October 7, 2010

The Season That Was...July

As the "Year of the Pitcher" hit its midway point...the baseball world lost a boss, saw a hawk soar to new heights and wondered aloud if Matt Stairs is the game's best (pinch) hitter.

Wait...what?!?

On July 7, Matt Stairs went yard against Matt Capps for the 20th time as a pinch hitter. This milestone by Stairs earned him a tie with Cliff Johnson atop the all-time home run list among pinch hitters.

This was Stairs' second homer as a member of his 12th team...the San Diego Padres. His first one of the season (which was hit in May) meant that the Canadien had gone deep for a record eleven different teams...a feat matched only by Todd Zeile.


Rare in sports is an owner that transcends the team. Typically, it is a big name star or two that makes the headlines. For the New York Yankees (one team that Stairs HASN'T played for) it was its owner George Steinbrenner who dominated the New York newspapers.

On July 13, the Big Apple lost its boss and at the same time...baseball lost one its most iconic characters of the last one hundred years.

Not so long ago, it appeared that outfielder Andruw Jones was on his way to some level of greatness. At just 30 years of age, 368 career home runs and ten (yes, ten!) consecutive Gold Gloves on his resume...he landed a gigantic contract to patrol centerfield for the Dodgers. On July 11, he blasted number 400 as a member of the Chicago White Sox.

Jones' White Sox teammate Paul Konerko went yard for the 350th time in his career on July 28.

And keeping with the spirit of 2010, Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Matt Garza threw the franchise's first no-hitter on July 26. He faced the minimum 27 batters (surrendering a walk in the 2nd inning) while beating the Detroit Tigers 5–0.

Also in July, Johnny Damon got his 2500th hit, Lance Berkman and Derrek Lee each scored their 1000th run, Jorge Posada knocked in his 1000th run and Javier Vazquez won his 150th game.

Lastly, Cooperstown welcomed its three newest members...Andre Dawson, Whitey Herzog and Doug Harvey. Not too much to add, but to celebrate Dawson's achievement, Charles Beatley (proprietor of Hawk for the Hall) put together a list of what he says are the ten best moments of The Hawk's storied career.

With April, May and June already in the books...be sure to come back tomorrow for August!

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