This Day In Baseball April 7
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for April 7
1983 – Major League Baseball, ABC, and NBC agree to terms on a six-year television package worth $1.2 billion. The two TV networks will continue to alternate coverage of the playoffs, World Series, and All-Star Game through the 1989 season with each of the 26 clubs receiving $7 million per year in return. The last package gave each club $1.9 million per annum.
Chris Sabo, playing in just his second big league game, ties a major league record, handling eleven assists at third base in the Reds’ 8-1 victory over the Cardinals at Riverfront Stadium. The Cincinnati freshman infielder will beat out Chicago’s Mark Grace for Rookie of the Year honors this season.
The Phillies sweep the season’s opening series against Houston with a ten-inning 6-3 victory at the Astrodome. The comeback victory, which will become a trademark of the eventual National League champs, marks the first time the franchise had won its first three away games since 1915, when Pat Moran’s men won their first six games on the road, playing in Boston and New York.
1996 – National League umpire Eric Gregg is given a leave of absence following a meeting between American League president Gene Budig, National League president Len Coleman, and umpires union head Richie Phillips. Gregg, listed at 325 pounds but visibly heavier, makes the decision in the aftermath of the Opening Day death of fellow umpire John McSherry, who succumbed to a massive heart attack. The NL hopes that Gregg will lose weight and improve his health during the layoff.
1998 – On the same day that Major League Baseball returned to Wisconsin 28 years earlier, National League baseball returns to Milwaukee for the first time in 32 years. It’s a complicated story with a happy ending: The Milwaukee Braves were a National League team that moved to Atlanta in 1966, and the Seattle Pilots, who were formed as an American League expansion team in 1969, moved to Milwaukee and played their first game as the Brewers on this day in 1970. Five years after their team owner, Bud Selig, became Commissioner of baseball, the Brewers became a National League club, as part of the shuffle created by this year’s expansion. And on this day they are 6 – 4 winners over the Expos in their home opener.
Berley W. Visgar is sentenced to 90 days in jail and is fined $1,000 by Circuit Judge Michael Brennan for going on Milwaukee County Stadium’s field last season and jumping onto the back of Astros outfielder Bill Spiers. Although Visgar has no prior criminal record, the judge believes a harsh sentence will hopefully stop fans from similar actions in the future.
4/7/2000: Jose Canseco of the Devil Rays hit a tremendous blast to left field off Indians pitcher Jaret Wright in the bottom of the fifth inning which hit one of Tropicana Field’s “B-ring” catwalks. Per the ground rules the ball was in play and Canseco managed to only get a double on the mammoth drive that was destined to be a very long home run.
With the team exercising Pedro Martinez’s option for the 2004 season seven months before a November deadline, the Red Sox make the Dominican hurler the highest paid pitcher for a season in major league history. The 31 year-old three-time Cy Young winner will earn $17.5 million playing for Boston next year.
2006 – Los Angeles Dodgers closer Eric Gagné will have surgery to remove a nerve from his pitching elbow – his second arm operation in less than a year – leaving his season in doubt. Gagné saved 152 games for the Dodgers from 2002 to 2004 and was a near-unanimous winner of the 2003 National League Cy Young Award. He had a 1-0 record with a 2.70 ERA and eight saves while appearing in 14 games in 2005.
Ninety-seven years after his grandfather, Boston mayor John ‘Honey Fitz’ Fitzgerald, threw out the first pitch at the first major league game played at Fenway Park, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy also tosses the ceremonial first pitch for the Red Sox at a season opener. The sell-out crowd enthusiastically cheers the 77 year-old long-time Massachusetts law maker, who was diagnosed last spring with a malignant brain tumor, when he tosses the ball from in front of the mound to a nearby Jim Rice, a newly elected member of the Hall of Fame.
New Yankees centerfielder Curtis Granderson quickly makes his presence felt with the Bronx Bombers. After homering in his first at-bat for the team on Opening day, April 4th, he hits a game-winning long ball off Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon in the 10th inning of today’s game, which started as a pitching duel between Andy Pettitte and John Lackey, giving the Yankees a 3 – 1 victory. Chan Ho Park redeems his poor opening day performance with three innings of one-hit ball in relief to earn his first win in pinstripes, while Mariano Rivera picks up his second save in as many days.
According to its annual report, Forbes Magazine estimates the value of the Yankees to be worth approximately $1.6 billion, nearly twice as much as any other major league franchise. The World Champs, who moved into a new ballpark last season, made $441 million in net revenue after adjustments were made for its payment to baseball’s revenue-sharing program and the costs of financing its new stadium.
