IN THE NEWS: At Riverfront Stadium, umpire John McSherry calls time from behind the plate and collapses on the field with a massive heart attack and dies. The popular McSherry, a veteran of 21 seasons, had been suffering from a series of medical problems, aggravated by his weight of 328 pounds. The game, just seven pitches old between the Reds and Expos, is called, though owner Marge Schott feels otherwise: "Snow this morning and now this. I don't believe it. I feel cheated. This isn't supposed to happen to us, not in Cincinnati. This is our history, our tradition, our team. Nobody feels worse than me." Schott, who will later apologize, says it with flowers instead. But the Dayton Daily News will report on the 28th that the flowers she sends were given to her by television station covering the Reds.
The Athletics open the season in Las Vegas since renovations to the Oakland Coliseum are still not finished. The night game with the Blue Jays at Cashman Field, with a seating of 9,553, draws just 7,294 and the Jays take advantage of a 25-mile-an hour wind to hit three homers and win, 96. It is the first time since September 3, 1957 that major league teams have played in a minor league park.
The New York Mets spot the Cardinals six runs, then roar back for a 76 win, the biggest Opening Day comeback this century.
IN THE NEWS: At Baltimore, President Clinton tosses out the first ball and then watches Cal Ripken drive in three runs to give the Orioles a 42 win over the Royals.
The Mets announce that Bill Pulsipher will miss the 1996 season. The 22-year-old lefty experienced arm pain while throwing on March 28th, and results from an MRI indicate torn ligaments in his left arm, necessitating surgery April 17.
Cecil Fielder pulls a belated April fool's joke on the Twins when, in the 9th inning, he takes off for 2nd base with a 3-2 count on Melvin Nieves and beats the throw from catcher Greg Myers. Fielder's swipe is his first in 1,096 games in the majors. Tiger rookie RHP Clint Sodowsky allows seven hits in five innings in his debut, and the Tigers win 106.
In the opener, Milwaukee has 22 hits including homers by Greg Vaughn and Jose Valentin, to outscore the Twins, 159. Valentin and Chuck Carr have four hits apiece. Other hitting in the game includes Vaughn getting plunked in the 8th inning, and Brewers Kevin Wickander retaliating in the bottom of the inning by hitting Garret Anderson. Both benches then clear for the traditional scrum in the center of the infield.
IN THE NEWS: The College of St. Francis sets 71 records with a 71-1 four-inning defeat of Robert Morris College. The Fighting Saints score 26 runs in the 1st inning, 22 more in the 2nd, four in the 3rd and 19 in the 4th, collecting 44 hits along the way. 1st baseman Brian Mazurek hits for the cycle, while freshman SS Mike Palermo ties an NAIA record with seven hits. LF Mike Holcomb sets a NCAA mark with nine runs scored.
IN THE NEWS: Chan Ho Park becomes the first South Korean to win in the majors, pitching four scoreless innings in relief of injured starter Ramon Martinez as the Dodgers beat the Cubs 31 at Wrigley.
Padres pitching prospect Matt LaChappa, 20, suffers a massive heart attack while warming up for the Rancho Cucamunga Quakes.
Warming up in the outfield before the Indians' game with Toronto, Albert Belle heaves a ball at photographer Tony Tomsic, hitting him. Belle contends that it wasn't deliberate, even though it was his second throw near Tomsic, and even though he warned the photog not to snap his picture. The league will open an investigation in two weeks and Tomsic will file a law suit on December 12th. The Indians win the game, defeating the Blue Jays, 53.
Tiger CF Melvin Nieves bangs two doubles, a triple and a homer as the Tigers top the A's, 61. Nieves was acquired from the Padres in a spring training trade.
The Twins hand the Orioles their first loss of the year, topping the O's, 83. Cal Ripken fumbles a grounder in the 5th inning stopping his errorless streak at 74 games.
