This Day In Baseball April 26
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 26
1957 – Don Bessent’s quick pitch vs. Roberto Clemente’s quick wrists? No contest. The Bucs’ 7 – 1 trouncing of Brooklyn knocks the “Bums” out of first place and pulls Pittsburgh out of the cellar while Clemente’s 7th-inning double, which drives the final nail in the 7 – 1 coffin, results from Bessent’s ill-advised attempt to quick-pitch the whippet-wristed Roberto, as he will later recall.
The Baseball Records Committee decides to give Babe Ruth credit for one more home run during his career for a total of 715. The committee rules that one of Ruth’s home runs had been incorrectly ruled a triple. The committee will later reverse its decision, returning Ruth to a total of 714 home runs.
The Rangers trade Lenny Randle, who is still under suspension for his spring training altercation in which he fractured manager Frank Lucchesi’s cheekbone, to the Mets for a player to be named later (infielder Rick Auerbach) and cash. The 28 year-old second baseman will be shifted to third base by Joe Torre, the team’s new skipper who will replace Joe Frazier.
1986 – The game between the California Angels and Minnesota Twins is delayed for nine minutes when strong winds tear a hole in the Metrodome roof, causing suspended lights and speakers to sag toward the field. The roof is reinflated and California rallies for six runs in the 9th inning to win, 7 – 6.
1990 – Texas Rangers pitcher Nolan Ryan ties Bob Feller’s major league record by hurling his 12th career one-hitter. Ryan strikes out 16 batters in shutting down the Chicago White Sox, 1 – 0. The only hit allowed is Ron Kittle’s 2nd-inning check-swing single to right field. The victory is the 293rd in Ryan’s career.
1995 – A number of Major League Baseball teams open their season, reduced to 144 games because of the strike. Coors Field, the National League’s first new baseball-only park in 23 years, opens in dramatic fashion in Denver, Colorado, as Dante Bichette of the Rockies hits a three-run home run to defeat the visiting Mets in 14 innings, 11 – 9, tying the National League record for most innings played in a season opener.
1997 – Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs breaks the major league record for most home runs by a second baseman as Chicago beats Pittsburgh, 7 – 6. His 267th career home run surpasses the old mark set by Joe Morgan from 1965 to 1984. Sandberg hit the first five home runs of his career as a third baseman before moving over to second.
In the Cubs’ 7-6 win over the Pirates at Wrigley Field, Ryne Sandberg hits his 267th career home run as a second baseman, breaking Joe Morgan’s record for the most homers at that position. The mark will not be broken again until 2004, when Jeff Kent of the Astros records his 268th dinger as a second sacker.
Hideo Nomo of the Boston Red Sox just misses becoming the fifth pitcher since 1900 to hurl two no-hitters in a single season as former Gold Glove right fielder Darren Lewis just misses catching Torii Hunter’s blooper in the top of the 7th inning. The hit, which many consider a questionable call by the official scorer, is the only one given up by Nomo in the 2 – 0 victory over the Twins. Nomo pitched a no-hitter against Baltimore on April 4th. He will miss another no-hitter on May 25th against Toronto.
Hideo Nomo misses becoming the fifth pitcher since 1900 to hurl two no-hitters in a single season when former Gold Glove right fielder Darren Lewis barely misses catching Torii Hunter’s blooper in the top of the seventh inning. The hit, which many consider a questionable call by the scorer, is the only hit given up by the Red Sox right-hander in the team’s 2-0 victory over the Twins.
Alex Rodriguez slugs his way to the best performance of his career, hitting three home runs in his first three at-bats off Angels pitcher Bartolo Colón. The Yankees win, 12 – 4, as Rodriguez becomes only the 11th player in major league history to collect 10 or more RBI in a game. He is one RBI shy of the American League record of 11 set in 1936 by Hall of Famer and former Yankee Tony Lazzeri, and two short of the major league mark of 12 shared by Jim Bottomley (1924) and Mark Whiten (1993), both of the Cardinals.
Francisco Cordero blows his third consecutive chance to save a game when the A’s tie the game 4-4 in the ninth and then score two in the next frame to beat the Rangers, 6-4. The Dominican closer’s fifth blown save establishes a big league mark for the first month of the season and overshadows the sixth straight game that the Ranger outfielder Kevin Mench has homered, a grand slam that sets a team record.
2008 – The Dodgers top the Rockies, 11 – 3. Mark Redman allows 10 1st-inning runs but is left in the contest; such a scenario had not taken place in the major leagues for over a century. Redman throws shutout ball for the next five frames, but still takes the loss. Los Angeles sends 13 batters to the plate in the 1st, with a Matt Kemp grand slam the key blow.
