This Day In Baseball April 13
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 13
“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 also host the new National League’s New York Gothams, who will become better known as the Giants in 1885.
At the request of club owners in Cincinnati and New York, the National League bans umpire Tim Hurst, considered the most colorful, cantankerous ump, from working in cities whose club owners “object to having a man of that type associated with their grounds, where ladies and gentlemen watch the games.”
In a game which features President Woodrow Wilson throwing out the first pitch, Washington’s Walter Johnson gives up an unearned run in the first inning of the home opener, but the ‘Big Train’ will not yield another tally for 56 innings. The Senators beat the team now known as the Yankees, 2-1, switching from the Highlanders, the nickname the team had used since the franchise moved from Baltimore to New York for the 1903 season.
Major league baseball returns to Baltimore as the first Federal League game is played with approximately 27,000 patrons on hand to watch the Terrapins beat the Buffalo Blues at Terrapin Park, 3-2. After the hometown Orioles were eliminated from the National League at the end of the 1899 season, first-year player/manager John McGraw’s club joins the new rival American League, beginning in 1901, but the newly formed team stayed in the Charm City for only two seasons before being moved to New York, becoming the Yankees after briefly known as the Highlanders.
Babe Adams, the Pirates bellwether, pitches a one-hit 4 – 0 shutout against the Cardinals, the only safety coming when a ball squirts out of second baseman Joe Schultz’s glove. Adams will win only one more game this season, and the Pirates will release him in August. They will then re-sign him during the 1918 season.
With new U.S. President Warren G. Harding, former president Woodrow Wilson, and VP Calvin Coolidge watching, the Washington Senators lose their home opener, 6 – 3, to the Boston Red Sox. Senators pitcher Walter Johnson leaves after four innings, the first time he has failed to finish an Opening Game.
At age 31, pitcher Dazzy Vance makes his Brooklyn Robins debut and loses to Phil Douglas and the New York Giants, 4 – 3. In 1915, when Vance made one start for the Pirates, it was Douglas who beat him. Since then Vance has been in the minor leagues. Despite his late start, Vance will win 197 games in a 16-season career and a place in the Hall of Fame in 1955.
On Opening Day, 38 year-old Senators’ hurler Walter Johnson strikes out a dozen A’s batter when he outduels Eddie Rommel for 15 innings, beating Philadelphia at Washington’s Griffith Stadium, 1-0. The ‘Big Train’, in his next-to-last season, will finish the campaign with a 15-16 record (.484) along with an ERA of 3.63 for the fourth-place club.
Cincinnati, in an effort to not be associated with Communists, plays its first game as the Redlegs. The new moniker, which is widely accepted, will be employed for six seasons, before the club reverts back to being known as the Reds, which was a shortened version of the Red Stockings, the team’s original name from 1882 to 1899.
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 to be the difference in the Giants’ 4-3 Opening Day victory over Brooklyn. The 22 year-old center fielder’s prodigious poke may have traveled over 600 feet if it had not been impeded by the upper left-field stands at the Polo Grounds.
Seven years after the team had threatened to strike because of the integration of baseball by Jackie Robinson, 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.
On Opening Day, Detroit’s starting pitcher Frank Lary pulls a muscle legging out a seventh-inning triple in the team’s 5-3 victory over New York at Tiger Stadium. ‘The Yankee Killer’s’ career will be shortened when the righty suffers subsequent arm problems as a result of compensating for the injury.
Looking back on his career some 30 years later, Willie Mays will recall being gunned down going from first to third exactly once: “Roberto Clemente threw me out on a bang-bang play at third. I should have remembered what a tremendous arm he had.” If Willie’s memory is correct, this was the play, as witnessed by James K. McGee of the San Francisco Chronicle: “Willie Mays, leading off the 7th, lined a single into left for the Giants’ first hit. When Willie McCovey, the next hitter, bounced a single over Donn Clendenon’s outstretched glove into right field, it appeared the dam had been broken and runs would flow. Then came the key play of the game. Mays rounded second base and slowed down to draw a throw from right fielder Roberto Clemente. Mays, either overestimating his own speed or underestimating the power and accuracy of Clemente’s arm, was thrown out trying to reach third. Maury Wills tagged him as he slid by.”
4/13/1969 – The White Sox were in Seattle playing the Pilots with the Pale Hose leading 11-1 after 3 ‘ innings. In the bottom of the fourth, the Pilots staged a rally, scoring four runs. During the inning, Sox manager Al Lopez replaced his battery but placed new hurler Wilbur Wood in the fifth spot in the order where the catcher had been and the new catcher, Duane Josephson, in the ninth spot. In the top of the fifth, the eighth-place hitter, Woody Held, reached second on an infield error. Then Wood mistakenly went to the plate instead of Josephson. Wood successfully sacrificed Held to third base and the lead-off hitter, Buddy Bradford, followed. The White Sox continued this error in the next inning when the fifth spot in the lineup came up. Josephson hit with a runner on first base and grounded into a double play. In the seventh, Josephson hit again in his proper ninth spot and they continued to bat in the correct order for the remainder of the game, which was won by the White Sox , 12-7.
