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This Day in Baseball History
April 9th

46 Fact(s) Found
1912 In the first game ever played at Fenway Park, the Red Sox beat Harvard, 2-0, in an abbreviated exhibition contest played on a cold and snowy afternoon in front of 3,000 hardy fans. Crimson third baseman and captain Dana Wingate, a sophomore from Winchester, Massachusetts, becomes the first batter in the Boston ballpark, taking the first pitch for ball one before being struck out on a fastball thrown by Casey Hageman.

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1913 In front of approximately 10,000 fans, who brave the frigid weather to witness the pitching duel, the Phillies beat the Dodgers, 1-0, spoiling the debut of Ebbets Field. Given special permission, Brooklyn opens the season a day early to properly inaugurate its new $75,000 Brooklyn ballpark, which took a year to build.
1916 After helping the team capture its third World Series title, Tris Speaker, declining their request to take a pay cut, is traded by the Red Sox to the Indians for Sam Jones, Fred Thomas, and $55,000. The Grey Eagle's salary of $17,500, which Boston thinks is exorbitant due to the future Hall of Fame outfielder's batting average dropping to .322 during the previous season.
1947 Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, feuding with the Yankees, is suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for an assortment of actions deemed detrimental to baseball, including association with known gamblers. The Brooklyn and New York clubs are both fined $2,000, and by order of the commissioner, the teams are not allowed to discuss the matter.
1953 For the first time since 1901, big leaguers play baseball in Milwaukee. In the first game ever at County Stadium, the newly-arrived Braves take on their former crosstown rivals, the Boston Red Sox, in a preseason exhibition game, which the hometown trails, 3-0, and is washed-out after two innings due to rain.
1959 Dr. Creighton Hale recommends Little League pitching mounds be moved back from home plate by 24 inches. The organization's vice president believes a ball thrown by a youngster at 70 mph from 46 feet would give the batter about the same amount of time to swing at a pitch, proportionately, as the major leaguers have.
1959 At Washington, DC's Griffith Stadium, the Orioles become the first major league team to turn a triple play on Opening Day. Vice-President Richard Nixon, who threw out the ceremonial first pitch substituting for President Eisenhower, sees the hometown Senators post a 9-2 victory over Baltimore, behind a solid seven-hit, complete-game performance by Pedro Ramos.
1962 Keeping a Laotian prince waiting in the White House, President Kennedy opens up Washington's new $23-million D.C. Stadium by tossing the ceremonial first pitch. Despite a rain delay, JFK stays for the entire game and enjoys seeing Mickey Vernon's Senators beat the Tigers, 4-1.
1963 As a favor to former Indians infielder Johnny Berardino, now known as Johnny Beradino, who plays Dr. Steve Hardy on General Hospital, Yogi Berra makes a cameo appearance on the popular ABC soap opera. The Yankee legend, known for his paradoxical contradictions, plays the role of Dr. Lawrence Berra, a brain surgeon.
1964 Much to the chagrin of team executive Branch Rickey, the Cardinals trade Jimmie Coker and Gary Kolb to the Braves for catcher Bob Uecker. After introducing himself, the Redbirds' new backstop is quickly informed by Rickey, "I didn't want you. I wouldn't trade one Gary Kolb for a hundred Bob Ueckers."
1965 Houston begins playing in the 'Eighth Wonder of the World' when they host an exhibition game against the Yankees at the Astrodome, the first domed sports stadium in history. In the opening ceremonies, 24 astronauts throw 24 ceremonial first pitches as the Colt .45's become the Astros.

Courtesy of the Houston Astros network via

1966 After sharing space at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during their first five seasons in Los Angeles, the Angels move to nearby Anaheim into their own stadium. The 'Halos,' now known as the California Angels, host the San Francisco Giants in a preseason exhibition game in the first contest ever played at Anaheim Stadium.
1968 In Atlanta, Georgia, Bill Veeck, the former owner of the Browns, Indians, and White Sox, is among the crowd of marchers taking part in the funeral procession for civil rights leader Martin Luther King, slain five days ago in Memphis (TN). The WW II veteran, who spent 15 hours standing in line to pay his respect to JFK at the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol in 1963, walks the entire three-and-a-half-mile route from Ebenezer Baptist Church to Morehouse College on his wooden leg without the aid of crutches.
1969 Billy Williams hits four consecutive doubles, helping the Cubs beat Philadelphia at Wrigley Field, 11-3. The Chicago outfielder's quartet of two-baggers ties the major-league record for doubles, shared by 29 players, and last accomplished in 1963 by Detroit center fielder Billy Bruton.

"Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, A nation turns its lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo), What's that you say, Mrs. Robinson Joltin' Joe has left and gone away, (Hey, hey, hey...hey, hey, hey)." - PAUL SIMON, songwriter.

