This Day In Baseball April 22
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 22
Exposition Park, which opened last year as the home of the Pittsburgh Burghers of the short-lived Players’ League, hosts its first Pirates game, a National League contest that the Bucs lose to Chicago, 7-6. The ballpark located on the north side of the Allegheny River, across from Pittsburgh’s downtown area, will be the team’s home until they move to Forbes Field in 1909.
At American League Park, the New York Highlanders lose their first game to the Washington Senators, 3 – 1, before 11,950 fans. Washington elects to bat first, but the New Yorkers score in the bottom of the opening inning to take a 1 – 0 lead. Each starter gives up six hits with Jack Chesbro, the National League’s top winner last year (28-6) taking the loss. Al Orth, in his second season with Washington, is the winner.
At age 19, Babe Ruth plays his first professional game as a pitcher, as he throws a six-hit, 6 – 0 shutout for the Baltimore Orioles over the Buffalo Bisons. The second batter Ruth faces is Joe McCarthy, the manager he will play for 17 years later with the Yankees. Ruth is 2 for 4 at the plate in addition to his great pitching.
In Federal League action, the Chicago Chi-Feds host the Kansas City Packers at newly-built Weegham Park, on Chicago’s North Side. With two home runs by Art Wilson, and a five-hitter by Claude Hendrix, the Chi-Feds coast to a 9 – 1 win before a crowd of 21,000. The name of the stadium will change to Cubs Park in time for opening day, 1920, and will be renamed “Wrigley Field” in 1926.
At Sportsman’s Park, Ken Williams of the St. Louis Browns hits three home runs and two singles in the Browns’ 10 – 7 victory against the Chicago White Sox. Williams is the first American League player to hit three home runs in a game. Given a head start on the suspended Babe Ruth, he will take the American League home run and RBI titles and become the first 30-30 man, with 39 home runs and 37 stolen bases.
The Phillies players, inspired by their Alabama-born racist skipper Ben Chapman, repeatedly shout racial epitaphs, throw beanballs, and intentionally spike Brooklyn’s rookie first baseman, the first African-American to play major league baseball in the 20th century. The incident is so severe that Philadelphia’s that infielder Jeep Handley will later publicly apologize, and baseball commissioner Happy Chandler will chastise team’s manager for his bigoted leadership.
John Kennedy becomes the first black to play for the Philadelphia Phillies, making them the last National League team to integrate. Kennedy pinch runs for Solly Hemus in the 5 – 1 loss to the Brooklyn Dodgers at Ebbets Field. He will play only briefly in five games, two at third base, and will go hitless.
The Chicago White Sox, down 6 – 1 after two innings, score 11 runs with only one hit in the 7th inning of a 20 – 6 rout of the Kansas City Athletics. Johnny Callison has the hit – a single. In the inning, Chicago is the recipient of 10 walks – five with the bases loaded – three Kansas City errors and one hit batsman. Nellie Fox collects five RBI, including two in the inning, both times by walking. He also goes 4 for 5 in the game, while Luis Aparicio is 3 for 4, including a three-run home run, and scores four runs. Jim Landis causes two outs, both on grounders to the pitcher, in the strange inning.
At Griffith Stadium, Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees pitches a 14-inning, 1 – 0 shutout against the Washington Senators, giving up 8 hits while striking out 15. The Yankees win in the first half of the 14th inning on a Moose Skowron solo home run – the longest contest in major league history ending 1 – 0 on a home run.
4/22/1980 – In the bottom of the second inning, the Mariners’ Bill Stein and Joe Simpson batted out of order, both reached base and yet nothing was said. With one out, Simpson doubled to left and then Stein was hit by a pitch. Larry Cox singled to right filling the bases but pinch hitter Leon Roberts grounded into a double play to end the inning and the threat. Seattle scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to beat Oakland, 5-4.
The Minnesota Twins collect 16 hits in a 9 – 5 victory over the Seattle Mariners. In the 4th inning, Kirby Puckett hits a three-run home run, his first homer in the majors, off Matt Young. After no homers last year, Puckett will hit four homers this season before blossoming into a power hitter with 31 next year.
During the first night game in the new ballpark, Frank Thomas hits the first White Sox home run in Comiskey Park, contributing to Chicago’s 8-7 victory over Baltimore. In the south-side stadium debut three days ago, Jack McDowell surrendered the park’s first homer to Cecil Fielder in a 16-0 rout of the home team by Detroit.
Mariner right-hander Chris Bosio walks the first two batters he faces in the Kingdome, but is perfect the rest of the way, throwing the second no-hitter in franchise history when he beats Red Sox, 7-0. The 30 year-old Seattle’s no-no is kept intact by several outstanding plays from his infielders, including shortstop Omar Vizquel’s barehanded play on a chopper hit by Ernest Riles for the game’s final out.
After four months of on-and-off negotiations, the New York Yankees acquire the rights to Japanese pitcher Hideki Irabu from the San Diego Padres for $3 million. Irabu’s team, the Chiba Lotte Marines, gave the Padres exclusive rights to the 27-year-old righthander, but Irabu refused to sign with them, saying he would only go to the Yankees.
Chicago White Sox second baseman Ray Durham ties a major league record by reaching base on an error three times in Chicago’s 14 – 7 victory over the Cleveland Indians. Durham adds three hits with four runs and two RBI. Durham is also involved in two other plays in which he advances on errors – a stolen base in which he goes to third base on a throwing error, and he triples and scores on another error.
After being hit by a pitch thrown by White Sox starter Jim Parque, Dean Palmer charges the mound, beginning a series of brawls that continue to erupt during the beanball-filled game at Comiskey Park. When the dust settles in Chicago’s 14-6 victory over the Tigers, Frank Robinson, baseball’s new disciplinary czar, suspends 16 individuals for a total of 82 games and fines a total of 24 players, coaches and managers for their roles in the brawl.
