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This Day in Baseball History
April 18th

54 Fact(s) Found
1899 John McGraw, 26, makes his debut as a major league manager when his Orioles enjoy a 5-3 victory over the Giants, a team he will later manage for 30 years. 'Mugsy,' a 1937 Hall of Fame inductee, will finish his 33-year managerial career with a 2763-1948 (.586) record, winning ten pennants and capturing three World Championships.
1923 On Opening Day, in front of over 72,000 fans, Babe Ruth hits Yankee Stadium's first home run, a two-run blast off Red Sox hurler Howard Ehmke, helping to beat Boston, 4-1. The new $2.5-million ballpark is the first to feature three decks.
1923 At South Field on Columbia's campus in New York City, a collegian hurler strikes out seventeen batters to establish a school record but loses the game due to wildness to Williams, 5-1. Lou Gehrig, the young southpaw, will become better known for his hitting prowess with the Yankees.
1925 At his Waldorf-Astoria apartment, 65-year-old Dodgers owner Charles H. Ebbets dies of a heart attack. Later in the day, his team opens the home season in Brooklyn, losing to the Giants at Ebbets Field, 7-0.
1925 The Cardinals rout the Cubs, 20-5, in a game that sees Rogers Hornsby score five runs. Redbirds' third baseman Les Bell leads the Wrigley Field 22-hit attack, compiling 12 total bases with a pair of home runs and two doubles.
1929 The Yankees will become the second team to wear numbers on uniforms when rain postpones their Opening Day game, giving the Indians the distinction of being the first to don the digits. The assignment of the numbers, Earle Combs #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, and Bill Dickey #10 (#'s 8-10 are all catchers) is the result of the player's position in the lineup.
1929 Babe Ruth hits a home run in his first at-bat since his marriage yesterday, a first-inning solo shot off Red Ruffing in the Yankees' eventual 7-3 victory over Boston. As the 'Bambino' rounds second base, he tips his hat to his new bride, Claire Hodgson.
1939 The five-year ban on broadcasting games played by the New York major league teams ends when Red Barber, hired away from the Reds by Larry McPhail, calls Brooklyn's 7-3 loss to the Giants at Ebbets Field. In 1934, the two National League teams and the Yankees agreed not to air their games on the radio, fearing the exposure would reduce the number of fans attending games.
1939 In Brooklyn, Red Barber calls the action in the first broadcast of a regular-season Dodger game, a 7-3 loss to New York at Ebbets Field. The future Hall of Fame announcer was brought in from Cincinnati by the team's new president, Larry MacPhail, who had hired the 'Ol Redhead' when he was in a similar post with the Reds.
1942 Due to the fear of a Japanese attack, General L. Dewitt, the Fourth Army Commander, asks the Pacific Coast League teams to limit night-game attendance to the previous year's average number of fans, 3,000 fans for most clubs. Later in the season, the commanding officer will prohibit all evening contests scheduled for ballparks within 15 miles of the Pacific Ocean, making San Diego the only club not having to shuffle their starting times.
1946 In a game against the Jersey Giants at Roosevelt Stadium, Montreal Royals' on-deck batter George Shuba congratulates Jackie Robinson with a handshake after his teammate hits his first professional home run. The gesture will become known as 'A Handshake for the Century' because the deed marks the first time a white player publicly acknowledges the accomplishment of a black teammate. Photo courtesy of Mike Shuba

Photo courtesy of Mike Shuba
1947 Dodger president Branch Rickey names 62-year-old Burt Shotton, a team scout, to replace Leo Durocher, suspended by Commissioner Happy Chandler ten days ago for acts "unbecoming to a major league manager." Brooklyn's new skipper, the son of a sailor who operated freighters on Lake Erie, reluctantly takes over the team two games into the season and manages the club for one year in his street clothes while wearing the team's hat and jacket.
1950 Eddie Waitkus, who missed most of last season after being shot in June by a deranged fan in a Chicago hotel room, goes 3-for-5 in the Phillies' Opening Day 9-1 victory over the Dodgers at Shibe Park. The Philadelphia first baseman will be named the Associated Press Comeback Player of the Year, scoring a team-high 102 runs while playing every National League Champions game.
1950 The Yankees defeat the Red Sox on Opening Day, 15-10, after trailing 9-0 after five innings. The Bronx Bombers take the lead when they score nine times in the top of the eighth frame at Fenway Park, thanks to eight hits, none being home runs, and three walks surrendered by Boston's starter Mel Parnell and four relievers.

