This Day In Baseball May 8
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 8
Providence Grays centerfielder Paul Hines catches a fly by Jack Burdock and starts a triple play, racing in to touch third base before Jack Manning can return, then throwing to second to nab Ezra Sutton. Some eyewitnesses contend that Sutton had passed third and was out when Hines touched the base, making it the only unassisted triple play by an outfielder. This contradicts the version by Manning, Jim O’Rourke and others present, which has been accepted generally as the correct account.
On May 8, 1878, Paul Hines of Providence caught a line drive hit by Jack Burdock of Boston. With runners on second and third he sprinted forward and tagged third base, which was clear of baserunners. To make sure he got the out, he threw the ball to Charlie Sweasy at second base. The play was recorded, unrecorded, and still debated as the first ever unassisted triple play.
5/8/1894: The Boston Beaneaters (Braves) were in New York playing the Giants. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Giants had two runners on base with no one out when the game was called by darkness. Boston had scored twice in the top of the frame on a single by Jimmy Bannon and a home run by Charlie Ganzel. The score reverted to the end of the seventh inning and Ganzel lost his four-bagger. Those runs did not matter since the home team won, 16-5.
Amos Rusie, the “Hoosier Thunderbolt”, makes his first start for the Cincinnati Reds after a two-year layoff and is bombed, 14 – 3, by the Cards. Emmet Heidrick snags five singles off Rusie. After two more appearances, he goes back to digging ditches, having won 245 games, mostly for the New York Giants, in nine years.
In their long-delayed American League home opener, Boston defeats Philadelphia’s Bill Bernhard, 12 – 4, behind Cy Young, who has jumped from the St. Louis Cardinals. Boston is led by Buck Freeman, who has a single, triple and homer. Young complains that he does not like the rule against pitchers warming up, but he will still lead the AL with his 1.62 ERA. His 33 wins are 41.8 percent of his team’s 79 victories; a post-1900 record, it will stand until Steve Carlton wins 45.8 percent of the Phils’ 59 wins in 1972. Young also complains about catchers: “I do not like the league rule compelling the catcher to stand behind the bat all the time. It handicaps a pitcher. I cannot extend myself as I would like.”
Bill Duggleby, the first league jumper to return to the Phillies, loses 2 – 1, to St. Louis. Returnee Chick Fraser will win his first start on May 23rd, 5 – 2 over Chicago. Harry Wolverton will return after 59 games with the Washington Senators. All others will remain with their new teams. Of all those that the rival Athletics acquired, only Monte Crossstays.
The Chicago Orphans again top the Giants, winning 10 – 4. Chicago manager Frank Selee comments that the distance from the pitcher’s mound to the plate looks short. Horace Fogel, the Giants manager, measures the distance and finds the lane is 15 inches short. New York protests and it is upheld on June 3rd. The two games are ordered replayed.
Chicago White Sox pitcher Nixey Callahan gets five hits for the third time in his career (also June 29, 1897 and May 18, 1902), but the 11-inning loss to the St. Louis Brownsis the final game he will pitch in the major leagues. He will play other positions until 1913. Nixey is the only pitcher ever to garner five hits three times.
At Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds, A’s right-hander Chief Bender, coming off the bench, goes deep twice after being asked by his manager Connie Mack to replace an outfielder in the sixth inning of Philadelphia’s 11-4 victory over Boston. The Hall of Fame hurler’s home runs, a seventh-inning solo shot and a three-run blast in the ninth, are both inside-the-park round-trippers given up by Jesse Tannehill.
The White Sox beat Washington, 7 – 6, snapping Walter Johnson’s five-game win streak. Johnson gives up two two-run home runs, one to Harry Lord in the 1st and another to Ping Bodie in the 5th. A Johnson fastball breaks the arm of 3B Lee Tannehill, an injury that will hamper the infielder’s throwing ability and end the career of the 10-year veteran. Sox starter Joe Benz leaves with an injury after pitching 1 1/3 inning. Ed Walsh pitches the next 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs, and Frank Lange allows the same in his two innings.
The Giants score nine runs by the 3rd inning and young Jeff Tesreau holds on for an 11 – 8 win over the Cardinals. Christy Mathewson relieves in the 9th for New York. In the 7th inning, with a man on third, Tesreau grounds to SS Wally Smith, whose throw to first base hits umpire Brick Owens in the head, knocking him out. Owens’ wife, who is watching from the grandstand, faints. The runner is sent back to third base and Tesreau hits again. Owens is back at work the next day.
