This Day In Baseball April 16
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 16
The name Detroit Creams lasts only a season when the Class A Western League team is dubbed the Tigers after editor Philip Reid headlines a Detroit Cost-free Press story with Strouthers’ Tigers Showed Up Very Nicely. The club’s new moniker, still in use today, will carry over to the city’s franchise in the new American League in 1901.
In a 5-4 Opening Day victory over Detroit at League Park, Indians’ rookie center fielder Earl Averill homers on a 0-2 pitch off Detroit’s hurler Earl Whitehill, becoming the first American Leaguer to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat. The ‘Earl of Snohomish’ will also be the first future Hall of Famer to accomplish the feat.
With the band playing Jingle Bells at Boston’s Braves Field on a snowy day with near freezing temperatures, Babe Ruth makes his National league debut, hitting a homer and a single off Giants’ legend Carl Hubbell. The Braves beat New York, 4-2, but the team will go on to win only 37 more games this season.
On Opening Day at the Polo Grounds, Mel Ott of the New York Giants hits his 511th and final home run in the Giants’ 8 – 4 victory against the Philadelphia Phillies. Ott hits his homer off Phillies left-hander Oscar Judd. The next day Ott will injure his knee diving for a ball and play only occasionally thereafter.
On Opening Day, Mel Ott hits his 511th and final home run of his career in the Giants’ 8-4 victory over Philadelphia at the Polo Grounds, a ballpark in which he has hit 63% of his round-trippers. The 37 year-old player-manager, who has two hundred more homers than any other National Leaguer, will retire third on the all-time list, trailing only Babe Ruth (714) and Jimmie Foxx (534).
“An Apology to Braves Fans – The management will reimburse any of its patrons for any expense to which they might have been put for necessary cleansing of clothing as a result of paint damage.” – LOCAL NEWSPAPER AD. As the result of the newly painted grandstand seats having not yet wholly dried, about 5,000 fans attending the Boston’s home opener against the Dodgers left Braves Field with green paint covering much of their clothing. The team takes out newspaper ads to apologize to the affected patrons, agreeing to reimburse any expense caused by the mishap, an offer that will cost the team $6,000, after it generates nearly 13,000 claims, including some from as far away as California and Nebraska.
In a Forbes Field contest in which Pittsburgh will prevail, 14-12, the Phillies score nine times, and the Pirates tally six runs in the fifth inning, tying the National League record when 15 batters cross home plate during the frame. Philadelphia’s second baseman Connie Ryan establishes a new team record with six hits, four singles, and two doubles, in six at-bats.
Andre Rodgers becomes the first Bahamian to play in the major leagues when he grounds into a 6-4 force play facing Bob Friend in the top of the second inning of the Giants’ 9-2 loss in Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. The 22 year-old shortstop’s roommate and fellow Caribbean, Valmy Thomas, entering the game in the sixth to replace catcher Wes Westrum, also becomes the first native of the Virgin Islands to play in big league game.
Before the Phillies’ home opener, the team dedicates a statue of Connie Mack as part of the Opening Day ceremonies. The eight-foot statue of the ‘Tall Tactician,’ which depicts the A’s long-time owner and manager with one foot in the dugout and one foot on the top step of it, waving his trademark scorecard to position his players, was created by well-known sculptor Harry Rosin. The ‘Tall Tactician’
The Mets’ new home, Shea Stadium, is christened with Dodgers Holy Water from the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn and Giants Holy Water from the Harlem River at the location where it flowed past the Polo Grounds. It is named in honor of William A. Shea, the man who brought National League baseball back to New York.
Holy Water from the Gowanus Canal, which passes near Ebbets Field, the Dodgers’ old home, and Holy Water from the Harlem River where it flows past the Polo Grounds, the former longtime ballpark of the Giants and the Mets’ home for the past two seasons is used to christened Shea Stadium. The ballpark’s namesake, Bill Shea, credited with bringing the National League back to New York, pours the water from two bottles, blessing the Flushing Meadow structure on the eve of its debut.
In his first three at-bats, A’s Dave Kingman hits three home runs, including a grand slam, driving in eight runs against the Mariners in a 9-6 victory. ‘Sky King’ will compile five three-round-tripper games during his 16-year career, second only to Johnny Mize, who accomplished the feat six times from 1938 to 1950 while with the Cardinals and Yankees.
Blue Jay third baseman Kelly Gruber becomes the first player to hit for the cycle in franchise history when he singles in the eighth inning of the team’s 15-8 win against Kansas City. The 27 year-old All-Star infielder’s Toronto teammates buy him a tricycle in recognition of the Exhibition Stadium accomplishment.
