You love baseball. Tim Kurkjian loves baseball. So while we await its return, every day we'll provide you with a story or two tied to this date in baseball history.
ON THIS DATE IN 1924, my mother, aptly named Joy, was born. Today she turned 96.
She really had no chance in our house against her three boys, who loved and played the game, and her husband, who loved it more than anyone I have ever known. My mom was born in Bournemouth, England, and lived there until her early 20s. My dad loved my mom so much, the only time I saw him disagree with her was when she said that a bowler in cricket throws harder than a pitcher does in baseball.
"Joy, stop!'' my dad said at the dinner table in 1968, soon after the historic Game 1 of the World Series. "No cricket player throws harder than Bob Gibson!''
My mom and dad went to all the games played by my brothers at Catholic University. The baseball and football team shared the CU Stadium in the 1970s. The right field stands were 250 feet from home plate. The ground rules were unique: any ball that landed no more than halfway up the stands was a double, any ball that landed beyond that was ruled a home run.
So my beloved mom was standing on the dividing line of the stands in 1974 when my brother Andy, who broke all the home run and RBI records at CU, hit a line drive into the stands. The ball hit my mom in the shoulder, and fell into the doubles area.
The umpires conferred. The ball had landed in the doubles area, but if it hadn't hit that woman (who was the mother of the hitter), it would have been a home run. It was ruled a homer.
My dad, who knew my mom was physically tougher than he was, made sure my mom's shoulder was OK, then jokingly told her, "What are you doing? You almost cost the kid a home run!''
Other baseball notes from March 28
In 1958, Hall of Fame outfielder Chuck Klein died at age 53. He is the only 40-40 player in history. In 1930, he hit 40 home runs and had 40 outfield assists.
In 1970, Ron Fairly hit a home run in the East-West Major League Baseball Classic all-star game. He would finish his career with the most career homers (215) by anyone who never hit 20 homers in a season.
In 1986, in the last significant trade made between the Yankees and Red Sox, the Red Sox sent DH Mike Easler to the Yankees for DH Don Baylor. Easler was an ordained minister. The deal was agreed to on Good Friday.