The Pittsburgh Filipinos, of the newly formed United States League, open the season at vacant Exposition Park. The team is named after its veteran Deacon Phillippe, former Pirates star. The USL has promised not to sign current major leaguers, but will not last through June. It will form the basis for the following year’s Federal League, though.
When the Senators relieve with Walter Johnson, the A’s greet him with six runs in three innings to drive the “Big Train” from the mound. Johnson throws the one and only beanball of his career, a fastball at the head of Frank “Home Run” Baker, a particular nemesis of Johnson’s. The beanball misses Baker, whom Johnson calls “the most dangerous batter that I ever faced.” Baker had hit .385 against the Nats ace up till this game in 4 seasons; he’ll hit just .207 off him in the next nine years. When the dust settles, the game ends in a 9 – 9 tie.
At Pittsburgh’s Schenley Park, the Giants’ Carl Hubbell pitches an 11 – 0 no-hitter against the Pirates, allowing just one walk. In the 9th, the first two batters reach on errors before Hubbell records a strikeout and starts the game-ending double play. It’s the first no-hitter by a lefthander since Dutch Leonard in 1918. Chick Fullis starts the scoring with a home run in the 2nd, his third in three days, and Mel Ott adds two home runs to take the National League lead.
Reds backstop Ernie Lombardi equals the major-league record with four straight doubles, all in consecutive innings (6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th) and each off a different pitcher: Syl Johnson, Orville Jorgens, Euel Moore and Frank Pearce. The slow-footed Lombardi also has a “long single” in the 23-hit, 15 – 4 win over the Phillies in the first game. The Reds collect seven doubles and two homers. In the nightcap, the Phils snap their nine-game losing streak with a 5 – 4 victory.
The Waner brothers, Lloyd Waner and Paul Waner, lose their places in the Pittsburgh outfield when new manager Frankie Frisch acquires Vince DiMaggio for Johnny Rizzo, who hit 23 home runs as a rookie in 1938. Vince takes over center field, flanked by Maurice Van Robays and Bob Elliott, each playing their first full season. Yesterday, the Bucs sold OF Fern Bell to Toronto.
At Ebbets Field, in the first twilight game in 24 years, the Dodgers top the Giants, 7 – 6, with Dolph Camilli’s 7th-inning home run onto Bedford Avenue the big blow. With more than 24,000 fans on hand, nearly $60,000 is raised for the Navy Relief Fund, as all the proceeds are donated. Everyone, including the ballplayers and umps, pay their way into the park.
At Griffith Stadium, Detroit 2B Eddie Mayo snags a 3rd-inning liner off the bat of Gil Torres to start a triple play. The ball is deflected by P Hal Newhouser, but Mayo grabs it before it hits the ground. It is the second time in a year that Mayo has started a triple play off Torres: in the 2nd inning of the nitecap on July 20, 1945, Mayo grabbed a Torres line drive to start the triple killing.
Hot-hitting Boston SS Johnny Pesky becomes the first player in American League history to score six runs in one game, as the Red Sox beat the White Sox, 14 – 10. Mickey Harris is the winner, despite giving up 17 hits in 8 2/3 innings. Boo Ferriss retires Taffy Wright for the last out and the Sox have now won 13 straight.
1947 – A movement among Cardinal players to protest the first meeting with Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers is aborted by a clubhouse talk from owner Sam Breadon, according to a story by writer Stanley Woodward. League president Ford Frick had warned the team that if a strike occurred, any player involved would be suspended. Cardinal manager Eddie Dyer denies there was any strike talk. The Cards win, 5 – 1.
An infield single by Johnny Blatnik of the Phillies in the 7th prevents a perfect game by Harry Brecheen of the Cardinals. Brecheen will become the National League ERA leader with 2.24 and the winning percentage leader on a 20-7 record. The Cards win, 5 – 0, and Brecheen scores his third straight shutout.
The A’s win their 6th straight, pull off a triple play, and batter the White Sox, 16 – 1. Winning pitcher Carl Scheib puts the game away with an 8th-inning grand slam, and the A’s are now tied for the American League lead with the Indians. The A’s also purchase 37-year-old P Nels Potter from the Browns for $20,000 that day.
