» Milwaukee fires manager Davey Lopes and hires coach Jerry Royster as interim manager in his place. In their first game under Royster, the Brewers beat the Cardinals, 7–5, as Richie Sexson drives home all seven runs on two home runs and a triple.
» Mike Hampton pitches his 2nd strong effort (8 IP, four hits) of the year with an 8–0 win over San Diego. Jeff Cirillo homers and Larry Walker homers in his 4th straight game.
After just 14 games, the Devil Rays fire manager Larry Rothschild and hire Hal McRae to take his place.
» The Angels defeat the Blue Jays, 16-10, as 2B Adam Kennedy drives home eight runs for Anaheim. 2B Craig Grebeck, OF Raul Mondesi, and 1B Carlos Delgado hit back-to-back-to-back home runs for the Blue Jays in the 6th inning.
The White Sox outslug the Mariners, 18-11, scoring 11 runs in the 4th inning.
The Giants defeat the Reds, 13-9, as OF Barry Bonds scores five runs for SF.
» The Braves stroke 24 hits in pounding the Rockies, 20–5. Atlanta scores 10 runs in the 9th inning on the way to setting an Atlanta record for runs scored in a game. Andruw Jones has five hits, including a home run and triple, and drives home six runs, while Eddie Perez collects five singles. The Braves attack features at least one hit from everyone in the lineup except WP Greg Maddux.
» The Yankees set a team record for the longest win streak in Detroit as they win their 12th straight, beating the Tigers, 8–3. It is their 8th straight win overall and David Cone's 1st of the year. Greg Keagle takes the loss. The Tigers beat the Yanks tomorrow, 2–1.
The Cardinals unveiled a bronze statute of Bob Gibson outside Busch Stadium, then beat the Phils, 6–5.
» The Braves shut out the Rockies, 14-0, behind Tom Glavine. Kenny Lofton gets five hits for Atlanta, including a home run, and scores 4.
Walks'll kill you. The Rangers Roger Pavlik sets a AL record by walking the first four batters he faces in a 6–5 loss to the Blue Jays, Pavlik will go on the DL on May seven and will stay there for 118 days.
» Veteran P Jack Morris announces his retirement after 17 years and 254 victories.
» The game between the Giants and Braves at Candlestick Park is delayed for five minutes when fans shower the field with souvenir baseballs. When order is restored, the Giants go on to defeat the Braves, 13-12 in 11 innings.
» Orioles 1B Glenn Davis commits four errors in an 11-inning 4-3 loss to the Brewers to tie the American League single game mark originally set in 1939 by Jim Wasdell of the Senators.
The White Sox play the first game ever in the new Comiskey Park, losing 16-0 to the Tigers. Frank Tanana hurls the 7-hit shutout for Detroit.
» In a 6–2 win at San Francisco, Dodger 1B Eddie Murray homers from both sides of the plate, the first major leaguer to pull the feat in both leagues. Murray has done it eight times in the American League. Hubie Brooks adds a home run for LA and Mike Morgan takes the win.
» Mike Schmidt hits his 500th career home run, a 3-run shot off Pittsburgh's Don Robinson in the top of the 9th inning to give the Phillies an 8–6 win. Schmidt is the 15th ML player to reach the 500-HR plateau.
In Oakland's 7–5 win over Seattle, Reggie Jackson steals home on the front end of a double steal with Jose Canseco.
» Despite allowing no hits—and only three fair balls hit—and striking out 10 in five innings, Texas rookie Bobby Witt is lifted in a game in Milwaukee. Why? Witt also walks 8, and throws four wild pitches, allowing two runs. Texas rallies for three runs in the 9th to win 7–5.
» At Kansas City, Jim Rice hits a home run with two out in the 14th to give the Red Sox a 4–3 win over the Royals.
» The White Sox top Baltimore to go 8–0 for the season, the team's best start ever. Rookie Salome Barojas picks up his 5th save in as many appearances.
» Reds pitcher Tom Seaver strikes out Keith Hernandez in the 4th inning of a 10–4 loss to the Cardinals, becoming the 5th pitcher in ML history with 3,000 career strikeouts.
The Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings (International League) play 32 innings before suspending play at 4:07 a.m. on April 19th with the score tied 2–2. The game is already the longest in professional baseball history, surpassing a 29-inning Florida State League contest in 1966, and will be resumed on June 23rd.
» The winless Braves shut out the undefeated Reds, 5–0, behind Rick Matula's 5-hitter. Cincinnati had opened the season with eight consecutive wins, the best start in club history.
» The Royals win their 8th straight, beating the Blue Jays 5–0 behind Paul Splittorff's 5-hitter. Willie Wilson and Hal McRae open the game with singles, and pull off a double steal. Following a 2-out intentional walk, Amos Otis hits a grand slam to jump start the Royals scoring.
