At Cleveland's Kennard Street Park, the newly transplanted Blues, who played in Indianapolis last season, lose their season opener to the Providence Grays, 15-4. The game makes the managerial debut of 23 year-old right-hander Jim McCormick, the youngest skipper in major league history.
National League baseball returns to the City of Brotherly Love as Philadelphia hosts its first National League game since 1876. The Quakers, after holding their first spring training at Recreation Park, open their season there, losing to the Providence Grays, 4-3.
The Giants, then known as the Gothams, play their first game in franchise history, defeating Boston, 7 to 5, at the Southeast Diamond at the Polo Grounds in New York. The newcomer in the National League will finish the season with a record of 46-50, 16 games behind today’s opponent, the league-leading Beaneaters.
Moses Fleetwood Walker becomes the first black to play in the major leagues when the Blue Stockings drop a 5-1 decision to Louisville at Eclipse Park. The 27 year-old Toledo catcher, who will hit above the league average with a .263 BA in the 42 games with the American Association team, goes hitless and commits four errors in his debut.
In front of 10,000 fans, Spider right-hander Cy Young beats the visiting Reds, 12-3, in the first game ever played in Cleveland's League Park. The National League club will call the Hough neighborhood ballpark home until 1899, when the club goes out of business due to losing their best players because of actions of their unscrupulous owner, resulting in a disastrous 20–134 season.
Herm McFarland hits the first grand slam in American League history, contributing to the White Sox' 19-9 rout of the Tigers. Detroit commits an AL record 12 errors, 10 in the infield, in the South Side Park contest.
At Brooklyn's Washington Park, Philadelphia southpaw John Lush strikes out 11 batters en route to throwing a 6-0 no-hitter against the Superbas, a team that will become known as the Dodgers in 1911. There will not be another no-hitter by a Phillies pitcher until Jim Bunning's perfect game against the Mets in 1964.
Babe Ruth hits his 50th career home run, the first of the 659 round-trippers he will hit as a Yankee. The New York right fielder also collects a double in the team's 6-0 victory over Boston at the Polo Grounds, the ballpark they share with the National League's Giants.
The longest game ever played ends after 26 innings in a 1-1 tie. Brooklyn Robin Leon Cadore and Brave Joe Oeschger both go the distance for their respective clubs. Braves' Charlie Pick establishes the major league record for hitless at-bats in one game as he goes 0-for-11 in the marathon.
Seventeen year-old Jimmie Foxx pinch-hits a single in his first major league at-bat in the A's 9-4 loss to Washington at Griffith Stadium. The future Hall of Famer will finish his 20-year career with a .325 life-time batting average.
Chattanooga right-hander Satchel Paige makes his professional pitching debut, blanking the New Orleans Algiers, 1-0. The Black Lookouts rookie gives up only two hits in the Negro Southern League contest.
At Comiskey Park, the White Sox defeat the Cubs and Dizzy Dean, 4-1, in an exhibition game to benefit Monty Stratton. The former pitcher, who lost his leg in an off-season hunting accident, tries to pitch in the game and receives a new car and nearly $30,000 as a result of the contest.
Philadelphia outfielder Elmer Valo, the second major league player to be born in Czechoslovakia, becomes the first American Leaguer to hit a pair of bases-loaded triples in the same game, an A's 15–9 victory over Washington at Shibe Park. The 28 year-old hustling line-drive hitter will deliver a third bases-loaded triple later in the season, equalling the AL mark Shano Collins established in 1918.
In an 8-3 loss to the Yankees at Comiskey Park, White Sox hurler Randy Gumpert gives up the first of Mickey Mantle's 536 major league home runs. The Mother’s Day blast, which will be worth $165,000 at Sotheby’s auction in 2004, is inscribed on by the future Hall of Famer's own hand which includes the following detail on the ball, "My first H.R. in the Majors, May 1, 1951, 4:50 p.m. Chicago" as well as "6th inning off Randy Gumpert."
Becoming the first black to play for the White Sox, Minnie Minoso makes his debut, hitting a home run against the Yankees' Vic Raschi in his first plate appearance for the club. The speedy outfielder, who previously played with the Cleveland Indians, bats .326 (173 hits) and leads the league in stolen bases and triples, but loses out to Yankee infielder Gil McDougald for Rookie of the Year Award honors.
