This Date in Baseball-Week Ahead
1934 — The Philadelphia Athletics and the Philadelphia Phillies played the first legal Sunday baseball game in Philadelphia. The exhibition game was made possible when the state made Sunday baseball a local option and the city approved it in a referendum ballot.
1969 — The Montreal Expos played their first regular-season game — the first international contest in major league history — and defeated the New York Mets, 11-10, at Shea Stadium.
1974 — In the opener in Atlanta, Hank Aaron broke Babe Ruth’s career record by hitting his 715th home run off Los Angeles left-hander Al Downing in the fourth inning. The Braves beat the Dodgers 7-4 before a crowd of nearly 54,000.
1975 — Frank Robinson became the first black manager in major league history by making his debut as player-manager of the Cleveland Indians. He hit a home run in his first at-bat — as a designated hitter — to help beat the New York Yankees, 5-3.
1986 — Jim Presley of the Seattle Mariners hit home runs in the ninth and 10th innings for a come-from-behind 8-4 opening day victory over the California Angels.
1987 — Pitchers Phil Niekro and Steve Carlton of the Cleveland Indians teamed up to beat the Toronto Blue Jays 14-3. Niekro recorded his 312th victory and Carlton pitched four shutout innings in relief. It was the first time in modern history that two 300-game winners pitched for the same team in the same game.
1993 — Carlos Baerga of the Cleveland Indians became the first player in major league history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same inning. The homers came in the seventh inning of a 15-5 rout of the New York Yankees.
1994 — Kurt Mercker of the Atlanta Braves pitched the season’s first no-hitter, beating the Los Angeles Dodgers 6-0. It was the first complete game of Mercker’s career.
2002 — Craig Biggio hit for the cycle and had four RBIs in Houston’s 8-4 win over Colorado.
2016 — Trevor Story became the first major leaguer to homer in each of his first four games, connecting two more times for the Colorado Rockies in a 13-6 loss to the San Diego Padres. Story, who has six home runs since making his debut on opening day, got three hits and drove in four runs while playing for the first time at Coors Field.
2018 — Shohei Ohtani retired the Oakland Athletics’ first 19 batters and yielded one hit over seven shutout innings in his home pitching debut, leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 6-1 victory. Marcus Semien’s clean one-out single to left broke up Ohtani’s bid for a perfect game. Ohtani (2-0) struck out the side twice and finished with 12 strikeouts in all. He won his pitching debut in Oakland last weekend with six strong innings, then homered in three consecutive games in Anaheim between starts in his attempt to become the first regular two-way player in decades.
Today’s birthdays: Zach Eflin, 25; Jeff McNeil, 27; Jeremy Hellickson, 32; Yonder Alonso, 32; Felix Hernandez, 33; Carlos Santana, 33; Chris Iannetta, 36.
1913 — Ebbets Field opened in Brooklyn and Philadelphia defeated the Dodgers 1-0 before a crowd of 10,000. The stadium, which cost $750,000 to build, was named after Charles Ebbets, the club’s principal owner.
1947 — Dodgers manager Leo Durocher was suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for “the accumulation of unpleasant incidents” detrimental to baseball.
1959 — The Baltimore Orioles, playing against the Washington Senators, became the first team in history to execute a triple play on opening day. The Senators won the game, 9-2.
1965 — The Houston Astrodome opened with an exhibition game between the New York Yankees and Astros. President Johnson attended and Gov. John Connally threw out the first ball. Mickey Mantle hit the first home run, but the Astros won 2-1 in 12 innings.
1969 — Billy Williams of Chicago hit four consecutive doubles to lead the Cubs to an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
1974 — San Diego Padres owner Ray Kroc criticized his club over the public address system during the eighth inning of a 9-5 loss to the Houston Astros! “Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer with you,” Kroc told the crowd of 39,083 for the home opener. Kroc added, “I’ve never seen such stupid baseball playing in my life.”
1981 — Fernando Valenzuela made his first major league start a stunning success by pitching a 2-0, five-hit triumph over the Houston Astros in Los Angeles. He would go on to win his first eight games.
1985 — Chicago’s Tom Seaver made his 15th opening day start to break Christy Mathewson’s record. Seaver pitched 6 2-3 innings and was credited with the victory as the White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2.
1993 — The Colorado Rockies beat the Montreal Expos 11-4 for their first win and set a National League record for attendance in their home debut. The crowd of 80,227 broke the record of 78,672 set on April 18, 1958, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
2000 — In a 13-7 win over Kansas City, Minnesota’s Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones and Matt LeCroy hit consecutive home runs. The Royals’ Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye and Mike Sweeney repeated the feat, marking the first time in major league history that both teams hit three consecutive home runs in the same game.
2006 — Cory Sullivan tied a major league record by hitting two triples during a seven-run fifth inning, helping Colorado rout San Diego 10-4.
Today’s birthday: David Robertson, 34.
