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This Day in Baseball History
April 25th

36 Fact(s) Found
1876 The Chicago White Stockings make their National League debut with a 4-0 victory over the Grays at the Louisville Baseball Park. The franchise, once known as the Colts and Orphans before becoming the Cubs in 1903, will finish in first place in the circuit's inaugural season.
1901 On Opening Day at Bennett Park in Detroit, the Tigers tally ten times in the bottom of the ninth to beat Milwaukee, 14-13. The contest is the American League's first game in Detroit.
1933 Yankees rookie hurler Russ Van Atta goes 4-for-4 and shuts out the Senators, 16-0, in his major league debut. The 26-year-old southpaw will finish his rookie season with a 12-4 record, batting .283 in 67 plate appearances.

1933 Goudey Baseball Card Russ Van Atta

1933 At Griffith Stadium, the benches clear when Yankee outfielder Ben Chapman viciously spikes Buddy Myer and then responds to the Senators infielder's retaliation by punching and hurling anti-semitic remarks at the injured Jewish second baseman. The ugly 20-minute brawl, which spreads into the stands and includes over 300 fans getting into the action, will result in suspensions and fines for the players involved.
1933 Philadelphia's 25-year-old shortstop Dick Bartell becomes the first major leaguer to stroke four consecutive doubles in a nine-inning game. Rowdy Richard's quartet of two-baggers helps the Phillies defeat the Braves at the Baker Bowl, 7-1.
1937 Giants southpaw Cliff Melton becomes the first rookie to fan at least ten batters in his major league debut, finishing with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game loss to the Braves at the Polo Grounds. The 25-year-old from Brevard, NC, who loses the 3-1 contest due to New York's weak defense in the ninth inning, will hold the rookie record for K's in his debut until Dodger freshman Karl Spooner whiffs 15 batters in his first major league start in 1954.
1948 Larry Doby ties a major league record by striking out five times in one game. The Indians' right fielder's performance doesn't hurt the Tribe when the team beats Detroit at Briggs Stadium, 7-4.
1958 In front of 60,635 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum, the Dodgers beat the Cardinals, 5-2, setting a National League record for the largest crowd to attend a regular-season night game. The mark will last until 917 more patrons appear next season on Opening Night to watch their team defeat the Redbirds again.
1963 In their second year of existence, the Mets win a game on a Thursday for the first time in franchise history when they beat Chicago at Wrigley Field, 3-2. During their inaugural season, the expansion team failed to register a victory in the 15 games played on the fifth day of the week.
1967 Jim Lefebvre commits three errors in the fourth frame, paving the way for the Braves' 7-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles third baseman commits another in the top of the ninth inning when he boots Hank Aaron's grounder.
1970 Earl Wilson nearly scores after he strikes out when Minnesota catcher Paul Ratliff, after trapping the third strike, inadvertently rolls the ball to the mound instead of tagging the batter or throwing it to first. With the Twins heading towards the dugout, the Detroit hurler runs around the bases, heading home when outfielder Brant Alyea retrieves the ball, throwing it to shortstop Leo Cardenas, who is covering the plate to complete a unique 7-6-7 run-down play.
1972 After getting off to a 4-7 start, the Padres fire Preston Gomez and replace the only manager the team has known since its inception in 1969 with 41-year-old third base coach Don Zimmer. The Cuban-born skipper averaged over 103 losses per season during his three-year tenure with the expansion team.
1975 Dodger starter Andy Messersmith strokes three doubles at Candlestick Park. The trio of two-baggers contributes to the team's 6-5 victory over the Giants, with the right-hander scoring two runs and driving in another en route to his victory.
1976 During the fourth inning at Dodger Stadium, Rick Monday becomes a national hero when he takes away an American flag about to be set on fire by two trespassers (a father and son) in the outfield. The Cubs' 30-year-old fly chaser, who served six years in the Marine Reserves, will be presented the flag a month later in a pregame ceremony at Wrigley Field by LA executive Al Campanis as a gesture of patriotic thanks.

1977 George Foster bangs out four hits (two home runs, a double, and a single), collecting seven RBIs and scoring five times in the Reds' 23-9 rout of the Braves. Cincinnati ties a National League record by scoring a dozen runs in an inning.
1978 After the Cardinals get off to a slow start, the team fires manager Vern Rapp and replaces him with fan-favorite Ken Boyer. The former Redbirds' third baseman will pilot the club to a fifth-place finish, compiling a 62-81 record during his tenure in the dugout this season.
1978 The Phillies replace their Revolutionary Era twin mascots, Philadelphia Phil and Philadelphia Phillis, with the Phillie Phanatic, who debuts at Veterans Stadium in a game against the Cubs. According to his official biography, the large, furry, green bipedal flightless bird with an extendable tongue, a native of the Galápagos Islands, is the team's biggest fan.
1981 Hoping to give his pitchers an edge, Maury Wills gets the Kingdome's ground crew to enlarge the batter box, making it a foot closer to the mound. Before the game, A's skipper Billy Martin shares his suspicions with the umpire Bill Kunkel, resulting in the American League suspending the exposed Mariners manager for two games for "doctoring the batter's box."
1984 In a 2-1 victory over Montreal at Olympic Stadium, Mets right-hander Dwight Gooden becomes the first teenager to strike out ten batters in a major league game since Bert Blyleven accomplished the feat with the Twins in 1970. The 19-year-old rookie will lead the National League with 276 strikeouts this season.
1986 Although Craig Lefferts, a usually reliable relief pitcher, gives up the lead in the 12th inning, he saves the day when he drives an 0-2 curveball over the fence, giving the Padres a 9-8 walk-off victory over the Giants at Jack Murphy Stadium. The 28-year-old weak-hitting southpaw, not expected to play due to a 102-degree fever before the game, becomes the first hurler to end a game with a home run since 1969 when Orioles right-hander Jim Hardin went deep off Royals' reliever Moe Drabowsky.

