From a famous speech that has echoed for decades to a crazy slugfest at Coors Field, baseball has had its share of memorable moments on July Fourth. Here's a look back at some of the all-time moments of the day.
1. GEHRIG'S FAREWELL: Delivering one of the most hallowed speeches in sports history, Lou Gehrig spoke between games of a New York Yankees doubleheader with the Washington Senators on July 4, 1939. It came two weeks after he retired, having been diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Gehrig played only eight games that season, driving in one run and hitting .143.
The "Luckiest Man" speech has been played countless times.
2. RAGS' NO-NO: Forty-four years after Gehrig retired, Dave Righetti provided a July Fourth highlight for the Yankees, pitching a no-hitter against rival Boston. It was the first no-hitter by New York since Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series and the first by a Yankees left-hander since 1917. Righetti got the final out by striking out Wade Boggs, much to the delight of owner George Steinbrenner, who was celebrating his 53rd birthday that day in 1983.
"I did it on the right day, I guess. I guess they replay it every year in New York," said Righetti, now the pitching coach for the San Francisco Giants. "I haven't watched it in years. My family watches it. It's funny. If I go outside and walk anywhere and am recognized, it comes up 95 percent of the time."
3. FIREWORKS AT 4 A.M.: One of the greatest games played on July Fourth didn't end until almost 4 a.m. the next morning because the New York Mets needed 19 innings to beat the Atlanta Braves 16-13 on a rainy night in 1985. Dwight Gooden started and Ron Darling finally closed it out for the Mets.
"So many guys had been used and there was only a few of us left on the field coming in, and my memory is of the most jubilant clubhouse other than postseason that I've ever been in," Darling said. "Budweiser beer cans and Chick-Fil-A wrappers everywhere. That's all I can remember."
It was a wild game that included Braves pitcher Rick Camp's two-out homer in the 18th to tie the score at 11. New York then pushed across five runs in the 19th before Darling, normally a starter, came out of the bullpen and whiffed Camp for the final out.
"Even though it wasn't a save opportunity, it was saving the day," Darling said. "It's definitely one of the thrills of my life walking off the field that night."
Keith Hernandez hit for the cycle in 10 at-bats and Gary Carter caught all 19 innings for New York. Darling, currently a Mets announcer, remembers the 4 a.m. fireworks display for the 10,000 fans still left in the stands.
"When we heard it go off, we just couldn't believe it," he said. "I think it was like a War of the Worlds moment for Atlantans. They had to feel as though, what the hell is going on here in the middle of the evening? There's tons of people who didn't know there was a baseball game that night."
4. SLUGFEST AT COORS FIELD: Fans crammed into the ballpark to see the postgame fireworks - but the show started early. Colorado staged the biggest comeback in franchise history, rallying from nine runs down to beat the Florida Marlins 18-17 in 2008. The Rockies hit six homers and Chris Iannetta singled home the winning run off Kevin Gregg in the ninth inning. The teams combined for 43 hits, 21 for extra bases, and eight home runs. Soon after he was removed from the game, Colorado slugger Troy Tulowitzki slammed his bat into the ground and the splintered end sliced his right palm. The All-Star shortstop required 16 stitches.
5. TIRED ARMS: Hall of Famers Rube Waddell and Cy Young locked up in a pitchers' duel for 19 innings in 1905 before the Philadelphia Athletics scored twice in the 20th for a 4-2 win. Waddell gave up two runs in the first, then pitched 19 scoreless innings. Young also went the distance. Waddell's day wasn't done, either. He came back to get the final two outs in the second game of the doubleheader.
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- The Los Angeles Angels were confident about extending their winning streak to eight games, which would have matched their longest of the season. Jerome Williams didn't give them much of a chance.
Williams was charged with seven runs, four hits and four walks in just 1 2-3 innings of a 12-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday night. The right-hander had not given up more than three bases on balls in any of his previous 17 starts.
"I think Jerome had a good idea of what he wanted to do going into the game, but I think he tried to get a little bit too fine," manager Mike Scioscia said. "They've got some guys over there that are swinging the bat well. In the second inning, I don't know if it was a situation where he really felt comfortable putting the ball in some areas and he tried to get a little too fine, especially early in the count and he got behind some guys."