The Boston Red Sox complete their first sweep of the New York Yankees in Fenway Park in 17 years. Manny Ramirez, J.D. Drew, Mike Lowell and Jason Varitek hit consecutive home runs, making it the fourth instance in major league history that four straight hitters have gone deep. The victim for all four gopher balls is Chase Wright, who ties the major league record for home runs allowed in an inning. Paul Foytack in 1963 had been the only prior pitcher to allow four straight homers in an inning.
John Smoltz becomes the 16th major league pitcher to strike out 3,000 batters. The 40-year-old Braves hurler gets Felipe Lopez swinging on a 2-2 offering in the 3rd for his 3,000th K. He is the 6th-quickest to the mark in terms of innings pitched (3,386). Smoltz fans 10 in 7 innings in this win, showing that age has not yet caught up to him.
In a scheduling oddity, both New York big league teams play in Chicago, with the Mets playing the Cubs in a matinee, and the Yankees taking on the White Sox in an evening tilt. This unusual occurrence marks the first time in 11+ years that two teams from one city have both played as the visitors in the same city on the same date, a quirk likely necessitated due to the Pope’s weekend visit to the Bronx, whose appearance included a mass at Yankee Stadium two days ago.
Boston sweeps a day-night doubleheader with the Minnesota Twins at Fenway Park. Tim Wakefield pitches a seven-inning rain-shortened complete game in the opener as the Red Sox win, 10 – 1, then Brad Penny earns the 7 – 3 win in the nitecap. In the second game, in his first at-bat since being recalled from AAA to replace the injured Rocco Baldelli, Jeff Bailey hits a three-run homer off Francisco Liriano, who falls to 0-4 for the year.
There are two games in the Chinese Professional Baseball League and in both of them, one of the Chen brothers is named game MVP with 4 hits and 4 RBI apiece. Chin-Feng Chen goes 4 for 6 with two doubles and 4 RBI to lead the La New Bears to a 10 – 3 win over the Sinon Bulls, while Lien-Hung Chen goes 4 for 5 with a double, triple and 4 RBI to power the Uni-President Lions past the Brother Elephants, 17 – 3.
Former major league manager Kevin Kennedy, now working as a broadcaster for the Tampa Bay Rays, is suddenly thrust into the limelight, as he intervenes to stop a deranged man who threatens to blow up a flight between Los Angeles, CA and Tampa, FL. Kennedy is one of ten passengers who subdue the madman as the Delta Air Lines flight is diverted to Albuquerque, NM.
The Yankees turn their first triple play in 42 years when Alex Rodriguez steps on third to start a 5-4-3 around-the-horn play that results in three outs in a 4-2 loss to the A’s in Oakland. The team’s last triple killing occurred in June of 1968, on a 1-5-3 ground ball hit by Minnesota’s John Roseboro, a play started by pitcher Dooley Womack, continued by third baseman Bobby Cox, and finished by Mickey Mantle, who was playing first base.
The Marlins’ Anibal Sanchez comes close to throwing the second no-hitter of his career, beating the Rockies, 4 – 1. The Rockies’ lone run, which scores on a walk and a two-base error in the 1st, is unearned; Dexter Fowleris the only batter to get a hit off Sanchez with a 9th-inning single. Sanchez, who pitched a no-hitter in 2006, strikes out a career-high 9 batters in the one-hitter.
The Rangers hit five home runs by five different batters in five consecutive innings to down the Royals, 11 – 6. Mike Napoli, Ian Kinsler, David Murphy, Adrian Beltre and Mitch Moreland all take advantage of windy conditions at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington to go deep between the 3rd and 7th innings.
The Rangers edge the Tigers, 3 – 2, on a controversial squeeze bunt in the 11th inning. The bases are loaded with no one out when Alberto Gonzalez squares up and lays the ball down right in front of him; it bounces and glances off his right knee, but the umpires miss it and the play is allowed to stand in spite of Detroit manager Jim Leyland’s protests. After the game, home plate umpire Tim Welke will admit he missed the call and should have declared the play a foul ball. Thad Weber is charged with the loss in his major league debut as a result.
The Brewers record their 8th straight win after a 2-8 start, 7 – 1 over the Padres. The outcome is never in doubt, as the Brewers score five runs in the top of the 1st on homers by Ryan Braun and Yuniesky Betancourt. The Brewers manage only five hits all game, but still win handily. The only blip is a dislocated finger suffered in a baserunning collision with 2B Jedd Gyorko which forces P Kyle Lohse to leave in the top of the 6th inning, but not before he earns his first win as a Brewer.
Jose Fernandez continues to build on last year’s Rookie of the Year season, as he matches a career high with 14 strikeouts over 8 shutout innings in defeating the Braves, 1 – 0. Fernandez allows 3 hits and Steve Cishekadds a perfect 9th inning for the Marlins. Alex Wood is the unlucky loser, as he allows only 4 hits and no walks and strikes out 11 over 8 innings, but a double by Giancarlo Stanton and a single by Casey McGehee in the 4th lead to the game’s only run. The Braves and Marlins combine for 28 strikeouts and no walks; the Elias Sports Bureau reports that this is a record for most Ks without a walk since at least 1900.
JaCoby Jones of the Tigers is hit in the face by a fastball from Justin Haley of the Twins in the 3rd inning, sending him to the hospital with facial lacerations. In the 5th, Matt Boyd throws a pitch behind Miguel Sano, who comes to blows with C James McCann while P Matthew Boyd is ejected by umpire Mike Everitt, along with Sano. The Tigers, who also place 1B Miguel Cabrera on the disabled list before the game, wins the game, 5 – 4.
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