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This Day in Baseball History
May 15th

38 Fact(s) Found
1862 The Union Grounds, the new home of the Eckfords, opens in Brooklyn. The Williamsburg ballpark is the first baseball facility enclosed entirely by a fence, allowing paying customers only to view the games.
1901 Watty Lee throws the first shutout in American League history when the visiting Washington Senators blank the Americans at Boston's Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, 4-0. The 21-year-old southpaw, who will finish the season with a 16-16 record, will be the author of two of the eight shutouts thrown in the Junior Circuit's inaugural season.
1912 After days of taking verbal abuse from Highlander fans at Hilltop Park, Ty Cobb jumps into the stands near the Tigers dugout and pummels Claude Lueker, who has no fingers on one hand and only two fingers on the other, due to an industrial accident. The 'Georgia Peach' lands at least a dozen punches to the head of the heckler, knocking his victim down before kicking the hapless fan in the lower body with his spikes.
1918 In a game that takes only 2 hours and 47 minutes to play, Senators' legend Walter Johnson goes the distance in an 18-inning contest, defeating Larry Williams, who also tosses a complete game, and the White Sox at Comiskey Park, 1-0. Eddie Ainsworth, who advances to third base on the Big Train's single, scores the winning run on a wild pitch.
1919 After both teams play a dozen scoreless innings at Ebbets Field, the Reds break out in the top 13th inning, scoring ten runs off Robins starter Al Mamaux, charged with only one earned run in his complete-game 10-0 loss in the Brooklyn ballpark. Cincinnati's right-hander Hod Eller, who tossed a no-hitter in his previous start, is the beneficiary of the blowout, also goes the distance to improve his record to 4-0.

1941 Joe DiMaggio begins his 56-game hitting streak with a hit against White Sox pitcher Edgar Smith. The Yankee outfielder will collect at least one hit in every game until July 17, when his unrivaled accomplishment, which captures the attention of a nation, is stopped in Cleveland with the help of outstanding defensive plays by third baseman Ken Keltner.
1944 In front of a paltry crowd of 1,014 fans at Crosley Field, Reds' 32-year-old southpaw Clyde Shoun, in his first start of the season, no-hits the Braves, 1-0. Chuck Aleno's fifth-inning round-tripper off Jim Tobin, the third baseman's only homer of the season, accounts for the lone run in the 79-minute contest.
1952 Virgil Trucks throws the first of his two no-hitters this season, blanking the Senators, 1-0, thanks to a two-out, two-strike ninth-inning home run by Vic Wertz. Due to a parade honoring war hero General Douglas MacArthur in downtown Detroit, a sparse crowd of only 2,215 fans is in attendance at Briggs Stadium to witness the second no-no in franchise history, the first since George Mullin accomplished the feat in 1912.
1956 Sal Maglie, obtained on waivers by Cleveland last season from the Giants, is shipped to the Dodgers for a hundred dollars after impressing Brooklyn in an exhibition game. The 'Barber' will post a 13-5 record along with a 2.89 ERA for the eventual NL Champs, finishing second to teammate Don Newcombe in the balloting for both the Cy Young and MVP awards.
1960 After being traded from the Phillies, Don Cardwell no-hits the Cardinals in his Cub debut. Thanks to three outstanding defensive catches, including Walt Moryn's game-ending grab, the Winston-Salem, NC native becomes the first pitcher to keep the opponents hitless in a first start after being traded.
1961 Teammates Felipe and Matty Alou both homer in the Giants' 14-1 victory over Chicago at Candlestick Park. In the first inning, Felipe's grand slam scores the first four runs of the game, and his younger brother puts on the finishing touch of the rout with an eighth-inning round-tripper.
1961 The American Basketball League's Cleveland Pipers, owned by George Steinbrenner, hire John McLendon, Jr. as the franchise's head coach, making him the first African American to be named to a top leadership position in any major professional sport. The well-respected college coach, leaving the post midway through the 1961-62 ABL season, will become the first of many of the future Yankee owner's employees to resign over the years due to interference from the front office.
1968 Hoping to fill the void created when the Braves moved to Atlanta, the White Sox play the first of nine games in Milwaukee. A crowd of 23,403 fans watches the Pale Hose lose to the Angels, 4-2, in Milwaukee's first American League contest since 1901.

