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
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.