1950 In the first Opening Day game scheduled as a night contest, the Cardinals beat the Pirates at Sportsman's Park, 4-2. Gerry Staley wins, and Stan Musial homers in the St. Louis contest.
1950 Former Cleveland Buckeyes star of the Negro American League, Sam Jethroe, becomes the first black player for the Braves. The 33-year-old highly-touted prospect, leading the majors with 35 stolen bases, will be named the National League's Rookie of the Year.
1950 Vin Scully calls the first game of his 67-year career with the Dodgers, detailing Brooklyn's 9-1 defeat to the Phillies on Opening Day at Philadelphia's Shibe Park. The 22-year-old broadcaster, who will become the team's primary announcer just three seasons later, will be awarded the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award by Bud Selig in 2014.
1950 The Phillies play their first game with the team's name officially changed back from Blue Jays, routing the Dodgers at Shibe Park, 9-1. Skipper Eddie Sawyer has his team wear red pinstriped uniforms, a design reminiscent of the club's look in the early 1900s.

1952 On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays becomes unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field left-field wall after chasing pinch-hitter Bob Morgan's seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap. All three Dodgers baserunners cross the plate but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making a fantastic catch for the third out to end the inning.
1952 Bob Friend tosses a five-hitter in the Pirates' home Opener, blanking the Reds at Forbes Field‚ 3-0. After beating the Cardinals yesterday, Pittsburgh's second consecutive victory is an accomplishment not surpassed when the team does not have a winning streak longer than two games all season‚ setting a twentieth-century mark for futility. 
1955 In his first major league appearance, 25-year-old Pirates reliever Al Grunwald, getting just one batter out, gives up a single to Don Mueller, a double to Monte Irvin, a triple to Willie Mays, and a homer to Whitey Lockman. The Giants' fourth-inning 'cycle' contributes to an eight-run frame in the team's eventual 12-3 victory over Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds.
1956 Third base umpire Ed Rommel becomes the first major league arbitrator to wear glasses during the Yankees' 9-5 victory over Washington at Griffith Stadium. The bespectacled arbitrator, known as the father of the modern knuckleball, played 13 seasons with Philadelphia, compiling an impressive 171-119 record with the A's from 1920 to 1932.