» In Atlanta, Tommy John makes his NL debut and pitches the Dodgers to a 3–1 victory over the Braves. He scatters four hits in seven innings.
Giants slugger Willie McCovey breaks his right arm in a collision with John Jeter during a win over the Padres. He will be out until June 3rd.
» The Mets Nolan Ryan gives up a leadoff single to Denny Doyle, then shuts out the Phillies without another hit. Ryan fans 15 in the 7–0 triumph. For the light-hitting Doyle, it is the first of three one-hitters in which he has the lone hit.
The Reds score seven runs in the 4th but the Giants roar back to win, 16–9, at Crosley Field. Ron Hunt has a grand slam for SF and Jim Johnson is the winner in his only ML decision.
» The American Association opens the season using the DPH rule, which the major leagues dropped near the end of spring training. The DPH will also be used in International League (AAA), the Eastern League (AA), and the Arizona Instructional League. Larry Osborne (Omaha; 0-4,1 BB, one run) and John Brandt (0-4) are the ones in Oklahoma City. Denver's Charles Weatherspoon (1-4) and William Wolff (1-3, one BB) are the DPHers in Tulsa. Tulsa manager Warren Spahn calls the DPH rule "terrible." (as noted by John Lewis).
» The Cubs Adolfo Phillips drops a fly ball to allow three runs to score but homers and triple to help beat the Phillies, 8–4. Bill Hands is the winner over Chris Short.
» California Angels rookie Rudy May has a no-hitter ruined in the 8th inning of his ML debut by Jake Wood's double. The Angels lift him after nine innings of one-hit ball, and Detroit wins in 13 innings.
» Jim Maloney tosses six innings of no-hit ball against the Dodgers, before leaving with a pulled muscle. John Tsitouris relieves and pitches hitless ball until two are out in the 9th inning when Frank Howard beats out an infield single. Sandy Koufax fans the side on nine pitches in the 3rd inning, becoming the first National League pitcher to do it twice (and matching Lefty Grove), but Cincinnati wins, 3–0, on Deron Johnson's 3-run homer.
» Johnny Edwards has a grand slam and a sac fly to drive in all the runs in the Reds 5–0 victory over the Giants at Crosley Field.
» At Crosley Field, the Reds roll over the Dodgers, 14–0. Jim O'Toole tosses a 4-hitter for the win, while Joe Moeller, making his first ML start is kayoed in the 2nd. Pinson has five RBIs.
» In the American League opener at Washington, a week later than the National League start, President Dwight D. Eisenhower throws out the first ball, then watches Camilo Pascual strike out 15 batters to tie Walter Johnson's record. Boston's only run in a 10–1 loss is a Ted Williams home run.
Trader Frank Lane continues to swap sending Cleveland favorite Herb Score, a lefty, is sent to the White Sox for righty Barry Latman. Score and Rocky Colavito, traded three days ago, were the last two players to pre-date Lane's arrival in Cleveland.
» Branch Rickey becomes president of the Continental League. He appoints a committee to study problems associated with acquiring players.
Jack Sanford of the Giants allows only a 7th-inning bloop single to pinch hitter Stan Musial in beating St. Louis 8–1 in San Francisco. The Cards score in the first on three walks, a hit batter, and a wild pitch. Cepeda hits his 5th home run in four games.
The Phils get 15 hits, including a grand slam by pinch hitter Gene Freese, to outslug the Reds, 14-9. Don Newcombe loses for the 2nd time to the Phils this year, with the win going to reliever Al Schroll. The Reds get homers from Frank Robinson, Roy McMillan and pinch hitter Jerry Lynch.
Following a downtown parade in the morning, the Giants-Dodgers
game in Los Angeles sets a NL single-game record with
78,682 fans in attendance, as the Dodgers prevail
6-5. Hank Sauer hits 2 HRs for the Giants, including
the first at the Coliseum. After he scores what
would have been the tying run in the 9th, Giant Jim
Davenport is called out for failing to touch 3B.
About 150 black fans reject seats in the segregated
section of Durham Athletic Park in the Carolina League
after being denied seats in the non-segregated section.
New York Parks Commissioner Robert Moses proposes
a new 78-acre tract in Flushing Meadows as a site
for a new NL stadium. The plan, submitted to Mayor
Robert Wagner, includes a 50,000-seat stadium with
a plastic dome, to be built by the Parks Department.
In what can be described as a rare "pitcher's cycle,"
Pirate hurler Al Grunwald allows a single, double,
triple, and HR for 4 runs in a single inning and a
12-3 loss in his first ML game.
» The White Sox acquire IF Grady Hatton from the Redlegs.