IN THE NEWS: Mark Carreon drives home six runs on two homers, one a grand slam, to lead the Giants to a 147 gaffing of the Marlins. Jeff Conine and Andre Dawson, with his 30th 4-hit game, each have four hits for the Fish. The win goes to Steve Bourgeois, who wins his first in the majors with two 1/3 scoreless innings.
IN THE NEWS: In his major league debut, Cuban defector Osvaldo Fernandez allows just five hits and one run in eight innings as his Giants beat the Marlins, 51. Fernandez posted a fat 9.45 ERA in spring training.
IN THE NEWS: Tom Urbanski pitches 5+ strong innings to win his 1st game of the year as the Cards top the Phils, 61. Dennis Eckersley, with his appearance in the 9th inning, ties Cy Young (8th place) with 906 appearances. The Cards offense is paced by Ray Lankford with two homers.
Reds fans are again able to get out of town scores at Riverfront Stadium. In a cost-cutting move, owner Marge Schott had canceled the score-reporting service to save the month fee of $350.
IN THE NEWS: John Smoltz loses his no-hit bid when Tony Gwynn hits a one-out fly ball in the 7th that pops out of Ryan Klesko's mitt just before he hits the fence. The hit is ruled a double. Smoltz K's 13 and allows the one hit before giving way to Mark Wohlers in the 9th as the Braves top the Padres, 40.
Minutes before the start of the 2nd game with the Astros at Cincinnati, Reds' owner Marge Schott walks on the field to apologize to Larry Vandover and the umpiring crew for her remarks following the death of John McSherry. Crew chief Harry Wendelstedt is mystified, saying, "I had no idea what she was doing out there." The Reds take the 2nd game 98 after winning the opener, 53.
Julio Franco's homer in the 11th gives the Indians a 76 win over the Red Sox. Boston is 28, and off to their worst start since 1945.
IN THE NEWS: The host Rangers show no mercy in running up the largest score in the A.L. in 41 years and trouncing the league-leading Orioles, 267. Sixteen of the runs come in the 56-minute 8th inning, their last at bat, and the largest 8th inning tally in baseball history. The inning is highlighted by Kevin Elster's grand slam off O's backup IF Manny Alexander. Manny, no Grover Cleveland Alexander, walks four including three with the bases loaded, but does manage to get an out. For O's reliever Jesse Orosco, it's a bad two days as he gives up 12 earned runs in two 1/3 innings: The two outings raise his season ERA from 1.52 to 3.40. Juan Gonzalez hits two homers and has six RBIs, while Dean Palmer (2) and Will Clark also add round-trippers. O's manager Johnson fumes when Mickey Tettleton takes 3B with Texas ahead 207: "I've seen it all, but guys tagging up from second with an 18-run lead, it's ridiculous." Texas manager Johnny Oates, who still carries a clipping from a 1983 IL game when Johnson, with a 9-run lead, had his team stealing against Oates' squad, counters, "Davey didn't have to use an infielder to pitch in that inning."
The wind is blowing out in Chicago, and Brian McRae, with a grand slam, Ryne Sandberg and Mark Grace hit consecutive homers in the 6th to give the Cubs a 106 win over the Giants. Losing lefty Mike Watson serves up five Cub homers and shows little respect for venerable Wrigley Field: "I hate this place. They should burn it down."
The A's have a delayed home opener in the reconstructed Oakland Coliseum, though there are no bleachers for the time being. The formerly symmetrical stadium now sports six distinct angles in the outfield, much like the old Forbes or Ebbets Field. All the fans tonight are given yellow construction helmets with the A's logo on them. The A's, 24 in their six early games in Las Vegas, lose 43 to the White Sox when Frank Thomas cracks a 2-run homer in the 8th to give Chicago reliever Matt Karchner his 3rd win.
At Anaheim, California's Mark Langston picks up a complete game win, 43 over the Tigers. Detroit's Mark Parent and the Angels' Tim Wallach both homer, but neither is over the left field fence where actor Charlie Sheen has purchased 2,615 seats for himself and three friends. Sheen, an inveterate sports memorabilia collector, was hoping for a home run in his vicinity. "I didn't want to crawl over the paying public," said Sheen after shelling out $6,500 for the seats.
