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This Day in Baseball History
April 11th

36 Fact(s) Found
1907 The Giants lose their home opener to the Phillies when some Polo Grounds fans flood onto the field, disrupting the game in the top of the ninth inning. After warning the growing crowd of over a thousand patrons, who continue to pour onto the field, home plate umpire Bill Klem decides enough is enough, forfeiting the game to the visiting team, 9-0.

"Boy, they sure called me lots of names when I tried on those shin guards. They must have been a good idea at that, though, because they tell me catchers still wear them." - ROGER BRESNAHAN, reflecting on being the first major league catcher to wear shin guards.

On Opening Day, playing against the Phillies at the Polo Grounds, Giants catcher Roger Bresnahan becomes the first player to wear shin guards in a major league game. The future Hall of Fame receiver's innovative protective device, fastened with straps and hooks, was made of leather.

1912 Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3, in a game featuring 13 ground-rule doubles hit by the visitors because of the overflow crowd in the outfield and along the foul lines. The future Hall of Fame southpaw's streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.

Rube Marquard (1912)
Library of Congress - Benjamin K. Edwards Collection

1912 Redland Field, the steel and concrete ballpark named to match the team's moniker and hue, debuts with the hometown Reds beating the Cubs, 10-6. In 1934, the Cincinnati ballpark becomes known as Crosley Field, honoring the team owner Powel Crosley.
1928 Forty-year-old veteran Ty Cobb and 41-year-old Tris Speaker, who spent last season with the Senators, start in the outfield on Opening Day for the A's, batting second and third, respectively. The 8-3 loss to the Yankees at Philadelphia's Shibe Park marks the first time the future Hall of Famer players have played as teammates in a game.
1932 The Cardinals trade future Hall of Famer Chick Hafey to the Reds for outfielder/first baseman Harvey Hendrick, right-hander Benny Frey, and cash. The former Redbird outfielder led the National League in hitting last season, batting .349 for the World Series champs.
1954 The Yankees trade two minor leaguers and rookie right-hander Mel Wright to the Cardinals for 38-year-old right-fielder Enos Slaughter. The future Hall of Fame outfielder will hit only .239 in 79 games during his first tenure with the Bronx Bombers, but Bill Virdon, one of the prospects dealt to the Redbirds, will be named the National League's Rookie of the Year in 1956.
1961 The upstart Angels, playing their first game in franchise history, defeat a strong Orioles team at Baltimore's Memorial Stadium, 7-2. Ted Kluszewski homers twice, and Eli Grba tosses a complete game for Los Angeles.
1961 In his major league debut, Red Sox rookie Carl Yastrzemski singles off Kansas City's Ray Herbert in the team's 5-2 Opening Day loss at Fenway Park. The 21-year-old left fielder from Bridgehampton, New York, will amass 3,419 hits during his 23-year Hall of Fame career with Boston.
1961 On Opening Day, the flag is hung at half-staff at Crosley Field to honor the memory of late owner Powel Crosley, Jr., who passed away two weeks earlier. The Reds, the eventual National League Champions, get off to a good start by beating Chicago, 7-1.
1961 Robin Roberts, in his twelfth-straight Opening Day start, is tagged with the loss when the Phillies lose to the Dodgers in the LA Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The right-hander's effort ties Grover Cleveland Alexander's National League record for consecutive season openers.
1962 After being rained out the previous night and some players getting stuck in the Chase Hotel's elevator, the Mets make their National League debut in St. Louis, losing to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 11-4. The defeat will be the first of a record-setting 120 losses the New York expansion team will suffer this season.

1963 Don Leppert, who went deep on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues playing for Pittsburgh, hits three homers in the Senators' 8-0 victory over Boston at D.C. Stadium. The catcher's solo shot in the fourth inning, three-run blast two frames later, and bases-empty round-tripper in the eighth will account for twenty percent of his four-year career total of 15 round-trippers.
1964 A small plane privately scatters the ashes of former Houston right-hander Jim Umbricht over Colt Stadium, his home ballpark with the Colt .45s for the past two seasons. The popular 33-year-old reliever, the only pitcher to post a winning record during the expansion team's first two seasons, lost his well-publicized battle to a malignant melanoma three days ago.
1966 On Opening Day at D.C. Stadium, twenty years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, Emmett Ashford becomes the first black major league umpire, working third base in the Tigers' 5-2 defeat of the hometown Senators. The dapper Californian arbitrator will become well-known for his flashy style, which includes sprinting around the infield after foul balls, karate chop strike calls, and pirouetting while dusting off home plate.

1968 Detroit dramatically gets the first win of their 103 victories of their World Champion campaign. Gates Brown, pinch-hitting for Jon Warden, hits a walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Boston at Tiger Stadium, 4-3.
1969 The Pilots, a winner on Opening Day in Los Angeles against the Angels, are victorious in their first home game in franchise history, blanking the White Sox, 7-0, at Seattle's Sicks Stadium. Gary Bell, called 'Ding Dong' by his teammates, manages to keep Chicago from scoring, although the right-hander yields nine hits and walks four batters en route to the complete-game victory.

