1892 Jack Doyle becomes the first player to collect a pinch hit when he singles, coming off the bench to bat for Cleveland hurler George Davies in the Spiders’ 2-1 loss to the Grooms at Brooklyn’s Eastern Park. The 22 year-old utilityman will finish his 17-year career going 3-for-5 (.600) as a pinch-hitter.
1906 Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity give up 11 first inning runs, allowing the Cubs to rout the Giants, 19-0. Matty, who is probably still suffering the effects of diphtheria contracted in the spring, retires only one batter while issuing six bases-on-balls in the West Side Grounds contest.
1911 Having little success as a performer in vaudeville and the movies, Turkey Mike Donlin returns to the Giants, after a two-year absence. The disagreeable outfielder, who will be traded to Boston after just a dozen games with New York, will compile a .316 average during his comeback season.
1921 The body of a slain girl is found at the Base Ball Grounds in Tennessee, the home of the Kingsport Indians. The scheduled Class D Appalachian League game against the Knoxville Pioneers is canceled to prevent the bloodhounds from becoming confused as police investigate the foul play in the ballpark.
1931 In their one-day road trip to Detroit made necessary by the Sunday prohibition of baseball in Philadelphia, the A’s trounced the Tigers, 12-2. The ‘Mackmen’ strand 18 base runners during the Navin Field contest.
1936 In an extra-inning marathon played at Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Bombers beat Oral Hildebrand and the Indians in a 16-inning game, 5-4. Both hurlers go the distance, with New York starter Red Ruffing facing 63 batters without recording a strikeout.
1938 In a game against the Red Sox, Indians’ pitcher Johnny Allen storms off the mound and doesn’t return when he is ordered by ump Bill McGowan to cut off his distracting dangling sweatshirt sleeve. The shirt ends up in the Hall of Fame, but the Lenoir, North Carolina native doesn’t.
1944 Tiger southpaw Hal Newhouser walks nine in six innings, a contributing factor in the 3-1 loss to the White Sox at Comiskey Park. ‘Prince Hal’, a future Hall of Famer, will average nearly 4.5 bases-on-balls per nine innings during the season.
1950 The Red Sox compile 42 total bases in their 20-4 bashing of the Browns. The Fenway fireworks will continue tomorrow when Boston adds insult to injury, beating St. Louis, 29-4.
1954 Dodger catcher Roy Campanella steals home in the top of the 12th inning in a 7-5 victory over St. Louis at Sportsman’s Park. Campy had added an insurance run with an eighth inning round-tripper, but the Redbirds scored three times in the bottom of the ninth to tie the score.
1957 Howard University awards honorary degrees of Doctor of Laws to the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and recently retired Dodgers infielder Jackie Robinson. In the coming years, the former baseball great and the Baptist minister will often appear together at Civil Rights rallies, fundraising events, and demonstrations.
1960 In the Cardinals’ 9-1 loss to Pittsburgh at Forbes Field, Bob Gibson ties a major league record when he strikes out four batters in one inning, the additional whiff coming as a result of a wild pitch. The fourth-inning strikeout victims include Jerry Lynch, Jim Pagliaroni, Bill Mazeroski, and Don Cardwell.
1966 The A’s select future Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson in the first round (2nd pick) of the amateur draft. The Mets, with the first overall pick, choose Steve Chilcott, a high school catcher who will never play a day in the major league.
1967 The Reds play their major-league record 11th consecutive one-run game, losing to San Francisco at Crosley Field, 4-3. Cincinnati’s 19 year-old fireballer Gary Nolan, who strikes out 15 opponents, including fanning Willie Mays four times, a first in the Say Hey Kid’s Hall of Fame career, takes the loss after Willie McCovey blasts a three-run eighth-inning round-tripper, and reliever Bob Lee allows the decisive run to cross the plate in the frame.
1969 Washington’s D.C. Stadium is officially renamed Robert F. Kennedy Stadium during a memorial service at the ballpark for the slain U.S. senator. In attendance for the ceremony are former NFLer Roosevelt Grier and Olympian Rafer Johnson, both who helped to apprehend RFK’s assassin, Sirhan B. Sirhan, at the Ambassador Hotel.
1970 Vic Davalillo gets two hits during the seventh inning of the Cardinals’ 10-7 comeback victory over San Diego at Busch Stadium. The first of the Venezuelan outfielder’s two singles comes when he leads off the frame as a pinch hitter for Bob Gibson.
