100th anniversary: two Hall of Famers debut

One hundred years ago today, on Sept. 10, 1912, a pair of Hall of Famers made their major league debuts: pitcher Stan Coveleski and shortstop Rabbit Maranville.

The day was much more successful for Coveleski. Pitching for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s squad, Coveleski appeared in relief against the Tigers in a game the A’s lost, 8-6. I have no idea how he did on that day, but two days later he came back and threw a complete-game shutout against the Detroit Tigers featuring stars Ty Cobb and Sam Crawford.

Though Coveleski had a nice day, he wasn’t able to repeat his success. He had two starts and three relief appearances on the year and, aside from the Sept. 12 shutout, allowed nine runs in 12 innings. Yeah, that ain’t getting it done.

Dissatisfied, Mack released all claims to Coveleski and let him return to the (then independent) minor leagues. Coveleski would kick around for three full seasons before getting a shot with the Indians in 1916. This time, Coveleski made the most of it and stuck around to stay, winning over 200 games including four consecutive 20-win seasons.

Unlike Coveleski, Maranville didn’t do anything particularly noteworthy on Sept. 10, 1912. He got his feet wet, and that was about it. Then again, also unlike Coveleski, Maranville stuck around.

He’d play in 26 games in 1912, and though he barely hit above the Mendoza Line for the Boston Braves, his glove was so good, the team kept him around. Maranville ended up playing 2,670 games in the majors for several National League teams, and people considered him the best fielder of his generation.

As it happens, five other players debuted 100 years ago on this day, but the others are entirely unremarkable. Of that quintet, the most substantial career belonged to Willie Jensen, who appeared in six games. In fact, Jensen was the Detroit starting pitcher that beat Coveleski’s Philadelphia team. Until 1916, Jensen looked like a bigger success in baseball than Coveleski.

The other debuting athletes all played for the Indians. The Indians fell down 8-0 by the middle of the third in an 11-2 loss, so they felt they could spend time looking at their kids. Two of the debuting players—both pitchers—never made it into another big league game: Ernie Wolf and Jim Neher.

Wolf had a rough outing, allowing six of Washington’s runs. Neher actually did well, retiring every batter he faced in a scoreless inning of relief. But the Indians had no use for him, anyway. In fact, neither man even pitched in the minors after 1912. Life took them in other directions, I guess.

But for Coveleski and Maranville, life took them to the Cooperstown after their big league debut, and that first game for each was exactly 100 years ago today.

Aside from that, many other baseball events today celebrate their anniversaries or “day-versaries” (which is something occurring X-thousand days ago). Here they are, with the better ones in bold if you’d rather just skim through things:


1,000 days since the Dodgers trade Juan Pierre to the White Sox.

3,000 days since a three-way trade between Houston, Oakland, and Kansas City. The A’s get Octavio Dotel, the Royals gets Mark Teahan, and the Astros get the big prize, Carlos Beltran.

3,000 days since the Rangers top the Mariners, 9-7 in 18 innings, on a walk-off home run by Alfonso Soriano against Jamie Moyer. It’s Moyer’s only relief appearance from 1997 to 2008.

6,000 days since umpire Eric Gregg gets a leave of absence to lose weight. This comes shortly after the on-field fatal heart attack of John McSherry.

15,000 days since two Hall of Famers gets their 2,000th career hits: Billy Williams and Bill Mazeroski.

15,000 days since Burt Hooton fans 19 in the Pacific Coast League in a 5-1 win for Tacoma over Eugene.

15,000 days since Johnny Bench hits the first of five career walk-off home runs.

15,000 days since Joe Torre hits his 200th career home run.

15,000 days since Voros McCracken is born.

15,000 days since Jorge Posada is born.

25,000 days since Rogers Hornsby, at age 48, hits a pinch-hit, walk-off grand slam in the Mexican League for a 17-14 win.

30,000 days since Pie Traynor, who has 58 home runs in his entire Hall of Fame career, goes deep in both ends of a doubleheader in Philadelphia. He helps lead the Pirates to a wild 16-15 win in 13 innings in one of those games.


1881 Roger Connor hits a walk-off grand slam, the first one in National League history.

1886 Dan Brouthers hits three home runs in one game, two of which are inside-the-park homers.

1889 The first pinch-hitter in big league history comes to the plate. The hitter is, of all things, a pitcher—Hall of Famer Mickey Welch of the Giants.

