Billy-Ball Daily: 2006-6-6

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Bill Chuck (Billy-Ball his own self)

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Top of the 1st
For those of you who have much better things to pay attention to please allow me to point out that today is June 6, 2006 or 06/06/06. For those of you who feel that the devil is in the details, here is some baseball related information regarding the number 6.

To begin, let me point out this is not the first 06/0/06 in baseball history. Here is the scoreboard for June 6, 1906
* Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Boston Braves 0 at South End Grounds III
* Brooklyn Dodgers 5, St. Louis Cardinals 0 at Washington Park III
* Chicago Cubs 11, New York Giants 3 at Polo Grounds IV
* Philadelphia Phillies 3, Cincinnati Reds 0 at Baker Bowl
* Chicago White Sox 4, Philadelphia Athletics 3 at South Side Park III
* Cleveland Indians 3, Boston Red Sox 1 at League Park I
* Detroit Tigers 2, Washington Senators 1 at Bennett Park
* St. Louis Browns 5, New York Yankees 0 at Sportsman’s Park II

There are only four players whose #6 has been retired. Probably the greatest to wear #6 was “Stan the Man” Musial. Musial won the National League batting championship seven times (1943, 1946, 1948, 1950-52, 1957) and the league’s Most Valuable Player award three times (1943, 1946, 1948). In 1963 he retired with a lifetime batting average of .331. He hit 475 home runs and for many years held the National League record for base hits (3,630). Musial played 1,890 games in the outfield and 1,016 games at first base. Musial had exactly the same number of hits in home and away games (1,815), and batted .336 at home and .326 on the road. He batted .340 in day games and .320 at night. At the time of his retirement in 1963, Musial held 17 major league, 29 National League, and 9 All-Star game records. Musial played in 24 All-Star games (I strongly believe that the MVP in the All-Star Game should receive the Stan Musial Award and I don’t know why other influential sportswriters don’t take up this charge) and the Cardinals retired his uniform number 6 at the end of the 1963 season. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1969.

I loved watching Al Kaline play for the Detroit Tigers. Then again, if you ever saw Kaline play after high school it was with the Tigers. He was with Detroit from 1953 to 1974, joining the team directly from high school. For most of his career, Kaline was an outstanding right fielder with a great arm. He won ten Gold Glove Awards (1957-59 and 1961-67) and appeared in fifteen All-Star games (1955-67, 1971, 1974) and was a member of the World Series championship team in 1968. He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1980 and was the first of Tiger to have his uniform number retired.

Tony Oliva was another standout right fielder but a very different type player than Kaline, although like Kaline he played his entire career with one team; in Oliva’s case, the Minnesota Twins. But Oliva falls in the category of “what could have been” because he was hampered by injuries for most of his career. As a rookie in 1964, he led the league in batting average (.323), hits (217), runs (109), total bases (374), doubles (43), extra-base hits (84), and multi-hit games (71). In 1965, Oliva won his second straight batting title hitting .321. Over 15 seasons, Oliva batted .304 with 220 homeruns, 947 RBI, 870 runs, 1917 hits, 329 doubles, 48 triples, and 86 stolen bases in 1676 games. He batted left-handed and threw right-handed.

The Padres retired Steve Garvey’s #6 primarily because on October 6, 1984, during Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, Garvey hit a two-run walk-off home run off of Lee Smith in the 9th inning to give the Padres a 7 to 5 victory over the Chicago Cubs. The next day, the Padres won the National League pennant for the first time in franchise history.

Hall of Famers who wore #6 at one time or another in their career –
* Joe Cronin
* Larry Doby
* Chick Hafey
* Travis Jackson
* Al Kaline
* Chuck Klein
* Tony Lazzeri
* Bob Lemon
* Ernie Lombardi
* Mickey Mantle
* Joe Medwick
* Stan Musial
* Brooks Robinson
* Red Schoendienst
* Al Simmons

