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Memorable but bittersweet
Losses of Buck, Kile mute excitement of Castillo's streak
By Adam McCalvy /

Luis Castillo extended his hitting streak to 35 games on June 21. (Alan Diaz/AP)
Though it included the excitement of Luis Castillo's 35-game hitting streak, the longest for a second baseman in Major League history, June 2002 was mostly about losses that went well beyond baseball games.

On June 18, the St. Louis Cardinals and the rest of baseball lost Jack Buck, a Hall of Fame broadcaster and one of the game's legendary voices. His "I don't believe what I just saw!" after a gimpy Kirk Gibson pounded a game-winning home run in the 1988 World Series, summed up why millions of baseball fans stay glued to their radios and television sets.

Then, just as the Cardinals began to move on, there was more tragic news. On June 22, 33-year-old father of three Darryl Kile was found dead in his Chicago hotel room. The news rocked baseball, especially in St. Louis, Colorado and Houston, where Kile made his mark with that knee-buckling curveball.

"We think we are gods," said Jose Lima, Kile's old Astros teammate. "But this could happen to you, to me, to anybody."

June 1
Cleveland veteran Omar Vizquel was presented with his ninth Gold Glove, tying him with Luis Aparicio for the most ever by an American League shortstop. Aparicio and Dave Concepcion -- fellow gold glove shortstops from Venezuela -- were on hand at Jacobs Field for Vizquel's presentation.

June 2
Phillies pitcher Robert Person smacked two home runs -- including the Phillies' first grand slam of the season -- and totaled seven RBIs in his first start since coming off the disabled list. Oh yeah, and he pitched too, allowing one run in five innings for his first win of the season.

June Multimedia Highlights
June Audio
June Video  56K | 300K
 June Photos

    Cards photo tops in 2002
A touching moment with Kannon Kile and the St. Louis Cardinals received the honors as the best baseball photo of 2002. View the complete results >
Giambi call garners honors
WCBS announcer John Sterling's description of a mammoth Jason Giambi homer was voted as the best radio call of 2002. See the complete results >

Barry Bonds tied Frank Robinson for fourth on baseball's all-time homer list with No. 586. After the game, Bonds paid homage to Frank Robinson and the African-American baseball stars who came before him.

June 3
The Blue Jays fired manager Buck Martinez. Soft-spoken coach Carlos Tosca, a longtime minor league skipper, is suddenly promoted to manage in Toronto.

June 4
With the first pick in the 2002 First-Year Player Draft, the Pirates take Ball State University right-hander Bryan Bullington. For the record, the 1,482nd and last pick was John Powell, a 17-year-old right-handed pitcher from McGehee High School in Arkansas.'s coverage included a unique look inside the "war room" at MLB headquarters.

For the first time in Turner Field history, a game is postponed because of rain.

June 7
In his first visit to Yankee Stadium, Barry Bonds took advantage of having the ear of the media capital of the world and let the press know just what he thinks of them.

Tampa Bay pitcher Nick Bierbrodt was shot two times in Charleston, S.C. He was wounded in the right arm and chest while a passenger in a taxi at a drive-thru restaurant just after 3 a.m. He was released from the hospital on June 15.

June 8
Playing in the House that Ruth Built, Barry Bonds launched a tape measure home run that would have made the Babe proud.

June 9
In a much-anticipated showdown between a pair of future Hall of Famers, Roger Clemens delivered on his promise to plunk the well-armored Barry Bonds with a pitch.

June 15
What a debut. Yankees rookie Marcus Thames hit the first Major League pitch he saw -- a Randy Johnson fastball -- for a home run.

The Twins and Braves staged a dramatic repeat of the legendary 1991 World Series at the Metrodome. Minnesota's Cristian Guzman broke hit a two-out, RBI double for a 6-5 Twins win in 15 innings.

Reacting to disclosures by two former league MVPs about steroid use, the U.S. Congress announced it would hold hearings about the use of the muscle-building drugs in baseball.

Rangers catcher Ivan Rodriguez is presented with his 10th consecutive Gold Glove, tying a record at that position held by Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, who was on hand to present the award.

June 16
After Florida's Luis Castillo extended his hitting streak to 31 games, the longest in the Majors since Vladimir Guerrero's 31-gamer in 1999, he was hesitant to talk about it.

Arizona's Mark Grace became the 37th man in history to notch 500 career doubles, and afterward he responded with his usual humor. Asked if he turns singles into doubles, he responded, "No, I turn triples into doubles."

June 17
Alan Zinter, a 14-year veteran of the minor leagues, finally got a call to the Majors from the Houston Astros. "It was amazing," he said. "Even though I'm 34, I feel like a little kid." The Astros and Brewers were the only game on the schedule, and it included a horrible 'highlight,' played over and over on national television. Brewers outfielder Geoff Jenkins dislocated his ankle sliding back to third base, ending his season.

June 18
The baseball world was saddened when one of its legendary voices, Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck, passed away.'s Mike Bauman called it the passing of an era. He was honored with a tribute at Busch Stadium two days later.

June 19
Luis Castillo hit safely in his 33rd straight game, tying Hall of Famer Rogers Hornsby for the longest hitting streak by a second baseman.

June 20
With a first-inning single, Castillo passed Hornsby by hitting in his 34th straight game, tying Dom DiMaggio, Benito Santiago, George Sisler and George McQuinn for the 13th-longest string in history.

June 21
Castillo legged out yet another infield single in a 4-1 Marlins win and extended his hitting streak to 35 games -- most ever by a Latin-born player and the 10th-longest streak in Major League history.

June 22
Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, a 33-year-old father of three, died suddenly in a Chicago hotel, shocking the baseball world. It was the first time a regular-season game was postponed for a non-weather-related reason since Sept. 11, 2001.

June 23
The Cardinals played their first game without Kile on the day he was to pitch, and lost to the Cubs, 8-3, at Wrigley Field.

June 24
An autopsy reveals that Darryl Kile had 80 to 90 percent blockage of the three main coronary arteries that supply blood to the heart, and that his heart was 25 percent larger than normal. It's a common condition, but not easily detected during typical physicals given to Major League baseball players each spring.

Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent tussled in the Giants dugout. Giants owner Peter Magowan says, "So what?"

Tony Pena and Luis Pujols become the first Dominican managers to face each other in a Major League game.

June 25
The Cardinals pay tribute to Darryl Kile before their first home game since his death. Memorial at Busch Stadium: Audio | Video  Matt Morris, one of Kile's best friends, and the Cards are shut out by Milwaukee's Glendon Rusch.

June 26
Seattle's Kazuhiro Sasaki notched his 100th career save with a perfect ninth inning to secure Seattle's 1-0 victory over the Oakland Athletics. He reached 100 saves faster than anyone in MLB history -- just 160 appearances -- and obliterated the previous fastest-to-100 saves mark, set by Billy Koch, who did it in 192 appearances.

June 27
The Indians' youth movement is on. Tribe general manager Mark Shapiro was looking to the future when he dealt ace Bartolo Colon to Montreal for prospects Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore, plus veteran Lee Stevens.

June 29
The Mets' Roger Cedeno heard Bobby Valentine screaming, so he ran. Cedeno's surprising steal of home plate was the team's first in five years.

June 30
American League manager Joe Torre and National League manager Bob Brenly didn't know it when they announced their rosters for the 73rd All-Star Game, but neither man would leave Milwaukee with a loss. also launched the first-ever 30th Man campaign.

Adam McCalvy is a reporter for This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.