This day in sports history: May 13

Stan Musial joins the 3,000 Hit Club, 1958

Stan Musial wasn’t supposed to play. St. Louis manager at the time, Fred Hutchinson, had sat Musial, who at the time had 2,999 hits, so that he could hit number 3,000 in front of the home crowd at Busch Stadium. But with the game on the line, Musial stepped up to the plate as a pinch hitter instead of pitcher Sam Jones. So on May 13, 1958, “The Man,” facing the Cubs’ Moe Drabowsky, hit a double to left field, igniting a comeback and beating Chicago 5-3.
He was the eighth player to reach the coveted 3,000 Hit Club and is the only member of the club to have reached it with a pinch hit. He would finish the season with a .337 batting average and 159 hits.

Reggie Jackson’s 2,000th strikeout, 1983

Reggie Jackson probably doesn’t want anyone to remember this game, as he made the negative kind of history. On May 13, 1983, he became the first batter to strikeout for the 2,000th time, starting a club all of his own.

reggie jackson wiki jim accordino
Reggie Jackson batting while a member of the New York Yankees, 1979. Image from Wikimedia, author Jim Accordino.

When the game began against the Minnesota Twins, Jackson was sitting on 1,997 Ks. The Twins’ Frank Viola struck him out for the first time in the bottom of the second inning, right after Doug DeCinces hit a home run tying the score at 1-1.
Jackson would step up to the plate again in the bottom of the fourth, facing Viola once again, and grounded out. He was still sitting on 1,978 Ks. In the bottom of the sixth, the outfielder struck out again against Viola, number 1,999. Jackson was on the brink of history.
In his next at bat, in the bottom of the eighth, Jackson grounded out again. He almost, almost, finished this game at 1,999. But this one would go to extra innings, and Jackson stepped up to the plate for the fifth, and final, time during this game. Jackson faced Len Whitehouse and struck out for the third time in the game, the 2,000th of of his career.
Jackson struck out a total of 2,597 times throughout his 21 year career, and no one has ever passed him. The closest anyone got was Jim Thome, with 2,548 strikeouts.

Notable birthdays:

1914 – Boxer Joe Louis was born in Alabama
1961 – Dennis Rodman, the Detroit Pistons Bad Boy, was born in Trenton, New Jersey
1983 – Soccer player Yaya Touré, currently playing for Manchester City in Bouaké, Côte d’Ivoire

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