This Day In Baseball April 21
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 21
1880 – George Wright turns down the Providence Grays’ final contract offer. Since the club has turned down an offer from the Worcester Ruby Legs, Providence will not allow any other club to negotiate with Wright. He will sit out the entire season (except for one game), becoming the first player victimized by the reserve system.
1898 – At the Baker Bowl, Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Bill Duggleby hits a grand slam in his first major league at-bat. In 1968, Bobby Bonds of the San Francisco Giants will hit one in his first game in his third at-bat, against the Dodgers, but Duggleby’s feat will not be matched until August 31, 2005, when Jeremy Hermida of the Florida Marlins goes yard with the bases full against the Cardinals.
In a game against the Giants, Philadelphia Nationals’ pitcher Bill Duggelby hits a grand slam in his first major league at-bat. Bobby Bonds will hit one in his first game in his third at-bat, but Duggleby’s feat will not be accomplished again until August 31, 2005, when Jeremy Hermida of the Marlins goes yard with the bases full.
At Schorling’s Park on Chicago’s south side, the White Sox, as a minor league team, play their first game in franchise history, losing to Milwaukee, 5-4. The small wooden ballpark located at 39th and Princeton, also known as Southside Park, will continue to be the Windy City home for the team when they join the American League next season.
In front of 19,867 of the Tribe’s faithful, Detroit right-hander Ed Willett spoils the team’s debut in League Park, blanking Cleveland, 5-0. The ballpark, located at E. 66th and Lexington Avenue, will serve as the franchise’s full-time home until the club moves during the 1932 season to Municipal Stadium.
Don Hoak of the Cincinnati Redlegs unwittingly brings about a change in the baseball rules. Leading off second base, Hoak intentionally interferes with an apparent double play grounder. Hoak is called out, but the batter is safe. A new rule will result: if a runner willfully interferes with a batted ball that could result in a double play, both the runner and the batter will be called out.
The Twins, formerly known as the Washington Senators before moving to Minnesota, play their first home game, losing to the ‘new’ expansion Washington Senators, 5-3 in front of a crowd of 24,606 at Metropolitan Stadium. The club’s move to the North Star State will attract 1,256,723 fans, third best in the American League, and far better than their last season in the nation’s capital, where the team drew only 743,404 fans, the worst gate in the league.
1966 – The Chicago Cubs make one of the best trades in franchise history, acquiring future Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins from the Philadelphia Phillies in a five-player deal. The Cubs surrender pitchers Bob Buhl and Larry Jackson for Jenkins, outfielder Adolfo Phillips, and first baseman John Herrnstein. Jenkins, who had made his major league debut in 1965, will win 20 games for the Cubs in 1967.
The Phillies obtain Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl from the Cubs in exchange for future Hall of Fame hurler Ferguson Jenkins, outfielder Adolfo Phillips, and first baseman/outfielder John Herrnstein. The pair of right-handers will post a 47-53 record collectively for Philadelphia as Chicago’s new moundsman will win twenty or more games for six consecutive seasons starting in 1967.
4/21/1967: Tony Oliva of Minnesota lost a home run due to a base running blunder. Playing in Detroit in the third inning, Cesar Tovar was the runner at first base. Oliva hit the ball out of the park off Denny McLain, but then passed Tovar between first and second. He was credited with a single and one RBI for scoring Tovar.
1968 – Roberto Clemente comes within a hair’s breadth of hitting inside-the-park home runs in consecutive innings. Ironically, his 4th-inning home run is basically a single plus the kind of bounce that typically plagues “in-” rather than “out-” fielders in Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field. The Sporting News’ Les Biederman elaborates: “He hit a ‘single’ to right-center off Lindy McDaniel but as Ty Cline set himself, the ball took a big bounce over his head and rolled to the wall. Clemente circled the bases standing up.” This fluke four-bagger provides a stark contrast to the previous inning’s bomb: “His 3rd-inning triple landed on top of the batting cage at the 457-foot sign on the center field wall, a tremendous blast… Clemente said he didn’t turn on the gas because he was the leadoff batter and figured if he could get as far as third base, it would be fine. ‘With nobody out, I didn’t want to take a chance,’ he added. ‘When I turned second base and saw Alex Grammas give me the green light, I kept going. It had to be a perfect relay to get me.'”
4/21/1970: The Dodgers were in Montreal to play the Expos at Jarry Park in an afternoon contest. Willie Crawford smacked a three-run homer for Los Angeles in the first inning. Adolfo Phillips hit a homer in the bottom of the first and another in the third. Andy Kosko added a homer for LA in the third. These four round-trippers were lost when the game was called after a 70-minute rain delay in the bottom of the third with the Dodgers ahead, 7-3.
