The Brooklyn Bridegrooms, who will later be known as the Dodgers, play their first National League game. The former American Association team loses to the Beaneaters, who will become known as the Braves in 1912, at Boston's South End Grounds, 15-9.
The Beaneaters score nine runs in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings, but the Phillies recover to beat Bostonin 10 innings, 19-17. The 36 runs scored in the South End Grounds sets a major league record for most runs scored by two clubs on Opening Day.
At Griffith Stadium prior to the Senators' 6-0 victory over the A's, James S. Sherman becomes the first U.S. Vice President to throw the ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day. William Howard Taft does not attend the game, due to the death of Archibald Butt, a friend lost in the sinking of the Titanic.
Calling the play-by-play in the Tigers' 8-5 victory over the Indians, Edwin Tyson becomes the first person in club history to broadcast a game. The radio personality will begin the game by saying "Good afternoon, boys and girls, this is Ty Tyson speaking to you from Navin Field", which will become his familiar refrain on WWJ.
During the first inning, both Dodgers' Ernie Koy and Phillies' Emmett Mueller homer in their first major league at-bats. The pair of rookies will collectively hit a total 42 home runs during their nine seasons in the major leagues.
At an informal press conference arranged by Universal Pictures, actress Dorthy Arnold tells wire service reporters that she and Joe DiMaggio are engaged and plan to marry sometime this summer. Upon hearing the news, the somewhat surprised Yankee center fielder makes it clear no ceremony will take place during the baseball season, but the couple will exchange vows in November.
Mel Ott hits the first National League round-tripper of the season, the 464th of his career, helping the Giants defeat the Braves, 2-1. Next season, Master Melvin will become the first National Leaguer to amass 500 career home runs.
The Red Sox become the first team to hit three consecutive homers on Opening Day when Stan Spence, Vern Stephens and Bobby Doerr all go deep in the second frame. The long ball proves not to be enough with the A's 5-4 victory over Boston in 11 innings.
Yankee starter Allie Reynolds, thinking the Senators are trying to trick him, refuses to leave second base after he hits his first and only career home run, which is unbeknownst to him because he did not see the ball clear the left field fence. In front of an amused President Truman, New York skipper Bucky Harris finally convinces the skeptical baserunner to round the bases so the Opening Day contest at Griffith Stadium can continue.
The Pirates, wearing their black and gold color scheme for the first time, lose baseball's traditional opener in Cincinnati, 4-1, in a game that features scuffles between opposing players, an ump and a photographer, a fan who jumps on the field, and the police. The Bucs, the first team to permanently change their original colors, abandoned the familiar patriotic look of red, white and blue, choosing instead to use hues that match the Flag of Pittsburgh.
On Opening Day, the Yankees unveil a monument in centerfield honoring the legendary Babe Ruth, eight months after his death. The "Bambino' joins Lou Gehrig and Miller Huggins, who were also awarded posthumously with cenotaphs, the team's highest honor of all.
In front of 53,000 fans on Opening Day, Johnny Groth hits home runs in two of his first three at bats at Tiger Stadium. The 22 year-old rookie's performance enables Hal Newhowser and Detroit to beat Chicago, 5-1.
In the first major league game ever played in New Jersey, the Dodgers begin their Jersey City home game experiment with a 10-inning 5-4 victory over the Phillies at Roosevelt Stadium. A sparse crowd of 12,214, limited by inclement weather, sees Brooklyn backstop Roy Campanella tie the score in the tenth inning with his 1000th career hit, a double down the left field line.
A record Opening Day crowd at Chicago's Comiskey Park enthusiastically greets their American League champs, and the patrons warmly welcome the return of Minnie Minoso to the team after his three-year exile to Cleveland. The 34 year-old outfielder doesn't disappoint the South Side fans when, in addition to hitting a grand slam in the fourth, he blasts a ninth inning walk-off home run, giving the White Sox a 10-9 victory over Kansas City.
Making his debut in pinstripes, Roger Maris goes 4-for-5 batting leadoff in the Yankees lineup. The right-fielder's 11 total bases, including two home runs and a double, contribute to the Bronx Bombers' Opening Day 8-4 victory over Boston at Fenway Park.
Willie Mays becomes the all-time National League right-handed home run leader when he connects for his 371st career round-tripper, a fourth-inning solo shot off Chicago’s Larry Jackson in the Giants’ 5-1 victory at Candlestick Park. The San Francisco center fielder surpasses Gil Hodges, who established the mark last season.
Nolan Ryan makes quick work of the Dodgers when he strikes out the side on nine pitches in the top of the third inning of the Mets' 3-2 loss at Shea Stadium. The 21 year-old New York fireballer, who will also accomplish the feat with the Angels in 1972, strikes out 11 batters in 7.1 frames, including Claude Osteen, Wes Parker, and Zoilo Versalles, the victims of his immaculate inning.
Ken Harrelson, along with Dick Ellsworth and Juan Pizarro, is traded by the Red Sox to the Indians for Joe Azcue, Vicente Romo and Sonny Siebert. The 27 year-old 'Hawk' decides to retire, but reluctantly returns to the game following conversations with commissioner Bowie Kuhn, who will later say, "the loss of Ken Harrelson would be a tragedy for baseball".
The demolition of Crosley Field begins when two year-old Pete Rose, Jr. pulls a lever that sends a wrecking ball into the side of the former home of the Reds. The left field terrace area will become a parking lot, but is still distinguishable due to its slope and proximity to York Street.
