This Day In Baseball May 1
May 1 This Day in Baseball History – Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
On May 1, 1969, Don Wilson of the Houston Astros pitches his second career no-hitter. Wilson strikes out 15 in downing the Cincinnati Reds, 4-0. Only nine days earlier, Wilson had lost a 14-0 decision to the Reds.
On May 1, 1951, future Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle blasts the first home run of his career in an 8-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox. In the same game, former Negro Leagues star Minnie Minoso becomes the first black player in the history of the White Sox’ franchise. Minoso belts a home run in his first major league at-bat.
On May 1, 1991, Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers pitches the seventh no-hitter of his career. The 44-year-old Ryan, who defeats the Toronto Blue Jays, 3-0, becomes the oldest pitcher to hurl a no-hit game. Ryan’s masterpiece includes 16 strikeouts and only two walks.
On May 1, 1980, Bill Madlock of the Pittsburgh Pirates receives a 15-game suspension and a $5,000 fine for hitting umpire Jerry Crawford in the face with his glove during a recent game. Madlock will appeal the suspension and continue playing until June 6, when he decides to withdraw his protest.
Events for May 1
The Giants, then known as the Gothams, play their first game in franchise history, defeating Boston, 7 to 5, at the Southeast Diamond at the Polo Grounds in New York. The newcomer in the National League will finish the season with a record of 46-50, sixteen games behind today’s opponent, the league-leading Beaneaters.
It is Opening Day in the National League. At West Side Park in Cincinnati, the Chicago Colts spoil the official opening of the new park by beating the Reds, 4 – 3, with two runs in the bottom of the 9th inning. This is the first professional game ended in “sudden death,” as the old rules required that the full inning be played out even if the team batting last was already ahead.
In front of 10,000 fans, Spider right-hander Cy Young beats the visiting Reds, 12-3, in the first game ever played in Cleveland’s League Park. The National League club will call the Hough neighborhood ballpark home until 1899, when the club goes out of business, losing their best players due to the actions of their unscrupulous owner which results in a disastrous 20-134 season.
Herm McFarland of the Chicago White Sox hits the first grand slam in American League history in a 19 – 9 victory over the Detroit Tigers. His teammate Dummy Hoy also hits a grand slam, in a contest which features Detroit committing 12 errors, 10 by the infield, to set another AL record, which Chicago will tie on May 6, 1903, against the Tigers.
At Brooklyn’s Washington Park, Philadelphia southpaw John Lush strikes out 11 batters en route to throwing a 6-0 no-hitter against the Superbas, a team that will become known as the Dodgers in 1911. There will not be another no-hitter by a Phillies pitcher until Jim Bunning’s perfect game against the Mets in 1964.
5/1/1943 – In the second game of a doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, the Dodgers batted out of turn in the first inning but discovered the problem themselves. Alex Kampouris batted one spot too early in place of Dee Moore and flew out. Dodger skipper Leo Durocher noticed the mistake and sent Kampouris up again, supposedly in his own place in the lineup. However, once Kampouris batted the next batter should have been Bobo Newsom who was listed after Kampouris. Kampy walked in his second trip to the plate. Brooklyn swept the twin bill by scores of 9-2 and 3-0.
For the first time, the Cleveland Indians will play all their games at Cleveland Stadium. The Indians abandon League Park, where most weekday games have been played since Cleveland Stadium opened. New Cleveland owner Bill Veeck installs an inner fence to cut power alleys from 435 to 365 feet at Municipal Stadium.
Philadelphia outfielder Elmer Valo, the second major league player to be born in Czechoslovakia, becomes the first American Leaguer to hit a pair of bases-loaded triples in the same game, an A’s 15-9 victory over Washington at Shibe Park. The 28 year-old hustling line-drive hitter will deliver a third bases-loaded triple later in the season, equalling the AL mark Shano Collins established in 1918.
In an 8-3 loss to the Yankees at Comiskey Park, White Sox hurler Randy Gumpert gives up the first of Mickey Mantle’s 536 major league home runs. The ball blasted on Mother’s Day, which will be worth $165,000 at Sotheby’s auction in 2004, is inscribed on by the future Hall of Famer’s own hand, which includes the following detail on the ball, “My first H.R. in the Majors, May 1, 1951, 4:50 p.m. Chicago,” as well as “6th inning off Randy Gumpert.”
Cleveland Indians starters show up for a “pitching clinic” during a doubleheader sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Stadium. Veteran Bob Feller pitches hitless ball for 6+ innings and hurls his major league record 12th one-hitter in a 2 – 0 victory in the opener, and in the nitecap rookie Herb Score strikes out the first nine batters (for a total of 16) en route to a 2 – 1 four-hit victory.