1991 – In the greatest extra-inning comeback in major league history, the Pittsburgh Pirates score six runs in the bottom of the 11th inning to erase a five-run Cubs lead built in the top of the inning on Andre Dawson’s grand slam. The Pirates had rallied earlier from a 7 – 2 deficit to tie the game in the 9th.
1994 – Cleveland Indians first baseman Eddie Murray hits home runs from both sides of the plate in a game for the 11th time in his career to break the record set by Mickey Mantle. Cleveland beats the Twins, 10 – 6. The two homers also move Murray past Dave Kingman into 20th place on the all-time list with 444.
2000 – The Anaheim Angels down the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 9 – 6. Mo Vaughn and Tim Salmon hit back-to-back home runs for Anaheim in the 4th inning, then repeat the feat in the 9th. Troy Glaus also homers in those same two innings, marking the first time in major league history that three players homer in the same inning twice in the same game. The three players with two home runs in the game ties another major league record.
Rafael Furcal hits three triples to tie the modern major league record as the Atlanta Braves defeat the Florida Marlins, 4 – 2. The last player to accomplish the feat was Lance Johnson of the Chicago White Sox in 1995. The last time a Braves player hit three three-baggers in one contest was on June 13, 1956 when Danny O’Connell accomplished the feat.
At Rogers Centre, Manny Ramirez of the Boston Red Sox hits two home runs in the 12-inning, 7 – 6 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays. Ramirez’s first homer is his 200th with the Red Sox and 436th for his career. He also hit 236 homers with the Cleveland Indians, becoming the fourth major leaguer to hit 200 homers with two different teams, after Jimmie Foxx, Mark McGwire and Rafael Palmeiro.
2008 – Santiago de Cuba completes a four-game sweep in the 2007-2008 Serie Nacional finals. The fourth game is the closest, a 2 – 1 win, with the deciding run not coming until the 8th. Héctor Olivera Jr. is driven in by an Alexei Bell single in that frame; on the mound for the losing Pinar del Rio is Pedro Luis Lazo, Cuba’s all-time leader in wins.
The Cleveland Indians turn double plays in six straight innings in disposing of the Kansas City Royals, 8 – 7. Aaron Laffey is the beneficiary of this sparkling defensive performance, helped by Grady Sizemore’s three-run homer in the 4th inning. Kansas City rallies for 4 runs in the 8th, until Jensen Lewis forces Miguel Olivo to hit into the club-record-tying sixth twin killing of the night. Kerry Wood allows a two-run homer to David DeJesus in the 9th, but still picks up the save.
Andy Pettitte picks up the win and Mariano Rivera gets the save when New York defeats Oakland, 5 – 3, in the first night game played at New Yankee Stadium. It is the 57th time that Rivera has saved a Pettitte win, tying the Oakland Athletics duo of Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley of the late 1980s and early 1990s for the highest total in major league history.
The Dodgers let their bats do the talking in pounding the Reds, 14 – 6, in Cincinnati. Los Angeles bangs out 18 hits, with Rafael Furcal leading the way with a 3 for 5 performance; Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier add homers for the benefit of Hiroki Kuroda. Reds pitcher Aaron Harang benefits from a rare reversal of a call by the umpiring crew in the 4th. Batting with the bases loaded and 2 outs, he hits a low liner to Ethier in right field. Ethier traps the ball, but first base umpire Tim McClelland declares a catch and the inning over. After protests from manager Dusty Baker and first base coach Billy Hatcher, the umpires confer and reverse the call, giving Harang an RBI single that ties the game 4 – 4 at that point.
Philip Hughes of the Yankees justifies the decision to return him to the starting rotation, pitching a no-hitter for 7 innings before Eric Chavez of the Athletics bounces a ground ball towards the mound to open the 8th. The ball hits Hughes’s left forearm and lands for a single in front of the pitcher. The Yankees win the game, 3 – 1.
Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association come to an agreement on paying pensions for major league players active from 1947 to 1979 who failed to qualify for benefits at the time. Until 1979, players needed to have completed four full years of major league service to qualify for a pension, leaving hundreds short. Since 1980, benefits accrue from the first day a player spends in the majors. 904 players will receive payments thanks to the agreement.
Chad Huffman has a career day with the Columbus Clippers in a 19 – 3 rout of the Louisville Bats in the International League. Huffman belts three homers and drives in 10 runs in the contest, setting a team record for runs driven in in a game; he drives in at least one run in each of his six plate appearances, including a bases-loaded walk, a run-scoring ground ball out and a single off Johnny Cueto. On a rehabilitation assignment from the Reds, Cueto is the starter and loser, giving up 8 runs in 1 2/3 innings, but the three homers come off three different relievers who succeed him on the mound.