1987 Billy Bean becomes the tenth rookie to collect four hits in his major league debut. Detroit's left fielder compiles two singles and a pair of doubles, batting leadoff in the team's 13-2 rout of Kansas City at Tiger Stadium.

1989 With former players on hand, including Billy Herman, Andy Pafko, and Billy Williams, the Cubs celebrate the 75th anniversary of Wrigley Field with a 4-0 victory over L.A. at the Friendly Confines. The 'ceremonial' first pitch of the game, a spitball, is thrown by 97-year-old Bob Wright, who appeared in two games for Chicago in 1915 when the team played their home games at West Side Park.
1995 At Miami's Joe Robbie Stadium, the 257-day baseball strike ends when the Dodgers beat the Marlins, 8-7, with outfielder Raul Mondesi providing much of the offense with two home runs and four RBIs.The work stoppage caused last season to end early, forcing the cancellation of the World Series and delaying the opening of this campaign.
1997 In a 13-8 Mariners victory over the Blue Jays at the SkyDome, center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr. hits three home runs, two off Roger Clemens and another off Mike Timlin. The barrage helps Junior break the record for the most round-trippers hit in April with 13.
1997 The Indians establish a team record, hitting eight home runs in one game when Matt Williams (3), David Justice (2), Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar, and Chad Curtis go deep in an 11-4 rout of the Brewers at County Stadium. With the additional three homers slammed by Milwaukee, the teams combine to tie a major league mark for round-trippers in a nine-inning night game, with 11.
1998 The Iron Man's streak continues when Cal Ripken plays in his 2,500th consecutive game, an 8-2 Orioles victory over Oakland at Camden Yards. During the milestone contest, the Baltimore third baseman goes two-for-five, knocking in three runs.
1999 The fifth monument unveiled in Yankee Stadium history pays tribute to Joe DiMaggio, who died last month at 84. "Joltin' Joe" becomes the fifth Bronx Bomber to be honored in this fashion, joining Miller Huggins (1931), Lou Gehrig (1942), Babe Ruth (1949), and Mickey Mantle (1996).

DiMaggio Plaque small

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1999 On the day the team pays tribute to Joe DiMaggio, lifelong Yankee fan Paul Simon, standing in centerfield, performs his 1968 classic Mrs. Robinson. The singer-songwriter's iconic lyrics, "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you," bring cheers from the Bronx ballpark's enthusiastic sellout crowd.

2000 Supporting the work stoppage by Cuban-Americans over the Elian Gonzalez controversy, Marlins Alex Fernandez, Vladimir Nunez, Michael Tejera, and Mike Lowell, Rays' Jose Canseco, and Mets' Rey Ordonez and Cookie Rojas do not participate in today's games. The protest over an immigration ruling stems from the federal district court's decision that the five-year-old boy must be returned to his father in Cuba, taking him away from his maternal relatives living in Miami.
2001 Rickey Henderson breaks the career walks record established by Babe Ruth in 1935 when he receives his 2,063rd base on balls. The 42-year-old Padres outfielder takes his historic stroll leading off the ninth inning on a free pass issued by Philadelphia's Jose Mesa in the team's 5-3 loss at Qualcomm Stadium.
2007 In a sixteen-strikeout performance against the Diamondbacks in a 3-2 Padres loss at Chase Field, Jake Peavy comes within one check-swing from tying Tom Seaver's major league record of ten consecutive strikeouts. The right-hander loses his bid to equal the mark when Eric Byrnes walks after apparently swinging on a 3-2 pitch, a questionable call made by the first base umpire Jeff Kellogg.

2012 David Wright becomes the Mets' all-time RBI leader with 735 runs batted in when he hits a two-run home run in the team's 5-1 victory over the Marlins at Citi Field. The 29-year-old third baseman passes Darryl Strawberry's franchise mark with his sixth-inning blast off Mark Buehrle.
2015 A Honus Wagner T206 baseball card, rated as a three on a scale from one to 10, is auctioned for $1.32 million in online bidding to an anonymous buyer. Robert Edward Auctions of New Jersey announced the same card, sold by an unnamed owner, fetched $791,000 at auction in 2008.

2015 A team takes the field with three Canadian position players in the starting lineup for the first time. Outfielders Michael Saunders (Victoria) and Dalton Pompey (Mississauga), along with catcher Russell Martin (East York), collectively go 1-for-9 in the Blue Jays' 4-2 loss to the Rays at Tropicana Field.
2017 Chris Coghlan avoids being tagged at home plate when he goes airborne, soaring over Cardinal catcher Yadier Molina to score in the Blue Jays' 6-5 victory over St. Louis in 11 innings. The improbable run, driven in by Kevin Pillar's triple, gives the team a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning of the Busch Stadium contest.

2017 On a frigid night at Coors Field, Trea Turner completes the third cycle in Nationals history with a bases-loaded triple in the seventh inning in the team's 15-12 victory over the Rockies. The 23-year-old former NC State baseball standout joins Christian Guzman (2008) and Brad Wilkerson (2005), who have also accomplished the feat after the franchise moved to Washington, D.C.

36 Fact(s) Found