Every day, until baseball returns, Tim Kurkjian will use the day on the calendar to tell a story (or two ... or three) as only he can.
Wait, this guy has a last name with with two "Z's" and two "Y's"? Meet lefty Rob Zastryzny.
Rob Zastryzny needs a nickname
In 2016, the Cubs proved then-rookie reliever Rob Zastryzny's name was absolutely baffling to all of his teammates and manager.
His son came and picked him up. They went straight to the batting cage, where the Hit King reminded everyone he still had it.
Kurkjian recalls Rose's hitting display after getting out of prison
With March 27 being the anniversary of a 1989 story Sports Illustrated wrote about Pete Rose's gambling, Tim Kurkjian tells the story of when Rose put on an impressive display at a batting cage after getting out of prison.
Joy Kurkjian turns 96 years old. She went to every game her sons played. She almost turned one of her kid's homers into a double.
Kurkjian celebrates his mom's birthday with a humorous story
With March 28 being the birthday of Tim Kurkjian's mother, Joy, he recalls the time when she almost cost his brother a home run in a game.
How good was Cy Young? Well, the award is named after him. But maybe you didn't know that Ted Kluszewski cut off the sleeves of his uniform or Rusty Staub was such a good cook he took pots and pans on road trips.
On this date: Cy Young is born, Rusty Staub dies
In honor of March 29, Tim Kurkjian tells stories of Cy Young on the anniversary of his birth and Rusty Staub on the anniversary of his death.
Dwight Gooden, when he arrived in the majors, was scary good. So good, in fact, that when Roger Clemens got in the batter's box against him, Clemens learned something important about pitching.
Anniversary of Gooden's retirement reminds Kurkjian of funny Clemens story
Dwight Gooden retired on March 30, 2001, and that reminds Tim Kurkjian of a humorous story related to Gooden and Roger Clemens.
Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball. He wasn't the best player, but he was still the most competitive -- going so far as to find creative ways to take manager Terry Francona's money.
Kurkjian recalls MJ, Francona's friendship and Yahtzee rivalry
March 31 is the anniversary of Michael Jordan signing with the Birmingham Barons, which prompts Tim Kurkjian to recount MJ's friendship with Terry Francona.
The idea was for Phil Niekro and his brother, Joe, to both pitch on the day Phil was going to win his 300th game. But once Phil had a chance to make history, he scrapped the plan.
How Phil Niekro's 300th win didn't go as originally planned
On Hall of Famer Phil Niekro's birthday, Tim Kurkjian tells the incredible story of the pitcher's 300th career victory.
Ichiro Suzuki enjoyed one of America's staple meals. He could figure out an equation in seconds. And he never, ever threw his bat -- ever.
On this date: Ichiro makes history with MLB debut
With April 2 being the anniversary of Ichiro Suzuki's 2001 major debut, Tim Kurkjian reflects on the significance of the event.
Tom Seaver was undeniably the best New York Mets player ever. Yet, Muhammad Ali thought he worked for a newspaper when the two met.
Anniversary of Mets signing Seaver recalls funny Ali story for Kurkjian
On April 3, 1966, the Mets signed Tom Seaver, and that reminds Tim Kurkjian of a Seaver story that involves Dick Schaap and Muhammad Ali.
On Opening Day 1994, he hit three homers, prompting a teammate to drive home that night thinking "This guy might be better than Strawberry or Bonds." It was part of a weird run on Opening Day three-homer games.
On this date: Rhodes belts 3 HRs on Opening Day
Tim Kurkjian recounts Tuffy Rhodes' three home run day for the Cubs on April 4, 1994.
The Hall of Fame manager never understood why anyone would bunt. He had no use for players on the DL. And he had a suggestion for one of his players who was thinking of becoming a minister.
On this date: Weaver records 1,000th victory
On April 5, 1979, Earl Weaver earned his 1,000th career victory, and that got Tim Kurkjian reflecting on notable stories about the former Orioles manager.
Plays that should have never been close were turned into outs when Roberto Clemente, in right field, had the ball in his hands a runner trying to take an extra base in his sights.
How Roberto Clemente, Neil Walker are connected
With April 6 being the anniversary of Roberto Clemente's number retirement, Tim Kurkjian explains how Clemente is tied to fellow Pirate Neil Walker.
Playing third base in the majors and not wearing a cup seems like a bad idea. But Adrian Beltre, a future Hall of Famer, believed his defense was good enough to save him.