1957 In the Indians' second game of the season, Roger Maris hits a game-winning grand slam in the top of the 11th inning against Detroit at Briggs Stadium. In his major league debut two days ago, the 22-year-old rookie outfielder went 3-for-5 in the Tribe's 3-2 loss to Chicago at Cleveland Stadium.
1958 The Dodgers played their first home game on the West Coast in front of a National League record crowd of 78,672. In the three-hour LA Coliseum contest, Carl Erskine beats Al Worthington and the Giants, 6-5.
1959 Branch Rickey, former general manager of the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates, is appointed the president of the Continental League. The third potential major league never materializes but helps accelerate the expansion of the existing clubs, including putting a National League team in New York to fill the void created by the departure of the Giants and the Dodgers to the West Coast last season.
1960 Ted Williams becomes the first major leaguer to homer in four different decades when he blasts a pitch from Senators' right-hander Camilo Pascual over the center-field wall for the only run in the Red Sox's 10-1 Opening Day loss at Griffith Stadium. As a 20-year-old in 1939, the 'Kid' hit the first of his 521 career round-trippers, a first-inning two-run shot off Philadelphia's Bud Thomas at Fenway Park. 
1964 In the top of the third inning, Los Angeles southpaw Sandy Koufax throws the second immaculate innings of his two career when he strikes the side out on nine pitches, quickly setting down Leo Cardenas, Johnny Edwards, and Jim Maloney. In the next frame, Cincinnati will score all of the game's runs, thanks to Deron Johnson's three-run homer, beating the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine contest, 3-0.
1966 Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills becomes the first batter to collect a hit on artificial turf in a major league game when he singles to center off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts. The Astrodome's new playing surface, initially called Chemgrass by the Monsanto Company, cannot be made quickly enough and will cover only the infield, with the outfield remaining painted dirt until July.
1970 Denny Doyle's first-inning single is the only hit allowed by Nolan Ryan when he blanks the Phillies at Shea Stadium, 7-0. The 23-year-old right-hander ties the Mets' mark established by Jerry Koosman in 1968 with 15 strikeouts, but Tom Seaver will break the short-lived record, whiffing 19 Padres later in the week.
1972 The Yankees play a night game at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day for the first time in franchise history. The Bronx Bombers, behind the three-hitter by thrown Steve Kline, beat the Brewers in the Bronx ballpark, 3-0.
1973 Dave Rader completes an unusual unassisted double play for a catcher in the top of the 11th inning in San Francisco's 4-3 victory over Atlanta at Candlestick Park. After catching an attempted popped-up sacrifice bunt with Braves runners on first and second base, the Giants' backstop races to second base and steps on the bag before Sonny Jackson, who had headed toward third on contact, can get back.
1978 Lyman Bostock, a highly-sought free agent in the offseason who hit .336 for the Twins last year, offers not to accept a salary for April if he doesn't begin producing after going 2-for-39 (.051) to start the season. The 27-year-old outfielder raises his batting average to .296, the club's highest, before being fatally shot near the end of the season as an unintentional victim while riding a passenger in a car.
1978 After getting ahead in the count 3-0, Reggie Jackson, knowing he has a green light to hit away, feigns to be upset by getting a bogus take sign from third base coach Dick Howser. Oriole right-hander Tippy Martinez, deceived by the batter's behavior, grooves a fastball down the middle of the plate that the Yankee slugger promptly puts over the fence, giving the Yankees a 4-3 walk-off victory.
1981 Joining Walter Johnson, Gaylord Perry, Bob Gibson, and Nolan Ryan, Reds' right-hander Tom Seaver becomes the fifth major leaguer to collect 3,000 strikeouts when he whiffs Cardinals' infielder Keith Hernandez in the team's 10-4 loss at Riverfront Stadium. Hernandez is the fourth first baseman to mark a milestone K for the future Hall of Fame hurler, with Donn Clendenon being strikeout victim number 1, followed by Willie Montanez at #1,000 and Dan Driessen at #2,000.
1981 In International League action at McCoy Stadium, the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings begin the longest professional game ever played. At 4:07 am, the league suspends the 32-inning contest knotted at 2-2, completed later in the season, with the Red Sox scoring the winning run in the 33rd inning.
1982 Joe Torre's Braves set a National League record when they win their 11th straight game to start the season, beating Houston at the Astrodome, 6-5. The eventual NL West Division champs, finishing the campaign with an 89-73 record, will extend the mark to 13-0 when they add two more victories against Cincinnati at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
1987 Mike Schmidt becomes the 14th player in major league history to hit 500 career home runs. The Phillies' third baseman's three-run ninth-inning shot off Don Robinson is cheered by the Pirates fans and his teammates in the team's eventual 8-6 victory at Three Rivers Stadium.