Jon Jay had three RBIs, including a two-run homer off center fielder Mike Trout's glove during St. Louis' seven-run second inning. Matt Carpenter, batting leadoff in front of Jay, also homered and drove in three runs to help keep the Cardinals two games behind Pittsburgh in the NL Central.
One night after the Angels scored all of their runs in the second inning of a series-opening 5-1 victory, the Cardinals sent 12 men to the plate in the second after Williams had set them down 1-2-3 in the first.
"In the first inning he looked sharp, had good velocity and really good action on his sinker," Scioscia said. "At the start of the second inning he looked a little bit tentative, and the walks obviously compounded that inning. He just couldn't minimize the damage and the inning got away from him."
The seven-run rally included a two-run double by David Descalso, and a two-run homer by Jay that Trout had in his glove for an instant before it popped out as his arm made contact with the top of the fence.
Yadier Molina, who raised his NL-leading average to .352 after going 3 for 4 with a walk, greeted Garrett Richards with an RBI single that delivered the seventh run.
After Hank Conger's two-run homer in the bottom half, David Freese scored an unearned run in the Cardinals' third when Richards mishandled a throw from first baseman Mark Trumbo on Carpenter's two-out grounder behind the bag.
St. Louis increased the margin to 10-2 in the fifth on a run-scoring, ground-rule double by Carpenter and an RBI single by Jay, who had driven in only one run in his previous 35 at-bats coming in. It was only his second game this season with three or more RBIs, the other on May 4 when he had four at Milwaukee.
Carpenter ended the scoring in the eighth with his eighth homer, a solo shot off Billy Buckner.
"After winning that many in a row, you almost always think you're due for a butt-kicking," Angels right fielder Josh Hamilton said. "You'd rather lose one like this than a really close one, but you've got to put it behind you."
The Cardinals scored one more run than the Angels had allowed in their previous six games combined.
"Matt Carpenter sets the tone for us, and he had a terrific game," manager Mike Matheny said. "He put together good at-bats and he doesn't give any away. It was also nice to see John Jay have some real nice at-bats. We need to get him going, and today was a real good indicator that he's on the right path. He's been making some adjustments that are allowing him to have good at-bats, and it worked out for him today."
Shelby Miller (9-6) struck out six over six innings and allowed five hits. The right-hander was coming off back-to-back losses against two other AL West clubs, including a 6-1 defeat last Friday at Oakland in which he lasted only 1 2-3 innings and gave up five runs.
"I wouldn't say I was any fresher tonight," Miller said. "I mean, I threw 51 pitches in the second inning at Oakland and that's going to wear your arm down moreso than going eight innings and throwing 100 pitches. But I felt strong, so I basically wanted to try to go deep in the ballgame."
NOTES: Matheny caught Williams when they were teammates in San Francisco during the 2005 season. ... The Angels have committed 61 errors, the second-most in the AL. The Cardinals have made 34, the fewest in the NL. ... Howie Kendrick's 102 hits are the most by an Angels second baseman before the All-Star break. ... St. Louis LF Matt Holliday didn't play for the second straight night because of a pinched nerve in his neck. ... Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright was named the NL pitcher of the month for June after going 4-2 with a 1.77 ERA in six starts, including complete-game 7-1 victories over San Francisco and Oakland. ... Molina was back in the fifth spot in the batting order, after hitting in the two hole the previous six games and going 7 for 25 with a homer and three RBIs. ... Cardinals LF Allen Craig drew three walks in the first four innings, matching the total he had in 116 plate appearances over his previous 28 games. He has 18 this season in 338 plate appearances.
ST. LOUIS – St. Louis Blues Executive Vice President and General Manager Doug Armstrong announced today the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Jordan Leopold on a two-year contract.
Leopold, 32, posted two assists in 15 regular season games with the Blues after the club acquired him from Buffalo on Mar. 31 last season. In addition, Leopold dressed in all six games for the Blues during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Overall, the 6’1, 206-pound defenseman has appeared in 10 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons including stints with Calgary, Colorado, Florida, Pittsburgh, Buffalo and St. Louis. For his career, Leopold has registered 204 points (65 goals, 139 assists) and 268 penalty minutes in 625 regular season games as well as 16 assists in 65 postseason games.
The Golden Valley, Minnesota native was originally drafted by Anaheim in the 2nd round (44th overall) of the 1999 Entry Draft.