1892 Hardy Richardson, 1880s star, plays in his last game.

1895 George “Highpockets” Kelly, maybe the least-deserving player in Cooperstown, is born.

1897 Glenn Davis belts three home runs in one game.

1899 All-time triples king Wahoo Sam Crawford makes his big league debut.

1904 Eddie Plank outduels Cy Young, 1-0 in 13 innings, as both pitchers get throw complete games in the A’s-Red Sox match up.

1905 Pete Browning, the original Louisville Slugger, dies.

1906 Sam Thompson plays in his last game. The Hall of Famer played eight games this year, his first big league appearances since 1898.

1907 Harry Coveleski, older brother of Stan Coveleski and himself a good pitcher, makes his big league debut.

1913 Honus Wagner is given a special bat, one carved from wood taken from Oliver Perry’s flagship sunk in Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

1915 Phillies slugger Gavvy Cravath hits his only career grand slam.

1915 Rogers Hornsby makes his big league debut.

1916 Burleigh Grimes makes his big league debut.

1919 Heinie Zimmerman, star third baseman, plays in his last game.

1919 Indians pitcher Ray Caldwell no-hits the Yankees. Just two weeks earlier, Caldwell was hit by lightning while standing on the mound.

1920 Hall of Fame infielder Joe Sewell plays in his first major league contest.

1922 40,000 see the final regular-season Yankees game in the Polo Grounds.

1923 Babe Ruth hits the fourth of his 10 career walk-off home runs. He hit No. 3 the day before and No. 2 on Aug. 11.

1924 Giants star second baseman Frankie Frisch gets six hits in one game.

1924 Slugger Ted Kluszewski is born.

1925 Hooks Dauss wins his 210th game as a Tiger, passing up George Mullin as the all-time franchise leader. Now 87 years later, Dauss is still the franchise leader.

1926 The consecutive hit streak of Harry McCurdy of the White Sox reaches 10. That’s not consecutive games, but 10 consecutive at-bats.

1927 Ageless wonder Jack Quinn wins his 200th decision for a career record of 200-183. He’ll be 47-35 for the rest of his career.

1927 The Yankees top the Browns for the 21st time this year, an AL record.

1930 Hall of Fame shortstop Luke Appling makes his big league debut.

1931 The Giants top the Pirates, giving John McGraw a career record 826 games over .500 (2,742-1,916), his peak. He’ll be 21-32 after this before retiring in early 1932.

1932 Joe Medwick belts his first career home run. In that same game, his teammate Dizzy Dean allows a personal worst 10 runs in one game.

1933 The first Negro League East-West All-Star game is played. It’s at Comiskey Park.

1934 Roger Maris is born.

1934 Hank Greenberg consults with a rabbi about playing on Rosh Hannah. He’s told it’s okay because it’s a happy day. He hits two home runs in a 2-1 Tigers win.

1935 For the first time in nearly 1,500 plate appearances and over 350 games, Hall of Fame shortstop Travis Jackson is hit by a pitch.

1936 Detroit trades players and cash to Indianapolis for pitcher Dizzy Trout.

1937 Hall of Fame starting pitcher Jesse Haines appears in his last game. He allows two home runs to veteran Cubs catcher Gabby Hartnett. It’s the 14th and final multi-home run game of his career. Haines had also given up Hartnett’s fourth career homer way back when.

1937 The Pirates purchase Rip Sewell from Buffalo in the International League.

1938 The Braves purchase Hank Majeski from the Cubs.

1938 The Cardinals fire manager Frankie Frisch.

1938 Jimmie Foxx enjoys his ninth multi-home run game of the season.

1939 Bill Dickey has the last of 15 career multi-home run games.

1940 White Sox hitter Bob Kennedy hits into a walk-off triple play against White Sox.

1941 Joe Cronin becomes the 15th player to hit his 500th double.

1944 Paul Derringer suffers his 200th career loss for a 205-200 career record. He’ll be 18-12 for the rest of his career.

1947 Al Rosen makes his big league debut.

1947 Puddin’ Head Willie Jones appears in his first major league game.

1948 In the top of the 10th inning, Joe DiMaggio smashes his only extra-inning grand slam.

1950 Hal Newhouser has the longest 1-0, complete-game win of his career, a 12-inning contest.

1950 Joe DiMaggio reaches base five times in five trips to the plate and, more importantly, hits three homers in one contest for the third time in his career. He’s the first player ever to hit three homers in one day in Washington’s Griffith Stadium. All his blasts are over 400 feet long.

