This Day In Baseball April 29
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 29
Baltimore Orioles infielder John McGraw is hit by pitches five times, but home plate umpire Jack Sheridan refuses to allow him to take first base. In the 9th inning, McGraw is hit for the last time and sits down in the batter’s box in protest. American League president Ban Johnson will suspend McGraw for five games.
Luis Aparicio is born in Maracaibo, Venezuela. Aparicio will begin a distinguished 18-year major league career in 1956, when he debuts with the Chicago White Sox. Aparicio will help to redefine the role and expectations of major league shortstops with agile fielding, spray hitting and speedy baserunning. Named Rookie of the Year in his first season, he will collect nine Gold Glove Awards, lead the American League in stolen bases nine seasons and play the All-Star Game 10 times. When he retires in 1973, he will hold the major league career record for shortstops for games played, double plays and assists. In 1984, Aparicio will become the first – and only – Venezuelan player to gain election to the Hall of Fame with 341 votes on 403 BBWAA ballots (84.62%).
The Pirates and the Phillies become the last two major league franchises allowed to play home games on Sundays when the Bucs beat Cincinnati, 9-5, at Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, along with the Phils dropping an 8-7 decision to Brooklyn at Philadelphia’s Baker Bowl. Games on the Lord’s Day are no longer prohibited in Pennsylvania because the state modified their blue laws, legislation which formerly prevented such events due to religious concerns.
On a chilly Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, Lou Gehrig comes to the plate in the fourth inning and singles off Washington hurler Ken Chase for his 2,721st and last hit, the most ever in franchise history. The ‘Iron Horse’s’ record will stand for over 70 years until Derek Jeter, another 35 year-old team captain, surpasses the mark in 2009.
Little-Bigger League, a baseball program for boys aged 13 to 15, changes its name to the Babe Ruth League, honoring the Yankee legend’s commitment to children. Claire Merritt Ruth, the widow of the Babe, will meet with the Hamilton-based (NJ) organization, giving permission for the youth circuit to bear her late husband’s name.
Braves’ first baseman Joe Adcock, with his 475-foot third-inning blast in the team’s 3-2 win over the hometown Giants, becomes the first player in a major league game to homer into the Polo Grounds’ center field bleachers. The feat was also accomplished by Luke Easter, presently playing for the Indians, in a Negro League contest played in the Coogan’s Bluff ballpark in 1948.
With shades of his 430-foot, May 6, 1955 birthday-crashing clout, Roberto Clemente once again triples over the head of his one-time mentor, Willie Mays, in the midst of a decisive, 7th-inning, three-run rally. Now, as then, Pittsburgh’s outburst fuels a 3 – 2 come-from-behind win over the Giants. Clemente initiates today’s uprising, reports UPI, “with a booming triple to centerfield.” Centerfield, in this case, would be that of Pittsburgh’s Forbes Field, whereas the earlier contest took place in New York’s Polo Grounds. Both arenas, however, feature similarly ample centerfield real estate.
Granted, Roberto Clemente and Howie Goss — the latter, a career minor leaguer cum Pirate reserve outfielder — are not likely to be linked terribly often in the years, decades and centuries to come. On this day, however, it is the benching of the former — having arrived late for today’s twin bill vs. Los Angeles — by an irate Danny Murtaugh (the first major flareup in what will remain a largely unreported but nearly decade-long rift between the two) that affords the latter, in his 10th year of professional baseball, his first big league start. Making the most of his “15 minutes”, Goss goes 3 for 5, his 7th-inning, two-run homer erasing a one-run deficit and sparking Pittsburgh’s 6 – 1 win. In the nightcap, Dick Stuart’s 400-foot solo blast provides all the support needed by rookie Al McBean, who notches his first career complete game and shutout, completing the sweep and propelling Pittsburgh past the first-place Cardinals.
Russ Snyder accomplishes the rare feat of getting two hits in one inning as a pinch hitter in the Orioles’ 8-3 victory at Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium. Leading off the top of the seventh, the Oriole outfielder, batting for Wes Stock, ties the score at 3-3 with a solo home run, and he will add a two-out RBI single before the frame is finished.
