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This Day in Baseball History
April 15th

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35 Fact(s) Found
1876 The Alleghenys bring professional baseball to the city of Allegheny, a municipality that will be annexed into Pittsburgh in 1907, when they defeat the Xanthas at Union Park, 7-3. In February, the team lost its bid to become part of the newly established National League and will play as an independent club until joining the minor-league International Association next season, a circuit that will disband in 1878.
1909 On Opening Day, the Superbas are no-hit by the Giants' Red Ames for 9.1 innings. The Polo Grounds contest will go thirteen innings before Brooklyn defeats the 26 year-old right-hander, 3-0.
1911 At the age of 24, Grover Cleveland Alexander makes his major league debut, losing a 5-4 decision to the Rustlers on an unearned run in the tenth inning at Boston’s South End Grounds. The Philadelphia rookie who will become known as 'Old Pete,' will go on to post a 28-13 (.683) record, which will include seven shutouts and 31 complete games.
1915 After being called the Naps since 1903, Cleveland's American League ballclub, plays its first game known as the Indians, a moniker selected from a contest to re-name the team run by a local newspaper. The franchise's former name, which honored their once-popular player-manager Nap Lajoie, needed to be changed when the 40 year-old second baseman is sold back to A's, after feuding the team's current skipper, Joe Birmingham.
1921 At Redland Field, Pirates right-hander Chief Yellow Horse makes his major league debut against the Reds. The Pittsburgh hurler, a member of a North American Plains Indian tribe called the Pawnees, is believed by many baseball historians to be the first full-blooded American Indian to play in the big leagues.
1930 On Opening Day, Phillies' southpaw Les Sweetland throws a three-hitter at Ebbets Field. The 28 year-old southpaw doubles and scores the lone run in the eighth inning of his 1-0 complete-game victory over Brooklyn.
1933 In his major league debut, Tigers rookie Schoolboy Rowe tosses a six-hitter, blanking the White Sox, 3-0. During his 15-year career, also playing with the Dodgers and Phillies, Lynwood will compile a 158-101 record, posting an ERA of 3.87.
1942 At Sportsman's Park in St. Louis, Hiram 'Hi' Bithorn becomes the first Puerto Rican to play major league baseball. The Cubs' right-hander from Santurce makes a relief appearance, allowing no runs or hits during his two innings of work in Chicago's 4-2 loss to the Redbirds.
1947 A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
1947 In his National League debut, Hank Greenberg has the lone RBI in the Pirates' 1-0 win over the Cubs. Pittsburgh bought the slugging first baseman from the Tigers in the off-season for $75,000.
1954 In front of a crowd of 46,354 fans, big league baseball returns to Baltimore after a 51-year absence when the Orioles beat Chicago in the first game played in Memorial Stadium, 3-1. A Baltimore ownership group, which included Clarence Mills, Jim Keelty, Jerry Hoffberger, and Zanvyl Krieger, bought the former St. Louis Browns and brought the franchise to the Charm City.
1957 Before the Senators' 7-6 loss to Baltimore in 11 innings at Griffith Stadium, President Dwight Eisenhower throws the traditional ceremonial first pitch of the season. The horsehide Ike tosses is billed as the 10th millionth Spalding baseball to be used in a major league game.

1958 On Opening Day, the transplanted New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers play the first major league game on the West Coast. The California contest sees Ruben Gomez blanking Los Angeles and Don Drysdale at San Francisco's Seals Stadium, 8-0.
1959 Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
1967 At the age of 18, Gary Nolan makes his major league debut, striking out the side in the first frame en route to his first career victory when the Reds beat Houston at Crosley Field, 7-3. The hard-throwing teenager, who will give up six hits and three runs in 6.1 innings in his first outing, will be the runner-up to Tom Seaver and Dick Hughes for the Rookie of the Year honors this season.
1968 The Astros defeat the Mets in 24 innings, 1-0, making it the longest scoreless game in major league history. The six-hour and six-minute contest, in which each team had 79 at-bats and 11 hits, ends when Bob Aspromonte's grounder goes through the legs of shortstop Al Weis, scoring Norm Miller from third base with one out.
1972 On Opening Day in Oakland, A's outfielder Reggie Jackson becomes the first player in fifty-eight years to wear a mustache during the regular season. The last time facial hair was worn in a major league game was in 1914 when Wally Schang had hair above his lip catching for Philadelphia Athletics.

