BHC to Count Down Top 300 Moments that Shaped MLB History

by Rocco Constantino | Posted on Monday, February 22nd, 2016
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The month of March is a paradox to baseball fans.  There is the absolute hope that winter is dying down and baseball is back as Spring Training gets into full swing, but there is also a full month-long wait for Opening Day.  Fans love to see their favorite stars and promising rookies back on the field after the long layoff, but inevitably, players will be lost to injury.  Just hope that those who unfortunately do get injured don’t do so after you’ve already drafted them onto your fantasy team.

At Baseball Hot Corner, we’ll do our best to help keep you occupied as you wait for Opening Day with a countdown of the Top 300 Moments that Shaped Major League Baseball History.  The series will begin March 1 with an introduction, followed by a quick look at the top pre-1900 moments before getting into the countdown.  The countdown itself will be released in sets of 10 with the top 10 announced on April 2 — Opening Day Eve.

While fans are enjoying Opening Day, they’ll be able to participate in a fan poll ranking all of the events and of course, the comments section will be open on every article to haggle over the rankings.

The list is not limited to on-field moments or regular season play.  The goal of the Top 300 is to identify the great moments throughout baseball history that make the game’s history so special.  After all, baseball history wouldn’t be the same without Lou Gehrig‘s speech, the advent of free agency, the establishment of the MLB Network and, of course, integration.

How do moments like this rank along side Babe Ruth‘s called shot, Joe Carter‘s World Series home run or Cal Ripken‘s streak?  What ranks higher, Joe DiMaggio‘s hitting streak or Pete Rose breaking Ty Cobb‘s hits record?  How do more obscure moments like Smoky Joe Wood‘s thumb injury and the sale of an entire minor league team that included Hall of Famer Chuck Klein, rank?

Between now and March 1, you will also be able to nominate your favorite moments to be considered for the countdown.  You can tweet your ideas to the author @mlb100years.

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Rocco Constantino
About the Author

Rocco is the author of 50 Moments That Defined Major League Baseball (Available on Amazon now!) and former Featured Columnist at Bleacher Report. He is also a die hard Mets fan going back to the awful early 80's and ready for the revival. D2 NCAA softball coach and athletics administrator. Follow Rocco on Twitter @mlb100years.

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  • start_wearing_purple

    Well considering Babe Ruth’s called shot is still in some doubt about whether or not it actually happened, I’d go with Joe Carter. But I’d also put Bill Mazeroski’s walk off above Carter because he had the first walk off series winner and it was a game 7.

    I’d have DiMaggio’s hit streak up there pretty high, at least top 25. It wasn’t just a great baseball story, it was also a cultural event in the US. It happened in 1941 at a time where everyone in the US was worried about being dragged into the war but could forget about it for a couple of hours a day to root for DiMaggio to get a hit. So yeah, it’s gotta be up there.

    Also, it’s not exactly obscure but I’d think you have to rank Ray Chapman’s death pretty high. His death completely changed the game. Before his death the pitcher did everything he could to scuff or dirty up the ball. After his death the game was made safer by not allowing the pitcher to deface the ball. Effectively ended the dead ball era.

    • RC Cos

      Those are all great moments and all of them are in my top 300, some pretty high. There were a lot of moments that added significance because of WWII. Great point about Mazeroski compared to Carter…I have Maz 11 places higher than JC. Very true about Chapman/Mays too. A very tragic and influential moment. I wrote about it at length in a book similar to this. Thanks so much for the input!

      • start_wearing_purple

        Thank you,

        I’m interested to see what your 300 are. Personally I’d think the biggest moments are the ones where there was a direct impact on the game. Off the top of my head not including what I’ve said so far:
        -Ban Johnson organizing the American League
        -Babe Ruth shattering his own single season home run record in 1920 dawning the age of the long ball
        -the creation of the commissioners office due to the Black Sox scandal
        -Jackie Robinson signing with the Dodgers (obvious choice)
        -Bob Gibson’s 1968 season which lead to the lowering of the pitchers mound
        -Flood vs. Kuhn which lead to 10-5 rights also helped Marvin Miller to create free agency and destroy the reserve clause 5 years later.
        -The 1994 strike
        -The Congressional Hearings on steroid abuse.

        • RC Cos

          All incredible moments for sure. That was one of the hard (but most enjoyable) parts of this list. Trying to rank moments that shaped the game with on-field moments. As important as Lou Gehrig was, when you think about it, Marvin Miller may have had a greater impact on the game’s history than almost anyone. Just a quick glance and I have six of the top 10 moments as off-field and I’m still tinkering. Thanks for the input and for following along!

          • start_wearing_purple

            It’s a very exciting idea, trying to rank baseball moments and I hope you get some nice debate based off of it. Good luck!

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