1950 In the Pacific Coast League, Al Lein tosses a complete-game, 17-innning shutout for a 1-0 win.

1955 Robin Roberts suffers his 100th career loss. His record is 159-100 at the moment. He’ll be 127-145 over the rest of his career.

1955 It’s a weird day when the Yankees and White Sox face off. For the only time in his career, Billy Pierce steals a base. Even stranger, the Yankees call on Hank Bauer as an emergency catcher, and his passed ball sets up the winning run in Chicago’s 9-8 win.

1955 Three notable players all make their major league debuts today: Earl Battey, Hank Aguirre, and Rocky Colavito.

1955 Shano Collins, former outfielder, dies.

1957 Jim Gentile makes his big league debut.

1958 Frank Howard appears in his first major league contest.

1959 The Reds have an all-brother battery with Jim Bailey and Ed Bailey, but they lose to the Cubs, 6-3.

1959 Tim McCarver makes his big league debut.

1959 Gary Peters, pitcher, makes his big league debut.

1960 Mickey Mantle hits a monster home run at Tiger Stadium. It goes past Trumbell Avenue and into the parking lot.

1961 Lou Brock makes his big league debut.

1962 Mickey Mantle smashes his 400th home run.

1962 Zoilo Versalles’ single is the only Twins hit on the day against the Angels’ Dean Chance. It’s one of five times Versalles gets the only hit in a one-hitter.

1963 For the first of a record six times, Bob Gibson homers in his own complete-game shutout. Four of those six games will come against the Cubs, including this one.

1963 Jesus Alou makes his big league debut. He and brother Matty Alou both pinch hit in the top of the eighth inning. Felipe Alou is leadoff hitter on the day. In the eighth, they go down 1-2-3 on a ground out, strikeout, and ground out.

1963 Willie Horton makes his big league debut.

1963 Randy Johnson is born.

1964 The Cardinals sign amateur free agent Mike Torrez.

1965 Satchel Paige is signed by the Kansas City A’s, for whom he’ll pitch once at age 59.

1965 Fergie Jenkins makes his major league debut with the Phillies.

1966 Gaylord Perry endures the worst start of his career: 2.1 IP 11 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 0 BB, and 0 K for a Game Score of 3.

1967 The 40-inning scoreless hitting streak by Gaylord Perry comes to an end on an unearned run in the seventh inning. He gets the win, 2-1, Giants over the Cubs.

1967 White Sox starting pitcher Joe Horlen throws a no-hitter during a tight pennant race. He doesn’t walk anyone but there is a hit-by-pitch and an error. The White Sox top the Tigers, 6-0.

1967 Mike Torrez makes his big league debut.

1968 Billy Williams hits three home runs in one game. He hit two in the previous game for a record-tying five in two contests.

1968 Mike Jorgensen makes his big league debut.

1968 John Mayberry makes his big league debut.

1969 For the only time in his career, Cardinals ace pitcher Bob Gibson gets four hits in one game. He’s 4-for-5 with a double in an 11-2 win over the Pirates.

1969 The Cubs, who led the NL East by 8.5 games just a month ago, fall into second behind the surging Miracle Mets.

1969 The Royals set a record by using 27 players in a nine-inning game, which they lose to the Angels, 11-4.

1969 Big Red Machine outfielder George Foster makes his big league debut.

1971 Hank Aaron enjoys not only the greatest WPA game of his career but the greatest known one-game performance by any Braves batter. He’s 3-for-6 with a double, home run, three runs, four RBIs, and a reached on error for a WPA of 1.159. He helps the Braves beat the Giants, 7-5.

1973 Phil Garner makes his big league debut.

1974 Frank Robinson is hit by a pitch for the 199th and final time.

1974 Lou Brock steals his 105th base on the year, breaking Maury Wills’ single-season record.

1974 Ray Knight makes his big league debut.

1974 The uniquely named Sixto Lezcano makes his big league debut.

1976 Pete Rose legs out his 100th career triple.

1976 The White Sox sign free agent Minnie Minoso to make him a four-decade player.

1976 Bob Knepper makes his big league debut.

1976 Nolan Ryan fans 18 in a game. He also walks nine and allows just three hits.

1977 Roy Howell becomes the first third baseman in 38 years to get eight RBIs in one game. He’s 5-for-6 with two doubles and two home runs. Howell leads the Blue Jays to a 19-3 win over the Yankees in Yankee Stadium. It’s the worst loss at home for the Yankees in over 50 years.

