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This Day in Baseball History
April 3rd

34 Fact(s) Found
1901 Although Christy Mathewson tried to return the money, the A's owner, Connie Mack, accused him of reneging on his contract to play the 1901 season with the fledgling American League team. After meeting with the A's manager in January, 'Big Six' committed his services to Philadephia when he received a signing bonus but used the offer to get a richer contract from the Giants.
1923 Happy Felsch and Swede Risberg file a suit against the White Sox for back salary and $400,000 in damages. Both expelled players, acquitted for allegedly fixing the 1919 World Series, were still banned from baseball by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, even though they were found not guilty of the wrongdoing in a much-publicized court case.
1950 Considered a well-guarded secret, Mel Parnell reveals he pitched all but three of his 39 games for Boston last season with a sore elbow. The 27-year-old 'Dusty' finished the season 25-7 with a 2.77 ERA for the second-place Red Sox.
1961 New York investors Jack P. Schleifer and Milton Schwartz take a title to Connie Mack Stadium, formerly known as Shibe Park, in hopes of developing the property as an industrial center with bowling alleys and a restaurant when the Phillies move to a proposed new ballpark in the northeastern part of the city. The 52-year-old ballpark, home for the A's (1909-1954) and Phillies (1938-1970), eventually becomes the Deliverance Evangelistic Church's site in 1991.

Deliverance Evangelistic Church

1966 In his first at-bat against Juan Marichal since the pitcher's bat-yielding incident last season, Johnny Roseboro hits a three-run inside-the-park home run in the Dodgers' 8-4 victory over the Giants. Before starting the spring training contest, San Francisco GM Chub Feeney attempted to arrange a handshake between the combatants, with the Los Angeles catcher, who has a $110,000 lawsuit pending against the right-hander and the hurler's team, declining the offer.
1966 In a special lottery, Tom Seaver picks the Mets from names tossed in a hat that includes the Phillies and Indians, signing with New York for a reported $50,000 bonus. After MLB voided his son's contract with the Braves, Tom's dad threatened a lawsuit because the right-hander's college team had played two exhibition games, but signing a pro contract also prevented the future Hall of Famer from playing on the collegiate level.
1967 Al Jackson, competing for a spot in the Cardinals' rotation to replace an injured Steve Carlton, yields twenty hits over nine innings in an exhibition game. The southpaw's poor outing comes against the Tulsa Oilers, the Redbirds' Class AA minor league team in the Texas League.
1968 The Tigers trade left-hander Hank Aguirre to the Dodgers for minor leaguer Fred Moulder, the player to be named later. The All-Star southpaw, better known for being the worst hitter in major league history, will compile a .085 batting average during his 16-year major league career, striking out an astounding 236 times in his 388 at-bats (61%).
1969 The Phillies trade first baseman Bill White to the Cardinals for infielder Jerry Buchek and utility player Jim Hutto. White will retire after one season in St. Louis, eventually becoming the president of the National League after a 17-year stint as the Yankee broadcasting partner of the long-time legendary voice of the Bronx Bombers, Phil Rizzuto.
1974 The Indians trade Pedro Guerrero to the Dodgers for pitcher Bruce Ellingsen, who appears in only 16 games for Cleveland in his only year in the majors. The 17-year-old infielder/outfielder will compile a .309 batting average, becoming a five-team All-Star during his 11 seasons with the team.
1984 On Opening Day, Tiger rookie Barbaro Garbey becomes the first Cuban refugee to play in the majors when he grounds out in the seventh inning as a pinch-hitter for Dave Bergman. The 27-year-old utility player will stay in the game, playing first base in Detroit's 8-1 rout of Minnesota in the Metrodome.
1985 The Players' Association agrees to the owners' proposal of expanding the League Championship Series to best-of-seven. The LCS started as a best-of-five series in 1969 when the leagues divided into divisions, with the Orioles and Mets sweeping their opponents in three games.
1987 The Cubs trade starter Dennis Eckersley and prospect Dan Rohn to the A's for three minor leaguers who will never appear in a major league game. The future Hall of Famer known as 'Eck' becomes one of the game's top relievers, saving 320 games during his nine-year tenure with Oakland.
1989 In his first major league at-bat, Mariners' center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. doubles off Oakland's Dave Stewart. The 19-year-old 'Junior,' the son of an active major leaguer outfielder playing with the Reds, will establish himself as one of the game's superstars before retiring in 2010.
1989 The Mets win their 11th consecutive home opener, beating St. Louis at Shea Stadium, 8-4. The Amazins have won on Opening Day in 18 of the last 20 seasons.
1990 Billy Hatcher, who is in the delivery room with his pregnant wife when the phone rings, is informed by Pirates manager Jim Leyland that he has been traded but doesn't ask which team now has his services. After his daughter Chelsea is born, the former Buc outfielder gets a call at home from Cincinnati general manager Bob Quinn to welcome him to the Reds.
1994 The new season begins with the first Sunday night opener ever played in major league history, with a game not embraced by the local fans or Reds' owner Marge Schott. On a frigid Easter Sunday evening at Riverfront Stadium, the Cardinals beat the Reds in the controversial contest, 6-4, in front of the smallest Opening Day crowd in the ballpark's 24-year history.