On the Dick Cavett Show, Paul Simon tells Mickey Mantle the lyrics to Mrs. Robinson would have been 'Where have you gone, Mickey Mantle' but explains to his favorite player, "it's about syllables, Mick. It's about how many beats there are." The songwriter's well-known lyrics become, "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, A nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

1976 Orioles' right-hander Jim Palmer and Boston's Ferguson Jenkins, both future members of the Hall of Fame, stage a classic pitching duel at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium on Opening Day. The Birds, behind the eight-inning, six-hit effort by 'Cakes,' beat the Red Sox and Fergie, who goes the distance, 1-0, thanks to an unearned run scored in the fourth inning.
1976 The White Sox's owner Bill Veeck, known for his promotional genius, surprises the Comiskey Park crowd on Opening Day when he, Rudie Schaffer, and Paul Richards celebrate the nation's bicentennial, wearing battered Continental Army uniforms. The trio, caring a fife, drum, and flag, strike a pose in their tattered garb, reminiscent of Archibald MacNeal Willard's painting The Spirit of '76, a famous piece of art depicting Revolutionary War veterans, that was displayed at Philadelphia's Centennial Exposition 100 years earlier.
1977 After being informed that his uniform No. 15 number is worn by teammate Claudel Washington, new A's slugger Dick Allen asks to wear #60 and adds an unusual request. Above the digits, the word Wampum replaces the surname of the 1960 graduate of Wampum High School.


"I have never seen such stupid ballplaying in my life." - RAY KROC, the Padres owner, addressing the fans on the PA system during the home opener at San Diego Stadium.

During the home opener against Houston at San Diego Stadium, Ray Kroc, the Padres' new owner, uses the ballpark's public address system to thank the fans and criticize the players for their poor play. At the start of the fast-food tycoon's eighth-inning tirade, a streaker jumps over the railing of the stands in left field and runs haphazardly across the outfield.

1980 In the first minor league game played in Durham (NC) since 1972, the Bulls, a name last used in 1967, the team needs to play the home opener wearing their powder blue road uniforms because their home jerseys go missing two days before the start of the season. Atlanta's minor league director, Hank Aaron, sends the team a set of used Braves uniforms to wear for away contests after the club decides to continue to wear the road uniforms for the Durham Athletic Park contests.
1980 At the Kingdome, Opening Day starter Mike Parrott gets the win as the Mariners beat the Blue Jays, 8-6. The 25-year-old Californian will not enjoy another victory for the rest of the season, finishing the season with a 1-16 record.
1981 On Opening Day, Fernando Valenzuela, making his first major league start in place of scheduled starter Jerry Reuss, blanks Houston on five hits at Dodger Stadium, 2-0. During the strike-shortened season, the 20-year-old rookie from Mexico will lead the league in game starts (25), complete games (11), and shutouts (8).
1985 The Mets' offseason acquisition of Gary Carter pays immediate dividends when he connects for a walk-off home run in the bottom of the tenth inning, giving his new team a 6-5 victory over St. Louis on Opening Day at Shea Stadium. The 31 year-old All-Star catcher is the first player to end his first contest with a New York team with a round-tripper.
1985 Tom Seaver establishes a big-league record with his 15th Opening Day assignment, getting the win when the White Sox beat the Brewers at County Stadium, 4-2. The right-hander, who also got the first-day nods from the Mets (1968-77, 1983) and Reds (1978-79, 1981), will extend the mark previously held by Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators to 16 next season.
1987 Phil Niekro records his 312th victory, with Steve Carlton's help, who pitches four shutout innings in relief in the Indians' 14-3 win over the Blue Jays at Toronto's Exhibition Stadium. The appearance of the two veteran hurlers marks the first time in modern MLB history two 300-game winners pitched for the same team in the same game.
1989 On a frigid Sunday afternoon, Rick Sutcliffe adds to the wind chill, striking out 11 batters in the Cubs' 8-3 win over Pittsburgh. Despite a temperature of 33 degrees, along with a stiff breeze making it feel like eight above, 11,387 fans brave the elements to watch the right-hander's complete-game effort at Wrigley Field.
1990 Keeping with the team’s tradition of having a rookie select the music, Reds freshman first baseman Hal Morris picks U Can’t Touch This, following the Opening Day 8-4 extra-inning victory at the Astrodome. The iconic MC Hammer tune will become the team’s mantra and the unofficial theme song for the eventual world champs.

1990 Glenn Davis is hit by a pitch three times on Opening Day, tying a major league record shared by many major leaguers. The Houston first baseman's body blows do not lead to any runs in the team's 8-4 loss to Cincinnati at the Astrodome.
1990 Delino DeShields, the 21-year-old second baseman of the Expos, goes 4-for-6 to become only the second rookie to collect four hits in an Opening Day debut. Forrest Jacobs, also a second baseman, became the first major league rookie to accomplish the feat in his 1954 Opening Day debut with the Philadelphia A's.
1990 Responding tells him the Astros weren't happy about Glenn Davis getting hit three times, Randy Myers replies if there is any retaliation, he and his teammates, Rob Dibble and Norm Charlton, clock at least ninety-five on the radar gun. When the Houston Chronicle beat reporter responds with "that's pretty nasty," the left-hander counters, "Well, we're pretty nasty guys," giving rise to the trio of hard-throwing Reds relievers being called the 'Nasty Boys.'

