for his 7th career win. The game lasted 2 hours 11 minutes.
Philadelphia ripped Pittsburgh 11-4. Juan Samuel hit 2 home runs for the Phillies. Pirates leadoff hitter Barry Bonds went 0 for 5. Mike Diaz, who hit 31 career home runs including one on this day, was the cleanup hitter.
Atlanta beat San Francisco 8-3. Ken Griffey was in the starting lineup for the Braves. Just one month earlier his son, 17-year-old Ken Griffey, Jr., was the first overall pick in the amateur draft by Seattle.
Of the 13 stadiums used on this date, only 3 remain standing and in use: Fenway Park, Kauffman Stadium, and Dodger Stadium.
Who was your favorite player from back in the summer of ’87? Be heard in the comments below!