In years past I have taken the 4th of July as a chance to move a bit away from the norm here at BaseballGuys.com. Last year I wrote about Competitive Eating and asked the question about whether or not it was a “sport”? Two years ago I wrote a piece entitled Freedom where I gave some information regarding the Declaration of Independence. Today I’ll follow my usual path and touch on a few topics that aren’t exactly germane to fantasy baseball while mixing in some relevant information.
There have been 46 ball players who were born on July 4th. Currently there is only one who is active – Sergio Santos who was born in Bellflower California in 1983. In that same year of 1983 Dave Righetti tossed a no-hitter against the Red Sox on the 4th. That outing was the Yankees first no-no since Don Larson’s perfect game in the World Series in 1956.
A history lesson. Though we celebrate the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, the resolution was actually adopted on July 2nd. Furthermore, the Declaration wasn’t officially approved until July 9th when it was voted on at the New York Convention. The document was ordered to be “engrossed on parchment” for the means of it becoming an official document on July 19th. The actual signing ceremony was held on August 2nd, 1776 though, despite common perception, it took longer for all 56 delegates to affix their signature on the historic parchment. Moreover, some members of Congress never actually signed the document.
Lou Gehrig’s retirement speech, you know the one in which he said he was the “luckiest man on the face of the earth,” was given on July 4th, 1939. Gehrig died less than two years later of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, on June 2, 1941. He was 37 years old.
There are five places in the United States that have the name “America.” The largest is American Folk in Utah. It has a population of more than 26,000 people.
Jose Canseco hit his 30th homer on this date in 1999. He would hit only four more homers the rest of the way including just three over his final 115 at-bats before his season ended. All told he had 34 homers and had 95 RBI in just 113 games for the Rays. The effort marked Canseco as the first player in history to hit 30 homers with four different clubs (the others were the Athletics, Rangers and Blue Jays).
There’s a better than one in four chance that the hot dogs you eat, or ate, came from Iowa since there were over 19 million pigs located in the state in March, 2011. The odds are one in three that your baked beans came from North Dakota and if you’re eating corn on the cob there is a nearly 70 percent chance it came from California, Florida, Georgia, New York or Washington. For more fascinating info, click on this link.
July 4th, 1974 was Mike Marshall’s 14th straight appearance for the Dodgers. And you think guys are overworked nowadays? For the year Marshall pitched 208.1 innings… and didn’t make a single start. He won 15 games, lost 12, and racked up 21 saves to lead the NL. He also posted a 2.42 ERA and 1.19 WHIP on his way to appearing in 106 games, the highest single season total for any pitcher in the history of baseball.
By Ray Flowers