Amazon 1972 Topps Reggie Jackson Baseball Card

1976 In the debut of the 'new' Yankee Stadium, 52,613 fans watch the Bronx Bombers shell Minnesota on Opening Day, 11-4. Bob Shawkey, the winner of the 1923 Stadium opener, throws out the ceremonial first pitch in the ballpark that has been completely rebuilt from top to bottom, with the replacement of the fences, the seats, the roof, and the original grandstand.
1983 With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jerry Hairston's clean pinch-hit single to center field spoils Milt Wilcox's bid for a perfect game. The 32 year-old Tigers right-hander retires the next batter, settling for a one-hit 6-0 victory over the White Sox at Comiskey Park.
1990 ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball makes its debut, with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan behind the microphones, a broadcasting team that will remain in the booth for the next 21 seasons. The early stages of the sports network's coverage on Sundays evenings call for every ballpark to host a game, assuring each team at least one appearance on national television throughout the season.
1994 With only 115 fans in attendance on a cold and rainy night at Pohlman Field, Kelly Wunsch becomes the third player and first starting pitcher to strike out five batters in one inning in professional baseball. The Beloit Brewer hurler, who was drafted by Milwaukee in the first round (26th pick overall) of the 1993 amateur draft, makes this possible when two of those victims reached first base on wild pitches during a 7-3 loss to Springfield (IL) of the Midwest League.
1997 With President Clinton and Rachel Robinson in attendance at the Shea Stadium ceremony, Commissioner Bud Selig announces Jackie Robinson's No. 42 will be retired throughout Major League Baseball, an unprecedented tribute to the player who broke the color barrier fifty years ago on this date. There are presently 13 active players still wearing the number who will be allowed to keep it including Mariano Rivera, who in 2013 will become the last player to don digits.
2000 Orioles infielder Cal Ripken, in the 2,800th game of his career, lines a base hit to center off the Twins' Hector Carrasco, becoming the 24th player to reach the 3000th hit milestone. The single also makes the 'Iron Man' only the seventh player to get 3,000 hits and 400 home runs in major league history.
2001 A swarm of bees nesting in the Coors Field's right field auxiliary scoreboard makes their presence known when Todd Hollandsworth steps into the batter's box to start the bottom of the fourth frame. After a nine-minute delay, the game continues without incident to the players, fans or bees, but the Rockies' outfielder gets the crowd buzzing by hitting three home runs following the incident, including a three-run walk-off round-tripper in the tenth inning of Colorado's 10-7 victory over Arizona.
2004 Major league baseball begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual celebration commemorating the day in 1947 when the Dodger infielder broke the color line. At big league venues across the country, ceremonies are being held to honor the ground-breaking historical event, including baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Jackie's widow Rachel Robinson attending the festivities at Shea Stadium.
2005 Right-hander Ben Sheets, who agreed to a one-year deal worth $6 million during the offseason to avoid salary arbitration, signs a $38.5 million, four-year contract to stay with Milwaukee. The deal is the richest in the history of the Brewers.
2005 The Dodgers, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's first game in the big leagues, wear replicas of the old road uniforms worn by the 1947 team which played in Brooklyn. Right-hander Derek Lowe throws a three-hitter, blanking the Padres in San Diego, 4-0.
2005 In the first major league game played in Washington, D.C. since September 30, 1971, the Nationals beat Arizona at RFK Stadium, 5-3. President George W. Bush throws out the ceremonial first pitch after receiving the ball from Joe Grzenda, the former Washington reliever who threw the final pitch in Senators history.

2005 A Fenway fan is ejected from the game after taking what appeared to be a swipe at Gary Sheffield as the Yankee outfielder fields a ball hit by Jason Varitek. The right fielder's response, which includes shoving the fan, making a fist, and exchanging words, will be investigated by major league baseball.
2007 To honor Jackie Robinson, some players on each team, including Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves' outfielder Andruw Jones, wear the Dodger immortal's uniform No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball. In the Cardinals and Brewers contest at Busch Stadium, every player and coach on both teams dons Jackie's revered number.
2007 The Indians became the first team in almost 55 years to notch a victory with their only hit coming in the team's first at-bat when Grady Sizemore doubles leading off the first inning in Tribe's eventual 2-1 win over Chicago at Jacobs Field. The last time the Tribe won while getting just one hit or less was in 1992, a 2-1 victory over Boston with the team being no-hit by Matt Young.
2009 Texas infielder Ian Kinsler, having already collected a single, double, and home run, admits he was trying for a triple when he batted in the sixth inning of the 19-6 rout of Baltimore. The Rangers second baseman gets his three-bagger en route to a 6-for-6 cycle performance.
2010 Jorge Cantu establishes a major league record when he gets at least one hit and drives in one or more runs for the first ten games to start the season. The Marlins' infielder streak also proves to be the longest at any point of this season.
2011 The Rangers tie an American League mark shared with 15 teams by turning six double plays in a nine-inning game, including a record-tying five DPs by Elvis Andrus for the most by a shortstop, in the team's 5-3 victory at Yankee Stadium. The first six batters in the Bronx Bombers' lineup, Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones, and Nick Swisher, bounce into Texas twin killings.
2011 With a 7-6 defeat to Toronto at Fenway Park, the Red Sox lose their tenth game of the new campaign, making their 2-10 record the worst start in franchise history. Boston, despite its record-setting first dozen contests, will still be in contention for a playoff spot until the last day of the season.

35 Fact(s) Found