IN THE NEWS: Dean Palmer's grand slam and 2-run homer lead Texas (134) to a 96 win over the Orioles and a sweep of the 3-game series. The O's Brady Anderson lead off the game with a home run, the 4th straight game he's socked a lead-off home run, and believed to be a major league record.
Rookie pitcher Tom Thobe makes two errors in the 15th inning to allow the Padres to score, then grounds out to end the game, as Atlanta loses 21.
New York's expensive free-agent, Kenny Rogers, finally debuts, throwing a no-hitter for five 1/3 innings. He leaves with a 40 lead, and New York holds on for a 95 win over the Twins.
IN THE NEWS: Rheal Cormier allows just three hits and Henry Rodriguez slams two homers and drives in five runs as host Montreal clips the Cardinals, 80. Rodriguez, starting in LF for the injured Moises Alou, homered twice on Saturday and is 9-for-14. Montreal (127) leads Atlanta in the N.L. East by one 1/2 games.
Shawon Dunston makes four errors, but participates in four of the Giants five double plays in an 118 loss to the Astros. Dunston is mercifully lifted in the 8th, but his four errors is the most by a Giant since Bob Brenly's four in a 1986 game.
IN THE NEWS: Albert Belle and Manny Ramirez each hit 3-run homers and the Indians hold off the Orioles for an 98 win. The Indians win their 10th in 11 games, while the O's drop their 6th straight.
In Milwaukee, the A's rack up nine runs off knuckler Steve Sparks, with Scott Brosius banging a 3-run homer in the first and a solo shot in the 4th. Jason Giambi tallies a double in the first off Sparks, a triple in the 2nd, and a two run homer in the 4th. With teammates urging him to stop at first on any hit, Giambi lines out his next two times up. The A's need all nine runs as the Brewers battle back to lose, 96.
IN THE NEWS: Twins' manager Tom Kelly apologizes to the fans after his team wallops the host Tigers 2411, the highest score rung up on Detroit since their loss in 1912 when the team boycotted over the suspension of Ty Cobb and a sub team was hastily cobbled together. Greg Myers and Paul Molitor each drives in five runs as Minnesota scores against all seven Tiger pitchers they face. The 35 runs is the most today as major league teams total 195 runs, the most this century. The average game total of 13.9 runs tops the record of 13.6 set on July 12, 1931.
Reggie Jefferson's 3rd double of the game breaks a 7th-inning tie as Boston edges the Rangers 119. Texas is led by unlikely slugger Kevin Elster, who slugs homers in the 2nd and 3rd for five RBIs.
Henry Rodriguez clouts his 9th homer and Shane Andrews singles home the winner in the 10th as Montreal beat the Reds, 76, for its 6th straight win, to lead the National League East by two 1/2 games. Rodriguez has now hit six homers in his last 13 at bats.
IN THE NEWS: The Mets bang three homers in the 7th and score eight runs to bury the Cardinals, 93. Jose Vizcaino leads the way with four hits. He sets a team-record of nine straight hits over three games, but strikes out his last at bat.
IN THE NEWS: Mike Grace (40) retires the first 16 batters and pitches eight innings after scattering three singles. The Phils win 20 over the Reds, sending Cincy to their 9th loss in 10 games.
Gary Sheffield cracks a 2-run homer in the first inning off San Francisco starter Osvaldo Fernandez, but that's all the Marlin scoring as the Giants win, 32. For Sheffield, it is his 11th homer of April, matching the major league record for the month.
Former American League pitcher Milt Gaston dies at age 100. Gaston played for five teams in the 1920s and 1930s and had 18 Hall of Fame teammates and managers, more than any player in history.
