ESPN’s 20th MLB Season of Chronicling the Moments
ESPN’s 20th MLB season will begin with Opening Night Sunday, April 5, when the defending World Champion Philadelphia Phillies host the Atlanta Braves at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2 HD. ESPN has chronicled many significant Major League Baseball moments for fans through the years – from no-hitters to players joining the 3,000 hit club to record-setting home runs – both during game telecasts and through live cut-ins during games and studio programming. Additionally, ESPN has captured historic moments surrounding the games – the Jackie Robinson Ceremony retiring his No. 42 jersey league-wide in 1997, the 1999 Major League game from Cuba (first since 1959), and many more (see below). Following are some of those many momentous occasions:
20 Memorable Moments: ESPN Telecasts
May 28, 1990 – Rickey Henderson breaks Ty Cobb’s American League record for career stolen bases.
June 29, 1990 – ESPN televises back-to-back no-hitters. Oakland’s Dave Stewart throws a no-hitter against the Toronto Blue Jays, then Los Angeles’ Fernando Valenzuela did the same against the St. Louis Cardinals.
July 31, 1990 – Texas’ Nolan Ryan earns his 300th career victory.
September 6, 1995 – Baltimore’s Cal Ripken, Jr., breaks Lou Gehrig’s record by playing in his 2,131st consecutive game.
October 2, 1995 – ESPN televises the first one-game playoff since 1980, as the Seattle Mariners defeat the visiting California Angels.
October 5, 1996 – Baltimore’s Roberto Alomar hits a 12th-inning home run to clinch the ALDS for the Orioles, as they defeat the Cleveland Indians in Game 4.
September 7, 1998 – St. Louis’ Mark McGwire ties Roger Maris with his 61st home run of the season.
October 9, 1999 – Todd Pratt hits a walk-off home run in the 10th inning to clinch the NLDS for the New York Mets.
May 29, 2000 – On Memorial Day, Oakland’s second baseman Randy Velarde completes the first unassisted triple play since 1994 and only the 11th in Major League history.
August 6, 2001 – The Cleveland Indians rally from deficits of 12-0 and 14-2 to beat the Seattle Mariners 15-14, scoring five times in the ninth to tie, and once in the 11th to win.
September 2, 2001 – New York’s Mike Mussina comes within one out of a perfect game, as Boston’s Carl Everett spoils the bid with a two-out hit in the ninth inning. The Yankees beat the Red Sox, 1-0.
October 5, 2001 – San Francisco’s Barry Bonds breaks Mark McGwire’s home run record with his 71st and 72nd home runs of the season.
June 11, 2003 – Six Houston Astros pitchers combine to no-hit the New York Yankees.
August 10, 2003 – Atlanta Braves shortstop Rafael Furcal turns an unassisted triple play – the 12th in Major League history – against the St. Louis Cardinals.
May 12, 2004 – Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Alex Cora fouls off 17 consecutive pitches before hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers won the game, 4-0.
October 9, 2005 – Houston’s Chris Burke hits a walk-off home run in the 18th inning of the Astros’ NLDS-clinching win, 7-6, over the Atlanta Braves in Game 4.
April 22, 2007 – The Boston Red Sox tie a Major-League record by hitting four straight home runs, in beating the New York Yankees, 7-6.
August 5, 2007 – New York’s Tom Glavine wins his 300th game.
August 7, 2007 – San Francisco’s Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s home run record with his 756th career home run. ESPN and ESPN2 collectively add 12 games to follow Bonds’ pursuit of the record throughout July and August.
September 21, 2008 – The New York Yankees beat the Baltimore Orioles, 7-3, in the final game at Yankee Stadium.
In addition to game telecasts, ESPN has provided live cut-ins to many significant milestones including:
July 28, 1994 – Texas Rangers’ Kenny Rogers tosses a perfect game, the 12th in Major League
history. It also marked the first perfect performance by an American League lefthander.
May 17, 1998 – New York Yankees’ David Wells throws a perfect game against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium.
May 1, 1991 – Texas’ Nolan Ryan tosses his seventh career no‑hitter.
August 26, 1991 – Kansas City’s Bret Saberhagen throws a no‑hitter against Chicago.
September 11, 1991 – Atlanta’s Alejandro Pena retires San Diego in the ninth inning, teaming with
starter Kent Mercker and reliever Mark Wohlers for a no‑hitter.
April 22, 1993 – Seattle’s Chris Bosio pitches the first no‑hitter of 1993.
April 8, 1994 – Atlanta’s Kent Mercker hurls a no-hitter at Dodger Stadium.
May 14, 1996 – New York Yankees’ Dwight Gooden completes a no-hitter against Seattle.
June 10, 1997 – Florida’s Kevin Brown, bidding for a perfect game, hits a batter in the ninth inning but holds on for the no-hitter against the San Francisco Giants.