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 record of 104-92 along with an ERA of 3.15.
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 game is delayed as the crowd celebrates by showering the field with Reggie! Bars, a chocolate and peanut candy bar with a picture of the slugger swinging a bat, that was given to every fan entering the game.
On Opening Day, Roger Maris returns to Yankee Stadium for the first time since being traded to the Cardinals in 1966. The prodigal son, who has shunned many previous invitations, returns to help Mickey Mantle hoist the club’s World Champion flag due to the promise of team owner George Steinbrenner to install sod and lights for the baseball field at his children’s school in Gainesville, Florida.
The Phillies, trailing by five runs entering the final frame, 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 which wins a game when a team is down by three runs in the bottom of the final inning, is tossed by Neil Allen, who faces only the final batter.
At Jack Murphy Stadium, the San Diego Padres set a major league record when the first three batters in the bottom of the 1st inning hit home runs off San Francisco Giants starter Roger Mason in their home opener. The Padres, trailing 2 – 0, get homers from Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn and John Kruk. The feat will be matched by Rafael Furcal, Mark DeRosa, and Gary Sheffield of the Atlanta Braves against Jeff Austin of the Cincinnati Reds on May 28, 2003.
Rick Honeycutt of the Oakland Athletics becomes the second pitcher in as many days to tie the American League’s 28-year-old balk record by committing four balks in four innings while saving a 12 – 7 win over Seattle. A major league record 924 balks will be called this season after umpires are instructed to interpret the complete stop rule more strictly.
Ken Griffey, Jr. of the Seattle Mariners hits his 300th career home run to become the second-youngest player to reach the milestone. Griffey’s 300th, a two-run shot to right off the Cleveland Indians’ Jose Mesa, is his second homer of the game and sixth of the season. At 28 years, 143 days old, Griffey is second only to Jimmie Foxx, who hit his 300th at 27 years, 328 days. Foxx hit 534 homers during his Hall of Fame career.
Prior to 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 next two games scheduled to played at the Bronx ballpark will be postponed with the team scheduling one of the games to be played across the river at Shea Stadium.
After striking out three batters on nine pitches in the top of the ninth inning, Cardinal closer Jason Isringhausen gets the win when the Redbirds score a run in the bottom of the frame for a 2-1 walk-off victory over Houston. The right-handed reliever’s victims during his immaculate inning include Daryle Ward, Jose Vizcaino, and Julio Lugo, who all go down swinging.
A near-by 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,’ turns out to be the boy’s favorite player, Yankee superstar Alex Rodriguez.
San Diego beats the Mets, 6 – 5, in the first game to be played at Citi Field in New York. The first batter of the game, Jody Gerut, hits a home run off Mike Pelfrey as the Padres jump to an early 5 – 1 lead. New York ties it on a three-run home run by David Wright, but the winning run scores when Luis Rodríguez reaches on a three-base error by RF Ryan Church and crosses the plate when Pedro Feliciano commits a balk.
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.
In the LA home opener, Orlando Hudson completes his cycle with a sixth-inning triple down the right-field line in the team’s 11-1 rout of the Giants. The second baseman 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.
Ricky Romero pitches a gem for the Blue Jays. He allows only one hit to the White Sox, a two-run homer by former teammate Alex Rios with none out in the 8th, in 8 innings of work, while striking out a career-high 12 batters. Kevin Gregg completes the one-hitter with a perfect 9th inning, earning his 3rd save in sealing the 4 – 2 win.
The Pirates pull out a couple of brilliant defensive plays in beating the Giants, 6 – 5. With Pittsburgh leading 3 – 1 and a runner on first base, Aubrey Huff knocks a ball that appears headed past the mound for an infield single. But pitcher Paul Maholm dives to the ground, stops the ball, and in one motion flips it with his glove to 1B Jeff Clement to retire Huff while completing a backwards somersault. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, Garrett Jones, now playing 1B, makes a lunging grab of Pablo Sandoval’s line drive to end the game.
Jorge Cantu of the Marlins becomes the first player in 89 years to collect at least one hit and one RBI in his team’s first eight games of the season, thanks to an RBI single against Bronson Arroyo of the Cincinnati Reds. George “Highpockets” Kelly was the last player to accomplish the feat, in 1921. Cantu now has 13 RBI for the year and his streak has reached 13 consecutive games, dating back to 2009. However, the Reds win the game, 10 – 8, in 11 innings. Cantu will extend his season-opening streak to 10 games with a home run tomorrow and a double the next day.
The Yankees receive their 2009 World Series rings in a ceremony before their home opener at New Yankee Stadium. Hideki Matsui, the Series MVP, gets to join his former teammates for the ceremony, as he now plays for todays’ visitors, the Los Angeles Angels. The Yankees bang out 13 hits for a 7 – 5 win. Andy Pettitte picks up the victory with six scoreless innings.
