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This Day in Baseball History
April 13th

49 Fact(s) Found

"Good ballplayers make good citizens." - Chester A. Arthur, 21st President of the United States.

Chester A. Arthur brings the Forest Cities ball club, a recently defunct franchise of the National Association, to the White House, making it the first professional team to visit with a president in Washington, D.C. Later in the season, the country's Commander-in-Chief will host the new National League's New York Gothams, who will become better known as the Giants in 1885.

1914 Major League Baseball returns to Baltimore as the first Federal League game is played with approximately 27,000 fans in attendance to watch the Terrapins beat the Buffalo Blues at Terrapin Park, 3-2. After the elimination of the hometown Orioles from the National League at the end of the 1899 season, John McGraw's club joined the new rival American League in 1901, staying in the Charm City for two seasons before moving to New York to become the Yankees, after briefly known as the Highlanders.
1921 After President Warren Harding, an avid baseball fan, tosses the ceremonial first pitch at Griffith Stadium, Washington loses to the Red Sox, 6-3. The contest marks the first time the Senators have failed in six Opening Days contests when the United States President throws out the first pitch.

1926 On Opening Day, 38-year-old Senators' hurler Walter Johnson strikes out a dozen A's batters when he outduels Eddie Rommel for 15 innings, beating Philadelphia at Washington's Griffith Stadium, 1-0. In his next-to-last season, the Big Train finishes the campaign 15-16 (.484) with an ERA of 3.63 for the fourth-place club.
1933 At Sportsman's Park in the season's second game, Browns' flycatcher Sammy West goes 6-for-6, collecting five singles and a double. The southpaw-swinging outfielder's offensive output isn't enough when the team drops a 4-3 decision to the White Sox in 11 innings.
1939 In a spring training game played in Norfolk, Virginia, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig, with apparent muscle loss, especially around his shoulders, goes deep twice in a 14-12 exhibition loss against the Dodgers. The second and ninth-inning home runs will be the last round-trippers the Iron Horse will ever hit.
1953 On Opening Day, thanks to the three-hit pitching of Max Surkont, the former Boston Braves win their first game representing the city of Milwaukee by beating the Reds, 2-0, at Crosley Field. The contest marks the first time since Baltimore shifted to New York to become the Highlanders, later renamed the Yankees, fifty years ago when a franchise moved to a different city.
1954 Not wanting to be associated with Communists, Cincinnati plays its first game as the Redlegs. The team will employ the new widely-accepted moniker for six seasons before the club reverts to the Reds, a shortened version of the Red Stockings, the team's original name from 1882-1899.

