LOS ANGELES, CA: Former MLB pitcher Tom Gordon waves to the crowd before throwing out a first pitch to son Dee Gordon #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers before the Father's Day game with the Houston Astros at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Games of Note: It's 1931, and the single-season record for doubles sits at 64. The mark, set by George Burns five seasons earlier, is in danger of being broken by Earl Webb of the Boston Red Sox. Webb had joined the Sox one year prior, becoming Boston's regular right fielder. Now, in his second season with the club, he was sitting on 64 doubles in mid-September, a year after hitting all of 30 in 505 plate appearances.
Webb would double not once, but twice, on September 17, passing Burns and putting some distance between the new and old record. Webb wouldn't stop there, though, as he collected another pair of doubles, giving him 67 on the year. To this day, 67 is the record for doubles in a season, despite constant pressures in the 30s to reset it once more. Paul Waner hit 62 doubles the very next season. Hank Greenberg laced 63 of them in 1934. Charlie Gehringer collected 60 in 1936. The closest anyone would get, though, is 64 once more to tie for second with Burns. Joe Medwick accomplished this in 1936, and it's the closest anyone got until Todd Helton's 59 in 2000. Nomar Garciaparra is the closest any Red Sox hitter came to matching the record, with 56 back in 2002.
Jumping ahead to 1953, we find Ellis Kinder of the Red Sox making his 62nd relief appearance of the season. This wouldn't be notable except that it set a new record for appearances in a season. Does 62 seem low to you? It should! The current AL record is 89, set by Mike Marshall in 1979 and tied by Mark Eichorn in '86. Marshall also holds the NL record, with a ridiculous 106 appearances as a reliever in the 1974 season.
Mike Timlin now leads the organization in most relief appearances in a season, with 81 back in 2005. The only other season with 80 is Greg Harris in 1993.
Skipping ahead (or back, thanks to the Timlin nugget) to 1998, the Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles, 3-2. Tom Gordon picks up his 42nd save of the season, the 39th-straight he has successfully recorded. This is a new American League record. Gordon had been a starter in the past, but converted to relief during the 1997 season. This was the first of many dominant or productive years for Flash Gordon, who would post a 135 ERA+ from 1997 through the end of his career in 2009.
Birthdays: Earl Webb, the same one who set the doubles record, was born on this day in 1897.