Don Zimmer, who replaced the recently fired Preston Gomez, gets the first of his of 885 victories as a big league manager when the Padres blank the Phillies at San Diego Stadium, 4-0. The victory is very unlikely as Steve Arlin, who will lead the league in losses with 21, bests Steve Carlton, this season’s eventual Cy Young Award winner, who will be tops in the majors with 27 victories.
At Kawasaki Stadium, Hanshin Tigers outfielder Noriyoshi Sano is knocked unconscious and fractures his skull while chasing a fly ball from Hiroyoshi Shimizu into the wall. Sano is rushed to the hospital in critical condition but will recover. Nippon Pro Baseball will modify their rules to require padded rules following the incident.
4/29/1977 – In a game in San Diego, the Mets batted out of order through the whole game. The lineup featured Roy Staiger batting sixth, John Stearns seventh and Bud Harrelson eighth. This was a change from recent games when Stearns was sixth and Staiger seventh and the two batted this way four times in a row. In the first inning, Stearns hit into an inning-ending double play. Staiger made an out and Harrelson singled in the second (both batting out of turn). Stearns led off the fourth with a home run but the Padres said nothing. Both Staiger and Harrelson made outs, again out of order. In the fifth, Stearns and Staiger were both out but Harrelson started the sixth by reaching on an infield error. With two out in the seventh, Stearns walked and Staiger singled him to third. However, the Padres finally spoke up and the umpires incorrectly declared Staiger out instead of Harrelson, who led off the eighth inning. Even with all the batting changes, the Mets won the game, 9-2.
In a 6-1 loss at Baltimore, Angel starter Nolan Ryan, who will finish the season fanning 341 batters, strikes out 11 Orioles to pass the 300 mark for the fifth time in his career. The future Hall of Fame right-hander will retire as baseball’s all-time leader with 5,714, averaging 9.5 K’s per nine innings.
In a game which lasts only one hour and thirty-three minutes, the St. Louis Cardinals tie a franchise record for the quickest nine-inning game played in their history, beating the Dodgers at Busch Stadium, 1 – 0. The game also marks a victory for Ken Boyer in his managerial debut, after replacing Vern Rapp who was fired four days ago.
On Strawberry Sunday, former World Series hero Jerry Koosman is greeted warmly by the Mets’ faithful in his first start at Shea Stadium since 1978 when he faces his old team for the first time. Prior to the 6-2 victory over Philadelphia, fans are treated to strawberry sundaes provided by Carvel in honor of Darryl Strawberry, last season’s National League Rookie of the Year.
4/29/1985: Yankee Bobby Meacham batted in the top of the fourth inning in Texas with two runners on and one out. He homered off Frank Tanana, but didn’t expect the ball to leave the park. While he was running towards and around first, the runner at first, Willie Randolph was headed back to the bag to tag up. Neither Randolph nor Meacham expected the ball to leave the yard. They collided just past first base and Meacham was called out for passing Randolph and ended up being credited with a two-run single. By the way, this was Billy Martin’s first day on the job for one of his stints as New York manager.
Unlike yesterday’s Opening Day crowd which was supportive, some of the 28,244 fans at today’s Wrigley Field game show their displeasure with the recent baseball strike by littering the field with souvenir magnetic schedules. The incident, which took place in the eighth inning of the Cubs’ 5-4 victory over Montreal, delayed the contest five minutes.
For the first time in seven tries, the San Francisco Giants win at Pacific Bell Park as San Francisco becomes the first major league franchise to lose six games to start a season in a newly-constructed ballpark. Barry Bonds’ 8th-inning home run proves to be the difference in a 2 – 1 victory over the Montreal Expos.
Geoff Jenkins hits two home runs, tying a major league record with five home runs in two games to lead the Milwaukee Brewers to a 10 – 0 victory over the Montreal Expos. Jenkins is the 22nd player in major league history to hit five homers in two games and the first National League player to do it in 10 years.
