This Date in Baseball
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 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.
2011 — Manny Ramirez retired from baseball after testing positive for a performance-enhancing drug. The slumping Tampa Bay slugger informed Major League Baseball that he would retire rather than face a 100-game suspension.
2014 — Ryan Braun hit three home runs and tied a franchise record with seven RBIs to lead the Milwaukee Brewers over Philadelphia 10-4, spoiling the Phillies’ home opener.
2015 — Adrian Gonzalez hit three home runs, to become the first player in major league history with five in the season’s first three games, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 7-4 to win their opening series.
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.
2016 — St. Louis set a major league record with three pinch-hit home runs while rallying from a four-run deficit to beat Atlanta 7-4.
2017 — Howie Kendrick had a bases-loaded triple while Philadelphia scored 12 runs for the biggest first inning in team history, and the Phillies routed the Washington Nationals 17-3.