Barely a week into his major league career, Twins 2B Tsuyoshi Nishioka suffers a broken fibula in a collision with a sliding Nick Swisher of the Yankees, who is trying to break up a double play. The Yankees win the game, 4 – 3. A.J. Burnett is the winner, benefiting from a three-run rally in the 4th inning.
2012 – 49-year-old Jamie Moyer makes his return to the major leagues with the Colorado Rockies, a season-and-a-half after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He gives up a homer to the first Astros batter he faces, Jordan Schafer, and another to J.D. Martinez in the 4th, and leaves after 5 innings, saddled with the 7 – 3 loss. Lucas Harrell, who was barely one year old when Moyer made his debut back in 1986, pitches 7 shutout innings for the win.
Octavio Dotel, playing for his 13th team, breaks a major league record he previously shared with Mike Morgan, Matt Stairs, and Ron Villone. The 39 year-old Tiger reliever, who throws 1.1 scoreless innings against Boston, has also appeared with the Mets, Astros, A’s, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, and Cardinals.
2013 – Boston 3B Will Middlebrooks is the first batter to have a three-homer game this season, leading the Sox to a 13 – 0 win over the Blue Jays, part of a 4-for-5 day. The first two homers come off last year’s National League Cy Young Award winner, R.A. Dickey, who gives up five runs before recording an out in the 1st. Mike Napoli, Daniel Nava and Jacoby Ellsbury also go deep for Boston.
2015 – For the second straight night, the Rockies hit six doubles to tie a major league record that had stood for 103 years with 12 in their first two games. They defeat the Brewers, 5 – 2, one night after opening the season with a 10 – 0 blanking of those same Brewers. Surprisingly, the barrage of extra-base hits takes place not in Coors Field but in Miller Park.
Mariner rookie Tyler Olson’s first big league outing takes only five seconds when he throws just one pitch, inducing Erick Aybar to ground into a 5-4-3 inning-ending double play in the top of the ninth in the team’s 2-0 loss to the Halos at Safeco Field. The freshman southpaw is most likely the first hurler in history to retire two hitters throwing only one pitch in his major league debut.
2016 – The Cubs defeat the Diamondbacks, 14 – 6, but lose OF Kyle Schwarber as he tears his anterior cruciate ligament in an outfield collision with Dexter Fowler resulting in an inside-the-park homer by Jean Segura. He will return just in time to play in the World Series. For Chicago, Anthony Rizzo homers and drives in 6 runs in support of John Lackey.
The Phillies hit two grand slams among their four homers on their way to a 20 – 1 rout of the Marlins. Maikel Franco and Aaron Altherr both homer with the bases loaded while Carlos Santana and Jorge Alfaro also go deep as Franco finishes with 6 RBIs. Vince Velasquez is the beneficiary of the outburst while Dillon Peters gives up 9 runs in less than 3 innings.
2019 – Gary Sanchez hits three homers and drives in six runs to lead the Yankees to a 15 – 3 beatdown of the Orioles. He has a chance at a fourth homer in the 9th, but flies out to left field against IF Hanser Alberto, pitching mop-up relief. At 5-4, the Yankees are now above .500 for the first time this season.
2004 – What retirement? 41-year-old Roger Clemens makes his debut as an Astro a memorable one, blanking the Giants on one hit over seven innings to earn his 311th career victory, a 10-1 blowout. Homers by Richard Hidalgo, Jeff Bagwell and Jeff Kent support The Rocket who fans nine, including slugger Barry Bonds twice. Clemens also singles in his first at-bat as a National Leaguer.
2000 – Enron Field’s first regular-season opener goes much the same way as the Astrodome – a 4-1 loss to Philadelphia. Craig Biggio leads off the season with a single but it isn’t until Richard Hidalgo homers in the seventh that the sellout crowd has more to cheer. For trivia buffs, Randy Wolf gets to howl as Enron’s first winning pitcher much like Chris Short 35 years before.
1979 Ken Forsch fires no hitter blanking Atlanta 6-0. Bedridden two days before the gem, Forsch needs just 106 pitches, striking out three and walking two. Forsch has a tension-free ninth inning getting Rowland Office, Jerry Royster and Glenn Hubbard on routine grounders. He and his brother Bob become the first brothers to pitch no-hitters.
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