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In his first at-bat after eighteen months of rehab following his hip replacement surgery, Bo Jackson connects for a home run with his first swing of the season in the team's 11-6 Opening Day loss to New York at Comiskey Park. En route to being named the American League Comeback Player of the Year, the 1985 Heisman Trophy winner will hit 16 home runs and collect 45 RBIs in 85 games, contributing to the White Sox's divisional title.

1993 The Rockies defeat the Expos 11-4 for their first win ever thanks to a four-run first inning sparked by Eric Young's leadoff home run. The crowd of 80,227 at Colorado's Mile High Stadium establishes a new major league Opening Day attendance record.
1993 At the age of 46, Nolan Ryan becomes the oldest pitcher to start and win an Opening Day game when the Rangers win their home opener against the Red Sox, 3-1. Previously, Yankee southpaw Tommy John held the distinction, being 45 years old when he started and beat the Twins in the 1989 opener at the Metrodome.
1998 In a 13-4 Rockies rout of the Reds, Ellis Burks hits two home runs at Coors Field. The homers give the Colorado outfielder four for the season, which accounts for all the hits the .154 batter has collected thus far this season.
1999 Just two days after celebrating his 80th birthday, former Orioles owner Jerold C. Hoffberger dies unexpectedly. The philanthropist enjoyed five American League pennants and two World Championships during his 14-year tenure before selling the club to Edward Bennett Williams after the 1979 season.
2000 Indians DH Jim Thome earns the platinum sombrero when he strikes out five times, tying a major league record. Cleveland still prevails in the Tropicana Field tilt, posting a 17-4 victory over Tampa Bay.
2000 Each team hit three consecutive home runs in the same game for the first time in major league history in the Twins' 13-7 victory over the Royals. Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones, and Matt Lecroy connect consecutively in the sixth for Minnesota, and Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye, and Hector Carrasco go back-to-back-to-back for Kansas City in the eighth frame of the Kauffman Stadium contest.
2001 Willie Stargell, the all-time Pirate career leader in home runs, RBIs, and extra-base hits, dies from kidney problems at the age of 61. After leading the Bucs to the 1979 World Championship, 'Pops', a career .282 hitter, became the oldest player (39) to win an MVP award when he shares the honor with Keith Hernandez.

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2001 Pittsburgh's PNC Park makes its major league debut as hometown product Sean Casey leads the visiting Reds past the Pirates, 8-2. The Cincinnati first baseman, who collected the first hit at Miller Park, a single, three days ago, goes 4-for-4, and again has the honor of recording the first knock in a major league park's opening game, this time making history with a two-run home run off Todd Ritchie.
2004 The Yankees and Joe Torre agree to a three-year extension. The contract also includes an additional six-year deal in which the 62 year-old manager will serve as a team advisor through the 2013 season.
2005 Juan Pierre's consecutive innings streak comes to an end at 1700 when his name is not in Florida's starting lineup, with his consecutive game streak staying intact at 340, entering the contest as an eighth-inning defensive replacement. The Marlins' center fielder joins Cal Ripken (Orioles, 1983-86) and Travis Fryman (Tigers, 1995) as the only big leaguers to play every inning for his team during a season.
2006 Cory Sullivan becomes the 11th player in big-league history to hit two triples in the same inning and the first since Gil Coan of the Senators accomplished the feat in 1951. The Colorado leadoff hitter's two seventh-inning three-baggers contribute to the Rockies' 10-4 win over the Padres.

2009 Just hours after pitching six shutout innings against the A's, Nick Adenhart dies in a hit-and-run car accident. In memory of the 22-year-old right-handed rookie, the Angels postpone tonight's game with Oakland.
2012 Joining Roy Oswalt, Barry Zito becomes only the second opposing pitcher to whitewash the Rockies at Coors Field, posting a 7-0 victory. The shutout is the Giants' left-hander's first in 274 starts, the longest span in major league history without one.
2016 The Twins, suffering a 7-0 loss to Kansas City, start the season 0-5 for the first time in franchise history, which includes the three times the team was winless after four attempts when they played as the Washington Senators before the 1961 season. The eventual nine-game losing streak will be extended to 0-6 with a heartbreaking loss tomorrow when the Royals score two runs in the bottom of the ninth before securing a 4-3 walk-off victory in the tenth inning at Kauffman Stadium.
2017 The Halos, trailing 9-3 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, stun Seattle by scoring seven times in their 10-9 victory in Anaheim. Cliff Pennington’s single into right field plates Mike Trout with the winning run, resulting in a deafening roar at Angel Stadium when the fans react to their team’s incredible comeback.

46 Fact(s) Found