This Day In Baseball April 11
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 11
1907 – On Opening Day, New York Giants catcher Roger Bresnahan wears shin guards for the first time in a major league game. The leg guards, usually used in cricket, come in handy, protecting Bresnahan from a 5th-inning foul tip. Other catchers will soon follow Bresnahan’s lead and wear similar shin guards.
Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3, in a game which features 13 ground rule doubles hit by the visitors because of the overflow crowd being placed 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.
The Yankees trade two minor leaguers along with rookie right-hander Mel Wright to the Cardinals in exchange 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.
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 blast in the eighth will account for twenty percent of his four-year career total of 15 round-trippers.
1963 – Warren Spahn of the Milwaukee Braves becomes the all-time winningest left-handed pitcher in major league history. Spahn’s 6 – 1 victory over the New York Mets gives him 328 career wins, moving him ahead of Eddie Plank as the all-time winningest left-hander. Except for Duke Snider’s home run, no Mets get past second base.
Former Houston right-hander Jim Umbricht’s ashes are privately scattered from a small plane over Colt Stadium, his home ballpark with the Colt .45’s 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.
The Pilots, who won 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.
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, which would have ended if not for the team’s exhibition contest in Annapolis, is in its infancy at 444 games.
4/11/1990: The Indians were playing their first game of the season against the Yankees at home. The weather conditions were terrible, with a 36-degree temperature and a 12-mile-per-hour wind that made the wind chill 19 degrees. Snow stopped the game in the middle of the second inning for 59 minutes. In the bottom of the third, Cory Snyder hit a home run, having already doubled in the second frame. Snow started again in the fourth inning and the game was stopped with one out in the bottom of the inning. The Tribe was ahead 2-1 at the time.
1990 – Pitchers Mark Langston and Mike Witt of the California Angels combine on a 1 – 0 no-hitter of the Seattle Mariners. The Angels remove Langston from the game early because of a spring training lockout that has limited preseason workouts. The game marks the first combined no-hitter since 1976, when Blue Moon Odom and Francisco Barrios of the Chicago White Sox no-hit the Oakland Athletics.
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.
1997 – To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the integration of baseball, Sharon Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s daughter, and Pumpsie Green each throw out the first pitch at Fenway Park. In 1959, Green became the first black player to appear in a Boston Red Sox uniform, making the Red Sox the last team to integrate in the major leagues.
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 to the first black to appear in a Red Sox uniform, making Boston the last team to integrate in the major leagues.
2001 – Greg Maddux of the Atlanta Braves is almost flawless for seven innings, combining with a pair of relievers to pitch a one-hitter in a 2 – 0 victory over the New York Mets. The Mets wind up with only one runner against Maddux, Mike Remlinger and John Rocker, when Todd Zeile lines a single about a foot beyond second baseman Quilvio Veras’s glove with one out in the 2nd inning.
2003 – In the first of their “home” games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Montreal Expos rout pitcher David Cone and the New York Mets, 10 – 0. The Montreal franchise, which is now owned by Major League Baseball, will play 22 of its games here this season as a new venue is sought for the poorly-attended Canadian club.
Bronson Arroyo, who hit no home runs in his first six major league seasons, hits his second in six days off Glendon Rusch in the Cincinnati Reds’ 9 – 2 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Arroyo, acquired by Cincinnati in a March 20th trade with the Boston Red Sox, also pitches seven shutout innings, beating Chicago for the second time in two starts. His solo shot six days ago against Rusch at Great American Ball Park was his first homer since high school and first major league hit since 2001.
At the home opener at RFK Stadium prior to 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 the veep is greeted with a chorus of loud boos, he bounces the pitch in front of home plate, throwing the ball from directly in front of the pitching mound.
For the third time in the past six years, Major League Baseball adopts a stricter steroids policy. Increased testing is instituted and more power is given to outside administrators. Players named in the Mitchell Report are given amnesty and suspensions for Jose Guillen and Jay Gibbons are eliminated.
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.
Three much-heralded pitching prospects make their debut in organized baseball today. Mike Leake, the least known of the three, makes the biggest jump, giving up a single run in 6 2/3 innings as the Reds’ starter against the Cubs, in a game the Reds eventually win, 3 – 1. He is the 21st player to reach the majors without playing in a single minor league game since the amateur draft was instituted in 1965; his last pitching stop was with Arizona State University. Fellow Reds prospect Aroldis Chapman, who defected from Cuba last year, throws several pitches over 100 miles per hour in his debut with the Louisville Bats of the International League. He strikes out 9 batters in 4 2/3 innings, only giving up an unearned run to Toledo. Finally, Stephen Strasburg, the top pick of last year’s draft, picks up the win as the Harrisburg Senators defeat Altoona, 6 – 4, in an Eastern League contest. Both Chapman and Strasburg will pitch in the major leagues before the season is over.
It’s a homer fest at Miller Park ! The Brewers take an early 7 – 2 lead over the Cardinals as Rickie Weeks hits a home run leading off the game, and Corey Hart and Ryan Braun also go deep against Chris Carpenter. The Cards mount a comeback as Albert Pujols hits a two-run shot to chase Randy Wolf, then in the 9th, Phat Albert does it again as Trevor Hoffman tries to close the ballgame. Hoffman gives up another long ball to Matt Holliday to tie the score at 7, but Casey McGehee ends the game in the bottom of the 9th with a walk-off blast off Kyle McClellan, for a wild 8 – 7 Milwaukee win.
