Top 5 New York Baseball Moments on 4th of July
America's pastime has to have a special place in people's heart on Independence Day in the United States. Sure, July 4th rides up in the middle of the Major League Baseball season, so there won't be any playoff or world series history on the day that our country celebrates its birthday. However, notably significant events have happened to both of our New York baseball teams on the fourth day of the seventh month. Let's take a look at the top 5 New York baseball moments on the day.
#5 The Game That Would Not End - I watched this game with my college roommates! It was a long night! New York Mets and Atlanta Braves were in the midst of a bitter rivalry in 1985. Keith Hernandez hit for the cycle for the Mets. He was a big reason why the team won the game, 16-13, in 19 innings. In the bottom of the 18th inning, when the Braves ran out of players, they sent relief pitcher Rick Camp up to the plate down 11-10 with two outs. The game looked like it was finally over since Camp was a .060 career hitter. Camp ended up hitting the only homerun of his career to tie the game and send it to the 19th. The Mets won at 3:55 a.m., but the festivities weren't over. The Braves held an originally planned fireworks display that led to a wave of 911 calls from local residents who thought the city was under attack.
#4 Mets' Billy Wagner Records Save 300 - Recording 300 career saves is more rare than hitting 300 home runs in Major League Baseball, and in 2006, Billy Wagner was just the 20th player to reach that milestone on that July 4th day. Wagner posted a career ERA of 2.31 with 422 saves. He was also elected to seven All-Star Games and finished fourth in the Cy Young voting in 1999.
#3 Tom Seaver Misses No-Hitter - The Mets faithful gathered at Shea Stadium for a holiday doubleheader against the San Diego Padres saw Tom Seaver take a no-hitter into the ninth inning for the second time in his career. After getting Dave Roberts to ground out to second, Leron Lee singled up the middle to spoil the no-hit bid of The Franchise, who had to settle for his fourth one-hitter when he induces the next batter to hit into a game-ending double play.
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#2 Dave Righetti Pitches No-No for Yanks - Dave Righetti pitched a no-hitter for the Yankees against the rival Red Sox in 1983, his final year as a starting pitcher. The former Rookie of the Year winner was enjoying a solid season but was snubbed for the second time as an All-Star selection the prior day. The 24 year old left-hander took it out on Boston by striking out 7 of the first 9 batters and cruised from there.
#1 Lou Gehrig Says Goodby to Yankee fans - One of the most impactful speeches ever given by a baseball player on a baseball field was given on the Fourth of July in 1939. The immortal Lou Gehrig gave an incredibly emotional farewell speech, which remains arguably the greatest moment in baseball history. After receiving a standing ovation for almost two minutes, Gehrig's No. 4 was retired, becoming the first player to have his jersey honored forever. Gehrig's career was cut short by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and his farewell speech is one of the greatest moments in all of sports.