This Day In Baseball April 25
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
At Griffith Stadium, the benches clear when Yankee outfielder Ben Chapman viciously spikes Buddy Myer and then responds to the Senators infielder’s retaliation by punching and hurling anti-semitic remarks at the injured Jewish second baseman. The ugly 20-minute brawl, which spreads into the stands and includes over 300 fans getting into the action, will result in suspensions and fines for the players involved.
Cliff Melton becomes the first rookie to fan at least ten batters in his major league debut, finishing with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game loss to the Braves at the Polo Grounds. The 25 year-old southpaw, who loses the 3-1 contest due to the weak defense of the Giants in the ninth inning, will hold the rookie record for K’s in his debut until Dodger freshman Karl Spooner whiffs 15 batters in his first major league start in 1954.
Maury Wills, hoping to give his pitchers an edge, gets the Kingdome’s ground crew to enlarge the batter box, making it a foot closer to the mound. Before the game, A’s skipper Billy Martin shares his suspicions with the umpire Bill Kunkel, and the American League suspends the exposed Mariners manager for two games for ”doctoring the batter’s box”.
The Mariners trade their ace, Mark Langston, along with minor leaguer Mike Campbell to the Expos for Brian Holman, Gene Harris, and 6′ 10″ southpaw Randy Johnson. The left-handed ‘Big Unit’ will become a mainstay in Seattle’s rotation for a decade, compiling a 130-74 (.637) record, and next season will throw the first no-hitter in franchise history.
On the day the team pay tribute to Joe DiMaggio, life-long Yankee fan Paul Simon, standing in centerfield, performs his 1968 classic Mrs. Robinson. The singer-songwriter’s iconic lyrics “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you” brings cheers from the enthusiastic sell-out crowd at the Bronx ballpark.
Honoring the work stoppage called by Cuban-Americans over the Elian Gonzalez immigration controversy, Marlins Alex Fernandez, Vladimir Nunez, Michael Tejera, and Mike Lowell, Devil Rays’ Jose Canseco, and Mets’ Rey Ordonez and Cookie Rojas do not participate in major league action. The protest stems from the federal district court’s ruling that the five year-old boy must be returned to his father in Cuba, taking him away from the maternal relatives living in Miami.
Rickey Henderson breaks the career walks record established by Babe Ruth in 1935 when he receives his 2,063rd base on balls. The 42 year-old Padres outfielder takes his historic stroll leading off the ninth inning on a free pass issued by Philadelphia’s Jose Mesa in the team’s 5-3 loss at Qualcomm Stadium.
Jake Peavy, in a sixteen strikeout performance against the Diamondbacks in a 3-2 Padres loss at Chase Field, comes within one check swing from tying Tom Seaver’s major league record of ten consecutive strikeouts. The right-hander loses his bid to tie the mark when Eric Byrnes’ apparent swing on a 3-2 count is ruled ball four, a questionable call by the first base umpire Jeff Kellogg.
On a frigid night at Coors Field, Trea Turner completes the third cycle in Nationals history with a bases-loaded triple in the seventh inning in the team’s 15-12 victory over the Rockies. The 23 year-old former NC State baseball standout joins Christian Guzman (2008) and Brad Wilkerson (2005), who have also accomplished the feat after the franchise moved to Washington, D.C.
1965 – Joe Morgan singles home Bob Aspromonte in the 11th inning for a 5-4 triumph over Pittsburgh. It’s the first day game at the Astrodome after the ceiling tiles had been painted to reduce the glare. Pirate outfielder Bill Virdon couldn’t use it as an excuse when Jim Wynn scores on his three-base error. Umpire Vinnie Smith couldn’t use it as an excuse when he overturns his own home-run call on Walt Bond’s drive off the fence.
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