Sparky Lyle becomes the first reliever to come into a game with a signature entrance song when the Yankee Stadium PA system plays Pomp and Circumstance as the closer approaches the mound. Although the southpaw secures the last out of the team’s 3-2 victory over Milwaukee, the New York relief pitcher feels the song, selected by PR man Marty Appel to signify the end of the game much as the Edward Elgar's march signals the end of an academic accomplishment, adds more pressure to his closer role and asks the public relations department to put the tradition on hold.
After a 6-3 loss to the Orioles in New York, Goose Gossage sustains a sprained ligament in his left thumb as a result of a clubhouse brawl with Yankee teammate Cliff Johnson. The reliever will be out of action until mid-July, and Johnson, due to the altercation, will be traded to the Indians in June for southpaw Don Hood.
The Mets trade Tim Foli, along with minor league prospect Greg Field, to the Pirates in exchange for second baseman Frank Taveras. Foli, appearing in 133 games, will play a major role in the club’s world championship this season, batting .291 and providing solid defense at shortstop for the Bucs.
At the Kingdome, the A's establish a major league record by winning eleven consecutive season openers when they post a 6-1 victory over the Mariners. The Opening Day winning streak will be extended to 12 next season with a 3-2 walk off victory over California at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Thanks to Rob Deer's three-run homer to tie the score and Dale Sveum's two-run winning shot, the Brewers rallied for five runs in the ninth inning, beating the Rangers, 6-4. The Milwaukee victory sets an American League record as they win their 12th straight game to start the season.
In the 4000th game in franchise history, the Mets drop a 4-2 decision to St. Louis at Busch Stadium. The reigning World Champs, who started as an expansion team in 1962, have won exactly half of their last 1000 games, posting a 500-498-2 record during the span that began on July 19, 1980.
In the eighth, the Rangers fall one run short of setting a modern major league mark, scoring 16 runs in one inning in their 26-7 rout of the Orioles. In 1952, the Red Sox tallied 17 times in the seventh frame in a 23-3 rout of Detroit at Fenway Park.
At Shea Stadium, the Cubs lose their 13th consecutive game to match the longest losing streak in the franchise's 122-year history. Reliever Turk Wendell, wearing #13, is tagged with the loss when Chicago is defeated by New York, 6-3.
In the first major league game ever played in Hawaii, the Cardinals edge the Padres, 1-0, at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The three-game set, known as Padres Paradise Series, find the hosts dropping two of three contests to the Redbirds.
Equaling their largest margin of victory when keeping an opponent scoreless, the Mets rout Cincinnati at Cinergy Field, 14-0. Outfielder Bernard Gilkey crosses the plate in the first, third, fifth, seventh and eighth inning, becoming only one of four players in franchise history to score five runs in one game.
The Devil Rays become the first expansion team to ever be four games over .500 at any point during their inaugural season when they improve their record to 10-6 with a 6-0 victory over Anaheim. Tampa Bay will finish the season with a 63-99 record, finishing last in the American League East.
A sore back puts 'Iron Man' Cal Ripken, Jr. on the disabled list. It is the first time the Oriole infielder has been on the DL during his 19-year career.
Veteran hurler Orel Hershiser ties a major league mark, equaled by 19 others, hitting four batters in one game. Astro Richard Hidalgo also ties a modern major league record by getting hit three times in a game, twice by Hershiser and a third time by Dodger reliever Matt Herges.
Mariners' third baseman Jeff Cirillo ties the major league record for consecutive errorless games at the hot corner by playing his 99th contest without a miscue. The previous mark was established by John Wehner, a journeyman infielder with the Dodgers, Pirates and Marlins who needed more than eight seasons to accomplish the feat.
David Wright’s seventh inning grand slam at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park establishes a club record for home runs hit in a game. The Mets go deep seven times (Reyes-2, Diaz-2, Piazza, Wright and Mientkiewicz) when they rout the Phillies, 16-4.
For the third successive day, the Marlins rally from behind in the top of the ninth inning to complete a sweep of the three-game series against the Nationals. The last team to win three consecutive times after trailing in the ninth inning were the 1998 Tigers, who came back in dramatic fashion in a trio of mid-September contests to beat Toronto and Minnesota.
Daniel Cabrera reaches base safely for the first time in his six-year career when he walks on four straight balls thrown by Florida's Hayden Penn. Prior to receiving the free pass, the Diamondback's right-hander had previously struck out in all of his 18 major league at bats, setting a major league mark for consecutive strikeouts.
En route to an 11-4 victory in Washington, Jose Altuve, Brian Bogusevic, and Matt Downs all collect three-baggers in Houston's five-run first frame. It is the first time in franchise history the Astros hit three triples in one inning.
After stealing second base, Jean Segura attempts to swipe third, but when the play ends the Brewers shortstop is standing on first as he aborts his journey to third and mistakenly thinking he is automatically out when he finds teammate Ryan Braun occupying second base, he heads for the dugout before taking refuge at first upon realizing he is still safe. Two pitches later, the bewildered Milwaukee baserunner is thrown out trying to steal second base again to become the first player to have stolen second and then is caught stealing the same base in the same inning.
According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Matt Harvey becomes the first pitcher in modern major league history to win his first four games while giving up less than a total of ten hits. The 24 year-old Mets right-hander easily outduels his mound opponent, Washington's former phenom, Stephen Strasburg, prompting the Citi Field crowd to start chanting, "Har-vee's be-tter, "Har-vee's be-tter."