Stories to remember Adrian Beltre by on his birthday
Tim Kurkjian celebrates Adrian Beltre's birthday by sharing some of his favorite stories about the third baseman.
The Braves' relievers held a lottery for the best spot in the bullpen where the homer might land. When Tom House caught the ball, he ran it to home plate to give to Aaron. He saw something he'd never seen before.
How a Braves pitcher helped Hank Aaron get HR ball 715
On the anniversary of Hank Aaron's 715th career home run, Tim Kurkjian recalls how pitcher Tom House ended up with the historic ball before giving it to Aaron.
Bo Jackson ran up a wall. He homered in his first at-bat after hip replacement surgery. Those are just a few of the stories that make up the legend of Bo.
Kurkjian's best Bo Jackson baseball stories
On April 9, 1993, Bo Jackson hit a home run in his first game with an artificial hip, which got Tim Kurkjian thinking about some of his most memorable Jackson baseball stories.
Once upon a time, they were the New York Highlanders. Then, in 1913, they became the New York Yankees. What has happened since has made them the most loved and hated franchise in the history of sports.
On this date: The Highlanders become the Yankees
On April 10, the New York Highlanders became the New York Yankees, and Tim Kurkjian marks the occasion by recapping the Yankees' success and legacy over the years.
The game was a blowout. He just needed a single for the cycle. He had it -- until he kept going to second.
Kurkjian remembers the day Sam Fuld almost hit for the cycle
On April 11, 2011, Sam Fuld purposely passed up the chance to hit for a cycle, and Tim Kurkjian shares his memories of that day.
Hrbek was beloved at the Metrodome. Just because he was retired and the Twins moved to Target Field, people in Minnesota didn't stop loving a guy who carried around tape recordings of fart sounds.
Hrbek's birthday recalls some good stories from Kurkjian
As May 21 is Kent Hrbek's birthday, Tim Kurkjian tells his favorite stories about the Twins legend.
There was Quisenberry to Quirk. Then there was Q to Z and Z to Q, then Black and Decker and Abbott and Castillo. You can have a lot of fun when looking at batterymates.
On this date: Quisenberry and Quirk team up for first QQ battery
Tim Kurkjian details how history was made on April 13, 1980 when Dan Quisenberry pitched to Jamie Quirk.
One time, Nolan Ryan struck out the first batter of the game on three pitches. Ralph Garr walked back to the dugout and told his teammates, "This game is over."
Remembering Nolan Ryan's first MLB win
Nolan Ryan won his first MLB game on April 14, 1968, which prompts Tim Kurkjian to recount Ryan's impressive career and tell some great stories.
Jackie Robinson was the first black player in the majors. It was a significant moment in American history, and it wasn't easy. "I don't know how Jackie did it,'' Dodgers pitcher Rex Barney said. "... He's the strongest man I've ever seen."
Kurkjian remembers Jackie Robinson on the anniversary of his MLB debut
Tim Kurkjian reflects on the importance of Jackie Robinson as the legendary ballplayer made his major league debut on April 15, 1947.
Sure, you might not agree, but it's a fun debate to look at each number and see what name is the best.
Kurkjian has some fun with uniform numbers in honor of Yankees
On April 16, 1929, the Yankees became the first team to wear numbers on their uniforms, which causes Tim Kurkjian to comes up with his own numbers game.
Someone tried to strike him out on three pitches on his day. Someone else knocked him down with a pitch in an Old-Timers' game. Frank Robinson, ever the competitor, took care of it.
Kurkjian recalls Frank Robinson's impressive career
Tim Kurkjian reflects on Frank Robinson's legacy on the anniversary of his major league debut.
Babe Ruth threw and hit lefty, but ate and wrote right-handed. Craig Biggio and Brooks Robinson did it the other way. And don't even try to figure out Mark Mulder: "I'm completely screwed up."
Truman's unusual feat makes Kurkjian think of baseball ambidexterity
On April 18, 1950, former president Harry S. Truman used both of his hands to throw out first pitches, prompting Tim Kurkjian to recall other stories of baseball ambidexterity.
They are the ones who call the games, who make up the sound of baseball -- from Russ Hodges and Vin Scully to Ernie Harwell and Jon Miller. Those are the voices that have long brought baseball to life.