1977 White Sox knuckler Wilbur Wood plunks three consecutive batters in a 6-1 loss to the Angels.

1978 Jim Bouton returns for the Braves. He loses to the Dodgers and Don Sutton.

1978 The Dodgers sign amateur free agent Alejandro Pena, who will lead the league in ERA one year before blowing his arm out.

1978 Ron Oester makes his big league debut with the Reds.

1980 Hall of Fame reliever Rollie Fingers wins his 100th decision. His record is 100-100. He’ll be 14-18 for the rest of his days.

1980 Young Expos pitcher Bill Gullickson fans 18 in a 4-2 win for the Cubs.

1981 The White Sox purchase Jerry Hairston Sr. from Durango in the Mexican League.

1981 Dave LaRoche fans Gorman Thomas on the “LaLob” pitch that is barely even a pitch.

1982 Terminator Tom Henke makes his big league debut.

1983 Joey Votto is born.

1984 Eddie Murray’s best hitting streak peaks at 22 games. He’s 34-for-77.

1984 Zane Smith makes his major league debut.

1984 Billy Hatcher appears in his first big league game.

1985 Hal McRae gets his 2,000th career hit.

1985 Mike Schmidt belts his 10th and final walk-off home run for the Phillies. It’s in the bottom of the 11th for a 5-2 win over the Expos.

1985 The A’s trade Don Sutton to the Angels.

1986 Barry Larkin gets on base six times in one game, his personal best. In that same game, teammate Eric Davis gets three home runs.

1987 Jose Mesa debuts in the big leagues.

1988 Orel Hershiser has his second straight complete-game shutout as he’s on the road to setting a new scoreless-inning streak record.

1988 Roger Clemens has the only complete-game one-hitter of his career. Dave Clark singles with out one in the eighth for Cleveland against Boston.

1989 Lou Whitaker gets a walk-off walk for a Tiger win over the White Sox. Reliever Bobby Thigpen yields it.

1991 The Angels release former Dodger phenom pitcher Fernando Valenzuela.

1993 Tony Womack makes his big league debut.

1995 Kirby Puckett plays all over the place for the Twins: DH, second base, shortstop, and third base. Due to an injury, the Twins lose their DH, so Puckett plays the infield and is put where he’ll do the least damage. (That doesn’t explain why they put him in the infield, but I assume there’s more to the story than I’m aware of.)

1996 Steve Finley has the best ever WPA game by a Padres batter: 1.054 WPA. He’s 4-for-5 with a double, homer, stolen base, two runs, and three RBIs in San Diego’s 6-5 win over the Pirates.

1996 For the only time in his career, Derek Jeter legs out two triples in one game.

1996 Manny Ramirez hits his third walk-off home run. It’s only the 78th homer of any kind in his career, but he’ll never have another walk-off blast.

1999 Pedro Martinez sets a personal best (that he’ll later tie) with 17 strikeouts in one game. He allows just one hit, a Chili Davis homer, and a hit-by-pitch for a Game Score of 98.

2000 Randy Johnson celebrates his 37th birthday by recording his 3,000th career strikeout.

2002 Curt Schilling has his 16th straight Quality Start. His line in that time: 119.2 IP, 94 H, 31 R, 30 ER, 17 BB, 132 K, and a 2.26 ERA.

2002 Victor Martinez makes his big league debut.

2002 Wily Mo Pena appears in his first game.

2004 Curt Schilling becomes the fourth pitcher to beat all 30 major league teams. Al Leiter, Kevin Brown, and Terry Mulholland are the other members of the club.

2005 Craig Biggio becomes the 13th player with 600 doubles.

2010 Bobby Abreu hits a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th inning.

2010 The Yankees and Rangers combine for a record 19 pitchers in one game. Texas tops the Yankees, 6-5 in 13 innings.

2011 Alex Rios smashes a walk-off grand slam for the White Sox in a 7-3 win over the Indians in 10 innings.

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