1907 The Giants lose their home opener to the Phillies when some of the Polo Grounds fans flood onto the field, disrupting the game in the top of the ninth inning. Bill Klem, the home plate umpire, after his warnings are ignored by the the increasing throng of over a thousand patrons, who continue to descend onto the field, decides enough is enough, forfeiting the game to the visiting team, 9-0.
1912 Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3, in a game which features 13 ground rule doubles hit by the visitors because of the overflow crowd being placed in the outfield and along the foul lines. The future Hall of Fame southpaw’s streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.
1912 Redland Field, the steel and concrete ballpark named to match the team’s moniker and hue, makes its debut with the hometown Reds beating Chicago, 10-6. In 1934, the Cincinnati ballpark will become known as Crosley Field in honor of the team owner Powel Crosley.
1928 Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker are in the Opening Day starting lineup for the A’s. The 8-3 loss to New York at Shibe Park marks the first time the future Hall of Famers have played in a game as teammates.
1932 The Cardinals trade future Hall of Famer Chick Hafey to the Reds for outfielder/first baseman Harvey Hendrick, right-hander Benny Frey, and cash. The former Redbird outfielder led the National League in hitting last season, batting .349 for the World Series champs.
1954 The Yankees trade two minor leaguers along with rookie right-hander Mel Wright to the Cardinals in exchange for 38 year-old right-fielder Enos Slaughter. The future Hall of Fame outfielder will hit only .239 in 79 games during his first tenure with the Bronx Bombers, but Bill Virdon, one of the prospects dealt to the Redbirds, will be named the National League’s Rookie of the Year in 1956.
1961 The upstart Angels, playing their first game in franchise history, defeat a strong Orioles team at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium, 7-2. Ted Kluszewski homers twice, and Eli Grba tosses a complete game for Los Angeles.
1961 Red Sox rookie Carl Yastrzemski, in his major league debut, singles off Kansas City’s Ray Herbert in the team’s 5-2 Opening Day loss at Fenway Park. The 21 year-old left fielder from Bridgehampton, New York will amass 3,419 hits during his 23-year Hall of Fame career with Boston.
1961 Robin Roberts, in his twelfth-straight Opening Day start, is tagged with the loss when the Phillies are defeated by the Dodgers in the LA Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The right-hander’s effort ties Grover Cleveland Alexander’s National League record for consecutive season openers.
1961 On Opening Day, the flag is hung at half-staff at Crosley Field to honor the memory of late owner Powel Crosley, Jr., who passed away two weeks earlier. The Reds, the eventual National League Champions, get off to a good start by beating Chicago, 7-1.
1962 After being rained out the previous night and with some players getting stuck in an elevator, the Mets make their National League debut in St. Louis, losing to the Cardinals at Busch Stadium, 11-4. The defeat will be the first of a record-setting 120 losses the New York expansion team will suffer this season.
1963 Don Leppert, who went deep on the first pitch he saw in the major leagues playing for Pittsburgh, hits three homers in the Senators’ 8-0 victory over Boston at D.C. Stadium. The catcher’s solo shot in the fourth inning, three-run blast two frames later, and bases-empty blast in the eighth will account for twenty percent of his four-year career total of 15 round-trippers.
1964 Former Houston right-hander Jim Umbricht’s ashes are privately scattered from a small plane over Colt Stadium, his home ballpark with the Colt .45’s for the past two seasons. The popular 33 year-old reliever, the only pitcher to post a winning record during the expansion team’s first two seasons, lost his well-publicized battle to a malignant melanoma three days ago.
1966 Twenty years after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier, Emmett Ashford becomes the first black major league umpire, working third base when the Senators host the Tigers on Opening Day at D.C. Stadium, The dapper Californian arbitrator will become well-known for his flashy style, which includes sprinting around the infield after foul balls, his karate chop strike calls, and pirouetting while dusting off home plate.
1968 Detroit gets the first of the 103 victories of their World Champion campaign in a dramatic manner. Gates Brown, pinch hitting for Jon Warden, hits a walk-off home run leading off the bottom of the ninth inning to beat Boston at Tiger Stadium, 4-3.
1969 The Pilots, who won on Opening Day in Los Angeles against the Angels, are victorious in their first home game in franchise history, blanking the White Sox, 7-0, at Seattle’s Sicks’ Stadium. Gary Bell, called ‘Ding Dong’ by his teammates, manages to keep Chicago from scoring, although the right-hander yields nine hits and walks four batters en route to the complete-game victory.
1971 Jerry Grote hits a walk-off homer in the 11th inning off Wayne Granger at Shea Stadium. The New York catcher’s game-ending round-tripper accounts for the only run scored in the Mets’ 1-0 victory over Cincinnati.