Kurkjian remembers Russ Hodges
Russ Hodges died on April 19, 1971, which causes Tim Kurkjian to reflect on the importance of play-by-play announcers like Hodges and Ernie Harwell.
In baseball, the numbers tell a story. Always have. You just need to look at a box score. Every box score. Every day. You won't believe what you'll find.
Kurkjian remembers Henry Chadwick by telling box score stories
Henry Chadwick died on April 20, 1908, and his creation of the baseball box score causes Tim Kurkjian to reflect on his love of box scores.
He wasn't quite the one-year wonder everyone thinks he is. But what made him truly memorable were some of the wild things he said and did.
Kurkjian tells his favorite Brady Anderson stories
On the anniversary of Brady Anderson hitting a leadoff home run for a fourth consecutive game, Tim Kurkjian shares some stories about the former Orioles OF.
Terry Francona is a certain Hall of Famer. He's also one of the funniest people in baseball. After all, he once threw a suit in a trash can and suggested it was a good time to make s'mores at Disney.
Kurkjian celebrates Francona's birthday with stories
In honor of Terry Francona's birthday, Tim Kurkjian tells his favorite stories about the skipper.
Hoyt Wilhem proved for years that a knuckleball is impossible to hit, catch or call. In the movies, actors and directors learned the same thing.
Anniversary of Wilhelm's HR recalls a funny story for Kurkjian
On April 23, 1952, Hoyt Wilhelm hit a home run in his first major league at-bat, which causes Tim Kurkjian to tell a funny story about fellow knuckleballer Tom Candiotti.
Omar Vizquel made playing shortstop look so easy. The magician explains how he made it look so effortless.
Kurkjian celebrates Vizquel's birthday by recalling his wizardy
In honor of Omar Vizquel's birthday, Tim Kurkjian recalls the time he got to witness the shortstop's field prowess while doing a story about him.
The 1988 Orioles were historically bad. It got so ugly, then-President Ronald Reagan even called then-Baltimore manager Frank Robinson to offer some support. His response: "Mr. President, you got no idea what I'm going through."
Kurkjian reminisces on POTUS' phone call with Frank Robinson
Tim Kurkjian tells the story of how at dinner he pressed Orioles manager Frank Robinson into giving the details behind his phone call with the President of the United States.
Wade Boggs knew how to use all fields. So much so that perhaps the best plan anyone ever came up with was to line up eight guys behind the pitcher and have them scatter as soon as the ball was released. They didn't do that, but they should have.
Kurkjian recalls Boggs' amazing hitting career
On April 26, 1982 Wade Boggs recorded the first hit of his major league career, which prompts Kurkjian to tell some stories about the Hall of Famer.
Sure, he could manage. After all, he was three World Series rings. But he also had self-deprecating humor and a head so big he had to travel with his own helmet.
Kurkjian tells stories about Bochy's extremely large helmet
Tim Kurkjian reminisces about Bruce Bochy's abnormally large helmet on the anniversary of his first win as a manager.
In 2001, nobody expected Albert Pujols to become Albert Pujols. But it didn't take long to realize something special was happening in St. Louis.
Kurkjian recalls how Pujols burst onto the scene
Tim Kurkjian tells a secondhand story of how a reserved Albert Pujols impressed in the batting cages before setting the rookie record for homers in April.
In 2015, Oriole Park was quiet. No fans. You could hear every sound on one of the most surreal days in baseball.
Kurkjian reflects on the day a 2015 game was played with no fans
On April 29, 2015, a White Sox-Orioles game was played with no fans, and Tim Kurkjian remembers the unusual circumstances of that day.
Most times, Ted Williams started getting ready the night before. With Feller, who threw three no-hitters, struck out 17 when he was 17 years old, even the greatest hitter ever knew he had his hands full.
Kurkjian recalls Feller's greatness on and off the field
April 30, 1946 is the day Bob Feller threw his second no-hitter, so Tim Kurkjian remembers Feller's legacy on the field and his military service.
Rickey Henderson and Lou Brock worked on a speech for when Rickey broke Brock's all-time steal record. He had it in his pocket. Instead, Rickey decided to write his own on the fly. That's how "Today, I am the greatest of all time" came out.
Kurkjian remembers Henderson's gaffe on the day he passed Brock
Rickey Henderson passed Lou Brock on the all-time stolen bases list on May 1, 1991, and Tim Kurkjian remembers something about that day that didn't go as planned.