1991 A sellout crowd watch the White Sox rout the Tigers, 16-0, in the first game played at the new Comiskey Park. Jack McDowell gives up the park's first homer to Detroit's first baseman Cecil Fielder.
1997 Rangers' right-hander Roger Pavlik begins the game by walking the first four batters, equalling the dubious feat last accomplished in 1990 by Tiger right-hander Randy Nosek. The Blue Jays take advantage of the All-Star hurler's wildness by scoring five times in the frame en route to a 6-5 victory at the Ballpark in Arlington.
2000 Adam Kennedy ties a franchise mark by driving in eight runs during the Angels' 16-10 rout of Toronto. The Halo infielder's run-producing single, three-run triple, and grand slam account for his RBIs in the SkyDome contest.
2000 After serving a 12-game suspension for disrespectful comments about minorities, John Rocker pitches a scoreless ninth inning against the Phillies in a 4-3, 12-inning home victory. The outspoken Braves' reliever receives a standing ovation as he enters the game.
2000 During the Angels' 16-10 victory over the Blue Jays, a SkyDome promotion becomes a bit too frank when fans get hit with bits of hot dogs when the wieners fall apart after being shot by the 'Hot Dog Blaster.' Undaunted by the fallout, promoters continue to propel the missiles even though the hot dogs repeatedly splatter the onlookers.
2001 After a 4-10 start, former Royals skipper Hal McRae replaces Larry Rothschild as the Devil Rays' manager. The team's first and only pilot, Rothschild, finished last for three consecutive years, compiling a 205-294 record for the expansion team.
2002 After the Brewers' dismal start of 3-12, GM Dean Taylor releases manager Davey Lopes. The fired skipper, who compiled a 144-195 overall record with Milwaukee, will be replaced by bench coach Jerry Royster on an interim basis.
2004 At Wrigley Field, Sammy Sosa surpasses Ernie Banks as the Cubs' all-time home run leader when he goes deep off Reds right-hander Paul Wilson in the first frame in the team's 11-10 loss when he slugs his 513th dinger for the franchise. Slammin' Sammy adds another round-tripper in the third inning to bring his current career total to 543 homers en route to finishing with 609 during his 18-year tenure in the majors.

2007 At Chicago's U.S. Cellular Field, Mark Buehrle hurls the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history and the first home no-no since 1967. The South-side southpaw faces the minimum of 27 batters, thanks to picking off Sammy Sosa, who walked in the fifth inning.
2008 In his final season, Braves right-hander Tom Glavine was put on the disabled list for the first time during his 22-year major league tenure. The 42-year-old southpaw's ailing right hamstring needs more time to heal before he can pursue his 304th and next-to-last career win.
2008 The T-Bones, a minor league team in the independent Northern League, cancel the Michael Vick "Welcome to the Neighborhood Night" after receiving numerous complaints about the promotion. The plans for the event included the teams wearing black and white striped jerseys and orange jumpsuit-style uniforms to mock the former Falcons quarterback, who is serving a 23-month sentence in the nearby Leavenworth prison after pleading guilty to federal charges related to dogfighting.
2008 Conor Jackson, needing only a double to complete the cycle, hustles to get his second triple of the game. The Diamondbacks outfielder's unselfish offensive output helps pace the club to a 9-0 win over the Padres. 
2008 The Dodgers announce the fans' selection of Joe Beimel in an online poll during spring training as the player whose likeness will appear in an August 12th bobblehead promotion. The 30-year-old southpaw reliever, considered a long shot for the honor, gets the nod due to an intense internet campaign orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge.

2011 Tiger outfielder Ryan Raburn becomes the first player to hit a ball off Seattle's Safeco Field's retractable roof when his first-inning pop fly strikes one of the trusses approximately 175 feet above the playing field. According to the rules, the redirected foul ball, which falls between Mariner catcher Miguel Olivo and third baseman Chone Figgins, would have been the second out of the inning if caught.

2012 Beginning with the second pitch of the fifth inning through the seventh pitch of the eighth frame, A's right-hander Bartolo Colon throws 38 consecutive strikes en route to winning the team's 6-0 decision over the Angels. The Oakland starter faces eleven straight batters who will never see a pitch called a ball in the Anaheim contest.
2012 A memorable pitching duel between Cliff Lee, who throws ten innings of scoreless ball against San Francisco, and Matt Cain, who doesn't give up a run to the Phillies in his nine innings of work, ends with the Giants beating the Phillies, 1-0, in 11 innings at AT&T Park. The only run in the two-hours and 27-minute extra-inning contest scores thanks to Melky Cabrera's one-out RBI single off Antonio Bastardo.
2021 Shane Bieber becomes the first major leaguer to begin the season with at least ten strikeouts in his first four starts. The Indians' right-hander fans 13 in the team's 6-3 victory over the Reds at the Great American Ball Park.

54 Fact(s) Found