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This day in sports: Lou Gehrig starts his consecutive games played streak

New York Yankees legend Lou Gehrig and his wife, Eleanor, in 1936.
(Associated Press)

Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees came off the bench on this date in 1925 to pinch-hit for shortstop Pee-Wee Wanninger. The appearance against Walter Johnson, the ace of the Washington Senators, started Gehrig’s streak of 2,130 consecutive games played.

Most of the attention that day was directed toward Babe Ruth, who returned to the cleanup spot in the Yankees lineup after missing the first eight weeks of the season with the flu and indigestion.

Gehrig, a standout from Columbia University, was batting just .174. Nevertheless, manager Miller Huggins, in an effort to shake up his slumping team, inserted Gehrig as a starter the next day to replace regular first baseman Wally Pipp.

Gehrig’s streak lasted until May 2, 1939.

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The Dodgers were scheduled to play the first of three games Monday against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium. The Angels were ready to start a seven-game trip in Arlington, Texas, with the first of three against the Rangers. Both games were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a look at memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1946 — Assault, with Warren Mehrtens in the saddle and running against a field of six other horses, wins the Belmont Stakes to become the seventh horse to claim the Triple Crown. Assault stumbles at the start but recovers to take the lead on the outside in the stretch and beats Natchez by 3 1/2 lengths.

1968 — Stage Door Johnny, who had never run in a stakes race before, wins the Belmont Stakes in a record time of 2:27 1/5 to spoil the Triple Crown bid by Forward Pass. With Heliodoro Gustines in the irons, Stage Door Johnny overtakes the winner of the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes at the eighth pole and the big-boned chestnut outruns him to the finish line.

1975 — Nolan Ryan of the Angels pitches his fourth no-hitter to tie Sandy Koufax’s big league record, beating the Baltimore Orioles 1-0 at Anaheim Stadium. Ryan, known mainly for his blazing fastball, uses a variety of pitches including a curveball and change-up to become the first pitcher in history to throw a no-hitter in three straight seasons. He strikes out nine and walks four, and third baseman Dave Chalk singles in the only run in the third inning.

1986 — Pat Bradley is the first player to win all four major women’s golf tournaments when she takes the LPGA Championship, beating Patty Sheehan by one stroke at Kings Island in Mason, Ohio. Bradley birdies the last hole to give her a final-round 68 for her fifth of six major titles. She is the first LPGA player to surpass $2 million in earnings.

The main concern of black people right now isn’t whether they’re standing three or six feet apart, but whether their sons, husbands, brothers and fathers will be murdered by cops.

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1992 — The Pittsburgh Penguins win the Stanley Cup for the second straight year, beating the Chicago Blackhawks 6-5 for a four-game sweep. Dirk Graham scores three goals in the first period and Ron Francis fires the puck past goaltender Dominik Hasek at eight minutes into the third period for the eventual winner.

1996 — Louisiana State wins its 10th consecutive NCAA women’s track and field team title with 81 points at Hayward Field in Eugene, Ore., the longest victory string in women’s college sports. The Lady Tigers are led by sprinters Zundra Feagin, who wins the 200-meter dash, and D’Andre Hill, who takes the 100.

2008 — Hillary Will is the 11th woman in NHRA history to win a national event when she takes the Top Fuel division at the O’Reilly Summer Nationals at Topeka, Kan. Will drives her 8,000-horsepower dragster to a 4.744-second run at a top speed of 304.53 mph, beating No. 1 qualifier Larry Dixon for her first career win in Top Fuel.

2010 — Robin Soderling of Sweden continues his upset play at the French Open when he rallies past defending champion Roger Federer in a rainy quarterfinal match at Roland Garros, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5, 6-4. The loss ends Federer’s record streak of reaching the semifinals in 23 consecutive major events. Soderling had upset the tournament’s reigning champion Rafael Nadal a year earlier in the fourth round.

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2012 — Florida’s Jonathan Crawford pitches the seventh no-hitter in NCAA baseball tournament history, shutting down Bethune-Cookman 4-0 in the opener of the Gainesville regionals at McKethan Stadium. Crawford, a sophomore right-hander, strikes out five and walks one, and is the first Gators pitcher to throw a no-hitter in 21 years.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press


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