“If they think we’re stupid for playing this game, how stupid are they for coming out to watch us." - DENNY McLAIN, commenting about the small crowds at Tiger Stadium at the start of the season.

At Tiger Stadium, the biggest crowd since Opening Day greets Denny McLain with a chorus of boos, showing their displeasure about comments he made on a local radio station where he called the fans "the biggest front-runners in the world." The right-hander, who will label the same fans the best in the world when they howl their approval after his 30th victory, was critical of their support at the start of the season because of Detroit's low attendance.

1970 After going 0-4 on Opening Day, Rico Carty proceeds to get a hit in 31 straight games. This season's batting champ's sixth-inning RBI single at Crosley Field sets the record for the longest hitting streak for the Braves since the franchise relocated to Atlanta.
1973 Nolan Ryan, who lasted just one-third of an inning in his previous start, throws the first of his seven career no-hitters, including another one in two months. The 'Ryan Express's 3-0 gem is the first no-hit game played in Kansas City's Royals Stadium.
1976 In his first major league start, rookie right-hander Mark Fidrych throws a complete-game two-hitter in the Tigers' 2-1 victory over Cleveland. 'The Bird', who holds the Tribe hitless for the first six innings, amuses his teammates and delights the Detroit fans with his unorthodox antics, which includes talking to the ball.
1978 The Twins, after the team’s owner overcomes his misgiving about Mike Marshall’s demeanor, sign the All-Star retired right-handed reliever, who will lead the league in saves next season with 32. Minnesota wins seven of its next eight games, with their new closer picking up four saves and win during the span.
1981 At Cleveland's Municipal Stadium, the Indians' Len Barker pitches the 11th perfect game in major league history, defeating the Blue Jays, 3-0. Catfish Hunter was the last pitcher to accomplish the feat, hurling a perfecto for the A's in 1968.

1989 The 12-24 Blue Jays fire manager Jimy Williams, replacing him with hitting coach Cito Gaston, after several well-publicized run-ins with the team's star. George Bell had made it widely known he did not want to be Toronto's designated hitter, despite his skipper's insistence he fill that role for the club.
1991 Joining Mike Hegan (1976), Charlie Moore (1980), and Robin Yount (1988), Paul Molitor becomes the fourth Brewer ever to hit for the cycle when he homers in the seventh inning of the team's 4-2 victory. The future Hall of Famer also tripled in the first, singled in the third, and doubled in the fifth frame in the Metrodome contest, getting all four hits off Minnesota starter Kevin Tapani.
1991 England's Queen Elizabeth is President George Bush's guest at the Oriole game at Memorial Stadium. The O's, who play in a city named after a British Lord, drop a 6-3 decision to Oakland.