Indian starters put on a 'pitching clinic' during a doubleheader sweep of the Red Sox. Veteran Bob Feller holds Boston hitless for 6+ innings and hurls his major league record 12th one-hitter in a 2-0 victory, and in the nightcap, rookie left-hander Herb Score strikes out the first nine batters (he will whiff a total of 16) en route to a 2-1 four-hitter win.
The Cubs trade Gene Baker and Dee Fondy to the Pirates for Dale Long and Lee Walls, who will combine to hit 45 home runs for their new team. Fondy will hit .313 for the Bucs, but the first baseman will be traded in December to the Reds for Ted Kluszewski.
At Chicago’s Comiskey Park, White Sox hurler Early Wynn throws a one-hitter while striking out 14 Boston batters. It is the 39 year-old pitcher’s eighth inning lead-off home run which beats the Red Sox, 1-0.
Trying to break up a double play, Dodger outfielder Tommy Davis dislocates and breaks his ankle sliding into second base. The two-time National League batting champion is lost for the remainder of the season.
In the nightcap of a day-night doubleheader, Dave Giusti and the Astros beat the Cubs, 4-0, to extend the team's winning streak to double digits. The ten consecutive victories will remain a club record until 1999.
Indian right-hander Sam McDowell, yielding only a third-inning double to Don Buford, hurls his second consecutive one-hitter when he blanks Chicago, 1-0, at Cleveland Stadium. In his previous start, 'Sudden Sam’ also limited his opponents to one hit, a sixth-inning single by Kansas City outfielder Danny Tartabull.
After being crushed for six runs in Cincinnati's 14-0 rout of the Astros a week ago, Don Wilson no-hits the Reds at Crosley Field, 4-0. The performance by the 24 year-old right-hander, who also authored a hitless game as a rookie, comes on the heels of Jim Maloney's no-no against Houston yesterday.
Philadelphia starter Dick Selma goes the distance, three-hitting the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, 2-1. The victory is the fifth consecutive complete game thrown by the Phillies right-hander.
One out from defeat, the Giants score seven runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to defeat the Pirates at Candlestick Park, 8-7. Three batters after Chris Arnold pinch-hits a two-out grand slam, Bobby Bonds delivers a walk-off three-run double to left field to complete San Francisco's amazing come-from-behind victory.
Using just five pitches, Pirates starter Dock Ellis, upset with his opponent's swagger, hits the first three Reds' batters he faces. After plunking Pete Rose, Joe Morgan, and Dan Driessen, the pitcher deliberately throws two pitches behind Tony Perez's head before walking the clean-up hitter, and then goes 0-2 on the next batter, Johnny Bench, before he is removed by Pittsburgh pilot Danny Murtaugh.
Tom Seaver strikes out 16 L.A. batters and gives up only three hits in over twelve innings, but gets a no-decision when the Mets lose the Chavez Ravine contest in 14 innings, 2-1. Steve Garvey strokes a walk-off single to center field off Harry Parker to score Billy Buckner with the winning run.
In the bottom of the 11th inning, pinch-hitter Roger Freed blasts a two-out walk-off grand slam, giving the Cardinals an amazing 7-6 comeback victory over Houston. In the top of the frame, the Astros had scored three runs to take a 6-3 lead before the 34 year-old reserve player ended the game in dramatic fashion.
The Mets are fined by Commissioner Bowie Kuhn as the result of disparaging remarks made against the Yankees by Jerry Della Femina, the president of the team’s advertising agency. The high-powered ad man, who is being paid $400,000 to develop a campaign to bolster the sagging attendance at Shea Stadium, made sarcastic comments about cross-town rival players Reggie Jackson and Bucky Dent, and was quoted to say their Bronx ballpark was in an unsafe neighborhood.
Mets southpaw Pete Falcone sets a franchise record when he strikes out the first six batters, who include Pete Rose and Mike Schmidt, in the team’s 2-1 loss to Philadelphia at Shea Stadium. The mark will not be broken until Jacob DeGrom, who will become the National League’s Rookie of the Year, fans eight Miami batters from the start of a 2014 game.
Dwight Gooden becomes the first teenager to strike out at least ten players since Bert Blyleven accomplished the feat in 1970. The Mets' 19 year-old phenom, who will set a rookie record with 276 Ks, will have a total of 15 double-digit strikeout games this year.
Jimmy Key becomes the first left-handed starter in more than four years to win a game for the Blue Jays when Toronto beats California, 6-3. Paul Mirabella, who beat Boston on the final day of the season in 1980, was the last southpaw starter during the past 614 games to get a victory for Toronto.
