IN THE NEWS: At Aloha Stadium in Hawaii, a controversy arises about metal cleats prior to a PCL game with Tacoma. Despite the ban on the cleats in the stadium, Tacoma P Bill Butler insists on wearing them and stadium officials switch off the lights during warm-up. Thirty minutes to game, umpire Bill Lawton awards a forfeit to Tacoma since the home team is responsible for playing conditions. The PCL will uphold the forfeit, but minor league prexy bobby Bragan will overrule it (according to historian Rich Marazzi).
IN THE NEWS: At County Stadium, the Brewers open against the Yankees with Hank Aaron driving in three runs to back Jim Slaton's 4-hit 50 win. Five days later, Slaton will shut out the Tigers. Catfish Hunter is the loser, allowing five runs in seven innings. Later, both he and reliever Sparky Lyle, complain about the flatness of the mound.
Before a crowd of 52,949, the Reds open at home with an 115 win over the Astros.
IN THE NEWS: The Braves sign free agent Andy Messersmith to a "lifetime contract" worth $1 million.
The Brewers trail 96 with the bases loaded in the bottom of the 9th inning at a full County Stadium. Because of crowd noise, Yankee relief P Dave Pagan does not hear the time-out called by 1B Chris Chambliss. Pagan pitches to Don Money, who hits a grand slam. Because of the time-out the home run is nullified. Money bats again, and hits a sacrifice ?y. The final score is 97 and the Brewers protest the game.
In the Opening Day 54 win at Pittsburgh, Dave Parker scores the winning run in a violent collision at the plate with Phils' C Johnny Oates. Oates will miss two months with a broken collar bone.
IN THE NEWS: The Dodgers-Braves game is rained out in Los Angeles, ending a streak of 724 straight games dating back to the team's first rainout on April 21, 1967. The Braves games of September 11th and 12th will also be rained out.
IN THE NEWS: At Chicago, the Mets' Dave Kingman launches a home run estimated at 550 feet that plunks a house some 530 feet from home plate, but the Cubs survive to win, 65, and tie for 1st. Buddy Schultz cops his only victory of the year, and Hank Webb, in his only decision of the year, takes the loss. Capping the day is Randy Hundley, signed after the Padres release him, who ignites a 3-run rally in the 7th with a pinch double.
IN THE NEWS: Newly remodeled Yankee Stadium is jammed with 52,613 fans for Opening
Day ceremonies. The 1923 Yankees are honored, and Bob Shawkey, winner of
the 1923 Stadium opener, throws out the first ball. The Yankees beat the
Twins 114 on 14 hits, but the only HR is hit by Minnesotas Dan Ford.
IN THE NEWS: With the wind blowing out at Wrigley, Mike Schmidt leads a Phils' assault with a single, four consecutive home runs, and eight RBIs to overcome a 121 deficit after three innings and beat the Cubs in 10 innings, 1816. Chicago had tied in the 9th after the Phils took a 1513 lead. Schmidt hits one homer off Mike Garman, two off Rick Reuschel, and the last, a 2-run homer, off Rick's brother, Paul in the 10th. He's the first National Leaguer in modern times to hit four homers in a row. Tug McGraw, who departs for a pinch hitter after Schmidt's last blow, is the winner, though two more pitchers are needed. The Phils use seven pitchers, including starter Steve Carlton.
In Cincinnati, as the "Game of the Week" between the Reds and the Giants is about to be televised, a swarm of bees attacks the field between 3B and home, causing a 35-minute delay. Two fans, familiar with bees, coax the swarm into a cardboard box. Fred Norman then buzzes the Giants, 110, on four hits.
IN THE NEWS: The Mets outlast the Cards, 43, in a 17-inning contest. Bake McBride tallies five hits for St. Louis.
After trailing 71 in the 4th inning, the Reds rally to beat the Astros, 98. The Reds score six runs in the last three innings to win. In the 9th, Tony Perez homers and Dave Concepcion hits a 2-out, 2-run single to bring home the winner.
IN THE NEWS: In Chicago, Montreal's Tim Foli hits for the cycle, but it takes him two days to do it. Foli has a single, double and triple against the Cubs today but, with the Expos ahead 113, the game is called on account of darkness. When play resumes tomorrow, Foli will add a homer in the 8th inning.
The Astros break up a scoreless duel with the Dodgers by scoring a run in the 16th.
IN THE NEWS: Cubs OF Rick Monday snatches an American flag from two fans who are about to set it on fire in the outfield during a game at Dodger Stadium. The Dodgers win 54 in 10 innings. The next day, the Illinois legislature unanimously approves May 4th as Rick Monday Day.
The Braves top the Phils, 32, as Darrell Evans draws a walk in his 13th consecutive game to set a new NL record, He'll draw passes in two more games, till April 27, before being shut out. Evans has 19 walks in the 15 games.