The Lake County Captains of the Midwest League throw the first no-hitter in organized baseball this year with a 3 – 1 victory over the Dayton Dragons in Eastlake, OH. Trey Haley, Francisco Jimenez and Clayton Ehlert combine on the feat. Dayton scores its run off Haley on two walks, a stolen base and two wild pitches in the 3rd; Haley leaves the game at the end of the inning, having reached his pitch count limit, and Jimenez throws the next four frames to pick up the win. Ehlert shuts down Dayton in order over the last two innings for the save.
Sam Fuld has the night of his life in his return to Fenway Park, where the New Hampshire native attended plenty of ball games as a kid, getting four extra-base hits in Tampa Bay’s 16 – 5 win over Boston. After hitting a double, a triple and a homer in his first five at-bats, he comes up in the 9th inning needing only a single to complete a cycle, but instead lashes a double into the left field corner against Dan Wheeler. His homer comes in the 2nd against losing P Daisuke Matsuzaka and puts the Red Sox in an early 7 – 0 hole they can never dig out of. Fuld also robs Dustin Pedroia of extra bases with a diving catch in left-center in the 5th. Jeremy Hellickson is the beneficiary of the scoring outburst, recording his first win of the year. Both teams are now 2-8, tied with Houston for the worst record in the majors at this early point of the season.
In his second major league start, Alexi Ogando pitches seven scoreless innings in a 2 – 0 win over Detroit and ace Justin Verlander as the Rangers improve their best-in-baseball record to 9-1. Ogando has not allowed a run in 13 innings this year. Miguel Cabrera hits his 300th double, becoming the second major leaguer to tally that many before his 28th birthday (Joe Medwick was the first).
Two anniversaries clash in New York, as the Mets celebrate a half century of existence, and Washington Nationals starter Stephen Strasburg the second anniversary of his professional debut. Strasburg has the upper hand, pitching 6 scoreless innings to earn his first win of the year, 4 – 0. His opponent Johan Santana, also coming back from arm surgery, gives up a single run in 5 innings when Mark DeRosa scores on a wild pitch in the 2nd, but it’s enough to saddle him with the loss.
In a throwback game at Coors Field, the Rockies blast the Giants, 17 – 8, collecting 22 hits in the process – half of them for extra bases. Matt Reynolds gets the win in relief of Jeremy Guthrie, who is unable to hold a 6 – 0 lead. Giants starter Tim Lincecum is tagged for 6 runs in 2 1/3 innings, but avoids a loss when his teammates rally for 7 runs in the 4th. The Rockies put up a 7-spot of their own in the 5th to pull away for good.
A bench-clearing brawl in the Dodgers’ 3 – 2 win over the Padres proves costly, as prize free agent signee Zack Greinke breaks his left collarbone in the melee. Greinke plunks Carlos Quentin on the left shoulder with a 6th-inning pitch and the slugger charges the mound and tackles the pitcher to the ground; they end up at the bottom of a huge pile of players from both dugouts. Greinke’s left shoulder took the brunt of the impact as Quentin first ran into him. Three players are ejected, including Quentin, while Greinke will be out for a number of weeks because of the injury. The Dodgers win the game on Juan Uribe’s pinch homer in the 8th. Quentin will receive an eight-game suspension.
The Cubs continue their hot start with a 5 – 3 win over the Reds in their home opener at a revamped Wrigley Field, improving to 6-1 on the year. However, things don’t look so great for a while as Brandon Finnegan has a no-hitter going until David Ross hits a two-out single in the 7th. Finnegan is taken out of the game and the Cubs feast on the Reds’ bullpen, scoring twice before the inning is over. A three-run homer by Addison Russell off Jumbo Diaz in the 8th seals the win.
Today’s MLB action is marred by a couple of bench-clearing brawls. In the Yankees’ 10 – 7 win over Boston, Tyler Austin charges the mound after Joe Kelly drills him with a 97 mph fastball in the 7th; he suspects that the pitch is in retaliation for a hard slide he made into SS Brock Holt, in the 3rd, which also cleared the two benches. Both Austin and Kelly are ejected, as are Yankees third base coach Phil Nevin and reliever Tommy Kahnle. And in Colorado’s 6 – 4 win over the Padres, the Rockies’ Nolan Arenado goes after Luis Perdomo after being grazed by a pitch in the 3rd, emptying the benches. That play follows a couple of hit batsmen in the first two innings, and feelings are still tense over a pitch that hit Padres OF Manuel Margot two days earlier, landing him on the disabled list. Arenado and Perdomo are sent off, as are Padres C A.J. Ellis and Rockies P German Marquez and OF Gerardo Parra. MLB will bring down the hammer, suspending Kelly for 6 games; Austin, Arenado and Perdomo for 5; and Parra and Padres pitcher Buddy Baumann for one each, in addition to handing out numerous fines to others involved in the two incidents.
In a likely unprecedented occurrence, two teammates hit for the cycle in the same game in a minor league contest between the San Jose Giants and Lancaster Jethawks of the California League. San Jose’s Gio Brusa and Jalen Miller both manage the feat, respectively with a triple in the 8th inning and 9th inning, in an 18 – 6 win.
2019 – Dee Gordon hits a solo homer in the 6th inning and the Mariners set a new mark, having now homered in all 15 of their games this season, breaking the record held by the 2002 Indians; they also lead the majors with 35 long balls. Down 6 – 2 at one point, they come back to win 7 – 6 over the Royals in 10 innings and are now 13-2. In the game, Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield sees his club-record hitting streak snapped after 31 games.
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Major League Baseball Birthdays on April 11
Major League Baseball Final Games on April 11