Current players wearing #6
* Al Kaline – Tigers
* Brad Wilkerson – Rangers
* Bullpen coach Mark Bailey – Astros
* Chris Duffy – Pirates
* Dan Uggla – Marlins
* First base coach Luis Rivera – Indians
* Jeff Cirillo – Brewers
* John McDonald – Jays
* Jose Guiillen – Nationals
* Kenny Lofton – Dodgers
* Maicer Iztouris – Angels
* Manager Bobby Cox – Braves
* Manager Joe Torre – Yankees
* Melvin Mora – Orioles
* No one currently – Diamondbacks – formerly worn by Quentin McCracken
* No one currently – Mariners – formerly worn by Dan Wilson
* No one currently – Mets – however the Mets have had more #6 uniform wearers (31) than any other number including Cliff Cook , Larry Burright, Jim Hickman, Al Weis, Jose Cardenal, Wally Backman, Carlos Baerga, Melvin Mora, and Timo Perez
* No one currently – Red Sox – former Red Sox at one time or another who wore #6 include: Joe Cronin, Johnny Pesky, Rico Petrocelli, Bill Buckner, Tony Pena, Harry Agganis,
* No one currently – A’s
* No one currently – Giants
* No one currently – White Sox – formerly worn by Billy Goodman. Al Weis, Tommy McCraw and Jorge Orta
* Omar Quintanella – Rockies
* Paul Bako – Royals
* Ryan Freel – Reds
* Ryan Howard – Phils
* Special Assistant, Sonny Jackson – Cubs,
* Stan Musial – Cards
* Steve Garvey – Padres
* Tom Foley third base coach – Devil Rays
* Tony Oliva – Twins

The number 6 batter in last night’s games:
* Aaron Rowand – Phils
* Adrian Gonzalez for the Pads
* Andre Ethier – Dodgers
* Brad Hawpe – Rockies
* Brendan Harris for the Nats
* Carl Everett for the mariners
* Cliff Floyd – Mets
* Corey Patterson for the Orioles
* Damian Miller for the Brewers
* Freddy Sanchez – Pirates
* Hector Luna – Cards
* Jacque Jones – Cubs
* Jeff Francouer for the Braves
* Juan Rivera for the Angels
* Kevin Youkilis for the Red Sox
* Preston Wilson for the Astros
* Robinson Cano for the Yankees
* Scott Hatteberg – Reds
* Shane Costa for the Royals
* Shawn Green – Diamondbacks
* Shea Hillenbrand for the Jays
* Steve Finley for the Giants
* Toby Hall for the Rays
* Wes Helms – Marlins

But for those of you who do suffer from hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia, fear of the numbers 666, I do have one story for you. On Wednesday, June 6, 1906, Jack Harper, made his first pitching appearance starting for the Chicago Cubs after being traded by the Reds for Chick Fraser and retired all three Giant batters he faced. However, the last batter, Dan McGann, hit Harper on his pitching hand with a line drive. Harper is lifted for pinch hitter Johnny Kling in the 2nd inning and never pitched again.

Top of the 2nd
My daughter Jennifer in the top of the 2nd inning of last night’s Red Sox – Yankee game last night commented that there was going to be a lot scoring in this game. She could have very easily taken Sox announcer Jerry Remy’s place in the booth (Remy was suffering from a stomach flu even before he witnessed Josh Beckett’s performance). The Yankees took a 13-2 lead after three innings and cruised to a 13-5 victory over the Red Sox.

Jason Giambi and Andy Phillips each hit a three-run homer in a seven-run second inning and New York battered Sox ace Josh Beckett. Beckett has now allowed 14 earned runs and six homers over six innings in his last two outings. He has tied his season high by now allowing 16 home runs (all on the road) and you have to wonder if he is injured.

The 13 runs in the first three innings was the most runs that either team ever scored in the first three innings of any of the 1,961 games between the two since the Yankees franchise moved to New York in 1903. The previous high was 11 runs, done four times by the Yankees and once by the Red Sox.

The Yankees batted around in both the 2nd and 3rd innings, becoming only the third team to send at least nine men to the plate in back-to-back innings in a game this season. Arizona did that against San Francisco on April 17 and Florida did it vs. Pittsburgh on May 14. Melky Cabrera scored in each of the first three innings, becoming the first player to do that since Colorado’s Todd Helton on Sept. 20 of last season in a 20-1 win against San Diego.

Top of the 3rd
Carlos Zambrano pitched brilliantly last night holding held Houston hitless for 7 1/3 innings before Preston Wilson grounded an opposite-field single. It was the only hit he allowed in eight innings. Zambrano also hit a home run in the Cubs’ 8-0 win. The last pitcher to hit a home run in a game in which he threw seven-or-more innings and allowed no more than one hit was Montreal’s Floyd Youmans (a complete-game one-hitter against the Phillies) on June 8, 1986. The last pitcher to hit a home run and throw a no-hitter was Rick Wise of the Phillies in 1971.

