-- Rafael Palmeiro's 3,000th hit elicited an unexpected honor: a phone call from President Bush. Palmeiro received a call from the president at approximately 2 p.m. Eastern time. The two spoke for about five minutes.
"It's a great honor," Palmeiro said. "We had a nice conversation. He was very proud for me to reach that milestone."
Palmeiro and Bush have been friends since the 1990s, when the president was owner of the Texas Rangers. Aside from the phone call, Palmeiro and his family were invited to dinner at the White House.
"It was very nice of him to take the time to call me," Palmeiro said. "That means a lot to me."
One part of Palmeiro's historic night won't return with him to Baltimore. The Orioles' first baseman sent the bat he used to record his 3,000th hit to the Hall of Fame. Palmeiro kept every other bit of memorabilia from that night.
During Friday's game, one Orioles player reached a remarkable milestone that had nothing to do with 3,000 hits. Reliever Jason Grimsley made his first appearance in a major league game since having Tommy John surgery in October. Pitchers usually sit out at least one year before pitching in the majors again. It took Grimsley less than nine months to return.
"It was everything that I remembered," Grimsley said. "I had the nerves and the same adrenaline."
Brought in with two outs in the sixth inning, Grimsley struck out Mike Morse to end a rally. After the game, Grimsley came out of the clubhouse and got a big hug from his two sons. "That's what makes it all worthwhile," he said.