IN THE NEWS: Dodger Tom Candiotti starts against the Cubs, but departs after one inning with a muscle pull. His start breaks a 90-year-old ML record, and is the 454th consecutive one by a righthander for LA. The Dodgers, from October 2, 1902 until April 14, 1906, a string of 453 games, started nothing but righties. After Candiotti's exit, the Cubs win 43 in 10 innings when Sammy Sosa singles home the winner. The win snaps the Cubs' 7-game loss streak.
Barry Bonds hits two homers, the 300th and 301st of his career, then with the Giants leading 61, he is tossed out of the game for disputing a 6th-inning, 3rd-strike call. Bonds is only the 4th major leaguer to hit 300 homers and steal 300 bases, joining his father Bobby Bonds, his godfather Willie Mays, and Andre Dawson. Bonds Sr. is the first base coach today, filling in for Jim Davenport, while Dawson, playing left field for the Marlins, has the best view of the two homers. Mark Leiter (23) allows six hits for the 63 win, with Rod Beck getting the final out.
New York's David Cone misses his first start in nine years when he experiences a numbing in the fingers off his pitching hand. His replacement, Dwight Gooden, fashions a decent outing, allowing one run in six innings against the Twins. He has seven strikeouts using a shorter stride off the mound. But the Yankee bullpen can't match the Doc and the Twins score four runs on six hits off Bob Wickman in the 10th to win, 86.
Colorado 2B Eric Young strokes five hits as the Rockies defeat the Expos, 6-5, in 13 innings.
Veteran Frank Viola, brought up yesterday from the minors, is rocked for 10 runs in four innings by the Indians. who roll to a 173 win over the Blue Jays. Sandy Alomar hits a 3-run homer and Albert Belle adds a solo shot and drives in three runs.
The Yankees top the Twins, 63, as reliever Mariano Rivera pitches the last three innings for the win. Rivera has now thrown nine hitless innings over his last three outings. Paul O'Neill, leading the A.L. in hitting, robs Paul Molitor of a homer in the 7th and then clouts one of his own. The Yankees pull ahead of Baltimore in the A.L. East.
On the 100th anniversary of the opening of Bennett Field at Michigan and Trumbull Avenues, the Tigers lose to the A's, 63. Scott Brosius rings up his 3rd two-homer game of the season, and Mark McGwire adds a homer, estimated at 462 feet, that almost clears the RF roof at Tiger Stadium, to lead the A's. Oakland collects four homers off Greg Gohr, and adds another, while Detroit bangs two, including Cecil Fielder's 10th of the year.
IN THE NEWS: On a smog-filled rainy evening, John Franco records his 300th save, pitching in relief in the Mets 32 win over the division-leading Expos. Franco is the first lefty to reach the 300-save mark. The save comes exactly 12 years to the day after his 1st one, for the Reds, in 1984.
IN THE NEWS: In the longest 9-inning game ever4 hours and 21 minutesthe Yankees outslug the Orioles, 1310 to disappoint 43,117 at Camden Yards. The host O's score nine runs off starter Andy Pettitte and take a 94 lead in the 2nd. New York ties it at 99 in the 5th, then wins it in the 7th on Tino Martinez's 3-run shot. Jim Leyritz and Paul O'Neill also homer for New York. The previous record for longest game was 4:18, set in a 1962 Dodgers-Giants game.
In Cincinnati, the Pirates send the Reds to their 8th straight loss, 107, by scoring nine runs in the 4th inning. Jeff King hits two home runs in the deluge, including a grand slam He hit two homers in an inning last August 8, and becomes just the 4th person to accomplish that feat twice.
The host Twins score 10 runs in the 5th inning before making an out, to whip the Royals, 157. The highlight is Marty Cordova's bases-loaded triple.
Led by Barry Bonds' two homers, one a grand slam, the Giants rally from four runs down to top the Padres 94. Bonds finishes the first month with 11 home runs, tying mark for most homers in April.
Fred McGriff gets five hits to lead Atlanta to a 7-5 victory over Houston, knocking the Astros into a tie for 1st in the National League Central. Every team in the division has a record below .500.