He is most remembered for The Streak and the "Today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the Earth" speech he gave at Yankee Stadium. He was a force on the field. Just look at the numbers.
Kurkjian reflects on the day Gehrig's streak ended
Lou Gehrig's consecutive games streak ended on May 2, 1939, which prompts Tim Kurkjian to reflect on Gehrig's legacy.
The sacrifice is way more interesting than you think. We promise. Let Tim Kurkjian explain.
Kurkjian explains his fascination with sacrifice flies
On May 3, 1986, Don Mattingly tied the MLB record with three sacrifice flies in a game, which causes Tim Kurkjian to break down several notable sac fly stats.
He didn't really look like a Major Leaguer. He was mistaken for a lot of things, but Craig Counsell had a strong career as a player and now a manager.
Kurkjian marks anniversary of Counsell's hiring with funny stories
On the anniversary of Craig Counsell being hired as Brewers manager, Tim Kurkjian tells his favorite stories about the skipper and former player.
His father was friends with Tommy Lasorda. That's how Mike Piazza got drafted -- in the 62nd round. But with hand strength, work and a home run no one will ever forget, he vaulted himself into baseball history.
Kurkjian reflects on Piazza's impressive career and biggest HR
Mike Piazza set the record for most home runs by a catcher on May 5, 2004, which causes Tim Kurkjian to recall Piazza's most memorable home run.
The argument can be made that Willie Mays was the greatest player of all time. Look at the numbers. And listen to his opponents, who had a hard time beating him and an even harder time believing he wouldn't make the impossible look easy.
Kurkjian celebrates Mays' birthday with stories
In honor of Willie Mays' birthday, Tim Kurkjian reflects on his legacy and tells some stories about the legendary Hall of Famer.
Don't let Big Sexy's body fool you. He was athletic. He could also hit. And in 2016, he proved what his teammates already knew from watching batting practice: He had power.
Kurkjian reflects on anniversary of Colon's HR
Bartolo Colon hit his first career home run on May 7, 2016 at 42 years old, and Tim Kurkjian reflects on the pitcher's memorable achievement.
Once Kirby Puckett figured out he couldn't just hit, but could also hit for power, a Hall of Fame career was born.
Kurkjian reflects on anniversary of Puckett's MLB debut
In his MLB debut on May 8, 1984, Kirby Puckett had a four-hit game, and Tim Kurkjian marks the anniversary by telling memorable stories about the Hall of Famer.
Let's keep this simple: Tony Gwynn could hit. "Some hitters use bats as more of a battering ram," one former teammate said. "Tony used his bats more as a paintbrush."
Gwynn's birthday prompts stories from Kurkjian
As May 9 would have been Tony Gwynn's 60th birthday, Tim Kurkjian tells stories in honor of the legendary Hall of Fame hitter.
Must have certain flavor of gum. Have to stand in same spot in the shower. Need to clean spikes at exact time. And, please, don't even think about throwing an odd number in the mix.
Kurkjian tells baseball superstition stories on Mujica's birthday
Edward Mujica's birthday causes Tim Kurkjian to reflect on the pitcher's superstitions and other notable baseball player superstitions.
Everyone remembers the 20-strikeout game. What about the one that followed? That would be 13 strikeouts and no walks. Consecutive starts, 33 strikeouts, one walk. Those poor hitters.
Kurkjian reflects on Kerry Woods's impressive strikeout feat
On March 11, 1998 Kerry Wood set a major league record for most strikeouts in consecutive starts, prompting Tim Kurkjian to tell stories about Wood's achievement.
Sure, he mangled the language and was painted as a cartoon character. But he won 10 rings as a player. So he was tougher than you think. And he wasn't afraid to take on The Boss.
Kurkjian praises Yogi Berra on his birthday
Tim Kurkjian takes a look at the legendary career of Yankees Hall of Fame catcher Yogi Berra on what would have been his 95th birthday.
He is perhaps the most underrated superstar in baseball history. And in one of his 24 All-Star Game appearances, he'd seen enough. So he decided to end it.
Kurkjian reflects on anniversary of Musial's 3,000th hit
Tim Kurkjian examines the legendary career of Stan Musial and tells the story of how Musial sent him an autographed picture.
When you go through baseball history day by day, you see the name Walter Johnson a lot. There's a reason for that.
Kurkjian outlines the connections between himself and Walter Johnson
Tim Kurkjian goes in depth on the legendary career of pitcher Walter Johnson and all the connections he has to Johnson's career.