1985 Cal Ripken, nursing a sprained left ankle suffered while covering second base on a pickoff play in yesterday’s game against the Rangers, is ordered by the doctor not to play in today’s game against the midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy. The Orioles shortstop’s streak of consecutive games, which would have ended if not for the team’s exhibition contest in Annapolis, is in its infancy at 444 games.
1990 Mark Langston, tossing seven innings in his Angel debut, and Mike Witt, author of a perfect game in 1984, combine to pitch a 1-0 Opening Day no-hitter against the Mariners at Anaheim Stadium. Dante Bichette’s seventh inning walk with the bases loaded accounts for the game’s only run.
1993 When Brewer catcher Dave Nilsson catches for Graeme Lloyd, they become the first all-Australian battery in major league history. The 23 year-old backstop hails from Brisbane, Queensland with his rookie batterymate calling Geelong, Victoria home.
1994 In the inaugural major league game played at The Ballpark in Arlington, Holly Minter, posing for a picture, is seriously injured when she slips and falls 30 feet from the upper deck in right field to the lower section of the new $189 million stadium. The Rangers report a security guard was en route to tell the 26 year-old fan to move away from the railing, which was not labeled with warning signs.
1994 The Rangers play their first major league game in The Ballpark in Arlington, losing to Milwaukee, 4-3. Texas leadoff hitter David Hulse gets the stadium’s first hit, a first frame single, and Dave Nilsson hits the first home run in the $189 million facility, a solo shot leading off the bottom of the fifth inning.
1996 Greg Maddux’s major league record of road victories is halted at 18 with a 2-1 loss to the Padres at Jack Murphy Stadium. The Braves right-hander was 18-0 with an ERA under one run per game in 20 regular-season road starts dating back to July of 1994.
1997 To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the integration of baseball, Sharon Robinson, Jackie’s daughter, and Pumpsie Green each threw out the first pitch at Fenway Park. In 1959, Green became to the first black to appear in a Red Sox uniform, making Boston the last team to integrate in the major leagues.
2003 In the first of its ‘home’ games at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Expos rout David Cone and the Mets, 10-0. The Montreal franchise, which is now owned by major league baseball, will play 22 games in the commonwealth this season as a new venue is sought for the poorly-attended Canadian team.
2003 Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey says although he would still cancel a “Bull Durham” celebration due to anti-war criticism espoused by its co-stars, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, he should have used a different approach, calling the performers to discuss the situation rather than just sending a letter. The decision sets off a fire storm of debate with Cooperstown receiving over 5000 e-mails yesterday, both pro and con, as well as noted author Roger Kahn canceling his planned August appearance to speak about his new book “October Men”, a work chronicling the 1978 World Champion Yankee team, as a protest.
2006 At the home opener at RFK Stadium prior to the hometown team’s 7-1 loss to the Mets, Dick Cheney, wearing a red-and-blue Nationals jacket, becomes the eighth sitting vice president to throw out the ceremonial first pitch. After the the veep is greeted with a chorus of loud boos, he bounces the pitch in front of home plate, throwing the ball from directly in front of the pitching mound.
2006 Bob Sheppard misses his first Yankee Stadium home opener since 1951 after sustaining a hip injury at his home yesterday. The long-time public address announcer will return to the microphone during the team’s next homestand.
2008 At Minute Maid Park, the Marlins set a club record, blasting six home runs en route to a 10-6 win against the Astros. Jeremy Hermida hit a pair of round-trippers, and teammates Mike Jacobs, Hanley Ramirez, Jorge Cantu, and Mike Rabelo contributed solo homers in Florida’s fourth straight victory, matching the team’s longest winning streak last season.
2010 Mike Leake becomes the first pitcher since Ariel Pieto in 1995 to make his big league debut without ever spending a day in the minor leagues. The 22 year-old Reds’ right-handed starter gives up four hits in 6.2 innings, getting a no-decision in the Reds’ eventual 3-1 victory over Chicago at the Great American Ball Park.
2010 The Diamondbacks score a team-record 13 runs in the fourth inning of a 15-6 victory over Pittsburgh at Chase Field. The infamous frame features eight hits, including a trio of home runs hit by Chris Young, Kelly Johnson, and starting pitcher Edwin Jackson, which also ties a franchise mark for a regular season game.
2016 Rookie first baseman Tyler White, who set an Astro record for total hits in the first five games played with the team, is named the American League Player of the Week. The 25 year-old thirty-third round pick out Western Carolina batted .556, scored three runs, blasted three home runs, and collected nine RBIs to cop the prestigious honor in the first week of his major league career.