1953 Cincinnati Baseball Program

1954 Willie Mays, who missed nearly two seasons due to military service, homers in his first game back, a sixth-inning blast off Carl Erskine that will prove the difference in the Giants' 4-3 Opening Day victory over Brooklyn. The 22-year-old center fielder's prodigious poke at the Polo Grounds might have traveled over 600 feet if the upper left-field stands had not impeded the ball.
1954 Seven years after the team had threatened to strike over Jackie Robinson integrating baseball, North Carolina A&T graduate Tom Alston becomes the first black player to appear in a Cardinals uniform. The highly-touted first baseman, acquired from the PCL's San Diego club in exchange for veteran infielder Dick Sisler and $100,000, pops out to first base in his first major league at-bat.
1954 In the first season opener at Forbes Field in 61 years, Curt Roberts makes his major league debut, becoming the first black to play for the Pirates. In his first at-bat, the former Kansas City Monarch second baseman, signed by 72-year-old general manager Branch Rickey, triples off future Hall of Fame right-hander Robin Roberts in the first inning of the team's 4-2 victory over beat the Phillies.
1954 In a 9-8 victory over the Braves, Reds' outfielder Jim Greengrass hits four doubles, tying a 1901 Opening Day record set by Tigers' first baseman Pop Dillon. In the same contest, Hank Aaron goes hitless in five attempts in his first major league game with the Braves.
1954 Philadelphia A's second baseman 'Spook' Forrest Jacobs becomes the first major league rookie to collect four hits on Opening Day. In 1990, Expo second baseman Delino DeShields, going 4-for-6, becomes the second freshman to accomplish the feat on the first day of the season in the team's 6-5 loss to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
1954 On Opening Day at Busch Stadium, Wally Moon hits a home run off Paul Milner in his first major league at-bat in the Cardinals' 13-4 loss to the Cubs. The 24-year-old Redbird center fielder, the eventual National League's Rookie of the Year, also homers in the last at-bat of his freshman season.
1957 The Red Sox select right-hander Russ Meyer (1-6, 6.21) off waivers from the Redlegs. The 'Mad Monk' will appear in only two games for Boston, posting a 5.40 ERA in five innings of work, including a start.
1962 On a wintry day, the Mets play their first home game ever when only 12,000 fans show up at the Polo Grounds to see the return of National League baseball to the Big Apple. On Friday the 13th, the Pirates score the decisive run on Ray Diavault's two wild pitches in the eighth inning, beating the New York expansion team, 4-3.
1962 On Opening Day, Detroit's starting pitcher Frank Lary pulls a muscle while legging out a seventh-inning triple in the team's 5-3 victory over New York at Tiger Stadium. Subsequent arm problems resulting from compensating for the injury shorten the Yankee Killer's career.
1963 Reds' second baseman Pete Rose triples off Pirates' pitcher Bob Friend to collect his first major league hit. The future all-time hit leader, who will amass 4,256 hits during his 24-year career, had gone hitless in his first 11 major league at-bats.
1964 After beating the Reds, 6-3, in the traditional Opening Day game in Cincinnati, Houston is in first place for the first and only time as the Colt .45s. Next season, the team becomes known as the Astros, reflecting Houston's role in the nation's space program.

1969 After the Cubs, scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth, rally to beat the Expos, 7-6, twenty-seven-thousand fans spontaneously swarm Wrigley Field in an early-season frenzy. The fans' reaction marks the first animated display of affection for the team since 1960 when Don Cardwell threw his no-hitter on Chicago's north side.
1970 In their home opener at the Oakland Coliseum, a 2-1 victory over Milwaukee, the A's use gold-colored bases. The MLB's Rules Committee will quickly ban this colorful innovation, introduced by team owner Charlie O. Finley.
1975 The Astros retire Don Wilson's number 40 posthumously in tribute to the right-hander, who was found dead of asphyxiation by carbon monoxide in the garage of his family's home in January. The 29-year-old fireballer, the author of an 18-strikeout game that tied a major league record, spent nine seasons with Houston, compiling a 104-92 record and an ERA of 3.15.
1978 In New York's Opening Day 4-2 victory over Chicago, Reggie Jackson hits a three-run homer in the first inning, his fourth consecutive round-tripper at Yankee Stadium, after going deep three times in last year's Fall Classic finale. The crowd celebrates by showering the field with Reggie! Bars, a chocolate and peanut candy bar with a picture of the slugger given to every fan entering the game.

1978 On Opening Day, Roger Maris returns to Yankee Stadium for the first time since being traded to the Cardinals in 1966. After shunning many previous invitations, the prodigal son returns to help Mickey Mantle hoist the club's World Champion flag when team owner George Steinbrenner promises to install sod and lights on the baseball field at his children's school in Gainesville (FL).
1980 At Royals Stadium, Dan Quisenberry and Jamie Quirk become the first Q battery when Quiz enters the contest in the seventh inning. The pitcher-catcher combo combines to face nine Tigers in Kansas City's 3-2 victory, with the 27-year-old right-handed reliever leaving the game after giving up a two-run homer to Champ Summers with two outs in the ninth.
1983 The Phillies, trailing by five runs entering the ninth inning, beat the Mets, 10-9, when Bo Diaz hits a walk-off bases-loaded home run. The Philadelphia catcher's 'ultimate grand slam,' a home run that wins a game when a team is down by three runs in the bottom of the final frame, is tossed by Neil Allen, who faces only the last batter.
1984 On the same date he got his first major league hit 21 years earlier, Pete Rose, as a member of the Expos, doubles off Phillies hurler Jerry Koosman for his 4000th hit, becoming the first player in the National League to reach the milestone. Montreal beats Philadelphia in the Friday the 13th contest at Olympic Stadium, 5-1.
1985 With his team down 7-4 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Mariners' left fielder Phil Bradley erases the three-run deficit with a walk-off grand slam. The game-ending round-tripper comes off Twins' closer Ron Davis, who had given up a hit and two walks before surrendering the 'sayonara slam.'
1987 In San Diego's home opener, the Padres waste no time making up a two-run first-inning deficit when the first three batters up in the bottom of the first homer off of Giant starter Roger Mason. Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn, and John Kruk go deep to establish a major league record.