With their 8-0 and 21-1 victories over the Clafin Panthers, the Savannah State Nine extends its consecutive-game winning streak to 42 games. The Tigers' twin sweep sets an NCAA record, eclipsing the Marietta College of Ohio record of 40 straight wins established by the Division II school last year.

2000 After missing last season due to undergoing treatments for lymphatic cancer, Braves' first baseman Andres Galarraga makes a dramatic return on Opening Day, homering in the seventh inning to break up a scoreless tie. The 38-year-old first baseman's home run, followed by Andruw Jones' back-to-back shot, gives Atlanta a 2-0 victory over the Rockies at Turner Field.

2002 Barry Bonds becomes the second player in baseball history to begin a season with consecutive two-homer games. Eddie Mathews also hit a pair of homers in the Braves' first two games against the Pirates to start the 1958 season.
2005 Alex Sanchez becomes the first major leaguer publicly identified under baseball's new steroid policy. The Tampa Bay outfielder receives a ten-day suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
2006 🇯🇵 Seattle's Kenji Johjima becomes the first Japanese catcher to start a major league game. The Mariners' 30-year-old backstop homers in his debut in the team's 5-3 loss to the Angels.

Sportsnet NY, the Mets' new team-owned network, broadcasts its first regular-season baseball game. During the third inning of New York's 3-2 victory over the Nationals, SNY experiences technical difficulties, blacking out the telecast for nearly twenty minutes.

2007 Marcus and Brian Giles bat first and second in San Diego's Opening Day lineup in the Padres' 7-0 victory over the Giants. Skipper Bud Black's batting order marks the first time brothers hit one and two in a game since Matty and Jesus Alou did it for San Francisco in 1965.
2008 A three-and-a-half pound red-tailed hawk, known to nest at the historic ballpark, attacks a Memorial Boulevard Middle School student during a Fenway Park tour. The 13-year-old from Bristol (CT), treated for a small scratch on her scalp at a local hospital, has a familiar name to Red Sox fans, Alexa Rodriguez, similar to the much detested third baseman of the Yankees, also is 13 (uniform number).

2008 Twenty minutes before their game, the Dodgers announce reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will start in place of Chad Billingsley, who, in turn, will be in the bullpen. The unusual move, made due to the threat of rain at the start of the contest, is also employed by the Giants, with Merkin Valdez beginning the game with the announced starter and eventual winner, Tim Lincecum entering the game in the fourth inning.
2008 At Comerica Park in Detroit, the Royals beat the Tigers, 4-1, completing a season-opening three-game sweep. The victories mark the first time Kansas City had started the year with a sweep on the road since 1977 when the team also won the first three away contests of the season in the Motor City.
2008 In a dazzling debut, Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto fans ten batters in an overpowering seven-inning performance when Cincinnati beats the visiting Diamondbacks, 3-2. Using a 96-mph fastball and devastating changeup, the 22-year-old rookie, who started pitching in the low minors last season, strikes out eight of the first 13 Arizona batters he faces.
2009 The Mets, obligated only to pay the major league minimum of $400,000, sign Gary Sheffield (.225, 19, 57), hoping to add a much-needed right-handed bat to the lineup. The Tigers unexpectedly released the 40-year-old offensively challenged outfielder with 499 career home runs earlier in the week despite having $14 million left on his contract.
2009 On a damp and chilly New York night, the Mets and Yankees open their new stadiums with exhibition games. The double debut in the Big Apple sees each team win when the Amazins beat the Red Sox, 4-3, and the Bronx Bombers, launching three homers to defeat the Cubs, 7-4.
2010 Adam Lind (.305, 35, 114) and the Blue Jays agree to an $18 million, four-year contract that includes three additional years with a club option. The 26-year-old outfielder, flanked by several teammates, announces the deal at a press conference held before an exhibition game in Houston.
2011 Ranger teammates Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz become the first pair of players to homer in each of the first three games in a season playing for the same team. The duo's weekend of round-trippers contributes to Texas' sweep of their season-opening series against the visiting Red Sox.
2016 For the first time, teams from the previous World Series play each other on Opening Day when the Mets drop a 4-3 decision to the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. In pregame ceremonies, Kansas City, which defeated the Mets in the Fall Classic in five games, hoists the World Champion banner for the first time since the team beat the Cardinals in 1985.
2016 On Opening Day in Kansas City, with the team's theme "We Are The Champions" playing in the background, over 2,000 fans participate in the Relay the Way event, establishing a new record when they line up to complete the longest first pitch in baseball history. The ball, tossed hand to glove for four hours, travels a distance of nine miles and raises over $100,000 for the Royals' Urban Youth Academy charity.

34 Fact(s) Found