At Griffith Stadium, Larry Doby pounds a 408-foot homer to center field, which hits the loudspeakers 35 feet high, to help the Indians top the Senators, 6 – 1. Larry’s ball bounces back onto the field and is initially declared in play. The 8th-inning three-run homer is the longest home run in the Stadium since Babe Ruth’s shot in 1922, and is the first of Doby’s four career inside-the-park homers. World War II veteran Gene Bearden makes his first start, allowing just three Nat hits. He walks four in the 9th inning to allow the lone run, as Washington finally scores after three straight shutouts.
After 13 straight losses to New York, the Red Sox win a dramatic 11-inning, 2 – 1 thriller at Fenway Park. Billy Goodman’s homer off starter Johnny Sain gives starter Hal Brown the win. Dick Gernert’s 2nd-inning home run is the other Boston score. In Boston’s previous win over New York, August 9, 1952, all the scores came on solo homers.
The New York Metropolitan Baseball Club, Inc. announces the New York National League franchise’s team nickname will be the Mets. Other names considered included the Avengers, Burros (a play on the word boroughs), Continentals, Islanders, Jets, Rebels, Skyliners, and the Meadowlarks, which was the first choice of owner Joan Payson.
The Elmira Pioneers beat the Springfield Giants, 2 – 1, in 27 innings, a new record (since broken) for Organized Baseball’s longest game. The attendance is 386 fans. Fred Beene picks up the win, pitching the last 12 innings. The game is scoreless for 25 innings, with both teams scoring in the 26th; finally, Elmira, managed by Earl Weaver, breaks through in the 27th.
Orioles’ outfielder Frank Robinson becomes the first (and only) player to hit a home run completely out of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium. The 451-foot wind-assisted blast, which clears the fifty rows of the left-field seats near the foul pole, before rolling to a stop 540 feet from home plate, comes off a fastball thrown by Indians’ starter Luis Tiant, who hadn’t given up an earned run on the season.
The last game is played at Busch Stadium, known for most of its existence as Sportsman’s Park. The 64 year-old ballpark, which served as the home field for the American League’s Browns until the franchise moved to Baltimore in 1954, was also the home for the Cardinals from 1920 until today’s final contest, a 10-5 loss to San Francisco.
Catfish Hunter hurls the first American League perfect game in forty-six years when the A’s defeat the usually heavy-hitting Twins, 4-0, in front of only 6,298 Oakland fans. The last Junior Circuit hurler to retire 27 consecutive batters in a regular season game was White Sox right-hander Charlie Robertson, who accomplished the feat against Detroit in 1922.
A record 30 home runs are hit by National League players in seven games, including two apiece by each of five players. The 20 MPH wind at Wrigley Field produces nine homers as the Cubs defeat the Reds, 10 – 7, snapping the Reds’ win streak at eight games. Hal McRae and Tony Perez have a pair for the Reds, while Billy Williams has two for Chicago.
The A’s trade first baseman Don Mincher, who started his career in the nation’s capital in 1960, to Washington, adding the 32 year-old first baseman to a small list of major leaguers to have played for both the original and expansion Senators. The veteran infielder will become the only person to play for each franchise when both teams depart from the District of Columbia, 11 seasons apart, making him both an original Minnesota Twin and an original Texas Ranger.
On a rainy night at Shea Stadium, the seventh-inning line drive off the bat of Atlanta’s Marty Perez strikes Jon Matlack’s forehead so hard that the ball ricochets into the Mets dugout. Fortunately, the 23 year-old southpaw sustains only a hairline fracture of his skull, and will return to the mound on May 19 to blank the Bucs for six innings at Pittsburgh.
During an 8 – 7 loss to Texas, Kansas City loses two regulars, both as a result of being hit by pitches from Ed Farmer. OF Al Cowens suffers a fractured jaw and will miss 21 games; 2B Frank White sustains a broken hand and will sit out 33 contests. Farmer will be traded three times in the next 12 months. On June 20, 1980, Cowens will hit a grounder off Farmer and charge the mound in retaliation for today’s game.
In their first official game against an all-men’s team, the Colorado Silver Bullets are defeated by the Northern League All-Stars, 19 – 0. The Bullets are outhit, 21-2, and commit six errors in the field. They become the first women’s team to play a men’s professional team. Leon Durham hits two homers and Oil Can Boyd makes the start for the All-Stars.