At Indianapolis’ Victory Field, the International League’s contest between the hometown Indians and Louisville Bats is delayed for twenty minutes before the start of the fourth inning as a maintenance crew works to free first baseman Jeff Liefer from a dugout bathroom. Returning to the field, the first baseman is greeted with a standing ovation and receives a gift from the opposing dugout, a roll of toilet paper.
In the first matchup between 300-game winners in almost 18 years, Greg Maddux outduels Roger Clemens in the Chicago Cubs’ 3 – 2 victory over the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. The last such showdown occurred in 1987 when Don Sutton of the California Angels defeated Steve Carlton of the Minnesota Twins. Maddux earns his first win of season and 306th of his career, allowing two runs on seven hits over six innings.
Managers Terry Francona and Lou Piniella are included as part of the six members of the Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Devil Rays who are suspended for their roles in the two bench-clearing incidents during the beanball contest played on April 24th at Tropicana Field. Both managers are suspended one game each. Boston’s 11 – 3 victory, which featured six ejections, also results in multi-game suspensions for Bronson Arroyo (six games), Dewon Brazelton (five games), Lance Carter (five games) and Trot Nixon (two games). The Red Sox and Devil Rays have a history of beanballs and bench-clearing incidents dating back several years. In 108 meetings between the teams since the start of the 2000 season, 120 batters have been hit by pitches. Over the same span, the Boston and Tampa Bay pitching staffs each have beaned 495 batters, easily tied for the most in the majors.
The Nationals exercise Jose Guillen’s $4 million contract option for 2006. The sometimes angry 28 year-old outfielder, who was acquired in a trade with the Angels after feuding with manager Mike Scioscia, appears to have found a home in Washington thanks to a very pleased general manager, Jim Bowden.
Skippers Lou Piniella (1 game) and Terry Francona (1 game) are included as part of the six members of the Red Sox and Devil Rays who are suspended for their roles in the two bench-clearing incidents during the bean ball contest played on April 24th in Tampa Bay. Boston’s 11-3 victory, which also featured six ejections, results in multi-game suspensions for Bronson Arroyo (6 games), Dewon Brazelton (5 games), Lance Carter (5 games), and Trot Nixon (2 games).
At Comerica Park, Carlos Guillen homers twice and drives in five runs as the Detroit Tigers record their most lopsided win in 13 years with an 18 – 1 hammering of the Minnesota Twins. Magglio Ordóñez and Curtis Granderson also hit home runs for the Tigers, who last won a game by 17 runs in 1993. For Ordóñez, it is his 200th career home run; he will hit his 300th on this day in 2010.
Jason Varitek hits a tiebreaking single in a four-run 9th inning, leading the Boston Red Sox past the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 9 – 6, at Tropicana Field. Jonathan Papelbon strikes out all three batters he faces to earn his 10th save in 10 chances. Papelbon becomes the first big league pitcher to get 10 saves in April after entering that season without a save. He has a scoreless streak of 20 1/3 innings spanning 17 appearances dating to last year as he also sets a major league rookie record and the Red Sox team mark for saves during April.
Troy Tulowitzki turns the 13th unassisted triple play in major league history. In the 7th inning, Braves hitters Kelly Johnson and Edgar Renteria reach base. They run with the pitch on a full count delivery to Chipper Jones. Jones lines the ball behind second base, which Tulowitzki catches. He then steps on second to retire Johnson and tags out Renteria to complete the rare feat.
In game two of a doubleheader, the Potomac Nationals win 3 – 2 over the Winston-Salem Warthogs. The odd part of this is that Potomac is no-hit; they become the first Carolina League team since 1978 to win a game in which they do not get a hit. Potomac scores its runs in the 6th on an error, two walks, a passed ball by Billy Killian, two more walks and a fielder’s choice.
Yovani Gallardo does it all by himself in Milwaukee’s 1 – 0 win over Pittsburgh. He shuts out the Pirates on two hits, strikes out 11, and hits a solo home run in the 7th for the game’s lone run. He is 26th pitcher in major league history to win a 1 – 0 shutout while contributing a solo homer for the offense, and the third to do so while striking out 10 or more batters, following Red Ruffing and Early Wynn.