Top of the 4th
Two years ago, Ken Griffey Jr. hit his 500th home run at old Busch Stadium. Last night, Griffey hit a go-ahead three-run homer off Jason Isringhausen in the 9th inning after tying a major league record by homering in his 43rd stadium earlier in the game, leading the Cincinnati Reds past the St. Louis Cardinals, 8-7. The game winner was his 10th homer of the season and erased a 7-5 deficit for the Reds, who have won five straight.
Isringhausen (1-3) leads the NL with 18 saves but has allowed four homers in 23 innings and has blown saves in two of his last three appearances.

Griffey tied a major league record set by Fred McGriff, and has connected in every existing ballpark. He was on the disabled list in mid-April when the Reds played at new Busch for the first time.

Top of the 5th
Fact #1 – 50 games is the first-tier suspension level for enhancement drug use.
Fact #2 – Is it simply a coincidence that when Roger Clemens signed with the Astros just before their 51st game?

Roger Clemens’ agents, Randy and Alan Hendricks, denied that Clemens requested that his son Koby, a minor leaguer in the Houston organization, earn a promotion to the majors in September. “Knowing Roger as I do, he would never make that kind of request, because I am certain that he realizes that Koby…is not ready to perform at the major-league level at this time and that to do so would be the wrong thing to do for any player’s development,” Astros GM Tim Purpura said.

Andy Pettitte says too much is being made about his role in convincing his close friend Clemens to return to the Astros. “Everybody makes such a big deal out of it,” Pettitte said. “I talk to Roger all the time anyway.” “If he comes back and he’s healthy and you add him to the rotation, you’ve probably got a chance to get to the World Series again,” Pettitte said. “Am I glad he’s back for that reason? Definitely.”

Top of the 6th
Tonight the Potomac Nationals will celebrate “Salute to 6’s Night” at Pfitzner Stadium when they play a double header with the Winston-Salem Warthogs. Start time of the first game is 6:06 p.m. and all fans will receive a copy of the Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The Nationals will salute famous number six’s in sports history with special ticket discounts for those relating to a number 6. Anyone named John, Quincy or Adams (first or last name and the name of the sixth president of the United States), anyone who is 16, 26, 36, etc., in their 60’s, or born in the 60’s, will all be able to purchase a Grandstand ticket and hot dog for only $6. All fans 6 & under will receive a free Grandstand ticket. The Nationals will also take a break from baseball tradition and celebrate the “Sixth Inning Stretch” during both games of the doubleheader. During the T-shirt slings, 6 T-shirts will be shot into the stands. During the game, the Nationals will be raffling off a package of 6 tickets to Six Flags. If the Nationals score 6 or more runs, then all fans in attendance will receive a complimentary Grandstand voucher good for any game (except July 4 and August 6) for the remainder of the season.

Top of the 7th
BILLY-BALL-A-GRAM – 6/6/2006
Happy birthday to this former Mets shortstop who nobody called Derrel

Who are the four active major-leaguers to have played on a winning Pittsburgh Pirates team?
Send your answers to

Bottom of the 7th
On this date in 1977, the Dodgers retired Smokey’s number 24.

Who were the “Nasty Boys” of major league baseball?
Cincinnati Reds relief pitchers Norm Charlton, Randy Myers and Rob Dibble who helped the Reds win the World Series in 1990.

Top of the 8th
Jon Rauch the middle reliever for the Washington Nationals is 6-foot-11, making him the tallest player in major league history, topping Randy Johnson by an inch when he made his debut in 2002. He is also one of two pitchers, Shawn Estes is the other, to ever homer off Roger Clemens. “It was a fluke,” said Rauch. “I take it for what it is. I don’t get the chance to hit often, and when I do, I don’t do it well.”

In addition, Rauch was on the United States’ gold-medal winning team in Sydney, Australia in 2000, striking out 21 batters, one shy of an Olympic record, in 11 innings and posting a 1-0 record and 0.82 ERA.

Top of the 9th
We’re tracking Julio Franco’s career year by year using his teammates as a frame of reference.

In 1987, with the Indians, Franco’s teammates included Pat Tabler, Tom Candiotti, Steve Carlton, and Mel Hall.

Bottom of the 9th
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Information provided in Billy-Ball has been gathered from A.P. reports,,, and numerous other e-sources. Opinions expressed in Billy-Ball are obviously solely the opinions of the author of Billy-Ball and do not reflect those of source material no matter how off the wall they may be.