In Baltimore, the O’s stop Randy Johnson’s 16-game win streak with a decisive 13 – 3 pasting of the Mariners. Baltimore is led by Chris Hoiles, who collects six RBIs on two homers and a double. Johnson strikes out 10 in six innings, but gives up five runs on six hits and two walks as he attempts to become the first American League pitcher since Dave McNally (1968-1969) to win 17 straight.
Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals hits his 12th home run of the season, against the San Francisco Giants. The homer ties “Big Mac” with Jimmie Foxx for ninth place on the all-time list with 534 career homers. McGwire needs just two taters to catch number eight on the list, Mickey Mantle, at 536.
In his first game of the season after missing six weeks because of hip surgery, Alex Rodriguez hits the first pitch he sees from Baltimore’s Jeremy Guthrie for a three-run home run in a 4 – 0 Yankees win that ends a five-game losing streak. CC Sabathia pitches a four-hit shutout in his best performance since signing a huge free agent contract over the winter.
At Camden Yards, Alex Rodriguez takes no time in making his return to the Yankees lineup felt, blasting a three-run home run on the very first pitch he has seen this season. The third baseman’s Ruthian blast, which comes off a 98-mph fastball thrown by Baltimore’s right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, helps to snap the Yankees’ five-game losing streak when they beat the Orioles, 4-0.
Stephen M. Ross, the owner of the Dolphins’ football franchise and the stadium in which the NFL team and Marlins play their games, and singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett announced a unique branding partnership which renames the ballpark Land Shark Stadium. The sponsorship deal, which brings together Buffett’s Margaritaville and Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Land Shark Lager joint venture, is reportedly for only eight months with the name reverting to Dolphin Stadium unless another naming rights deal happens before Super Bowl XLIV and the 2010 Pro Bowl.
Snapping out of what is for him a typical cold start to the season, the Yankees’ Mark Teixeira hits three homers and drives in 5 runs to lead New York to a 14 – 3 win over the Red Sox at Fenway Park; he is the second player in Yankee history to hit three long balls in a game against Boston, after Lou Gehrig. Francisco Cervelli, starting because of an injury to C Jorge Posada, also drives in 5 runs. Teixeira’s last dinger is hit against OF Jonathan Van Every, making the second pitching appearance of his career. The game is interrupted for 1:15 by a rain delay in the 5th inning, forcing starter CC Sabathia out early and giving Alfredo Aceves the win.
Brewers manager Ken Macha flips a coin to decide who will be his starter in right field and hits the jackpot. Both Jody Gerut and Corey Hart have struggled all season, but Gerut, the coin toss winner, hitting .048 against righties coming into the game, hits for the cycle in a 17 – 3 rout of Arizona.
Every pitcher wants to join the no-hitter act, following those by Francisco Liriano and Justin Verlander over the past week, and bids by three other pitchers thwarted in the 6th inning or later. It’s now Anibal Sanchez’s turn to go deep into a game without allowing a hit, keeping the Nationals hitless until a 7th-inning single by Laynce Nix. Gaby Sanchez gives his namesake, who pitched a no-hitter in 2006 and took one into the 9th inning on April 22nd, all the support he needs with a three-run homer, two doubles, a single and three runs scored as the Marlins cruise to an 8 – 0 win.
The Angels beat the Indians, 6 – 5, on Erick Aybar’s go-ahead double in the 8th, giving manager Mike Scioscia his 1,000th major league win, all with one team. In a statistical oddity, all seven American League games played today end with one of the teams having scored 5 runs – 4 times by the winning team, and 3 times by the losers. It takes a three-run 10th inning by the White Sox to defeat Seattle, 5 – 2, to complete the slate.
2012 – Josh Hamilton of the Texas Rangers becomes the 16th player in major league history to hit four homers in one game as he leads Texas to a 10 – 3 win over the Orioles. All four long balls come with a man on base, giving Josh 8 RBI on the day. He also hits a double, giving him an American League-record 18 total bases on the day.
Josh Hamilton becomes the 16th major leaguer to hit four home runs in one game when he blasts an 0-2 pitch over the Camden Yards centerfield fence in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ 10-3 victory over Baltimore. The Texas outfielder, who connected each time with a man on base, also hits a double to set the American League’s single-game record for total bases with 18, one shy of Shawn Green’s major league mark of 19 established in 2002 with the Dodgers.
