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This Day in Baseball History: June 12

1939: Lou Gehrig’s Last Game

After becoming sick, Lou Gehrig called it a career. He played his last Major League game on May 2, 1939 when he benched himself for lack of performance. This ended his consecutive games played streak at 2,130 games. The game on June 12 was an AA exhibition against the Kansas City Blues. He only played three innings, and grounded out to second in his only at-bat. The Iron Horse drew a crowd of 23,864 to see him play one last time.

1981: MLB Goes on Strike

MLB History June 12

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Strike three isn’t the only strike the MLB featured in 1981. On June 12 of this year, the MLB went on strike for the first time due to free agent players’ compensation. This means that owners wanted a player of similar value every time they lost a player to free agency. The players strongly disagreed because they felt it took away their freedom to choose who they play for. The players ended up winning the strike and were able to continue becoming free agents without becoming a “player of similar value.” The strike lasted 50 days which caused 713 games to be cancelled. The league decided to split the season into two-halves. The teams leading their divisions on June 12 gained a postseason bid. The second half of the season decided who would make the final four spots.

1997: Interleague Play Introduced

On this day, the San Francisco Giants played against the Texas Rangers in Arlington. This game was very significant because it was the first MLB regular season game to have a team from the National League play a team from the American League. Giant Glenallen Hill became the first NL designated hitter. Mark Gardner got the win and Rod Beck picked up his 20 save of the season in baseballs first interleague match-up. The Giants won the game by a score of 4-3.

2002: Immaculate Inning

Baseball History June 12
Image Courtesy of Getty Images

The top of the third inning in a Padres vs. Orioles game included nine pitches, and they were all strikes. Brian Lawrence of the Padres got eight swing and misses to go with one looking strike, becoming just the 36th pitcher to throw what is known as an immaculate inning. In the inning, he struck out Baltimore’s Brook Fordyce, Jerry Hairston and Melvin Mora swinging. Lawrence went eight innings without allowing a run, picking up a win in a 2-0 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards.


Feature Image Courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

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