When Tiant retired the first two batters, it looked as if the Red Sox' Orlando Cepeda, scheduled to hit fifth in the bottom of the inning, might get the first DH at bat. But Matty Alou hit a fly into the swirling wind, and centerfielder Reggie Smith misplayed the ball into a double. Tiant then walked Bobby Murcer and Graig Nettles. Blomberg suddenly was up. He too walked and forced Alou home, earning the first RBI by a DH. "We lost the game 15-5," recalls Blomberg, "but afterward about 50 reporters wanted to talk to me."
Blomberg retired after the 1978 season with a .293 average and now lives in Roswell, Ga., with Beth, his wife of 21 years. Hitting remains his passion: Five days a week he's a volunteer batting coach for a group of 10 teenagers, trying to help them get college scholarships. "I love still being involved in baseball," says Blomberg, whose son, Adam, attends medical school at the University of Miami and whose daughter, Chesley, is a senior at Roswell High. "And I love talking about being the first DH. It wasn't that big of a deal to me at the time, but now it is."
Frank Burgess? Like so many NCAA scoring champs, he never made it to the NBA. But for him, hoops led to bigger things. Burgess played a year at Arkansas AM&N, then for an Air Force team in Germany, where a Gonzaga grad saw him and hooked him up with Zags coach Hank Anderson. After averaging a nation-leading 32.4 points in '61, Burgess had a pro stint before returning to Gonzaga to get his law degree. In 1994 President Clinton appointed him a U.S. District Court judge in Tacoma, Wash. "Basketball was my ticket," says Burgess, 67, a father of five. "It all started with that."