With no sense of history, the Red Sox continue to have a highly embarassing week while celebrating Fenway Park’s centenary. Today, they take a 9 – 0 lead over the Yankees, only to collapse totally, coughing up 15 unanswered runs to lose the game. 14 of the runs come courtesy of a bullpen that has been horrendous since the season started. With his team trailing 9 – 1 in the 7th, Nick Swisher gets the Bronx Bombers rolling with a grand slam off Vicente Padilla; Mark Teixeira adds a three-run shot before the inning ends. But that only serves to set up a nightmarish 8th inning, during which three other relievers give up 7 more runs as manager Bobby Valentine is booed heartily every time he comes out of the dugout to make a pitching change. With two-thirds of their starting outfield on the disabled list, the reeling Sox make a trade after the game, acquiring CF Marlon Byrd from the Cubs in return for P Michael Bowden and a player to be named later.
Phillip Humber’s first major league complete game is baseball’s twenty-first perfect game when he retires all 27 Mariners he faces in the White Sox’ 4-0 victory at Safeco Field. The 29 year-old right-hander, who had Tommy John surgery in 2005, is the third Pale Hose pitcher to accomplish perfection, joining Mark Buehrle (2009 vs Tampa Bay) and Charles Robertson (1932 vs Detroit).
2014 – Two days after being acquired in a trade from the Mets, 1B Ike Davis hits a grand slam off the Reds’ Mike Leake in the 4th, although it takes Neil Walker’s run-scoring single in the 9th to end the game and give the Pirates a 6 – 5 win. Davis had earlier hit a slam for New York on April 5th, making him the first player to hit one with two different teams in the month of April.
2015 – It’s a wild and crazy game between the Reds and Brewers at Miller Park as the two teams combine for 26 runs and 7 homers, three of them grand slams, as the Reds prevail, 16 – 10. It is just the fourth game in major league history to witness three bases-loaded homers; they are hit by Jay Bruce and Todd Frazier of Cincinnati, and Elian Herrera of Milwaukee. Ironically, both teams were in deep offensive slumps before the game.
Celebrating the 150th anniversary year of their first meeting, Wesleyan and Yale, the Connecticut schools believed to have played the first college baseball contest using the rules which resemble today’s game, meet at New Haven’s Yale Field. The Bulldogs, unlike their 39-13 rout in 1865, only beat their Middletown rivals, 7-3, improving their record in the intercollegiate series to 62-18-2.
2016 – Jake Arrieta throws the first no-hitter of the year in the major leagues as the Cubs defeat the Reds, 16 – 0. It is the highest-scoring no-hitter since Pud Galvin won one by a score of 18 – 0 back on August 4, 1884. Kris Bryant homers twice, including a grand slam, to lead the offence. For Arrieta, who is now 4-0, 0.87 in four starts this year, it is his second career no-hitter.
Jake Arrieta tosses a no-hitter in the Cubs’ 16-0 rout over the Reds at Cincinnati’s Great American Ball Park. The Chicago right-handed ace becomes only the second pitcher, joining Johnny Vander Meer, who threw consecutive no-hitters in 1938, ever to go unbeaten between no-hit games, having not recorded a loss in his last 17 regular-season starts since he threw a no-no against the Dodgers last season.
The Argentinian national team wins a qualifier for the Pan American Games for the first time (they twice automatically qualified as hosts previously). They make it to the 2019 Pan American Games by routing Brazil, 7 – 1, in the Gold Medal Game. Knuckleballer Diego Echeverría surrenders five hits and one run in baffling Brazilian batters, while Jacinto Cipriota drives in three runs and scores twice for Argentina and Eduardo Zurbriggen tacks on a two-run homer late.
2019 – Rangers slugger Joey Gallo ends a bizarre streak when he drives in a run on a sacrifice fly in the 4th inning, as part of a wild 11 – 10 win over the Astros. Gallo had gone 1,145 at-bats in his career without recording a sac fly, the longest such streak since it was introduced as an official statistic in 1954. In the game, Shelby Miller records his first win in over two years.
1978 – A Hollywood ending helps Houston subdue the Dodgers, 8-6. With two on against Ken Forsch in the bottom of the ninth, Ron Cey lines to Bob Watson who steps on first to double off Reggie Smith. Watson spins and throws to Roger Metzger at second who beats Bill Russell to the bag to complete the game-ending triple play. Joe Ferguson’s three-run homer in the eighth had given the Astros their lead.
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