Though predominantly known as a starter, John Smoltz was converted to a reliever in 2001 following his recovery from Tommy John surgery, and spent four years as the team's closer before returning to a starting role. In 2002, he set the National League record with 55 saves.
On a mid-September afternoon in Brooklyn in 1924, Cardinals third-year first baseman "Sunny Jim" Bottomley came to bat six times and delivered six hits, including two home runs, a double, and three singles off the Robins' pitchers. Bottomley drove in 12 runs that day, and set a major league record that still stands (shared with the Cardinals' Mark Whiten in 1993).
Michael Jordan signed a minor league contract with the Chicago White Sox in 1994 and was assigned to the team's minor league system. That summer he batted .202 with the Birmingham Barons, a class AA affiliate of the White Sox. Later in the year he batted .252 with the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.
On October 8, 1956, Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in game 5 of the World Series, shutting out the Brooklyn Dodgers. In the locker room after the game, Larsen said "When it was over, I was so happy, I felt like crying. I wanted to win this one for Casey (Stengel). After what I did in Brooklyn, he could have forgotten about me and who would blame him? But he gave me another chance and I'm grateful."
Between August 26, 2002 and July 5, 2004, the Dodgers' Eric Gagne converted a record 84 consecutive saves, including the entire 2003 season without a single blown save. When Gagne came out from the bullpen at Dodger Stadium and the scoreboard flashed "Game Over", it was not hyperbole -- it was fact.
George Foster was one of the most feared right-handed sluggers of his era and a key piece of the Cincinnati Reds' "Big Red Machine" that won consecutive World Series in 1975 and 1976. He famously began using a black bat during his prime because he wanted to "integrate the bat rack" in Cincinnati.