After Philley pitchers had thrown 32 scoreless innings, P Curt Simmons makes a 6th inning error to allow the Pirates to score. The Phils win the doubleheader nitecap 7–1.
At Milwaukee, Jim Greengrass drives in six runs with two singles, double, and a home run to help the Reds sweep a pair from the Braves, 6–4 and 5–3.
» Southpaw Eddie Lopat of the Yankees 2-hits the Red Sox, winning 6–1.
At Pittsburgh, the Bucs Murry Dickson goes six innings, allowing three runs in the first inning, to get the victory, 5–4 over the Cards. Dickson cracks a homer and Wally Westlake also homers for the game winner. Tom Poholsky, the first Cardinal rookie to ever start an Opener, pitches seven innings and takes the loss.
In the pregame ceremonies at Wrigley Field, Sam Snead tees off from home plate and hits a golf ball off the CF scoreboard, the only ball ever to reach the structure. The Cubs follow suit in their home opener, slamming the Reds 8–3 and beating Cub nemesis Ken Raffensberger. Rookie 1B Dee Fondy hits a 2nd-inning bases-loaded triple, off Ken Raffensberger, in his first ML at bat, one of his three hits.
Cold weather, including snow in Pittsburgh, holds the Opening Day attendance for the eight games to 171,678. Last year it was 252,700.
» The first night Opening-Day game in history is played in St. Louis with the Cardinals defeating the Pirates 4–2, behind the 6-hit pitching of Gerry Staley. Stan Musial and Schoendienst contribute home runs.
President Harry Truman throws out two balls at the Washington opener—one left-handed and the other right-handed—then watches the Senators beat the A's 8–7. When rain starts falling in the 6th, he puts on a raincoat and remains to the end.
At the Polo Grounds, Sam Jethroe becomes the first black to play for the Boston Braves. In his ML debut, he goes 2-for-4, including a home run to lead the Braves to an 1–4 beating of the Giants. Spahn is the winner. Jethroe will go on to become National League Rookie of the Year.
The Indians release veteran Ken Keltner. He signs with the Red Sox the same day but is released on June 6th.
At Fenway, Happy Chandler gives Ted Williams his MVP Award, and then Governor Paul Dever tosses out the first ball. To the delight of 31,822 fans, Boston rips starter Allie Reynolds with a five-run 4th inning to drive the Chief from the game and take a 9–0 over the Yankees. But the Yanks score four in the 6th off Mel Parnell and then, down 10–4, New York unloads for nine runs in the 8th. 2B Billy Martin (2-for-2) becomes the first player in history to get two base hits in one inning in his first ML game. He doubles against Mel Parnell on his first at bat in the 8th inning, and singles off Al Papai. Walt Masterson gives up Tommy Henrich's 2nd triple of the game before giving way to four more Sox hurlers. Boo Ferriss, pitching in his last game, allows the last two runs in the 9th inning as the Yanks chalk up a 15–10 win, the biggest blown lead the Sox have ever had at Fenway (June 4, 1989, they'll blow a 10-run lad at home). DiMaggio, Berra, Vern Stephens, and Doerr each have three hits. Don Johnson is the winner, his last one for New York, with Joe Page pitching a perfect 8th and 9th in relief.
» The Giants shell the Dodgers, 10–4, with Jackie Robinson hitting his first home run, off Dave Koslo, in the loss. The Giants counter with six homers—2 apiece by Bobby Thomson and Bill Rigney, and one apiece by Johnny Mize and Willard Marshall. Scout Burt Shotton is the surprise choice to replace Leo Durocher: he watches but does not manage the game.
Robert Murphy, Boston labor relations counsel, announces
the formation of the American Baseball Guild.
Jackie Robinson debuts as 2B for the Montreal
Royals (International League) and is the first
recognized black in organized ball in this century.
A HR and 3 singles versus Jersey City start off the
season in which he will win the IL batting championship
All 16 ML teams see action on Opening Day. But Bobby
Doerr, Tex Hughson, and Mort Cooper are the only established
stars still on the wartime rosters. A potential star
among the new crop of rookies is George Kell, now
Connie Mack's 3B, who last year with Lancaster (Inter-State
League) led all minor league hitters with a .396 average.
Hank Borowy of the Yankees shuts out the Red
Sox 3-0, as Johnny Lindell hits the first
HR of 1944.
Military leaders on the Pacific Coast ask that
the PCL limit crowds to 3,000.
» Announcer Red Barber calls the first-ever Dodger game to be broadcast, a losing effort to the Giants, 7–3. New York totals 13 hits in the game.
Detroit's Jo Jo White ties an AL record with 5 walks.
