You know that feeling when you’re at a restaurant with your parents as a kid and you find 4-5 appetizers on the menu that you are just dying to have and they all sound so so good and you ask your Dad to get them and he says you can only have one?

Yeah, I hated that too.

So in doing my research for today’s history lesson, I stumbled upon 4 pretty wild events that gave me that appetizers-on-the-menu vibe. They were all just too good to be stuck only going with one. So since we at The Three Spot have no rules, I decided to highlight all 4. And seriously, they’re really cool.

Let’s go in chronological order because I’m a weirdo with OCD.

1958 – Future Hall of Famer and Then-Chicago White Sox Second Baseman Nellie Fox’s Streak of 98 Consecutive Games Without Striking Out Ends When He Gets Punched Out by Yankee Lefty Whitey Ford.

Imagine playing 98 games of baseball without striking out? In today’s game? Today, batters are striking out, on average, 24% of the time (per Baseball America).


He struck out 11 times in 698 plate appearances on the season.


I had to do double, triple, and quadruple takes on those numbers because they were that ridiculous.

The best part of it was that those 98 games he played in were in 98 CONSECUTIVE GAMES. We’re talking little to no days off for ol’ Nellie. No days to lay back and sip on a Coke at the ice cream shop. No days to think about the IDEA of striking out the next game. Dude just had to go day in and day out straight grinding. I wonder if he was thinking about the streak at all at the time it was happening. Nellie clearly had the keys to success in the box.

We will never see something like this again. If a guy goes 1 day without striking out in 2021 they label him a Hall of Famer.

And the guy had not 1 ounce of power. He laid a big goose egg in the homerun department in ‘58, and only totaled 35 for his 19 year career. Such different times, man.

I’d be chillin’ just like Nellie too if I could do what he did.

1982 – Mariners Pitcher Gaylord Perry, For Years Suspected of Cheating, Is 1st Player Caught & Ejected From a Game For Using Sticky Stuff Since the 1940’s.

The early 1900’s gave birth to a rule in Major League Baseball that stated: Pitchers are prohibited from soiling a new ball.

More refined rules that came, and still stand today, look like this:

Rule 3.01 – “No player shall intentionally discolor or damage the ball by rub- bing it with soil, rosin, paraffin, licorice, sand-paper, emery-paper or other foreign substance.
PENALTY: The umpire shall demand the ball and remove the offender from the game. In addition, the offender shall be suspended automatically for 10 games. For rules in regard to a pitcher defacing the ball, see Rules 6.02(c)(2) through (6).

Rule 6.02(c)“The pitcher shall not: … (4) apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball; … (7) Have on his person, or in his possession, any foreign sub- stance.” 

But just like we’ve heard about this season, these were some of those written, but “unwritten”, rules of baseball that nobody actually checked for. Until this day in 1982.

I get it. We’re tired of hearing about “Sticky Stuff” in 2021. Today we have pitchers getting checked for this stuff seemingly between every single inning of every single game. But this is why this moment in history fits so well into today. Let me give you a few stats on Mr. Gaylord real quick:

  • 2x Cy Young Award Winner
  • 314 Game Winner
  • 3,534 Career Ks
  • Hall of Famer (1991)

Gaylord was also long suspected of doctoring baseballs during his career. Could it have contributed to the stats above? Probably, but we’ll never truly know. But when you think of the name Gaylord Perry, you don’t think about the stats above. You think of the spitball. The spitball that Gaylor Perry was able to get away with.

How Gaylord Perry avoided getting caught in the 20 years of his career before that day in 1982 is beyond me. Seriously. The dude was touching his face so much you’d think he was giving baserunners signs from the 3rd base line. However he pulled that off, he was damn good at it. Call him up if you ever need someone to fake a lie detector test for you.

I wish I could find footage from the game but unfortunately the internet failed me. That would’ve been cool to see.

1998 – Barry Bonds Becomes the 1st (and still only) Member of the 400/400 Club.

Courtesy of MLB on YouTube

God, this guy was the greatest to ever do it. To be able to hit 400 tankjobs and swipe 400 bags in your career is something that we may never see again.

For reference, here’s the Top 5 active Career Stolen Base leaders and their career homers:

  1. Dee Strange-Gordon – 333 SB / 18 HR
  2. Elvis Andrus: 316 SB / 79 HR
  3. Billy Hamilton: 313 SB / 24 HR
  4. Starling Marte: 286 SB / 123 HR
  5. Brett Gardner: 272 SB / 134 HR

Hate to break it to these guys but they just don’t make them like Barry anymore. (Hold your steroids jokes and comments, I know) But these guys are great baserunners in their own right, but they aren’t prolific homerun hitters, and they’re all on the wrong side of 30.

The only guy I can see this being even just a slight possibility is Mike Trout. Currently he’s sitting at 203 swiped bags and 310 career dingers. But he’s 29, seemingly getting some sort of injury each year, and he hasn’t hit 30 steals in a season since 2016. I can definitely see him reaching the 400 homer club, but that’ll be an uphill battle if he wants 400 steals.

I don’t have to say much about Barry’s 400/400 accomplishment here. It speaks for itself.

So to reiterate: They don’t make ‘em like Barry anymore.

Courtesy of MLBHighlights2012 on YouTube

2006 – The Kansas City Royals Become the First Team Since 1989, And 2nd Ever to Go Up 10 Runs in the 1st and Not Win the Game. They Would Lose to the Indians 15-13 in 10 Innings.

Let’s be honest, the Royals teams that we saw for the majority of the 2000’s were complete and utter garbage. From 2000-2013, the Royals finished as high as 3rd in the division 3 times. They would finish 4th or 5th the remaining 11 years, including a 5th place finish in 2006. So this story shouldn’t quite surprise you.

Courtesy BaseballReference

The Royals are home at Kauffman Stadium in front of 12,000 fans to face the division rival Cleveland Indians. Indians score 1 out the gate, and the Royals decide to pummel Indians starter Paul Byrd in the bottom half of the 1st to the tune of 9 runs and 8 hits that including a 3-run and a 2-run jack. Reliever Jason Davies comes in to get the 3rd out, but gives up a run to make it a 10-1 ballgame after the first.

But that would pretty much be it for the Royals offense after that. The Indians would chose the death-by-1000-papercuts method and just kept chipping away at that 9-run lead, scoring 2 in the 3rd with solo shots from Aaron Boone & Grady Sizemore, 3 in the 4th, 1 in the 5th, 2 in the 6th to make a 10-9 game going into the bottom of the 6th.

The Royals would score 3 in the bottom half to make it a 13-9 game, but that would be all that was left in the tank. The Indians would hit a few doubles and a triple in the 9th and 10th innings to not only tie the game, but take the lead and win it in extras.

This game completely symbolized the mid-2000’s Kansas City Royals. Some firepower in the lineup, but ultimately just not good. Both teams hit really well with RISP, but the Indians decided to spread their chances out over an entire game span, while the Royals decided to just blow their load early and not recuperate for another 5 innings.

At least the Royals have Whit Merrifield now to make their team exciting. Oh and this guy.

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