This Date in Baseball

Story Topics

May 4

1869 _ Henry Chadwick published his first annual baseball handbook. The book eventually evolved into Spalding’s Official Baseball Guide.

1871 _ The Fort Wayne Kekiongas beat the Cleveland Forest Citys, 2-0, in the first game played in the National Association. In the 127 games during the 1871 season, there were a total of four shutouts.

1910 _ The Browns and Cardinals played home games in St. Louis, and President Taft, not wanting to offend either club, saw parts of each game at Robinson Field and Sportsman’s Park.

1963 _ Bob Shaw of the Braves set a major league record by committing five balks. In the third inning, Shaw walked Billy Williams and balked him home with three straight balks. Shaw lasted five innings before he was ejected for arguing. The Chicago Cubs beat Milwaukee, 5-3.

1969 _ The Houston Astros set an NL record by turning seven double plays against the San Francisco Giants. First baseman Curt Blefary participated in all seven.

1975 _ Bob Watson of the Houston Astros, sensing baseball history, raced around the bases on Milt May’s home run and crossed the plate at Candlestick Park in time to score major league baseball’s 1 millionth run, seconds ahead of Dave Concepcion of Cincinnati.

1981 _ New York’s Ron Davis struck out eight consecutive Angels in relief as the Yankees defeated California 4-2.

1989 _ Toronto’s Junior Felix became the 53rd player in major league history to hit a home run in his first at-bat with a third-inning drive off California’s Kirk McCaskill as the Blue Jays lost 3-2 in 10 innings.

1991 _ Chris James drove in nine runs with two homers and two singles, breaking Cleveland’s club record for RBIs and leading the Indians to a 20-6 victory over the Oakland Athletics.

1996 _ The Texas Rangers became the first American League team in 79 years to pitch consecutive one-hitters as Roger Pavlik held Detroit to a fifth-inning home run in a 3-1 win. Ken Hill one-hit Detroit on May 3, retiring the last 26 batters he faced.

2001 _ Raul Mondesi of the Blue Jays went 4-for-4, with two homers, two doubles and six RBIs, leading Toronto to an 8-3 victory over Seattle.

2009 _ The Los Angeles Dodgers became the first National League team since 1900 to win their first 11 home games, beating Arizona 7-2. The major league mark of 12, was set in 1911 by the Detroit Tigers.

2011 _ Atlanta’s Tim Hudson pitched a one-hitter to ruin the Milwaukee debut of Zack Greinke. The Braves rocked the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner in a 8-0 victory to complete a doubleheader sweep of the Brewers. Hudson retired his first nine hitters before Rickie Weeks led off the fourth with a double. He was the only Brewers player to reach base, also drawing a two-out walk in the ninth.

Today’s birthdays: Nick Noonan 24; Sam LeCure 29; Kevin Slowey 29.

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