Sara Tucholsky, a Western Oregon college senior, goes deep over the centerfield fence, but suffers a torn knee ligament rounding first and is unable to continue her trip around the bases. Any assistance from her teammates will turn the three-run homer into a two-run single and an out, but just before being lifted off the field, Central Washington senior Mallory Holtman comes forward along with other opposing players to carry their injured opponent around the bases in the ultimate display of sportsmanship.
“We can’t tell you to survive the storms of life, we can tell you to dance in the rain, and you can do it. You really can do it. Very difficult, but possible.” – VIN SCULLY, delivering the commencement address at Pepperdine University. Vin Scully receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, the institution’s highest honor. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster delivers a stirring commencement address to the 2008 Class of Seaver College, telling the graduates that achieving dreams may be “very difficult, but possible”.
Boston completes a three-game sweep with a 4 – 1 victory over the Yankees, Boston’s 10th consecutive victory. Jacoby Ellsbury pulls off a straight steal of home against Andy Pettitte in the 5th inning in the game’s key play. Justin Masterson has now won both of his starts in place of the injured Daisuke Matsuzaka.
The Red Sox win a wild 13 – 12 game over the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. Jason Varitek goes 3 for 5 with 4 RBI and Marco Scutaro is also 3 for 5, with 4 runs scored for the winners. But starter Josh Beckett cannot hold an early 5 – 0 lead and is chased after 3 innings, having given up 8 runs. Scott Schoeneweis earns his first win of the year in relief, and Jonathan Papelbon has to be summoned to pitch the 9th for the save. For the Jays, Lyle Overbay is 3 for 5 with a homer and 4 RBI, and Jose Bautista also has a homer and 4 RBI.
The Phillies sign their star first baseman Ryan Howard to a five-year contract extension worth between $125-138 million. The deal should help set the price-tag for three other first basemen who may become free agents at the end of the season, Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols. However, Howard will go into rapid decline and his huge contract will prove to be an albatross for the Phils.
The Brewers pound the Pirates, 17 – 3, for their 22nd consecutive win over the Bucs at Miller Park, dating back to 2007. They have won all four of their games with Pittsburgh this year by a combined score of 53-5. Pirates OF Ryan Church comments: “There are no words to describe it. It’s embarrassing. That about sums it up.”
The Marlins are quietly off to the best start in franchise history, moving to 15-7 with a 4 – 2 win over the Dodgers. Hanley Ramirez breaks out of a 3 for 28 slump with two hits and two runs scored while Gaby Sanchez homers in support of Chris Volstad. For Los Angeles, Andre Ethier extends his hitting streak to 23 games, the longest-ever in April, with an RBI double in the 1st; teammate James Loney comes into the game hitting .170 but goes 4 for 4 in the first four-hit game of his career.
Engel Beltre, an outfielder for the Frisco Rough Riders of the AA Texas League, is caught on tape throwing a trash can into the crowd in response to heckling by fans following manager Steve Buechele’s ejection from a game in San Antonio, TX. Beltre will be handed a 15-game suspension and will also face criminal charges of disorderly conduct for his actions. Two fans are also charged for their role in the fracas, although officials are unable to identify which players also threw bats into the stands.
In his first start since throwing a perfect game on April 21st, the White Sox’s Philip Humber comes crashing down to earth. He walks leadoff batter Mike Aviles, then yields a career-high 9 runs in 5 innings of work to be tagged with a 10 – 3 loss to the Red Sox. Kevin Youkilis hits a grand slam, while Jarrod Saltalamacchia homers twice to lead Boston. Humber breaks Catfish Hunter’s 44-year-old record of 8 runs allowed in the start after a perfect game. “This game will humble you, man,” Humber states after the shelling.
Using a home-grown starting lineup for the first time since 1971, New York beats Miami when Heath Bell walks four batters in the ninth inning, including Justin Turner’s 13-pitch at-bat that results in a game-tying bases-loaded base-on-balls, and before giving up a game-winning two-out single to the rookie Kirk Nieuwenhuis. Forty-one years ago, Gil Hodges used a lineup of all former Mets farmhands that included Ed Kranepool, Bud Harrelson, Tim Foli, Ted Martinez, Mike Jorgensen, Duffy Dyer, John Milner, and Jerry Koosman.
