1. 1923: Lou Gehrig makes Major League Baseball debut
On this date in 1923, the now famous Lou Gehrig made his Major League debut at the young age of just 19 years old. He was drafted midseason by the New York Yankees as a pinch hitter, but didn’t see much playing time until the 1925 season. Gehrig really made a name for himself in the 1926 season when he helped the Yankees win the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals by hitting .348 with 4 RBI’s and two doubles. Gehrig would go on to become a 7-time all star and win six world championships with the Yankees before retiring on April 30th, 1939.
2. 1844: Goodyear receives vulcanized rubber patent
It was on this date in 1944 that Charles Goodyear revived the patent that would essentially etch the Goodyear name in history. The patent was for vulcanized rubber, which is a chemical process that makes rubber significantly stronger and more durable. While it’s believed that Goodyear invented this technology, it has also been reported that Thomas Hancock from England had applied for the vulcanization patent a full 8 weeks prior to Goodyear.
3. 1986: Richard Petty becomes first NASCAR driver with 1,000 starts
Richard Petty became the first driver to reach the milestone of being on the staring line for over 1,000 races on this date in 1986. The race was the Miller 400 at the Michigan International Speedway, and Petty was able to finish a respectable 13th place behind the wheel of his Pontiac. To list all of the achievements that Petty would earn over his more than thirty year career would almost require a book. They include most NASCAR wins, most wins in a season, 5-time Winston cup Champion, 7-time Daytona 500 winner, just to name a few. There’s not much question why he is respectfully referred to as “The King” anywhere in the vicinity of a NASCAR track.