The National Football League crowns a new champion, the Pittsburgh Steelers, who beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 and became the first team in NFL history to win six Super Bowls.
The passing of pop superstar Michael Jackson triggers an outpouring of worldwide grief, so large in fact Internet traffic cripples several major websites and services.
Golf legend Tiger Woods does his part to cripple websites after he is involved in a car accident the day after Thanksgiving, triggering media coverage that the married father of two has had affairs with about one dozen women, and ultimately the loss of many of Woods' corporate sponsors.
When the Angels clinched the West Division title they celebrated with champagne, but not just inside the clubhouse. As a team they took the celebration out onto the field where they poured bubbly over the center-field picture of Nick Adenhart's baseball cap - their 22-year old friend and teammate who lost his life earlier during the season.
The Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig, played a prominent role in 2009, as Derek Jeter toppled the all-time hits mark for pinstriped players set nearly 70 years earlier. A sad day in history, September 11, gave Other Yankees who did pretty good in 2009, Mariano Rivera who notched the 500th career save of his career.
Ichiro Suzuki of the Seattle Mariners collected his 2,000th hit with a double in the first inning against the Oakland Athletics on September 6. Ichiro reached this mark in 1,402 games, which is the second fastest in history. (Al Simmons reached the mark in 1,390 games.) He then broke Willie Keeler's record of eight consecutive 200-hit seasons (1894-1901) with a single in the second inning of the nightcap of a make-up doubleheader on September 13 against the Texas Rangers.
Some historians think 2009 might see the last 300 game winner in history as Randy Johnson reached the plateau pitching with the San Francisco Giants and all but guaranteed his future plaque in Cooperstown. The Big Unit was the twenty-fourth member of the 300 Wins Club and the sixth southpaw to reach the milestone.
Pudge passed Pudge in 09. Ivan Rodriguez caught his 2,228th game on June 28th passing Carlton Fisk for the all-time games caught mark.
Mark Reynolds, the third baseman of the Arizona Diamondbacks, broke his own record for most strikeouts in a season by fanning for the 205th time against the San Francisco Giants on September 22 at Chase Field. He finished the season striking out 223 times.
Harry Kalas, play by play announcer for the Philadelphia Phillies, passed away on April 13th after collapsing in the press box at National Park.
The Big Apple added two sparkly new jewels in the form of ballparks, one for each team from each league; in the American League a new Yankee Stadium for the New York Yankees (who played their first game there on April 16, losing 10-2 to the Cleveland Indians) and in the National League, Citi Field for the crosstown New York Mets (who played their first game there on April 13, losing 6-5 to the San Diego Padres).
Tony La Russa passed John McGraw for second-most games managed in baseball with his 4,770th game managed (2,552-2,214-4) on October 1. La Russa gets three more games (October 4) to extend his managed games to 4,773 (2,552-2,217-4) by the end of 2009.
"When the history of this (becoming the first player in baseball history to homer as the first batter in a new ballpark) is being written, my place is in it is going to be very light, very shallow. It's going to be about Tom Seaver throwing the first pitch to Mike Piazza and it's going to be about Donald Trump and Mayor Bloomberg being in the first row and just the aura about the whole thing. I was happy to be there. Don't get me wrong. But when the history is written, it's going to be less of a big deal." - Jody Gerut in the San Diego Union-Tribune (Tim Sullivan, 04/13/2009, 'Gerut not jacked by Citi Field first', Link )
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Jody Gerut , playing with the San Diego Padres , became the first player to open a new ballpark with a leadoff home run, as the Padres beat the New York Mets 6-5 at Citi Field which opened its doors on April 13, 2009 .
Did you know Gary Sheffield of the New York Mets became the 25th member of the 500 Home Runs Club on April 17, 2009 against the Milwaukee Brewers at Citi Field? The historic home run came in the bottom of the seventh inning as a pinch hitter, the first time a player has reached 500 home runs in this way.
Troy Tulowitzki hit for the cycle against the Chicago Cubs on August 10, 2009 and became the second player in baseball history to have hit for the cycle and have an unassisted triple play in their career. His unassisted triple play came on April 29, 2007 against the Atlanta Braves . John Valentin is the other player.