Dick Stuart’s 9th-inning, two-out, two-run bomb makes it close but the last-place Cardinals hold on, ending their three-game skid with a 7 – 6 squeaker over Pittsburgh. Stuart’s near-500-footer, however, provides fodder for rooters and writers alike. Les Biederman reports: “Fans left Forbes Field buzzing about the tape-measure home run Stuart hit over the scoreboard in the 9th. Jim Brosnan had two strikes and no balls on Stuart when he fed him a curve. Stuart flicked his wrists and the ball was still zooming as it rose well over 100 feet above the height of the wall and landed somewhere in the parking lot far into Schenley Park. ‘It was the longest I’ve ever seen hit at Forbes Field,’ coach Howie Pollet of the Cards offered and manager Solly Hemus and coach Harry Walker both agreed.”
In the course of Pittsburgh’s 8 – 0 shellacking of the lowly New York Mets, in which the latter’s total of 4 hits is equaled by Roberto Clemente, the Pirate right fielder hits one ball, leading off the 4th, that the young Ron Swoboda, playing left field for the Mets that day, will recall, some thirty years later, as “the hardest ball I ever saw hit.” Bucs beat writer Les Biederman concurs: “The first hit by Clemente was one to remember. It started out on a line toward the right-center fence and came within inches of clearing the wall at the 436-foot sign. It bounced off the wall right back into rookie Billy Murphy’s hands.” “The ball got there so fast, and bounced back to Murphy so hard,” notes Dick Young of the New York Daily News, “that the speedy Roberto got only two bases.” “But,” adds Biederman, “the blast caused a rumble through the stands and no doubt unnerved Jack Fisher.”
Philadelphia starter Dick Selma goes the distance, three-hitting the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, 2-1. The victory is the fifth consecutive complete-game thrown by a Phillies starter, with Steve Carlton, Woody Fryman, Barry Lersch, and Bill Champion each finishing their game without help from the bullpen in team’s previous four contests.
Using just five pitches, Pirates starter Dock Ellis, upset with his opponent’s swagger, hits the first three Reds’ batters he faces. After plunking Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen, the pitcher deliberately throws two pitches behind Tony Perez’s head before walking the clean-up hitter, and then goes 0-2 on the next batter, Johnny Bench, before he is removed by Pittsburgh pilot Danny Murtaugh.
1975 – Hank Aaron collects four hits and two RBI in the Brewers’ 17 – 3 win over Detroit. This brings his career RBI total to 2,211, breaking Babe Ruth’s published record of 2,209. On February 3, 1976, the Records Committee will revise Ruth’s total to 2,204. In actuality, Aaron set the record with 2,205 on April 18th.
The Mets are fined by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn as the result of disparaging remarks made against the Yankees by Jerry Della Femina, the president of the team’s advertising agency. The high-powered ad man, who is being paid $400,000 to develop a campaign to bolster the sagging attendance at Shea Stadium, made sarcastic comments about cross-town rival players Reggie Jackson and Bucky Dent, and was quoted to say their Bronx ballpark was in an unsafe neighborhood.
Rickey Henderson passes Lou Brock to become baseball’s all-time stolen base leader with his 939th career steal. The A’s outfielder, who will finish his 25-year career with 1,406, establishes the new major league mark when he swipes third base in the team’s 7-4 victory over New York at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
Recording his 321st save for the San Diego Padres, Trevor Hoffman sets a new major league record for the most saves for one team, surpassing the mark set by Dennis Eckersley with the Oakland Athletics. The long-time San Diego closer, now eighth on the all-time list, was traded as a rookie by the Florida Marlins as part of the Gary Sheffield deal in 1993.
Trevor Hoffman, recording his 321st save for San Diego, establishes a new big league record for the most saves for one team, surpassing Dennis Eckersley’s mark of 320 with Oakland. The long-time Padres closer, now eighth on the all-time list, was traded as a rookie pitcher by the Marlins as part of the Gary Sheffield deal in 1993.
With a police escort from the airport, Doug Mirabelli, changing into his uniform in the car, arrives at Fenway Park 13 minutes before the game time. The Red Sox reacquired the popular backstop from the Padres earlier in the day to continue his familiar role as personal catcher to knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, tonight’s starting pitcher against the Yankees.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Duaner Sanchez walks Russell Martin, who checks his swing on a full count with the bases loaded, bringing home the winning run in L.A.’s 1-0 triumph over the Padres. The win keeps the Dodgers undefeated at home, extending their record at Chavez Ravine to 8-0 with their ‘walk-off’ victory.
C Ronny Paulino collects a career high 5 hits in 7 at-bats in his first start for the Mets after serving out a 50-game suspension begun last season, and then spending time on the disabled list with anemia. His 14th-inning double drives in the go-ahead run in a 2 – 1 win over the Phillies. The win is overshadowed by chanting in the stands at Citizens Bank Park as media outlets announce the death of terrorist Osama bin Laden during the 9th inning. Starter Chris Young gives the Mets seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball, but Cliff Lee only gives up one run in 7 for the Phils, who tie the game with a run scored without the benefit of a hit in the 8th. Taylor Buchholz is the winner for the Mets in the marathon game, beating Kyle Kendrick.
The sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers from Frank McCourt to “Guggenheim Baseball Management” becomes official. Mark Walter is the controlling partner, Stan Kasten is named team President, while basketball star Magic Johnson is a part owner and one of the public faces of the new ownership group. The group paid a record $2.15 billion for the team. The Dodgers then start the new era on the right foot, beating Colorado, 7 – 6, in spite of nearly blowing a 7 – 0 6th-inning lead. Dee Gordon hits his first major league homer, Mark Ellis has four hits, and A.J. Ellis has a homer and 3 RBI for L.A.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter wins his 1,000th game as a major league skipper when the O’s defeat the Yankees, 7 – 1. Brian Matusz wins his first game in 11 months while Chris Davis and J.J. Hardy homer off loser Phil Hughes. Matusz had gone 0-12, 10.47 in 14 starts since beating the Athletics on June 6, 2011.
With the final payment received on the record $2.15-billion purchase price, Frank McCourt’s turbulent era of the Dodger ownership comes to an end. The team’s new ownership group, fronted by Magic Johnson and incoming club president Stan Kasten, includes Mark Walter, chief executive of the Chicago-based Guggenheim Financial, who arranged the financing and holds a controlling interest in the franchise.
Three doubleheaders are played today, a result of recent inclement weather, and they all end in sweeps. The Dodgers win both ends of a twinbill for the first time since 2002 in defeating the Twins, 9 – 4 and 4 – 3. The second game takes 12 innings before Drew Butera and Scott Van Slyke homer off Brian Duensing, but in the bottom of the inning, Kenley Jansen loads the bases with none out before escaping with his 11th save. The first game begins just past noon at Target Field, and the second ends at before 11:22 pm on what was supposed to be a getaway day for the Dodgers.
In the other interleague doubleheader, the Orioles win two from the Pirates, 5 – 1 and 6 -5, with Matt Wieters hitting a 10th-inning walk-off homer in the nitecap; 3B Manny Machado makes his return to the field in the second game after missing the first month of the season. Finally, the Rays defeat Boston twice in Fenway Park, 2 – 1 and 6 – 5, as Red Sox pitchers issue 18 walks in the two games.
“Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez on his 660th home run. Milestones in baseball are meant to be broken and I wish him continued success throughout his career” – WILLIE MAYS>, congratulating A-Rod on tying him for fourth on the all-time home run list. Amidst very audible boos at Fenway Park, Alex Rodriguez blasts a 3-0 fastball over the Green Monster for his 660th career home run, tying Willie Mays for fourth on the all-time home run list. The eighth-inning round-tripper, the first pinch-hit homer of A-Rod’s career, proves to be the difference in the Yankees’ 3-2 victory over the Red Sox.
Ryan Goins drives in two runners on a sacrifice fly in the 6th inning of Toronto’s 7 – 1 win over the Yankees. Jacoby Ellsbury catches his fly to deep center at New Yankee Stadium, but crashes into the fence and falls to the ground, allowing Devon Travis to score from second base, behind Justin Smoak. It is the first two-RBI sac fly in team history. Goins adds a two-run homer, as does Jose Bautista, to help the Jays win their third straight after a very tough month of April.
The first Africa Cup Baseball Championship in 18 years kicks off. Host South Africa sets the tone for the event, routing Uganda, 18 – 0, as Rowan Ebersohn hits a three-run, 1st-inning homer off Allan Kabenge and Robert Lewis-Walker and Lloyd Stevens don’t allow anyone past second base. Zimbabwe beats newcomer Burkina Faso behind the pitching of Cliff Vint and Hloniphani Ngulube, 11 – 5.
2003 – An emotional day in Houston ends with an 8-7 loss to the Braves. The Astros had earlier released starting shortstop Julio Lugo after his arrest on domestic violence charges the night before. Shane Reynolds, in his first Houston appearance since his sudden spring release, gives up five runs in five innings for Atlanta but Houston wastes a six-RBI performance by Lance Berkman when Mark DeRosa slams a two-run shot off Billy Wagner in the ninth. Expected to challenge for the division crown, the freefalling Astros drop their 14th game in their last 18.
1972 – A sacrifice fly by Tommy Helms proves to be the game-winner as the Astros outslug Pittsburgh, 9-8. Jim Wynn’s grand slam and a three-run shot by Johnny Edwards build a 7-3 lead but the Pirates rally to tie. An RBI single by Bob Watson breaks the deadlock but Helms’ insurance run is needed at the end.
1969 – For only the second time in major league history, back-to-back no-hitters are tossed. Don Wilson avenges Jim Maloney’s no-no by hurling one against the Reds, 4-0, at Crosley Field . Doug Rader homers and squeezes the final out on a foul pop. Wilson, who fans 13 and walks six, has two career no-hitters and has yet to see his 25th birthday.