The New York State Senate congratulates Mr. Met with a voice approved resolution, honoring the larger-than-life bobblehead for being named the best mascot in the U.S. in a fan survey conducted by the Marketing Arm. The Amazins’ spherical symbol of cheer, who defeated the popular Phillie Phanatic in the poll, is commended by the legislative body for having his legacy serve as “a sterling example for all mascots”.
The injury-riddled Yankees struggle to put together a line-up, today batting pitcher David Phelps 8th and playing OF Vernon Wells at third base for an inning in his first career appearance at the position, but they manage to keep on winning. Wells hits a two-run homer in the 1st, then in the 9th manager Joe Girardi uses a pinch-hitter for 3B Chris Nelson in scoring the deciding run in a 3 – 2 win over the Rockies. Out of back-up infielders, he puts Wells at the hot corner for the bottom of the 9th. Wells successfully fields a ground ball as Mariano Rivera records his 12th save of the year – and the first of his career at Coors Field.
Adam Rosales apparently hits a game-tying homer for the A’s in the 9th inning of a game against Cleveland, but the umpires rule it a double, and stick to their guns even after a video review. A’s manager Bob Melvin gets tossed for arguing the call, but the A’s lose, 4 – 3, as Rosales is stranded at second base. In a rare admission of an error, MLB Vice-President Joe Torre will state the next day that the umpires made an error in not granting Rosales a home run, but that the call would still stand.
In the 6th inning of today’s game between the Orioles and Rays, Brad Boxberger is called in relief of David Price with nobody out and the bases full of baserunners. Nine pitches later, Boxberger has struck out the side, in what is an unprecedented feat, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Orioles are still winners, 3 – 1.
Cole Hamels and the Philles win 3 – 1 over the Mets and Matt Harvey. Jonathan Papelbon picks up the save, his 112th as a member of the Phils, to tie Jose Mesa atop the team’s leader board; he is also the Boston Red Sox all-time save leader, with 219. Only Robb Nen had previously led two separate teams in saves before him.
The Cubs decide they are not going to let Bryce Harper beat them and their pitchers walk him a record-tying six times, with his other at-bat resulting in a hit-by-pitch as he does not take even one swing of the bat in the Nationals’ 13-inning, 4 – 3 loss in Wrigley Field on a walk-off homer by Javier Baez. The strategy works all series, as Harper draws 13 walks, but Chicago sweeps all three games to improve to 24-6 after 30 games.
James Paxton of the Mariners becomes only the second-ever Canadian-born pitcher to throw a no-hitter, after Dick Fowler in 1945, turning the trick against the Blue Jays in a 5 – 0 win. The three no-hitters pitched so far this season have been accomplished in three different countries: the United States, Mexico and Canada, and no Canadian pitcher had ever pitched one on Canadian soil before Paxton. In what is overall an awful day for the Blue Jays, closer Roberto Osuna is arrested in the early hours of the morning on charges of assault against a woman and is immediately placed on administrative leave by Major League Baseball.
At the other end of the pitching spectrum, Dylan Bundy of the Orioles has just about as poor a start as can be, as he gives up four homers, two walks and a single while retiring nobody. All seven Royals baserunners come to score on their way to putting up 10 1st-inning runs. Bundy is the first pitcher ever to give up four homers without recording an out, as Jorge Soler, Mike Moustakas, Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon all take him deep before he is mercifully removed from the game. Kansas City wins handily, 15 – 7.
2004 – Craig Biggio spanks a leadoff single for his 2,500th career hit. He celebrates by launching solo homers in his next two at bats. But he strikes out in a key ninth-inning situation and the bullpen melts down in a 5-4 ten-inning loss in Atlanta. Andruw Jones’ blast off Ricky Stone is the game-winner.
1969 – Houston storms back from a 6-1 deficit with three runs in the eighth and three more in the ninth to upend the Phillies, 7-6, at Connie Mack Stadium. Jesus Alou has a big night, driving in two runs with a double then producing an RBI single in the two rallies. Johnny Edwards’ two-run single is the game-winner. Fred Gladding quells a Philadelphia threat to save the game for Jack Billingham.
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