The day after Armando Galarraga's almost-gem, Tigers fans thought he was perfect. Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

June 2 in sports history: 'I kicked the &#%!@?! out of it'

Here's a look back at notable sports news on June 2 through the years.


2010: If there ever was a baseball game perfect for replay to review calls on the bases, this was it. 

Against the Indians in Detroit, Armando Galarraga of the Tigers retired the first 26 batters. The next batter, Jason Donald, grounded to first baseman Miguel Cabrera, who threw accurately and on time to Galarraga covering first. 

Game over! The Comerica Park crowd went nuts!

Perfect game! 

Ah, no. 

Umpire Jim Joyce ruled Donald safe -- it was a weak single, breaking up the perfect game and no-hitter. Afterward, Joyce admitted he made the wrong call. "I kicked the (expletive) out of it," he told Michael Rosenberg of the Detroit Free Press. (Expanded instant replay to cover such a call was approved in 2014.)

When told by Rosenberg that Joyce said he blew the call, Galarraga was diplomatic. 

"Tell him no problem. I can go tell him," he said, smiling. "I should probably talk to him. It will be better." But in his heart, the right-hander knew he was perfect: "It's not official, but I got one."

Recently, the game made headlines again when Galarraga told The Athletic he would like MLB to credit him with a perfect game.


Yankees legends Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth. The Rucker Archive/Icon Sportswire

What a sad day this was for baseball fans — and Yankees fans especially.

On this date in 1941, 37-year-old Lou Gehrig, "The Iron Horse," died, and newspapers throughout the country played the news prominently.

Gehrig, who played for 17 years in Pinstripes, won six World Series, a Triple Crown and two AL MVPs. The Hall of Famer scored at least 100 runs and had at least 100 RBI for 13 years in a row. He played in a then-record 2,130 consecutive games until his bout with ALS, now known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, forced his retirement and sparked his famous heart-rending farewell speech to the Yankee Stadium crowd on July 4, 1939, when he called himself “the luckiest man on earth.”

Wrote Nashville Banner sports columnist Fred Russell:  "He put everything he had into everything he did. All things considered, maybe Lou Gehrig was the greatest baseball player of all time."


Coverage of Babe Ruth's retirement in the New York Daily News.

Six years earlier on this date, another Yankees legend, Babe Ruth, was released by the Boston Braves, and the Bambino retired. On May 27, he hit the final three home runs of his career in a game against the Pirates.

Before releasing him, Braves owner Judge Emil Fuchs reportedly offered Ruth positions as team vice president and assistant manager. But a peeved Ruth — who was hitting only .181 — was having none of it.

"Vice president? Ha, ha," Ruth said, according to the New York Daily News. "Fuchs can take that vice presidency and well, he knows what he can do with it. What the hell did it ever mean, anyway? It was a joke, a gas."

2007: Stunningly, Daniel Gibson — not LeBron James — was the leading scorer in the deciding game in the Eastern Conference finals. The guard poured in a career-high 31 points to lead Cleveland to a 98-82 win in Game 6. The Cavaliers became the third team to come back from an 0-2 deficit in a conference finals, joining the 1971 Washington Bullets and 1993 Bulls.

"This is like a dream," said LeBron, who scored 20 points and added 14 boards. "This is probably the best feeling that I've ever had in my life." Gibson, a rookie from Texas, echoed The King: "If I'm dreaming, please don't wake me up. This was perfect, to win it for Cleveland."

The Finals, however, were a nightmare for the Cavs, who were swept in four games by the Spurs.

BIG DAY FOR 'BIG UNIT' 

1990: In a 2-0 win over the Tigers in Seattle, Randy Johnson pitched the first no-hitter in Mariners history. "This is a moment I'll never forget," said the 6-foot-10 lefty, who walked six and struck out eight.

BASEBALL WEIRDNESS

Ah, how we miss the great game because of days like this — a baseball nerds' delight. Let's start with "The Gnat Game" because, well, it's simply the weirdest.

1959: Groundskeepers tried everything in their arsenal — bug sprays, torches, a smoke bomb and even a fireworks display intended for after the game. Nothing could prevent a swarm of gnats at the pitching mound from delaying the Orioles-White Sox game in the first inning at Comiskey Park.

Orioles coach Al Vincent charged the mound waving a towel to shoo away the pesky insects. The White Sox bat boy deployed two bug bombs, and the Orioles trainer rubbed an insecticide ointment over Chicago starting Hoyt Wilhelm's face and arms.

Nothing seemed to work.

"It's the strangest thing that ever happened to me in a game," Wilhelm told reporters. "There was a cloud of gnats over the mound so thick that they were flying in my mouth."

Eventually, the gnats simply flew away. Did the White Sox's flamboyant owner, Bill Veeck, command the pests?

"Since I probably will be accused of having something to do with those bugs," he said with a laugh, "I might as well say now I have had them in a bottle and have been training them for several years for just such an occasion."

1949: In the eighth inning of a 12-3 win over the Reds, the Phillies hit five homers. Andy Seminick, who homered earlier in the game, went yard twice in the 10-run inning. Del Ennis, Willie Jones and Schoolboy Rowe also hit dingers. "One of the greatest displays of batting power ever shown in one inning," the Philadelphia Inquirer called it.

1996: In a 2-0 loss to the Cardinals, Houston starter Darryl Kile was a wild man — he tied a modern major league record by hitting four batters. He became the first to do it in the NL since Moe Drabowsky in 1957. Three of the hit batters were plopped by curves that didn't break, Kile said.

2002: In an 18-3 win over the Expos, Philadelphia pitcher Robert Person drove in seven runs with a grand slam and a three-run homer. Person, who had just come off the disabled list, earned his first win of the season. "Robert Person — or Babe Ruth?" read the huge headline in the Philadelphia Inquirer sports section.

"Obviously," Phillies manager Larry Bowa said, "this was the Robert Person show today."

ANNIKA! ANNIKA! 

1996: Annika Sorenstam won a second consecutive U.S. Women’s Open, closing with a round of 66. Her 8-under 272 is the best ever in the Open. "[Winning] once was wonderful," she told reporters. "To win it twice is more than wonderful."  Six years later on this date, Sorenstam won the inaugural Kellogg-Keebler Classic by 11 strokes — an LPGA record-tying margin of victory in a 54-hole event. 


Happy 40th birthday, Abby Wambach.  Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy birthday...

  • Abby Wambach, who won one World Cup and two Olympic gold medals with the U.S. women’s soccer team. Wambach holds the record for the most goals for the USWNT, and she is second in most international goals. (40)
  • Golfer Craig Stadler, winner of the 1982 Masters. “The Walrus” won 13 PGA TOUR events during his career. (67)
  • Lawrence McCutcheon, leading rusher for the Rams for five consecutive seasons in the 1970s. He threw a touchdown pass in the Rams 31-19 loss to Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XIV. (70)

R.I.P.

1993: Johnny Mize, left-handed slugging first baseman who led the league in homers four times and RBI three times and won the 1939 batting title. Mize died of cardiac arrest in 1993 at the age of 80.

2018: Bruce Kison, lanky Pirates pitcher who, as a rookie, won Game 4 of the 1971 Fall Classic, pitching 6 1/3 innings of one-hit ball. Known throughout his career for pitching inside, he is remembered for sparking a fight between the Pirates and Phillies after hitting Mike Schmidt in a 1977 game. Kison died of cancer at age 68.


June 1: A Joh-hitter


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