July 12, 1997 – Pittsburgh’s Francisco Cordova (nine innings) and Ricardo Rincon (one inning)
combine for a no-hitter as the Pirates win 3-0 in 10 innings.
September 11, 1999 – Minnesota’s Eric Milton throws a no-hitter in a 7-0 win over Anaheim.
April 4, 2001 – Hideo Nomo tosses a no-hitter in his debut for the Boston Red Sox, a 3-0 victory
over the Baltimore Orioles. It was the first no-hitter ever at Camden Yards and Nomo becomes only
the fourth pitcher to have thrown a no-hitter in both leagues (Cy Young, Jim Bunning and Nolan
May 12, 2001 – A.J. Burnett pitches a no-hitter as Florida defeats San Diego 3-0.
September 6, 2006 – Florida’s Anibal Sanchez no-hits the Arizona Diamondbacks.
May 19, 2008 – Boston’s Jon Lester throws a no-hitter vs. Kansas City.
September 15, 2008 – Chicago Cubs’ Carlos Zambrano tosses a no-hitter against Houston.
June 13, 2003 – Roger Clemens reaches 300 career wins and 4,000 career strikeouts in the same
May 5, 2004 – Roger Clemens posts his 4,137th strikeout, passing Steve Carlton for second on the all-time strikeout list.
3,000 career hits
September 9, 1992 – Milwaukee’s Robin Yount reaches 3,000 hits in his third at bat of the night, in
the bottom of the seventh inning.
September 30, 1992 – Kansas City’s George Brett gets his 3,000th career hit against the Angels.
June 30, 1995 – Eddie Murray smacks a single to reach the 3,000-hit milestone.
September 16, 1996 – Minnesota’s Paul Molitor triples for the 3,000th hit of his career.
August 6, 1999 – San Diego’s Tony Gwynn joins the 3,000 hit club.
August 7, 1999 – One day later, Wade Boggs hits a home run – the only player to do so – for his 3,000th career hit.
April 15, 2000 – ESPN shows Cal Ripken, Jr.’s 3,000th hit.
October 7, 2001 – Rickey Henderson gets his 3,000th career hit.
Hits in a Single Season
October 1, 2004 – Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki ties and breaks George Sisler’s single-season record of 257 hits.
July 28, 1993 – Ken Griffey, Jr., hits a home run in a record-tying eighth consecutive game.
May 23, 1994 – Ken Griffey, Jr., homers to break Mickey Mantle’s record for most home runs in the first two months of a season (20).
1998 – ESPN covers Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa’s race to and past Roger Maris’ home run record with live and quick turnaround cut-ins to at-bats, as well as complete game coverage involving both sluggers (many games selected on a short-term basis). Among the many great moments captured on ESPN are Sosa’s 61st and 62nd home runs on Sept. 13 and McGwire’s 61st, 69th and 70th home runs.
August 5, 1999 – Mark McGwire hits his 500th career home run.
April 17, 2001 – San Francisco’s Barry Bonds hits his 500th career home run.
May 23, 2002 – Shawn Green hits four home runs in one game against Milwaukee, going six-for-six and breaking the Major League record for total bases in a game with 19.
April 4, 2003 – Sammy Sosa posts his 500th career home run.
May 11, 2003 – Rafael Palmeiro joins Sosa on the 500 home run list.
April 12, 2004 – Barry Bonds hits home run No. 660, tying Willie Mays for third place all-time.
May 5, 2004 – New York Mets catcher Mike Piazza hits home run No. 352, passing Carlton Fisk as
the all-time home run leader at the backstop position.
June 9, 2008 – Ken Griffey, Jr., hits his 600th career home run.
Additional notable dates in ESPN MLB history:
March 19, 1990 – ESPN’s first Baseball Tonight telecast.
April 9, 1990 – ESPN’s first Major League Baseball regular-season telecast (Baltimore at Kansas City).
July 13, 1992 – ESPN’s first Home Run Derby telecast.
October 1, 1996 – ESPN televises its first-ever postseason game and the first ever on cable television – Game 1 of the Division Series between Cleveland and Baltimore.
April 15, 1997 – ESPN televised the game and ceremony commemorating the 50-year anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s debut in the Major Leagues and the retiring of his number 42 for all MLB teams.
March 28, 1999 – ESPN televises the Baltimore Orioles playing the Cuban National Team live from Havana, the first Major League Baseball game in Cuba since 1959.
April 4, 1999 – ESPN televises Colorado vs. San Diego from Monterrey, Mexico, the night before baseball’s traditional Opening Day.
April 1, 2001 – ESPN televises the first Major League Baseball game ever in Puerto Rico (Texas vs. Toronto).
March 31, 2007 – ESPN televises the inaugural Civil Rights Game from Memphis, Tenn.
April 14, 2007 – ESPN televises San Diego visiting the Los Angeles Dodgers in a game commemorating the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.