Baseball Throughout History

  • The Start of Baseball

    The Start of Baseball
    The start of organized baseball was in Civil War-era America. The picture shows the Brooklyn Excelsiors, one of the first amateur baseball teams.
  • The Babe

    The Babe
    Drafted by the Red Sox as a pitcher, Ruth converted to a right fielder when he was traded to the Yankees. From then on, he brought baseball to the forefront as America's pastime, setting numerous records for homers, RBIs, OBP, and slugging percentage.
  • World War I

    World War I
    Many of baseball's best and brightest joined in the war effort, including friends Christy Mathewson and Ty Cobb. Mathewson would never recover from the tuberculosis he got when he was gassed, cutting short the career of one of baseball's best pitchers ever.
  • The Black Sox

    The Black Sox
    In the 1919 World Series, many in the Chicago White Sox franchise teamed up with gamblers to throw the World Series, resulting in lifetime bans for many players, including Shoeless Joe Jackson, who rises to fame again in the movie Field of Dreams.
  • Hank Greenberg: The Hebrew Hammer

    Hank Greenberg: The Hebrew Hammer
    Hank Greenberg exemplified the Jewish-American experience in America before and during World War II, from refusing to play during Yom Kippur and facing hardcore discrimination to fighting in the US Army. The Hall of Famer is considered to be one of the best hitters in baseball history.
  • Dimaggio, Williams, and WWII

    Dimaggio, Williams, and WWII
    The 1941 season yielded two of the greatest, unmatched feats in baseball history, with Joe Dimaggio's 56-game hitting streak still the longest and Ted Williams, who hit .406, the last man to hit .400. Both enlisted in the US Army during WWII, with Williams as a pilot, the position in which he also served during the Korean War. The war likely cut many years off Williams' career, robbing baseball of one of the greatest hitters of all time.
  • The Curse of the Billy Goat

    The Curse of the Billy Goat
    The Chicago Cubs' last World Series win was in 1908, because in 1945, the Curse of the Billy Goat was placed on the team when the owner of the Billy Goat Tavern was asked to leave Game 4 of the World Series because of his goat's odor and proceeded to say "Them Cubs, they aren't going to win no more."
  • The Color Barrier is Broken Down

    The Color Barrier is Broken Down
    For years, Hall of Famers like Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige played in the Negro Leagues, baseball's form of segregation. That all changed when Branch Rickey and the Brooklyn Dodgers, started Jackie Robinson and broke the color barrier. Robinson's number is retired across all of baseball.
  • Don Larsen and the Yankees

    Don Larsen and the Yankees
    Casey Stengel's Yankees, which included Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and quote-machine Yoga Berra, dominated the 1950's, winning 6 titles, none more impressive than in 1956 when Don Larsen threw the only perfect game in World Series history.
  • Sandy Koufax, Mazeroski, and the 60's

    Sandy Koufax, Mazeroski, and the 60's
    The 60's were dominated by Dodgers star Sandy Koufax, another Jewish star who decided not to play on Yom Kippur. Aside from his religious beliefs, he is generally regarded as one of the best pitchers of all time, with four no-hitters. In 1961, Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's single-season home run record, after a strong competition with teammate Mantle. The 1960 World Series was also a highlight, with Bill Mazeroski hitting a walk-off homer in Game 7, to win it all for the Pirates.
  • Carl Yastrzemski: Last Triple Crown Winner

    Carl Yastrzemski: Last Triple Crown Winner
    Red Sox slugger and 18-time All-Star Yaz is the last person to win the Triple Crown.
  • Ball Four

    Ball Four
    Jim Bouton's tales of baseball players' sex, drugs, and ball lifestyle and fights with management left him no friends on either side and got him banned from Old-Timers' Day at Yankee Stadium. It is listed on Time's list of 100 Greatest Non-Fiction Books of all time.
  • Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, and the 70's

    Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, and the 70's
    Hammerin' Hank Aaron breaks the career home run record previously held by Babe Ruth. On the pitching side, the long and dominant career of Nolan Ryan starts, one that ends with seven no-hitters, the most in baseball history.
  • Bill Buckner-style

    Bill Buckner-style
    The Red Sox were up 3-2 in the World Series, until a ball in extra innings slid through the legs of Bill Buckner, who was blamed for extending the Curse of the Bambino, after the Red Sox lose the Series in 7.
  • Cal Ripken and the Record that can't be Broken

    Cal Ripken and the Record that can't be Broken
    Cal Ripken Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig's record of consecutive games played with 2,632 games, when he voluntarily decides to bench himself.
  • McGwire and Sosa

    McGwire and Sosa
    The 1998 season is infamous for Sosa and McGwire's chase of Roger Maris' single-season home run record, which both achieve with 66 and 70 homers respectively. Both eventually admit to steroid use.
  • 2001 World Series

    2001 World Series
    The Yankees were the ideal team to be in the first World Series post-9/11. However, baseball-wise, the Series was one of the best with D-Backs pitchers Curt Schilling and Randy Johnson sharing MVP honors and Luis Gonzalez hitting the Series-winning single off arguably the best closer ever, Mariano Rivera.
  • Curse of the Bambino Broken

    Curse of the Bambino Broken
    The Red Sox finally break the curse of the Bambino, beating the Cardinals 4-0 in the World Series, behind MVP Manny Ramirez.
  • The Steroid Era

    The Steroid Era
    Though BALCO was raided in 2003, the Congressional hearings on steroid use in baseball took place in 2005, with McGwire declaring, "I'm not here to talk about the past" and Rafael Palmerio wagging his finger at Congress. This spawns the Mitchell Report as well as shines a light on how widespread steroid and HGH use was (is?) in sports.
  • Bonds Breaks Aaron's Record

    Bonds Breaks Aaron's Record
    Bonds breaks Aaron's career home run record, just years after breaking McGwire's single-season record. He was the key figure in the BALCO investigation. He is eventually indicted on the charge of obstruction of justice.
  • Year of the Pitcher

    Year of the Pitcher
    The Steroid Era appears to have ended, giving pitchers the chance to become the real stars. There are six no-hitters thrown and the playoffs yield amazing performances by Giants' pitchers Tim Lincecum, Matt Cain, and Madison Bumgarner, along with Roy Halladay's perfect game in the NLDS and Cliff Lee's record-breaking run through the playoffs.