1991 The Red Sox and White Sox play a contest that lasts four hours and 11 minutes, setting a new record for the slowest game ever played in nine innings. Boston's 9-6 victory at Fenway Park features ten pitchers who throw a total of 352 pitches.
1997 In an 8-2 win over San Diego, the Cubs score half their runs when Brian McRae, Doug Glanville, and Sammy Sosa all triple in the bottom of the seventh inning off Friar right-hander Tim Scott. Chicago third baseman Jose Hernandez also chips in with a run-producing three-bagger during the fourth inning of the Wrigley Field contest.
1998 On the day the Marlins trade Gary Sheffield, Bobby Bonilla, Charles Johnson, Jim Eisenreich, and Manuel Barrios to the Dodgers for Mike Piazza and Todd Zeile, the team hangs on to beat the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 8-7. In the first inning, the Fish connect for nine consecutive hits, a franchise record, and score seven runs, all without the help of their recently departed teammates.
2002 Astros' bench coach Tony Pena is named manager of the Royals, replacing interim skipper John Mizerock, who had taken over the reins when the team released Tony Muser on April 29. Houston also considered Buck Showalter and Bucky Dent for the position.
2005 The White Sox drop a 6-2 decision to the Orioles, marking the first time this season the team never had a lead in a game. The streak of being ahead in 37 straight games establishes a major league record from the beginning of a season and ties the 1934 Yankees and the 1942 Cardinals for the third-longest span in major league history.
2006 For the first time in baseball history, teams meet in a day-night, home and away interstate doubleheader. The Sioux Fall Canaries (SD) and Sioux City Explorers (IA) of the American Association (Independent) split the twin bill, with the I-29 rivals each losing its home game.
2008 Ryan Braun, National League's Rookie of the Year last season, and the Brewers come to terms on a $45 million, eight-year deal, the richest and longest in franchise history. The generous contract for a "zero-plus" player (less than one year major league service) replaces the $455,000, one-year renewal the team gave him during spring training.
2010 Owasso High School junior Dylan Bundy, needing his team to win both ends of a doubleheader to stave off his team's elimination from the state tournament, throws the final five innings of the opener and the first five innings of the nightcap. The future first-round pick (4th) of the Orioles, who will throw 181 pitches over the two games en route to striking out 20 batters in 10 innings, helps the Rams beat Jenks, 10-7 and 5-4, advancing his teammates to the Oklahoma state championship game. (Our thanks to Rick Heaton, sports editor/associate editor of the Owasso Reporter, for his help in providing details of this entry.)
2013 Royals TV honors longtime broadcaster Fred White, who died today due to complications from melanoma, with a half-inning of silence to start the game. The Homer (IL) native, an employee with the organization for the past 40 years, was the team's play-by-play announcer for 24 years, from 1974 to 1998.

2014 En route to becoming the first Mets rookie to get a hit in his first three games, Jacob deGrom singles in the third inning, ending the team's pitchers' 0-for-64 record-setting streak to start the season. The 25-year-old right-hander, who will collect hits in his next two starts, goes seven innings, taking the 1-0 loss to the Yankees at Citi Field.
2015 At Target Field, Jose Bautista hits home runs in the third, fourth, and sixth innings, contributing to the Blue Jays' 11-3 victory against Minnesota. The Toronto right-fielder, last season's homer leader, has clouted four round-trippers in a span of five at-bats, including his last plate appearance in yesterday's game.
2015 Mariner right-hander Felix Hernandez becomes the fourth-youngest hurler to record his 2,000th career strikeout when he whiffs Sam Fuld in the fifth inning of the team's 4-3 victory against Oakland at Safeco Field. Bert Blyleven, Walter Johnson, and Sam McDowell are the only three pitchers to reach the milestone faster than King Felix.

2016 Danny Valencia's third home run of the game, a ninth-inning two-run shot off Steve Geltz, gives the A's an eventual 7-6 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field. The 31-year-old third baseman's round-tripper is his fifth this season, all coming in the three-game weekend series in Tampa Bay.
2016 Reacting to a late slide by Jose Bautista at second base, Ranger infielder Rougned Odor delivers a devastating punch to the base runner, igniting an eighth-inning brawl in the team's 7-6 victory over the Blue Jays at Globe Life Park in Arlington. The injured outfielder has recent history with Toronto due to his infamous bat flip in last year's ALDS when he hit a dramatic, three-run homer and stayed at home plate, staring down the pitcher.

2018 MLB suspends Mariner infielder Robinson Cano for 80 games for violating baseball's joint drug agreement. The All-Star second baseman tested positive for Furosemide, a diuretic used for treating pulmonary edema, high blood pressure, kidney problems, and heart failure.
2019 Edwin Jackson becomes the first major leaguer to toil for 14 teams when he starts for the Blue Jays against the Giants. In his no-decision outing, the 35-year-old right-hander throws 77 pitches in five innings, allowing three runs and six hits in the team's eventual 4-3 at San Francisco's Oracle Park.

38 Fact(s) Found