1971 Jerry Grote hits a walk-off homer in the 11th inning off Wayne Granger at Shea Stadium. The New York catcher's game-ending round-tripper accounts for the only run scored in the Mets' 1-0 victory over the Reds.
1985 Cal Ripken, nursing a sprained left ankle suffered while covering second base on a pickoff play in yesterday's game against the Rangers, is ordered by the doctor not to play in today's game against the Midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. The Orioles shortstop's streak of consecutive games would have ended in its infancy at 444 games without the Annapolis exhibition contest.
1990 Mark Langston, tossing seven innings in his Angel debut, and Mike Witt, author of a perfect game in 1984, combine to pitch a 1-0 Opening Day no-hitter against the Mariners at Anaheim Stadium. Dante Bichette's seventh-inning walk with the bases loaded accounts for the game's only run.
1993 🇦🇺 When Brewer catcher Dave Nilsson catches for Graeme Lloyd, they become the first all-Australian battery in major league history. The 23-year-old backstop hails from Brisbane, Queensland, with his rookie batterymate calling Geelong, Victoria, home.
1994 In the inaugural major league game at The Ballpark in Arlington, Holly Minter, posing for a picture, is seriously injured when she slips and falls 30 feet from the upper deck in right field to the lower section of the new $189-million stadium. Reportedly, a security guard was en route to ask the 26-year-old Ranger fan to move away from the railing.
1994 The Rangers play their first major league game in The Ballpark in Arlington, losing to Milwaukee, 4-3. Texas leadoff hitter David Hulse gets the stadium's first hit, a first-frame single, and Dave Nilsson hits the first home run in the $189-million facility, a solo shot leading off the bottom of the fifth inning.
1996 Greg Maddux's major league record of road victories ends at 18 with a 2-1 loss to the Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium. The Braves right-hander was 18-0 with an ERA under one run per game in 20 regular-season road starts, dating back to July 1994.
1997 To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the integration of baseball, Sharon Robinson, Jackie's daughter, and Pumpsie Green each threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park. In 1959, Green became the first black to appear in a Red Sox uniform, making Boston the last major league team to integrate.
2000 On a cold and snowy afternoon in front of nearly 40,000 fans, the Tigers beat the Mariners, 5–2., in the first major league game at Comerica Park. Giving up two runs in six innings, Brian Moehler gets the ballpark's first victory after being the winning pitcher in the final contest at Tiger Stadium last season.

Comerica Park - Library of Congress
Carol M. Highsmith's America Project

2003 In the first of its 'home' games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Expos rout David Cone and the Mets, 10-0. The Montreal franchise, now owned by major league baseball, will play 22 games in the Commonwealth this season while exploring possible new venues for the poorly attended Canadian team.
2003 Although Dale Petroskey still would cancel the 'Bull Durham celebration due to the anti-war criticism espoused by Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, the Hall of Fame president wishes he had called the co-stars rather than just sending a letter. The decision created a firestorm, with Cooperstown receiving over 5000 emails and noted author Roger Kahn canceling his planned August appearance to speak about his new book "October Men," a work chronicling the 1978 World Champion Yankee team, as a protest.
2006 At the home opener at RFK Stadium before the hometown team's 7-1 loss to the Mets, Dick Cheney, wearing a red-and-blue Nationals jacket, becomes the eighth sitting vice president to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. After the veep hears a chorus of boos, he bounces the pitch in front of home plate when throwing the ball from the front of the pitching mound.

2006 Bob Sheppard misses his first Yankee Stadium home opener since 1951 after sustaining a hip injury at his home yesterday. The long-time public address announcer will return to the microphone during the team's next homestand.
2006 Jeromy Burnitz, Ryan Doumit, Jack Wilson, and Craig Wilson hit solo home runs in the Pirates' 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at PNC Park. The quartet of round-trippers blasted by the Buc sluggers is each player's second homer of the season. (Ed. Note: Our thanks to L. Cole for suggesting this entry - LP)
2008 At Minute Maid Park, the Marlins set a club record, blasting six home runs en route to a 10-6 win against the Astros. Jeremy Hermida hit a pair of round-trippers, and teammates Mike Jacobs, Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, and Mike Rabelo contributed solo homers in Florida's fourth straight victory, matching the team's longest winning streak last season.
2010 Mike Leake becomes the first pitcher since Ariel Prieto in 1995 to make his big league debut without ever spending a day in the minor leagues. The 22-year-old Reds' right-handed starter gives up four hits in 6.2 innings, getting a no-decision in the Reds' eventual 3-1 victory over Chicago at the Great American Ball Park.
2010 The Diamondbacks score a team-record 13 runs in the fourth inning of a 15-6 victory over Pittsburgh at Chase Field. The infamous frame features eight hits, including a trio of home runs hit by Chris Young, Kelly Johnson, and starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, which also ties a franchise mark for a regular-season game.
2016 Rookie first baseman Tyler White, who set an Astro record for total hits in the first five games played with the team, is named the American League Player of the Week. The 25-year-old thirty-third-round pick out Western Carolina batted .556, scored three runs, blasted three home runs, and collected nine RBIs to cop the prestigious honor in the first week of his major league career.
2022 Taylor Rogers earns the save when he pitches a scoreless ninth inning in the Padres' 4-2 victory over the Giants, and his twin brother, Tyler, gives up the decisive run in the seventh to get tagged with the San Francisco loss. The 31-year-old siblings, who exchanged lineup cards at home plate before the Oracle Park contest, become the tenth set of twins to play in the majors and the fifth to play in the same game.

36 Fact(s) Found