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This Day in Baseball History
May 4th

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38 Fact(s) Found
1871 Bill Lennon becomes the first catcher to throw a runner out trying to steal second. The Fort Wayne Kekiongas (NA) backstop accomplishes the feat in the seventh inning of the very first major league game ever played.
1910 President William H. Taft leaves Robinson Park, where the Cardinals are routing the Reds, to catch a great pitching duel between the Naps' Cy Young and the Browns' Joe Lake at Sportsman's Park. The chief executive will stay to the last out of the American League contest which ends in a three-to-three tie after 14 innings of play.
1919 A SRO crowd attends the first-ever major league game played on a Sunday in Booklyn. The Ebbets Field contest, in which the Dodgers beat the Braves, 6-2, was made possible when the New York Legislature passed the Sunday Baseball Bill into law.
1931 In an effort to put less strain on Babe Ruth's leg, the 'Bambino' plays first base moving Lou Gehrig to right field. The ‘Iron Horse’ commits an error in the outfield helping the Senators to beat the Yankees, 7-3.
1939 In his first-ever at-bat in the city of Detroit, Boston rookie Ted Williams becomes the first player to hit a homer which totally clears the right field seats at Briggs Stadium. The prodigious poke proves to be the difference as the Red Sox edge the Tigers, 7-6.
1944 For the first time in the city's history, blacks are allowed to buy grandstand seats in St. Louis. The Browns and Cardinals are the last major league teams to integrate seating for fans, having restricted the minority to the bleachers in previous years.
1954 The Phillies and Cardinals set a major league record using 42 players in one game. Philadelphia wins the game in eleven innings, 14-10.
1954 In a contest delayed 12 minutes by snow, the Braves, thanks to Warren Spahn's six-hitter, move out of last place when the team beats the Pirates and former teammate Max Surkont, 6-1. The temperature in Milwaukee is reported to have dropped 37º during the game.
1956 Boston manager Pinky Higgins accepts the first Red Sox schedule ever printed in braille from the National Braille Press.
1963 In a 7-5 loss to Chicago at County Stadium, Bob Shaw commits five balks to establish a new major league mark. After walking Billy Williams in the third inning, the Braves' right-hander balks three times allowing a run to score.
1966 In a 6-1 victory over L.A. at Candlestick Park, Willie Mays becomes the all-time National League home run leader as he strokes his 512th career round-tripper off Dodger starter Claude Osteen. The San Francisco center fielder passes another Giant as he breaks the mark established by Mel Ott.
1968 The Simon and Garfunkel tune "Mrs. Robinson" makes its debuts on Billboard's Top 40. The lyrics include the memorable question for the Yankees' former center fielder, "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio? A nation turns its lonely eyes to you."
1969 At the Astrodome, Houston sets a National League record turning seven double plays against the Giants with first baseman Curt Blefary taking part in all of them. The abundance of twin killings helps the Astros to win the game, 3-1.
1970 With his third inning RBI single in the Braves' 5-3 victory over Pittsburgh, Rico Carty establishes an Atlanta team record by getting a hit in his 23rd consecutive game. The 30-year old left fielder, who hasn't had a hitless game since opening day, will win the National League batting title with a .366 average.
1975 In Candlestick Park at 12:32 pm, Astros' Bob Watson scores the major league's one millionth run. The future 'Dean of Discipline' for baseball crosses the plate on Milt May's three-run home run seconds ahead of Dave Concepcion of the Reds to earn the distinction.
1976 The Illinois Legislature declares today as Rick Monday Day because of his patriotic gesture of saving the American flag from being burned in Los Angeles by two fans.
1981 Ron Davis establishes a major league mark for consecutive strikeouts by a reliever when he fans eight straight Angel batters in the Yankees' 4-2 victory over California. Entering the game in the bottom of the seventh inning, the right-handed reliever gets Don Baylor to pop up, and then he proceeds to strike out all of the other hitters he faces en route to his second save of the season.
1981 Jose Cruz's three-run home run in the first inning proves to be the difference in the Astros' 5-4 win over the Chicago. The Houston left fielder's brother, Hector, homers for the Cubs in the sixth frame of the Wrigley Field contest making the natives of Arroyo, Puerto Rico the tenth different pair of siblings to go deep in the same game. <1sibhr>
1984 Dave Kingman's 180 foot pop-up enters a drainage valve located in the Metrodome roof, and much to the surprise of the Twins infielders waiting to make the catch, the ball doesn't drop back into play. The A's slugger is credited with a ground-rule double, but the ball will stay put in the lining of the dome until tomorrow.
1985 Baltimore's Cal Ripken, en route to baseball's all-time mark for consecutive games played, breaks Brooks Robinson's club record when he plays in his 464th consecutive contest. The Orioles shortstop marks the occasion by hitting a double and a home run in the BIrds' 8-6 loss to Minnesota at the Metrodome.
1989 Junior Felix becomes the 53rd player in major league history to hit a home run in his first at-bat. The Blue Jay rookie's initial blast comes off California's Kirk McCaskill in a 10-inning loss to the Angels, 3-2.