1972 In the nightcap of a twin bill, the Pirates edge the Padres in 18 innings at Jack Murphy Stadium, 1-0. The winning run crosses the plate as a result of Gene Alley’s forcing in a run with a base-on-balls, following Bill Mazeroski receiving an intentional walk to load the bases.
1975 After an outstanding collegiate career at the University of La Verne, Dan Quisenberry is signed as an undrafted free agent by Royals’ scout Rosey Gilhousen. During his ten-year tenure with Kansas City, the right-handed reliever saves 238 games, leading the American League for five seasons.
1982 Joining Lou Gehrig, Everett Scott, Billy Williams, and Joe Sewell, Dodger infielder Steve Garvey becomes only the fifth player in major league history to play in 1,000 consecutive games. The first baseman, establishing a National League record, will appear in 1207 consecutive games, before the streak ends next season when he breaks his thumb in a collision at home plate, playing for the Padres.
1983 Steve Carlton of the Phillies strikes out Cardinals’ outfielder Lonnie Smith for his 3,522nd career strikeout to pass Nolan Ryan as the all-time strikeout leader. On the same night, Ryan strikes out three San Francisco batters to finish one shy of Lefty’s total, but will finish his career with 5,714, far ahead of the Philadelphia left-hander’s mark of 4,136.
1986 Amos Otis, who played for 14 seasons with Kansas City, being named the team’s Player of the Year three times, and Steve Busby, who averaged more than 18 wins a season before his career is shortened by a rotator cuff injury, are honored at Kauffman Stadium. During the pregame ceremony, the pair is inducted into the newly created Royals Hall of Fame, becoming the first players to be so honored by the team.
1989 For the first time in major league history, the same game is played partly outdoors and partly indoors when the Blue Jays beat the Brewers, 4-2, in a contest that features the closing of the SkyDome’s retractable roof in the fifth inning due to inclement weather.
1998 Dave Burba becomes the first Indians’ pitcher to homer in 26 years when he goes deep in a 6-1 interleague victory over the Reds at Cinergy Field. Ironically, the right-hander was scheduled to be the Opening Day pitcher for Cincinnati, but was traded to Cleveland for Sean Casey the day before season started.
1998 After going 6-0 against Atlanta and Florida, the Cubs complete their third consecutive three-game sweep by beating the White Sox, 13-7. The last time Chicago put together a similar streak occurred in 1918.
2001 The Crespos both hit home runs, making it the 28th time in major league history brothers have gone deep in the same game. Cesar homers in the seventh inning for the Padres, and his younger sibling, Felipe, blasts round-trippers in the second and the sixth for the Giants in San Diego’s 10-7 victory at Pacific Bell Park.
2006 With just ten sacrifice flies during their first 58 games, the Rockies tie a major league with five sac flies during the 16-9 Coors Field victory over Pittsburgh. The Mariners established the mark against Oakland in 1988.
2007 With the Yankees’ 10-3 victory over the White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field, Joe Torre wins his 2,000th game as a manager. The former Braves (257), Mets (286), and Cardinals (351) skipper becomes the first person in big league history to have reached the milestone and also have at least 2,000 hits as a player.
2007 With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning at Network Associates Coliseum, Shannon Stewart lines a single to right field to break up Curt Schilling’s no-hitter. Thanks to a first inning home run by David Ortiz, the Red Sox beat the A’s, 1-0.
2008 Johnny Damon goes 6-for-6, including a walk-off single which gives New York a wild 12-11 comeback victory over the Royals. The outfielder becomes the first Bronx Bomber, and only the second player, to collect six hits at Yankee Stadium.
2012 Starlin Castro becomes the 28th player to collect 500 hits before the age of 23 when he singles off A.J. Burnett with two outs in the fifth inning in the Cubs’ 12-2 victory over the Bucs at PNC Park. The 22-year, 167 day old Chicago shortstop reaches the milestone in his 421st major league game.
2014 As part of Wrigley Field’s 100th anniversary, the Cubs honor 97 year-old Lennie Merullo, who receives a rousing ovation when he tosses the ceremonial first pitch prior to the team’s 5-2 victory over the Marlins. The former infielder, who went 0 for 2 when he played in three games for Chicago in the 1945 Fall Classic, is the last living person to play in a World Series game for the franchise.