» After two cancellations of their season start—their first ever—the Yankees open against the Red Sox before 40,000 at the Stadium, winning 7–3. Judge Landis presents diamond-studded watches to the New York players in honor of their championship season in 1928. New York Starter George Pipgras allows just three hits in five 1/3 innings, but walks 9. Reliever Fred Heimach then pitches hitless ball to preserve the win. In his first at bat against Boston's Red Ruffing, the newly wed Babe hits a home run and as he rounds 2nd base, he doffs his cap to his bride Claire in the stands. Gehrig adds a home run in the 6th, off Milt Gaston. For the first time, the Yanks have numbers on their uniforms, assigned according to the player's spot in the lineup: Combs, 1, Koenig, two Ruth, 3, Gehrig, 4, Meusel, 5, Lazzeri 6, Durocher, 7, Grabowski, 8. The win goes to Pipgras # 14, with Heimach #17 picking up the save.
In Philadelphia, the twice-deferred opener unfolds before a frigid 6,000 with the Giants handing the Quakers an 11–9 loss. For the first time in 15 years, the Giants dress at their hotel and taxi to the ball park. Lefty O'Doul bangs a pair of homers for Philley, while Hurst and Larry Benton, in relief of winning pitcher Hubbell, add round trippers for New York. Benton's comes in the Giants 6-run 9th, when the New Yorkers twice pull off successful double steals. Each time Phils catcher Virgil Davis fires the ball into CF.
The Cubs set an Opening Day attendance record as
a reported 46,000 jam Wrigley Field to see Cincinnati
top the Cubs 9-6. The two teams combine for 28
Charles Ebbets, Dodgers president, dies on the morning
of the opener at Ebbets Field, won by New York 7-1.
No NL games will be played on the 21st, the day of
his funeral. Ed McKeever, the new club president,
will catch a cold that turns into pneumonia and die
on May 27th.
The debut of Yankee Stadium is a huge success with
an announced attendance of 74,217. Bob Shawkey, aided
by Babe Ruth's 3-run HR, beats Howard Ehmke and the
Red Sox 4-1.
» Willie Kamm makes his debut for the White Sox in a 6–5 loss at Cleveland. He hits a double and handles two chances afield. The first $100,000 priced minor league player (bought from the San Francisco Seals), Kamm will be voted by Chicago fans the all-time White Sox 3B.
Brooklyn's Larry Kopf returns to the Reds in exchange
for OF Lee Magee.
With 2 Tigers on base in the 9th, Cleveland CF Tris
Speaker turns an unassisted double play. On April
29th, he will make the same play against Chicago,
the 4th unassisted DP of his career. He will share
the career record with Cleveland teammate, Elmer Smith.
» Phillies star Pete Alexander blanks the Braves on five hits at Baker Bowl to win 4–0. Dick Rudolph takes the loss. It is Pete's first shutout of the year; 15 will follow.
The Nationals top the Red Sox, 4–2, for Washington's first win in Boston since 1914.
» At Ebbets Field, Wilbert Robinson leads his Dodgers to a pasting of John McGraw's Giants. Brooklyn racks Christy Mathewson for 10 hits and nine runs in seven innings. Zack Wheat leads the way with a 3-run homer while driving home five runs.
» At Ebbets Field, the Phillies edge Brooklyn, 1–0.
» The opener at the new Fenway Park is rained out.
» The Tigers announce plans to build a new concrete and steel stadium. The Pirates name their million-dollar ballpark Forbes Field in honor of the English general who founded Pittsburgh.
The Pirates edge Chicago, 1-0, in 12 innings, handing the loss to ace Three Finger Brown.
» In Brooklyn's home opener, the Superbas manage six hits against Christy Mathewson and strike out 12 times. Newly acquired 1B Fred Tenney has two hits and a RBI as the Giants win 4-0.
» Eleven Days after the start of the PCL season, a great earthquake in San Francisco and the fire which follows destroys Recreation Park, home of the San Francisco Seals as well as the offices of the PCL. The Seals (9-2) are leading the league.
LA Angels (PCL) owner James Morley, who had made several unsuccessful attempts to wreck the league, disbands his team without the consent of the league. His lease at Chute Park is up on May 15, and the owners had refused to extend it; he will and up selling the team to local businessmen a day before the expiration. With telegraph service down, PCL president Bert cannot immediately inform the Angels' players that Morley acted without the consent of the league, and several players leave for the East. Fresno and LA will resume play on April 26 and will play each other in one of two cities for the next three weeks.
» At Washington, Boston Pilgrim pitcher George Winter pitches a one hitter and loses 1-0. Jim Mullin's single is the only Nat safety.
» At Baker Bowl, the Giants win their 4th in a row, with Joe McGinnity picking up the win in relief. Christy Mathewson is ineffective, but he escapes without a loss as the Giants rally to win, 7-6.
» Brooklyn’s Jimmy Sheckard has three triples against the host Phils to lead his team to a 12-7 Opening Day win.