1991 Indians' first baseman Chris James establishes the club record for RBIs in a game by driving in nine runs with a pair of homers and two singles, helping Cleveland to crush the A's, 20-6.
1991 At Shea Stadium, Mackey Saser and Mark Carreon, the first two batters in the ninth inning, both go deep as pinch-hitters off Jeff Brantley to knot score at two runs apiece in the Mets' eventual 4-2 victory over San Francisco in 12 innings. It is the first time in the 30-year history of the franchise that two pinch-hitters have hit back-to-back round-trippers.
1996 Giving up just a fifth-inning homer to Mark Lewis, Roger Pavlik one-hits Detroit, 3-1. Retiring the last 26 batters he faced, teammate Ken Hill also one-hit the Tigers yesterday, making the Rangers the first American League team in 79 years to pitch back-to-back one-hitters.
1999 After 6,136 at bats without a bases-loaded homer, Mark Grace hits his first career grand slam in the Cubs' 12-11 victory over Colorado at Wrigley Field. The Chicago first baseman's accomplishment now leaves Reds' shortstop Barry Larkin as the active player with the longest drought with the bases juiced, a span of 5,817 at-bats.
2000 Doug Glanville collects five hits in a game for the second time in his career in the Phillies' 14-1 pounding of Cincinnati at Veterans Stadium. The Philadelphia outfielder's first hit, a lead-off two-bagger, is the first of four consecutive doubles hit in the bottom of the first frame to start the game, tying a major league record.
2001 En route to a Blue Jay 8-3 victory over Seattle, Raul Mondesi collects 12 total bases. The outfielder's 4-for-4 performance includes two home runs, a pair of doubles and six RBIs.
2005 The fifth pair of 300-game winners in baseball history faces off against each other when Cubs starter Greg Maddux (305) bests Roger Clemens (329) and the Astros at Minute Maid Park, 3-2. The other pair of milestone moundsmen includes Don Sutton vs. Steve Carlton (1987), Don Sutton vs. Phil Niekro (1987), Don Sutton vs. Tom Seaver (1986) and Tim Keefe vs. Jim 'Pud' Galvin (1892).
2006 At Detroit's Comerica Park, Mike Napoli, on the first pitch he sees in his first major league at-bat, hits a home run. The Angels catcher becomes the third player in franchise history to make such a dramatic debut joining Don Rose (1972) and Dave Machemer (1978) who also accomplished the feat.
2006 With the team's new owners looking on, the groundbreaking ceremony takes place for the new ballpark the Washington Nationals hope to play in at the start of the 2008 season. Theodore Lerner, head of the new ownership group chosen by MLB yesterday to buy the team, has already thought of changes for the $611 million neighborhood ballpark
2006 In its May 8 issue, Forbes Magazine estimates the New York Yankees are the first baseball team to be worth more than $1 billion. At the opposite end of the economic study are the Devil Rays who are valued at $209 million, last among the 30 major league teams.
2007 The second inning Chase Field match up of Julio Franco hitting against Randy Johnson marks the oldest hitter-pitcher confrontation in big league history. With a mere 92+ years of age between the two of them, the nearly 49-year old Mets first baseman takes the Diamondback southpaw, four months shy of 44, deep to extend his own record as the oldest player to homer, and with his ninth inning swipe of second he continues to be the oldest to steal a base.
2008 Yogi Berra is one of the 15 inaugural honorees to be inducted into the newly conceived New Jersey Hall of Fame. Although the Yankee legend considers fellow inductee Albert Einstein to be “a pretty smart guy,” he is not convinced the Nobel Prize winner for physics would have made a good manager.
2009 With their 7-2 win over Arizona, the Dodgers establish a National League record for consecutive victories to open a season at home. Their 11-0 start surpasses the NL mark shared by the 1918 Giants, 1970 Cubs, and 1983 Atlanta Braves and is one shy of the major-league record set by the Tigers in 1911.
2009 Ryan Howard's grand slam powers the Phillies past St. Louis at Busch Stadium, 6-1. The slugging first baseman's seventh career grand salami ties Mike Schmidt's franchise record.
2010 A 17-year-old fan, who jumped onto the outfield at Citizens Bank Park, is subdued by a Philadelphia police officer using a Taser. The Phillies said the police department was discussing the appropriateness of its use of a stun gun with the team.
2010 The Twins fans honor Ernie Harwell with a standing ovation upon hearing of his death when it is announced during the seventh-inning stretch in a game against Detroit. In September, the 92-year old Hall of Fame announcer, who started his major league career with Brooklyn in 1948 and spent 42 years broadcasting Tiger games, shared that he had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer of the bile duct.
2010 At the United States Capitol, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) present Bobby Cox framed copies of their statements submitted into the Congressional Record on April 20 honoring the Braves' skipper. The 68-year old skipper has announced he will be retiring at the end of the season, after 51 seasons in professional baseball.

38 Fact(s) Found