Rangers right-hander Nolan Ryan pitches the seventh no-hitter of his career when he defeats the Blue Jays at Arlington Stadium, 3-0. The 44 year-old Texan fireballer, who strikes out 16 batters, becomes the oldest major leaguer ever to throw a no-hit game.
Rickey Henderson passes Lou Brock to become baseball's all-time stolen base leader with his 939th career steal. The A's outfielder, who will finish his 25-year career with 1,406, establishes the new major league mark when he swipes third base in the team's 7-4 victory over New York at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum.
With his 6-for-8 performance in an 11-6 extra inning victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards, Bernie Williams becomes only the second Yankee in franchise history to collect six hits in a game. Myril Hoag had accomplished the feat for the Bronx Bombers at Fenway Park in 1934.
Randy Myers gets the last two outs of the ninth inning in the Orioles' 3-2 win over the Twins in the Metrodome. The Baltimore closer has recorded 11 consecutive saves to start the season.
San Francisco's left fielder Barry Bonds becomes the first player to hit a ball into San Francisco Bay aka McCovey's Cove. The first 'splashdown' home run at Pacific Bell Park helps the Giants to beat the Mets, 10-3.
The Braves establish a franchise-record 14th straight victory, with a 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. Quilvio Veras' third-inning homer proves to be the difference.
As a result of being struck by the flying barrel of a broken bat, Mike Fyhrie breaks the ulna bone in his left arm. The Cubs' righty reliever used his arm to protect himself as the Padres' Santiago Perez's broken bat exploded in the direction of the mound.
Recording his 321st save for San Diego, Trevor Hoffman establishes a new big league record for the most saves for one team, surpassing Dennis Eckersley's mark of 320 with Oakland. The long-time Padre closer, now eighth on the all-time list, was traded as a rookie pitcher by the Marlins as part of the Gary Sheffield deal in 1993.
Barry Bonds, in the Giants' 6-3 victory over Florida at Pac Bell Park, sets a major league record by being walked four times intentionally in a nine-inning game. In 1990, Cubs' outfielder Andre Dawson was given five intentional passes in a 16-inning contest against the Reds.
Frank Catalanotto becomes the first player in franchise history to collect six hits in one game. The Blue Jays left fielder's five singles and double help Toronto to beat the White Sox, 10-6.
Johan Santana's 17-game winning streak is snapped when the Twins drop a 2-1 decision to the Angels. The American League's reigning Cy Young Award winner allows just two hits over eight innings, but they are solo home runs by Vladimir Guerrero and Jose Molina.
With a police escort from the airport, Doug Mirabelli, changing into his uniform in the car, arrives at Fenway Park 13 minutes before the game time. The Red Sox reacquired the popular backstop from the Padres earlier in the day to continue his familiar role as personal catcher to knuckleballer Tim Wakefield, tonight's starting pitcher against the Yankees.
Joe Mauer makes his delayed season debut memorable by hitting a home run in his first at-bat during the Twins' 7-5 victory over the Royals at the Metrodome. The two-time batting champion, who missed spring training and the first 22 games while recovering from an inflammation in his lower back, gets his fourth standing ovation of the night as the 2-0 first-inning fastball thrown by Sidney Ponson sails into the left-field stands.
With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Duaner Sanchez walks Russell Martin, who checks his swing on a full count with the bases loaded, bringing home the winning run in L.A.'s 1-0 triumph over the Padres. The win keeps the Dodgers undefeated at home, extending their record at Chavez Ravine to 8-0 with their 'walk off' victory.
The Phillies fans attending the ESPN Sunday Night Game against the Mets start chanting of “USA, USA” when word spreads of the death of Osama Bin Laden. The reaction of the sellout crowd comes as a surprise to the players on the field, who are unaware of the historic event.
With the final payment received on the record $2.15-billion purchase price, Frank McCourt's turbulent era of the Dodger ownership comes to an end. The team's new ownership group, fronted by Magic Johnson and incoming club president Stan Kasten, includes Mark Walter, chief executive of the Chicago-based Guggenheim Financial, who arranged the financing and holds a controlling interest in the franchise.
Twenty years after getting his first win managing New York at the old Yankee Stadium, Buck Showalter records his 1,000th career managerial victory when Baltimore beats his former team at the new Bronx ballpark. The 55 year-old detail-driven skipper has compiled a 1,000-958 record during his stints with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Orioles.