New York's Russell Martin hits a grand slam during the...

New York's Russell Martin hits a grand slam during the Yankees' victory over Oakland Thursday (Aug. 25, 2011) Credit: AP

Major League Baseball dates its first game to April 22, 1876, between Boston and Philadelphia of the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs. And in late September, the major leagues plan to celebrate the playing of the 200,000th game.

With so many games in the record books, it's amazing that the first one ever to see three grand slams by the same team occurred for the first time this past week when the Yankees beat the Oakland A's, 22-9.

Baseball is sometimes decried for being slow or predictable, and in recent years for being overshadowed in popularity by the NFL. But events like Thursday's offer evidence that the game continues to find new ways to delight and surprise. In the face of natural disasters and economic turmoil, that's no small accomplishment.