The injury-plagued Yankees lose two more players, but continue to win. First, catcher Francisco Cervelli breaks his right hand when hit by a foul tip off Rajai Davis’s bat on the fifth pitch of the game, then starter Ivan Nova has to leave after two innings with pain in his elbow. David Phelps steps in ably, giving one run in 4 innings and striking out 9, as the Yanks defeat the Blue Jays, 6 – 4. Cervelli’s replacement, Chris Stewart, pitches in by throwing out a pair of Jays baserunners.
Jordan Zimmermann of the Nationals pitches his first career shutout in defeating the Reds, 1 – 0, on a one-hitter. Xavier Paul’s leadoff single in the 3rd is the only safety. Yesterday, Gio Gonzalez had given up only one hit in 8 innings and combined with Rafael Soriano for another one-hitter over the Reds.
Anibal Sanchez sets a new Tigers record by striking out 17 batters in 8 innings in beating the Braves, 10 – 0. Mickey Lolich held the previous record with 16. Sanchez strikes out out the side in the 8th to set the record, but having thrown 121 pitches, is not allowed to go out in the 9th to attempt to tie the all-time record of 20.
Anibal Sanchez breaks Mickey Lolich’s franchise record of 16 strikeouts when he retires the side on strikes in the eighth inning of the Tigers’ 10-0 rout of Atlanta. In his eight innings of work, the 29 year-old Venezuelan right-hander gives up just five hits en route to his 17-strikeout performance in the Comerica Park contest.
Takahiro Arai joins the meikyukai with his 2,000th career hit, a double off Yoshihisa Naruse. Arai is the 47th player to 2,000 hits and is the second-lowest draft pick to do so; as a 6th-round pick, only Yutaka Fukumoto (7th round) was lower. It is part of a remarkable year as the 39-year-old will win the MVP for the first time.
Chicago is on top of the baseball world today as the White Sox are the first major league team to 15 wins this year when they beat the Blue Jays, 10 – 1, behind Chris Sale’s fifth win in as many starts. They are then joined by the Cubs who improve to 15-5 with a 4 – 3 win over the Brewers. For the Cubs, it’s their best start since 1907, when they had begun the season by going 16-4 on their way to a World Series win.
2017 – Gift Ngoepe becomes the first major leaguer from Africa. Entering in a double switch in a 6 – 5 Pirates win over the Cubs, the South Africa native singles and walks off Jon Lester in his first two plate appearances and helps turn the game-ending double play. He is the second player to debut this week for the Pirates as the first player from his country, following Lithuania’s Dovydas Neverauskas by two days.
2018 – Boston’s Public Improvement Commission accedes to a demand spearheaded by Red Sox owner John Henry to rename Tom Yawkey Way, the street on which Fenway Park and the team’s corporate address is located. Tom Yawkey’s reputation has been badly damaged due to his central role in keeping the Red Sox from integrating until every other major league team had done so. The street will now revert to its former name, Jersey Street. The move is not without controversy, as the “Yawkey Foundations”, set up by the late owner’s estate, have provided millions to civic improvement projects in and around the city.
2019 – All eyes are turned on Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who makes his major league debut with the Blue Jays against the Athletics. With his illustrious father, Vladimir Guerrero, watching from the stands, he starts the winning rally in the 9th by leading off the inning with a double off Yusmeiro Petit for his first major league hit, and is then replaced by a pinch-runner. Two outs later, Brandon Drury hits a two-run walk-off homer to give Toronto a 4 – 2 win.
4/26/2019 – In the bottom of the seventh against the Tigers, the White Sox Jose Abreu hit what appeared to be a three-run homer to left center, but it did not the clear the fence by very much, so Tim Anderson went back to first to tag up. Abreu passed by him rounding first, and was called out when the Tigers challenged the play, which becam a two-run single.
2011 – After 11 seasons as one of the top Astro hitters in history, Lance Berkman returns for the first time as a St. Louis Cardinal. Welcomed with mostly applause, Berkman rips a go-ahead double in the ninth only to see Houston bounce back for a 6-5 triumph. Bill Hall singles through the drawn-in infield for the game-winner. Brett Wallace, Berkman’s heir at first base, has three hits. Despite being last in the NL Central, the 9-14 Astros are just three games out of first.
1995 – “Play Ball” never sounded so good. The Astros open the strike-delayed season with a 10-2 victory in San Diego. Jeff Bagwell, Derek Bell and Phil Plantier start the campaign with home runs. Doug Drabek works five innings for the win. Although over 41,000 attend, baseball’s attendance plummets as resentment over the strike lingers.
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