The ‘Bring Back Orbit’ Facebook group is created with the hopes of convincing the Astros to reinstate the mascot, who was replaced with Junction Jack beginning in the 2000 season, coinciding with the team’s move from the Astrodome to Enron Field. The social media effort pays off when the franchise reveals the lovable lime-green outer-space creature with antennae extending into baseballs, after a 12-year absence, will be returning to continue his role in 2013, the team’s first season in the American League.
After four days of deliberation, the jury in the Trial of Barry Bonds returns a guilty verdict on the charge of obstruction of justice, while failing to reach a decision on the three charges of perjury the slugger was also facing. Barry Bonds faces up to 10 years in jail for the felony conviction, although probation is a more likely; Judge Susan Illston may however decide to re-try the three charges which resulted in a hung jury.
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) in becoming only the third switch hitter in major league history to compile 1,500 RBIs.
The Cubs spoil the Cardinals’ home opener and P Adam Wainwright’s return to St. Louis with a 9 – 5 win. After the Cards receive their World Series rings before the game, Ian Stewarthits a three-run homer in the 1st, and Bryan LaHair adds his first career grand slam in the 3rd. Jeff Samardzija is the winner.
Aaron Harang sets a Dodgers record with 9 consecutive strikeouts after giving up a lead-off single to San Diego’s Cameron Maybin; Will Venable then homers to lead off the 4th. Johnny Podres had struck out 8 consecutive batters on July 2, 1962 for the franchise record and Harang falls one short of Tom Seaver’s all-time record. He finishes with 13 Ks in 6 1/3 innings and leaves with an 8 – 3 lead, but the bullpen then gets to work to sabotage that lead, with the Padres tying the score with 2 runs in the top of the 9th. Andrew Cashner retires the first two Los Angeles batters in the bottom of the 9th, before he walks the bases loaded; Joe Thatcher replaces him and walks Andre Ethier, forcing in the winning run and providing an anticlimactic ending to the game, with the final score 9 – 8.
The Nationals top the Reds, 2 – 1, in 13 innings. Jayson Werth drives in Danny Espinosa with the winner. He becomes the first player to drive in the winner in a 13-inning game on Friday the 13th since 1963. In an odd note, the scorer of the winning run in the 1963 game was none other than Werth’s grandfather, Dick Schofield Sr.
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 trying to return to first base, where he is tagged out to complete the unusual 3-1-6-4 twin killing.
Aaron Harang, after surrendering a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin to start the game, 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 10 straight Friars for the Mets in 1970.
Matt Harvey takes a no-hitter into the 7th inning, until the Twins’ Justin Morneau hits a homer that clanks against the right field foul pole at Target Field with two outs. Harvey has the longest outing of his career, giving up only two hits in 8 innings in the Mets’ 4 – 2 win. The Mets have seven consecutive hits in the 5th to score all their runs.
With the 2013-2014 Cuban Serie Nacional finals tied at two games apiece, Game 5 presents high drama at Estadio Capitán San Luis. Matanzas leads Pinar del Río, 8 – 5, entering the bottom of the 9th, but the Crocodiles’ pitchers falter, with four hurlers combining to allow three runs in that frame. Osniel Madera ties the score with a sacrifice fly off Alexander Bustamante. In the 11th, Madera victimizes Bustamante again, this time with a homer, to give Pinar del Río the win; they will wrap up the series in Game 6.
Braves OF Hector Olivera is arrested in Arlington, VA after a woman with visible bruises complains to police that the ballplayer assaulted her at the team’s hotel while in the Washington, DC area to play the Nationals. Olivera is immediately placed on paid leave by Major League Baseball under its new domestic violence policy and will remain there for the length of the investigation while also facing a possible suspension. He will be traded and released before the end of the suspension and will not return to the majors.
In the longest game yet played at Marlins Park, the Mets defeat Miami, 9 – 8, on a homer by Travis d’Arnaud in the 16th inning. Mets starter Robert Gsellman gives up 8 runs in 4 2/3 innings, but seven relievers combine to pitch 10 1/3 scoreless innings. Yoenis Cespedes hits a pair of homers, while d’Arnaud has four hits, including a bases-loaded triple and his game-winning homer off Adam Conley, who had been scheduled to start the next day. For the Marlins, Marcell Ozuna hits a grand slam in the 1st
2007 – Roy Oswalt gets his 100th victory in an un-Oswalt-like way. He walks six and allows six runs but Carlos Lee’s three homers and a three-run blast by Morgan Ensberg pace a 9-6 victory at Philadelphia. Lee belts a grand slam as well as two solo shots while Craig Biggio takes over eighth place on the All-Time doubles list with 641, passing Honus Wagner.
1964 – Colt .45s win the league’s season opener in Cincinnati, defeating the Reds, 6-3. It is the only time in their three-year history that the Colts have sole possession of first place. President Lyndon Johnson watches while Ken Johnson, still grieving over the death of roommate Jim Umbricht, hurls a two-hit shutout before tiring in the ninth. Jim Wynn, who grew up in Cincinnati, belts a two-run shot in the victory.
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