We know George Brett could hit. But with a golf club? On a green, with a ball travelling at him? The story seems impossible, except it's real.
Jim Palmer's fascinating strategy to never allowing a grand slam
Jim Palmer won 268 games in his illustrious pitching career, yet never forfeited a grand slam. Tim Kurkjian explains what Palmer did to make that possible.
Jim Palmer wasn't short on confidence. He knew how to get people out. Sometimes, he went to measures not many others would to get the job done.
Kurkjian shares incredible George Brett golf stories
On George Brett's 67th birthday, Tim Kurkjian tells a fantastic story about the Royals legend on the golf course.
Sometimes it's about date of birth or height, a slight or a tribute. There's usually a reason why a player has a certain number. Here's some great explanation behind those digits.
How jersey numbers carry special significance for some MLB players
Tim Kurkjian explains why Carlos May and other baseball players specifically picked their jersey numbers.
Nothing got by Brooks Robinson, which explains why he retired with 16 Gold Gloves and is arguably the greatest defensive third baseman of all time.
Kurkjian reflects on Brooks Robinson's birthday
Brooks Robinson was born on May 18, 1937, and Tim Kurkjian recaps the third baseman's Hall-of-Fame career.
There have been days when pitchers won games and hit walk-off homers, and seasons when they hit better than .300. Last year, Michael Lorenzen did something only Babe Ruth had done.
Kurkjian recalls times pitchers raked at the plate
On the anniversary of Jim Tobin's death, Tim Kurkjian tells stories of impressive hitting feats by Tobin and other pitchers in major league history.
The tales of his competitiveness are legendary; Roger Clemens did not like to lose. So he worked out early and late, on days before he pitched and immediately after.
Kurkjian recalls the legendary career of Roger Clemens
Tim Kurkjian takes a look at the career of Roger Clemens on the anniversary of his first career start.
The Red Sox had at least one grand slam for 63 straight years. Don Mattingly once had six in a year, and they were the only six he had in his career. The Orioles hit two in a game -- and lost. Go figure.
Kurkjian celebrates the grand slam
Tim Kurkjian takes a look at the grand slam on the anniversary of the date when six of them were hit in one day.
Tim Kurkjian admits he cannot name all the presidents. But he can certainly come up with a baseball roster with names worthy of the White House.
Kurkjian reflects on White House visit, President Bush's WS pitch
On the anniversary of his visit to the White House, Tim Kurkjian recalls baseball players with presidential names and President George W. Bush's first pitch at the 2001 World Series.
He said he knew he had something special in Derek Jeter because Jeter still hadn't shaved. He didn't want players who had bright blue eyes because they couldn't see well in the sun. And he once took out Harold Reynolds with a slide -- while in a suit.
Kurkjian praises Showalter's baseball brilliance
Tim Kurkjian goes in depth on the career of Buck Showalter on his birthday and how he saw things on the field no one else could.
And not just at baseball. But also at golf. Or HORSE. Or pingpong. Or ... you get the idea. He hated to lose. And since he was so good at everything, he rarely did.
Tim Kurkjian goes in depth on John Smoltz's competitiveness
Tim Kurkjian breaks down the remarkable career of John Smoltz on the anniversary of his 200th win and how competitive he is in everything he does.
Babe Ruth could do so much. He was a great pitcher, but he'll be remembered for the home run. And when you really dig into the totals, it's still mind-blowing a century later.
Kurkjian reflects on the greatness of Babe Ruth
On the anniversary of Babe Ruth's final career home run, Tim Kurkjian goes in depth on Ruth and how he carried the game during his time.
Harvey Haddix was perfect through 12. But a 13th inning was needed. It was then, he lost the perfect game, the no-hitter, the shutout and the game.
Tim Kurkjian reflects on Harvey Haddix's 12 innings of perfection
Harvey Haddix threw 12 perfect innings on May 26, 1959, and Tim Kurkjian breaks down how remarkable the outing was.
Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell were both MVPs in '94. They were born on the same day. Dennis Eckersley picked off Kenny Williams in 1987 and didn't have another for four years -- when he got Williams again. Joe Niekro had one homer -- off his brother.
Two HOF 1B born on the same day and other baseball connections
Tim Kurkjian reflects on crazy baseball coincidences over the years, including May 27, 1968 being the birthday for both Frank Thomas and Jeff Bagwell.