1925 - Babe Ruth collapsed in a railroad station in Asheville, N.C. He would be hospitalized in New York and operated on 10 days later for an ulcer.
1964 - Shea Stadium in New York opened for the first regular season game. The Mets lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates, 4-3.
1969 - The Yankees spoiled the managerial debut of Ted Williams by defeating the Senators 8-4 in the opener at Washington’s RFK Stadium. President Nixon and a crowd of 45,000 attended.
1969 - Dodgers relief pitcher Bill Singer was credited with the first official save. Los Angeles beat Cincinnati, 3-2. The game started with Cincinnati’s Pete Rose hitting Don Drysdale’s first pitch for a home run. Drysdale threw his next pitch to Bobby Tolan and Tolan hit it for a home run. After the first two pitches, Drysdale settled down and threw a shutout.
1970 - Three weeks after moving from Seattle to Milwaukee, the former Pilots played their first game as the Brewers and lost 12-0 to the visiting California Angels.
1973 - Cleveland set an attendance record for day games and opening-day games by attracting 74,420 fans. The Indians beat the Detroit Tigers, 2-1.
1977 - The expansion Toronto Blue Jays began their major league odyssey with a 9-5 victory over the Chicago White Sox at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium. Al Woods, pinch hitting for Steve Bowling in the fifth inning, became the 11th pinch hitter with a home run in his first at-bat.
1979 - Ken Forsch of the Houston Astros pitched a no-hitter against Atlanta to duplicate the no-hitter tossed by his brother Bob of the Cardinals against the Phillies on April 16, 1978. They are the first brothers to pitch no-hitters.
1984 - Detroit’s Jack Morris pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox despite giving up six walks. It was the first Tigers no-hitter since Jim Bunning’s in 1958.
1987 - Atlanta’s Rick Mahler pitched his third opening day shutout tying an NL record.
2012 - J.D. Martinez homered and drove in three runs and Houston beat 49-year-old Jamie Moyer and Colorado 7-3. Moyer became the oldest player to appear in a game since 1980, when 54-year-old Minnie Minoso played in a game for the White Sox. Moyer became the second-oldest pitcher to start a major-league game and was the oldest starting pitcher ever on a team’s opening-day roster.
2013 - Will Middlebrooks hit three home runs and the Boston Red Sox roughed up Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey, routing the Toronto Blue Jays 13-0.
2013 - Matt Cain became the first Giants pitcher to allow nine runs in an inning since 1902 when Matt Carpenter and the St. Louis Cardinals tagged him in a 14-3 romp over San Francisco.
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.
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 a game! “Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer with you,” Kroc said. “I’ve never seen such stupid baseball playing in my life.” The announcement occurred during San Diego’s 9-5 loss to the Houston Astros. Also, the San Diego Chicken team mascot made its debut that day.
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.
2003 - Detroit became the second major league team to start successive seasons 0-7 after a 9-6 loss to Kansas City. The Tigers started 0-11 last year. The 1962-63 New York Mets started 0-9 and 0-8 in their first two seasons.
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.
2014 - Garrett Richards and two relievers combined on one-hitter as the Los Angeles Angels beat the Seattle Mariners 2-0. Richards threw seven shutout innings. Abraham Almonte was the only Seattle batter to reach via hit when he singled in the third inning.
Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.