After being escorted into Mile High Stadium by a Colorado National Guard contingent, the ‘dinosaur egg,’ which was ‘uncovered’ during the excavation for Coors Field, hatches, revealing an anthropomorphic purple triceratops named Dinger, the Rockies’ new mascot. The inspiration of using of a three-horned dinosaur as the team’s good luck charm is the result of the actual discovery of some dinosaur fossils throughout the construction site of the new ballpark, including a 7-foot-long triceratops skull that weighed half a ton.
The Chicago Cubs set the mark for worst start in National League history, making three more errors as they extend their losing streak to 12 with a 4 – 0 loss to the Colorado Rockies. Chicago broke the modern NL record of 0-10 set by the 1988 Atlanta Braves and the overall record of 0-11 by the 1884 Detroit Wolverines.
Chuck Finley of the Cleveland Indians, who was already the only pitcher in major league history to strike out four batters in one inning twice, does it for the third time as he strikes out Tom Evans, Royce Clayton, Chad Curtis (who takes first base on a passed ball) and Rafael Palmeiro in the 3rd inning; Finley beats the Texas Rangers, 2 – 1, with the help of back-to-back 9th-inning home runs from Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome.
Indian starter Chuck Finley, who was already the only pitcher to strike out four batters in one inning twice, does it for the third time. The southpaw, who strikes out Tom Evans, Royce Clayton, Chad Curtis (who takes first on a passed ball), and Rafael Palmeiro in the third inning, goes the distance, getting the complete-game victory when Manny Ramirez and Jim Thome hit back-to-back homers in the Tribe’s 2-1 walk-off win over the Rangers.
4/16/2004 – In the top of the seventh inning, Cubs manager Dusty Baker intended to place two new players in the lineup with a double switch but failed to tell Umpire C.B. Bucknor. When the Cubs batted in the bottom of the inning, shortstop Ramon Martinez came to the plate in the ninth spot in the order and doubled. The Reds protested that the Cubs were batting out of order. Pitcher Kent Mercker, the proper batter, was called out. Baker argued with the umpires but was told that the call stood. Yelling & screaming, he tossed his lineup card on the ground and was ejected by Bucknor. Baker threw his hat, walked away and returned; he tossed his hat again, stomped to the dugout and kicked some items in the on deck circle before finally leaving the field. The Cubs won in the bottom of the ninth, 11-10, when Sammy Sosa and Moises Alou hit back-to-back homers to end the game. When Baker arrived home that day, his son called him “Mad Dog.”
Manny Ramirez hits a two-run home run and a grand slam to knock in all of Boston’s runs in a 6 – 2 victory against Tampa Bay. Matt Clement wins in his Fenway Park debut. It is Ramirez’s 18th career grand slam, most among active players. The blast ties him for third on the all-time list with Willie McCovey and Robin Ventura, behind only Eddie Murray (19) and Lou Gehrig (23). It is Ramirez’s 40th career multi-homer game (38 two-homer games, two three-homer games).
Richard Orman of the Pioniers wins his 114th game in Hoofdklasse, setting the record for left-handers. Craig McGinnis had previously held the mark. Orman tosses 8 shutout innings against Sparta/Feyenoord in the win, with Dave Draijer getting the save. Orman has previously pitched in the Toronto Blue Jays farm system.
4/16/2006: Javy Lopez of the Orioles hit a home run to left center in the second inning of a game at Camden Yards as Darin Erstad attempted to catch the ball at the wall. The runner on first, Miguel Tejada, thinking the ball was caught, returned towards the bag and Lopez rounded first and passed Tejada. Lopez was called out and Tejada scored on the play, giving Lopez an RBI single over the wall. The Angels beat the Orioles, 9-3.
The Cleveland Indians spoil the opening of New Yankee Stadium with a 10 – 2 win over the New York Yankees. Jhonny Peralta hits a two-run double off Jose Veras to break a 1 – 1 tie, then Grady Sizemore delivers the KO with a grand slam off Damaso Marte. Jorge Posada is the first batter to homer in the Yankees’ new ballpark with a solo shot off winning pitcher Cliff Lee in the 5th. New York had won 16 of their final 17 home openers at the old Yankee Stadium.
Roy Halladay is acclimatizing well to the National League. He earns his third victory of the young season in an 8 – 6 Phillies win in wet conditions over the Florida Marlins. Working quickly, “Doc” allows only two runs in eight innings, but his bullpen makes things interesting as the Marlins collect five hits and four runs against David Herndon in the 9th. In the game, Florida’s Jorge Cantu’s record streak of games with a hit and RBI from the start of the season ends at 10, as he is unable to collect an RBI.