In Kansas City’s 11-3 victory over Toronto at Kauffman Stadium, Vernon Wells’ first inning two-out RBI single ends Zack Greinke’s streak of not allowing an earned run at 43 consecutive innings. The Royals right-hander, who improves his record to 5-0, had not given up an earned run in his last six starts, dating back to September 13th of last season.
Dontrelle Willis’s comeback continues as he pitches his best game since joining the Detroit Tigers before the 2008 season. He gives up only 4 hits and no runs in 7 innings as Detroit blanks Minnesota, 3 – 0. He picks up his first win of the year – which is only his second for the Bengals. In the contest, Magglio Ordonez hits the 300th home run of his career, four years to the day after hitting number 200.
The Blue Jays get a power surge from catcher John Buck, who blasts three homers and drives in 5 runs in a 6 – 3 win over Oakland. He victimizes three different pitchers: starter Justin Duchscherer in the 3rd, and relievers Jerry Blevins and Craig Breslow in the 4th and 6th. Duchscherer has to leave the game in the 4th with pain in his hip, a condition that has already forced him to undergo two surgeries in past years. Ricky Romero is the winner for Toronto.
Roy Halladay loses his third consecutive complete game, a 1-0 defeat at Boston’s Fenway Park. The hard-luck Blue Jays right-hander is the first pitcher to suffer such an indignity since Randy Johnson lost three straight complete-game decisions in 1999, and becomes the first Toronto hurler since Jim Clancy had a similar streak in 1982.
During the Diamondbacks game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field, scores of protesters wave signs and chant, “Boycott Arizona! Boycott Arizona!” on the sidewalk outside the ballpark. The demonstration is in response to the state’s recently enacted illegal-immigration law, with organizers hoping the movement will inspire baseball fans to stay away from contests that feature the team from The Grand Canyon State.
Andre Ethier extends his hitting streak to 25 games with a 5th-inning double off Clayton Richard as the Dodgers beat the Padres, 3 – 2, tying Steve Sax (1986) and Paul Lo Duca (2003) for second-longest in team history. Willie Davis, who put together a 31-game streak in 1969, holds the record since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, CA. The news is not all good for the Dodgers, however, as they place 3B Casey Blake on the disabled listwith a staph infection in his left elbow; he undergoes surgery and won’t be back for a month.
3B Pablo Sandoval breaks a bone in his right wrist in San Francisco’s 3 – 0 loss to the Nationals. Sandoval was back to form, hitting .313 with 5 home runs and 14 RBI in the early going, after struggling and finishing the season on the bench in 2010. The extent of the injury will only be revealed in x-rays taken the next day.
The Brewers hit five homers and three triples in a 10 – 4 win over the Pirates; they are the first team to get that particular combination of long hits since the Giants on May 13, 1958. Jean Segura and Carlos Gomez get a triple and a homer each, while P Yovani Gallardo hits his second homer and picks up his third win in three starts since being arrested for driving under the influence earlier this month.
The Marlins earn a rare victory, 4 – 3, over the Mets with a two-run rally in the bottom of the 15th inning. Ruben Tejada gives the Mets a 3 – 2 lead with an infield single off Jon Rauch in the top of the 15th, but the Fish come back on Rob Brantly’s single and Nick Green’s sacrifice fly against Shaun Marcum, the Mets’ ninth pitcher of the night. It is the first time Miami wins back-to-back games this year, but the win is costly as the team’s best hitter, Giancarlo Stanton, pulls a hamstring running out a ground ball in the 10th and is immediately placed on the disabled list.
That game is not the longest of the night, however, as Brandon Moss homers off Barry Enright with Jed Lowrie on first base and two out in the bottom of the 19th inning to give Oakland a 10 – 8 win over the Angels. Oakland trails 7- 2 in the bottom of the 8th, but rallies for four runs that inning and adds another in the 9th when Yoenis Cespedes drives in Coco Crisp with a two-out single, forcing extra innings. The teams trade runs in the 15th before Moss ends it with his second homer of the game. For the Angels, Albert Pujols has a pair of long balls and Mark Trumbo hits a solo tape-measure blast in the 4th. Jerry Blevins, who had struck out against Enright in the 18th because the A’s had been forced to move DH Seth Smith to the outfield, gets the win. At 6 hours and 32 minutes, the game is the longest by time in both teams’ history.