"I chose the Moose because they are funny, neat, and friendly. The Moose would show that the Mariners enjoy playing and that they still have a few tricks up their sleeves." -AMMON SPILLER, a fifth-grader from Central Elementary School in Ferndale, WA.

In front of the first sellout crowd (54,874 fans) at the Kingdome, Mariner Moose debuts on Opening Night, Friday the 13th, the first mascot in franchise history. The team chose a suggestion summited by Ammon Spiller, a fifth-grader from Ferndale, WA, from over 2,500 entries submitted by children 14 and under across the Pacific Northwest.

1993 Lee Smith passes Jeff Reardon to become the all-time major league saves leader when the Cardinals beat the Dodgers, 9-7. The right-hander reliever tosses a scoreless ninth inning at Chavez Ravine to record the 358th of his career.
1997 Wally the Green Monster, the Red Sox official mascot, makes his debut, emerging from the legendary left-field wall to everyone's surprise on Opening Day. The green furry creature, who the Fenway Faithful does not warmly receive at first, becomes more endearing to the fans when the former player and current broadcaster Jerry Remy begins to create stories about the costumed character, sharing them during televised NESN games.
1998 Before tonight's game against the Angels, a 500-pound concrete and steel beam falls into the empty loge boxes between third base and left field at Yankee Stadium. The mishap causes the postponement of the next two games scheduled for the Bronx ballpark, with the team scheduling one of the games across the river at Shea Stadium.
1999 At the Kingdome, Rangers' starter Mike Morgan beats the Mariners for the first time since 1980 when he hurled for the A's. The interval of 19 years, eight months, and nine days is the longest span a hurler has gone between victories over one team.
2002 After striking out three batters on nine pitches in the top of the ninth inning, Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen gets credit for the win when the Redbirds score a run in the bottom of the frame for a 2-1 walk-off victory over Houston. During his immaculate inning, the right-handed reliever's victims include Daryle Ward, Jose Vizcaino, and Julio Lugo, who all go down swinging.
2004 At SBC Park, Barry Bonds hits his 661st career homer off Brewers hurler Ben Ford to move up to third on the all-time home run career list, passing his godfather, Willie Mays, and leaving the 39-year-old Giant left fielder 53 behind Babe Ruth (714) and needs 94 to tie Hank Aaron (755). Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonator Larry Ellison, a Giants fan who also 'caught' and gave No. 660 to a grateful Bonds, scoops the historic 468-foot seventh-inning blast out of McCovey Cove and decides to keep this wet souvenir.
2005 A nearby pedestrian saves eight-year-old Patrick McCarthy from getting run down by a truck when the boy starts to run into Boston's Newbury Street traffic. The hero, who prevents the tragic accident by putting out his arm and saying, `Whoa, watch out, buddy,' is the boy's favorite player, Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez.
2008 At the new Yankee Stadium, workers dig up a tattered David Ortiz jersey buried in the concrete by a Red Sox fan working on the construction site who had hoped to put a hex on the Bronx Bombers. The ballpark's first 'souvenir' fetches a $175,100 bid in an auction to benefit the Jimmy Fund, a charity that raises money for cancer patients and their families at the Dana-Farber Institute.
2008 Reds hurler Johnny Cueto walks his first batter of the season, ending a string of 22 strikeouts without issuing a base-on-balls. The rookie right-hander is the only post-1900 pitcher to fan as many as 18 batters without throwing a ball four in his first two starts.
2009 Nick Swisher, who throws 22 pitches, allowing just one hit and one walk before retiring the next three consecutive batters, including a swinging strikeout of Gabe Kapler, becomes the first position player to pitch for the Yankees since Wade Boggs took the mound in 1997. During the 15-5 rout by the Rays at Tampa's Tropicana Field, the fun-loving first baseman volunteered to pitch the eighth inning to help save the bullpen after starter Chien-Ming Wang lasts only one inning.
2009 In a somber pregame meeting, Philadelphia president David Montgomery informs the players that Harry Kalas, who arrived at Nationals Park with the players on the team bus, collapsed in the broadcast booth and died shortly after being taken to a nearby hospital. In tribute to the 73-year-old Hall of Fame voice of the Phillies, Shane Victorino, Ryan Howard, and Scott Eyre, before their 9-8 victory over Washington, light up a cigarette and pass it around in honor of the broadcaster, whose smoking habit was legendary.