1913 — President Wilson threw out the first ball as the Senators edged the New York Yankees 2-1 in Washington’s home opener. Walter Johnson allowed an unearned run in the first inning. He did not yield another run for 56 consecutive innings.
1947 — Jackie Robinson became the first black player of the 20th century to sign a major league contract. Robinson agreed a one-year deal with the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1959 — Chicago’s Nellie Fox, who went 5-for-7, hit a 14th-inning opening day home run off Don Mossi to beat Detroit, 9-7. The White Sox second baseman did not homer in 623 at-bats the previous season.
1962 — The Houston Colt .45s, in the first major league game played in Texas, beat the Chicago Cubs 11-2 before 25,000. Roman Mejias led Houston’s offense with two three-run homers.
1969 — Tommy Agee of the New York Mets hit a home run into the upper deck in Shea Stadium’s left field. It was the longest home run to reach the seats in the history of the stadium.
1971 — The Phillies opened their new $49.5 million Veterans Stadium by beating Montreal 4-1. Philadelphia’s Don Money hit the first home run.
1973 — The first game at Royals Stadium is played. John Mayberry hit a home run in Kansas City’s 12-1 rout of Texas. A crowd of 39,476 attended the game at the state-of-the-art ballpark, which features water fountains beyond the outfield fence.
1976 — Don Money had a ninth-inning grand slam taken away. Money’s slam gave the Milwaukee Brewers an apparent 10-9 win over the New York Yankees. The umpires, however, rule that New York first baseman Chris Chambliss had called time out before the pitch. Money returned to the plate and flied out to right and the Brewers suffered a 9-7 loss.
1982 — Under icy conditions, the Cleveland Indians opened the season at Municipal Stadium with an 8-3 loss to the Texas Rangers before 62,443 fans. Five hundred tons of snow had to be removed from the field; the game-time temperature was 38 degrees, with a wind chill of 17.
1989 — Toronto’s Dave Stieb threw a one-hitter for an 8-0 win against the New York Yankees. It was the third one-hitter in Stieb’s last four starts. Stieb, who closed last year with consecutive one-hitters, struck out five, walked four, and gave up a solid single to Jamie Quirk with one out in the fifth inning.
1990 — Boston’s Wade Boggs tied a major league record for a nine-inning game by drawing three intentional walks.
2000 — Cincinnati’s Ken Griffey Jr. became the youngest player to hit 400 career home runs when he connected in the Reds’ 7-5 loss to Colorado. At 30 years, 141 days, Griffey beat the previous mark set by Jimmie Foxx, who was 30 years, 248 days old.
2016 — Rookie Trevor Story capped his amazing first week in the majors by hitting his seventh home run, helping the Colorado Rockies beat the San Diego Padres 6-3. Story’s homer was one of five solo shots by the Rockies and has driven in 12 runs through six games.
2017 — Wil Myers hit a leadoff triple in the eighth inning to complete the first cycle of his career and send San Diego past Colorado 5-3.
Today’s birthdays: Charlie Culberson, 30; Corey Kluber, 33.
1907 — New York catcher Roger Bresnahan appeared wearing shin guards for the first time in a major league game.
1912 — Rube Marquard of the New York Giants began a 19-game winning streak with an 18-3 triumph over the Brooklyn Dodgers.
1961 — The Los Angeles Angels won their first major league game with a 7-2 victory over the Orioles at Baltimore. Ted Kluszewski had a pair of homers for the Angels.
1962 — The New York Mets played their first game and lost 11-4 to the Cardinals in St. Louis. Stan Musial of the cardinals had three hits and tied Mel Ott’s National League career record with his 1,859th run scored. The Mets would lose their first nine games on the way to a 40-120 record.
1969 — The Seattle Pilots played their first game, with Gary Bell shutting out the White Sox 7-0 at Sicks Stadium.
1990 — Mark Langston made his Angels debut by combining with Mike Witt on a no-hitter as California beat the Seattle Mariners 1-0.
1996 — Greg Maddux’s major league record of road victories ended at 18 in a row with a 2-1 loss to the San Diego Padres. He had been 18-0 with an 0.99 ERA in 20 regular-season road starts since losing at Montreal on June 27, 1994.
2008 — Missouri’s Jacob Priday set a Big 12 Conference record, hitting four home runs against Texas in a 31-12 rout. The senior went 5-for-5, drove in nine runs and scored six times.
2011 — Sam Fuld had four extra-base hits and drove in three runs to help Tampa Bay bust out of an early season slump with a 16-5 win over the Boston Red Sox. Fuld, needing a single to complete the cycle, doubled into the left-field corner in his last at-bat in the ninth.
2017 — Yoenis Cespedes hit three of New York’s seven homers to back Matt Harvey, and the Mets beat the Philadelphia Phillies 14-4. Lucas Duda hit two homers and Asdrubal Cabrera and Travis d’Arnaud also went deep for New York.