Donald Lutz, who left the U.S. as an infant, becomes the first German-developed player to appear in the major leagues when he grounds out to second as a pinch-hitter in the Reds’ 2-1 victory over St. Louis at Busch Stadium. The 24 year-old outfielder, a member of the German National Team that competed in the 2013 WBC, joins Seattle’s Alex Liddi as the second graduate of the Major League Baseball International European Academy to make a big league team.
Brandon Moss’ walk-off two-run homer in the 19th inning ends a six hour and 32 minute contest, the longest game by time in A’s history. Oakland’s 10-8 victory over Los Angeles features 5.1 innings of outstanding relief by Brett Anderson, who entered the game in the 13th frame after being scratched from his scheduled start to rest a sore right ankle.
Yusmeiro Petit is only a last-minute replacement for scheduled starter Matt Cain, who cuts his hand with a knife in AT&T Park’s kitchen after batting practice, but he completely baffles the Padres in a 6 – 0 Giants win. Petit allows only 3 hits and no walks in 6 innings, while San Francisco jumps on Eric Stults with 1st-inning homers by Angel Pagan and Buster Posey.
The Orioles win a game in eerie silence as they defeat the White Sox, 8 – 2, with no fans present at Camden Yards. The game is played without spectators present due to persistent rioting in Baltimore, MD, in order for the city not to have to commit overworked security forces to the contest. “Hopefully this was something good, something positive can come from this,” comments Chris Davis, whose long home run into the empty stands is the highlight of a six-run 1st inning, thinking about the difficult couple of weeks the city has gone through.
In his 16th career start, Marlins left-hander Adam Conley is four outs away from a no-hitter when he is replaced by reliever Jose Urena, who gives up the Brewers’ first hit with one out in the ninth in the team’s 6-3 victory at Milwaukee’s Miller Park. Miami manager Don Mattingly made the decision to go to the bullpen after the 25 year-old southpaw needed 16 pitches to get the first two outs of the eighth inning, bringing his total pitch count 116, ten more than the southpaw’s previous career high.
Making his major league debut for the Pirates, Nick Kingham retires the first 20 Cardinals batters he faces before allowing a single to Paul DeJong with two outs in the 7th. He then retires the next batter, ending his day with just that hit allowed, no walks and 9 strikeouts in 7 innings, earning his first career win, 5 – 0. No pitcher had made it through six perfect innings in his debut since 1974.
In his first start in AA for the Erie SeaWolves of the Eastern League, Casey Mize, the top pick in the 2018 amateur draft pitches a nine-inning no-hitter to defeat the Altoona Curve, 1 – 0. He had been 2-0, 0.35 in 4 dominant starts for the Class A Lakeland Flying Tigers to start the season, earning the quick promotion.
2005 – For the first time in 113 years, a National League game features two starting pitchers with over 300 wins in their careers. Chicago’s Greg Maddux edges Roger Clemens for a 3-2 verdict on Jeromy Burnitz’ solo homer off Clemens in the seventh. Jeff Bagwell launches the 449th and final homer of his career.
1974 – Lee May slams a pair of two-run homers in a nine-run sixth inning to spark an 18-2 mauling of Chicago. His two “taters” cap a five-for-five performance by the slugger to pace a 20-hit assault. Manager Preston Gomez gives May the rest of the night off or he might have done more. Winning pitcher Dave Roberts adds a sacrifice fly and an RBI single to the cause. The 18-2 win ties a club record for the largest margin of victory in a game.
1966 – A dropped third strike keys a 5-4 win over the Braves. Phil Niekro has Rusty Staub out on strikes but he is safe at first after Gene Oliver lets the pitch roll away in the ninth inning. John Bateman eventually singles Staub home with the game-winner. Lee Maye and Jim Gentile also homer for Houston.
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