2009 LA's second baseman Orlando Hudson completes his cycle in the Chavez opener with a sixth-inning triple down the right-field line in the team's 11-1 rout of the Giants. The 31-year-old Darlington (SC) native, playing his first home game since signing with the team as a free agent, becomes the first Dodger to hit for the cycle at Dodger Stadium and the first franchise player to accomplish the feat in a nine-inning game since Gil Hodges did it in 1949.
2010 The 'Bring Back Orbit' Facebook group hopes to convince the Astros to reinstate its former mascot, who was replaced by Junction Jack in 2000 when the team moved from the Astrodome to Enron Field. The social media effort pays off when the franchise announces the lovable lime-green outer-space creature's return for 2013, their first season in the American League.

2011 Chipper Jones spoils Florida's bid for a shutout when he homers in the bottom of the ninth inning of the Braves' 5-1 loss at Turner Field. The Atlanta third baseman joins Eddie Murray (1,917) and Mickey Mantle (1,509), becoming only the third switch hitter in major league history to compile 1,500 RBIs.
2012 Josh Thole's bizarre base running blunder leads to a very odd double play in the second inning of the Mets' 5-2 victory at Citizens Bank Park. After successfully reaching second base on R.A. Dickey's sacrifice bunt, the 25-year-old Mets' catcher shocks everyone, including the Philadelphia defense, by returning to first base, where he is tagged out to complete the unusual 3-1-6-4 twin killing.
2012 After surrendering a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin to start the game, Aaron Harang strikes out the next nine consecutive Padres in L.A.'s 9-8 victory at Dodger Stadium. The 34-year-old right-hander's performance is one more than Johnny Podres' franchise mark of 8 but falls one short of the major league record held by Tom Seaver, who fanned ten straight Friars for the Mets in 1970.
2015 Jon Lester finally attempts a pickoff at first base, ending a streak covering 66 appearances. The Cubs southpaw, who signed a six-year free-agent deal worth $155 million to start for Chicago this season, last threw over to first base on April 30, 2013, while pitching for the Red Sox.
2019 Chris Davis ends his recording-setting streak of consecutive at-bats without a hit with a two-run single in the first inning of the Orioles' 9-5 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Baltimore first baseman's safety snaps the major league record at 54 straight hitless at-bats by a position player, easily extending the previous mark of 46 set by utilityman Eugenio VĂ©lez, who established the dubious distinction over two seasons while playing with the Giants (0-for-9) and Dodgers (0-for-37), respectively in 2010 and 2011.
2022 In his first start of the season, Clayton Kershaw throws seven perfect innings when the Dodgers beat the Twins at Target Field, 7-0. The 34-year-old southpaw, returning from last year’s elbow surgery, throws 80 pitches, striking out 13 batters during his seven frames of perfection.

49 Fact(s) Found