1. 1936: Joe Dimaggio makes his debut with the New York Yankees
On this night day back in 1936 “Joltin” Joe Dimaggio starts in his first major league game for the New York Yankees. He would go on to have a fantastic rookie season as he helped take the Yankees to The World Series that year against the Giants. Even as a rookie he was able to bat just under .350 against the Giants and made a spectacular catch in center field in front of the 40,000+ people in attendance that day. Dimaggio would go on to become one of the most respected names in baseball and still to this day hold the record for the most consecutive games with a hit at 56 straight games that is now known as “the streak”. It started on May 15, 1941 in a game against the White Sox and would go clear until July 17th before a great play by the Indians third baseman Ken Keltner ended the streak just like that. Dimaggio would go on to get a hit on his next 17 games that season.
2. 1986: Willie Shoemaker becomes oldest Jockey to win the Kentucky Derby
William Shoemaker was born prematurely only weighing two pounds as he entered this world and many doctors believed that he wouldn’t live past his first birthday let alone a long full life. At the age of 10 he entered a golden glove boxing tournament in the 95-105lb class and Shoemaker ended up winning the championship. At 17 years old he would ride his first horse and it seemed as if he was a natural since he won his first race just a month later. Considering he was only 4 foot 11 inches tall and weighed a whopping 95lbs as a full grown adult he was the perfect candidate for a horse jockey. The lighter the rider the less weight the horse has to carry and therefore is faster. Mix that with Shoemakers uncanny ability to get the horse to do what he wanted it to do and allowed him to become one of the most successful Jockeys in the history of the sport with 8,833 wins. On this day in 1986 Shoemaker would become the oldest rider to win the Kentucky Derby on his horse Ferdinand who was only a 18/1 shot. Shoemaker would go on to retire in 1991 after making a reported $123 million from his wins.
3. 1962: Massive Train accident in Tokyo
On this day back in 1962 a terrible string of events take place that leave over 200 people dead and just as many seriously injured. At approximately 9:30 a passenger train leaving from the Mikawashima station headed towards Tokyo and roughly at the same time a freight train had ran through a red signal that forced the train to jump tracks and make impact with the commuter train headed towards Tokyo. Luckily during this part of the accident nobody was seriously injured, most of the passengers were able to get off the disabled train and start walking down the steep embankment that ran alongside the tracks. It was at this time that things took a terrible turn for the worse just a short time later a second commuter train came down the line unaware of the massive wreck ahead and smashed into the freight train. This caused the boiler from the freight trains steam engine to explode and the steam badly burned anyone who was still on board the train. As things seem as if they couldn’t get worse, the second crash caused the initial passenger train to full down the embankment right on top of all the passengers that had just escaped from the first crash minutes earlier. The workers on the freight train would go on to face criminal negligence.