Giants CF Aaron Rowand suffers a fractured cheek and a mild concussion when hit by a pitch thrown by Vicente Padilla in the 5th inning of a game against the Dodgers. Rowand is taken to the hospital, and will be placed on the disabled list two days later. The Giants lose 10 – 8, as Todd Wellemeyer falls to Padilla.
2011 – The Mets are swept in a doubleheader for the second time in three days as they go down, 4 – 2 and 4 – 0, to the Atlanta Braves. In the second game, Jair Jurrjens throws seven shutout innings in his return from the disabled list, while Alex Gonzalez is the hero in the opener, hitting two of the Braves’ four solo homers in support of Derek Lowe’s pitching. The Mets have now lost seven in a row.
Kendrys Morales hits his first homer since breaking his ankle celebrating a walk-off grand slam on May 29, 2010. Morales missed the rest of 2010 and all of 2011 recovering from the injury. His three-run blast off Brandon McCarthy in the 1st comes in support of a strong performance by Jered Weaver, who tosses 6 2/3 scoreless innings and records his 1000th career strikeout in the game. Three relievers succeed Weaver to complete the Angels’ 6 – 0 combined shutout of the Athletics.
The Rockies battle the elements to sweep the Mets in a doubleheader at home. The opener is delayed by two hours as an 8-inch snowfall has to be removed from the field, with Colorado owner Dick Monfort pitching in by manning a shovel, and the day concludes when Jordan Pacheco singles home the winning run in the 10th inning of the second game, for a 9 – 8 win. The Rockies also win the opener, 8 – 4, as the games are played in frigid conditions and occasional snow flurries. Reporters quip that there are more snowmen than fans at Coors Field.
The Braves hit five solo homers to win their 10th straight game, 6 – 3, over Kansas City. Jason Heyward, Justin Upton and Dan Uggla all homer to put the Braves ahead in the 8th, following two earlier long balls by Juan Francisco. The final run is driven in by Chris Johnson after the barrage of dingers in the 8th. It is the Braves’ longest winning streak since 2000.
In tribute to the victims of yesterday’s Boston Marathon bombings, the fans at Yankee Stadium sing Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline, the anthem of their American League East rivals. Before the contest against Arizona, the Bronx Bombers display their logo next to the Red Sox emblem with the words “United We Stand” on an outside video board.
Pinar del Río wins the 2013-2014 Cuban Serie Nacional title, beating Matanzas in the 6th game of the finals, 9-6. Regular season MVP Yosvani Torres gets the win despite a mediocre outing (5 R in 5 2/3 IP), while shortstop Luis Alberto Valdés hits a grand slam in the 6th off Matanzas relief ace Félix Fuentes to put Pinar del Río ahead for good.
The Yankees sweep a doubleheader from the Cubs behind strong performances from two newcomers. In the opener, Masahiro Tanaka strikes out 10 and allows only two singles on bunts in 8 innings in a 3 – 0 win, and in the nitecap, Michael Pineda gives up four hits over 6 innings for a 2 – 0 win that completes the double blanking. It is the first time a team has two shutouts in one day since June 26, 1988.
DSS makes its debut in the Hoofdklasse, losing 10-1 to Kinheim. Tom Stuifbergen starts for Kinheim, ending a run of eight straight Opening Day starts by David Bergman (moving to a reliever-coach role this year), and gets the win over Rik Geestman. Dashenko Ricardo goes 4 for 6 with 3 runs and Sven van der Sanden drives in 3, while Mark Smit gets the first hit and first RBI for DSS.
Giancarlo Stanton becomes the Marlins’ all-time home run leader when he goes deep off Dillon Gee in the first inning of the team’s 7-5 loss to New York at Citi Field. The 25 year-old right fielder’s two-run blast, his 155th round-tripper for Miami, surpasses the franchise mark established in 2010 by Dan Uggla.
The Cuban Serie Nacional finals witness history as a team rallies from a 3-0 deficit to tie it at 3 games apiece for the first time since postseason play began in 1986. Pinar del Ríoscores 5 in the first off game 1 victor Vladimir García on the way to a 7-3 win. Yosvani Torres gets the win, Liván Moinelo the save and Yordanis Alarcón hits a three-run homer for the historic comeback. Unfortunately, the clock strikes midnight on Cinderella and Ciego de Ávila takes game 7 tomorrow.
Cold, wind, snow and sleet continue to wreak havoc with the major league schedule, as three more postponements today bring the total to 24 since the start of the season. Boston’sannual Patriots Day late-morning game is a victim of the elements today, and even the Blue Jays, in spite of playing in a dome, have to re-schedule a game because falling ice from the nearby CN Tower damages the roof at the Rogers Centre, potentially endangering fans.
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