John McGraw, 26, makes his debut as a major league manager, when his Orioles beat the Giants, a team he will later manage for 30 years, 5-3. 'Mugsy', who will be elected into the Hall of Fame in 1937, will finish his 33-year managerial career with a 2763-1948 (.586), en route to winning ten pennants and capturing three World Championships.
In front of over 72,000 fans, Yankee Stadium opens with Babe Ruth hitting the park's first home run, a two-run homer off Red Sox hurler Howard Ehmke, which helps beat Boston, 4-1. The new $2.5 million ballpark is the first to feature three decks.
At South Field on Columbia’s campus in New York City, a collegian hurler strikes out seventeen batters to establish a school record, but loses the game due to wildness to Williams, 5-1. The young southpaw, whose name is Lou Gehrig, will become better known for his hitting,
At his Waldorf-Astoria apartment, Dodgers' owner Charles H. Ebbets dies of a heart attack. Later in the day, his team opens the home season in Brooklyn losing to the Giants at Ebbets Field, 7-0.
In a game that sees Rogers Hornsby score five runs, the Cardinals rout the Cubs, 20-5. Redbirds' third baseman Les Bell leads the Wrigley Field 22-hit attack, compiling 12 total bases, when he blasts a pair of home runs along with collecting two doubles.
The Yankees become the second team to wear numbers on uniforms when their Opening Day game is postponed is by rain, giving the Indians the distinction of being the first to don the digits. New York's numbers are assigned based on the order in the lineup thus Earle Combs wore #1, Mark Koenig #2, Babe Ruth #3, Lou Gehrig #4, Bob Meusel #5, Tony Lazzeri #6, Leo Durocher #7, Johnny Grabowski #8, Benny Bengough #9, and Bill Dickey #10 (#’s 8-10 are all catchers) rounding out the starting line-up.
In his first at-bat since his marriage yesterday, Babe Ruth hits a home run. As the 'Bambino' rounds second base he tips his hat to his new bride, Claire Hodgson.
Red Barber calls the action in the first regular-season Dodger game ever to be broadcast in Brooklyn, a 7-3 loss to New York. The future Hall of Fame announcer was brought in from Cincinnati by the team's new president, Larry MacPhail, who had hired the 'Ol Redhead' when he was in a similar post with the Reds.
Due to the fear of a Japanese attack, General L. Dewitt, commanding officer of the fourth Army Command, asks the Pacific Coast League teams to limit attendance at night games to no greater than the average number of fans from the previous year, approximately 3,000 fans for most clubs. Later in the season, all evening contests scheduled to be played with 15 miles of the Pacific Ocean would be prohibited, making San Diego the only club not having to shuffle their starting times.
At Roosevelt Stadium in a game against the Jersey Giants, Montreal Royals' on-deck batter George Shuba congratulates Jackie Robinson with a handshake after his teammate hits his first professional home run. The gesture will become known as ‘A Handshake for the Century’ because it will be the first time that a white player publicly acknowledges the accomplishment of a black teammate.
Dodger president Branch Rickey names 62 year-old team scout Burt Shotton to replace Leo Durocher, who was suspended ten days ago by Commissioner Happy Chandler for acts "unbecoming to a major league manager". Brooklyn's new 62 year-old skipper reluctantly takes over the team two games into the season and will manage the club for one year in his street clothes along with wearing the team's hat and jacket.
The Yankees defeat the Red Sox on Opening Day, 15-10, after trailing 9-0 after five innings. The Bronx Bombers take the lead when they score nine times in the the top of the eighth frame at Fenway Park.
In the first Opening Day game to be played at night, the Cardinals beat the Pirates at Sportsman's Park, 4-2. Gerry Staley gets the win and Stan Musial homers in the St. Louis contest.
Sam Jethroe, former Cleveland Buckeyes star, becomes the first black player for the Braves. The highly-touted prospect, who will lead the majors in stolen bases, will be named the National league's Rookie of the Year.
On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch hitter Bob Morgan's seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers base runners cross the plate, but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making an amazing catch for the third out to end the inning.
In his first major league appearance, 25-year old Pirates reliever Al Grunwald, getting just one batter out, gives up a single to Don Mueller‚ a double to Monte Irvin‚ a triple to Willie Mays‚ and a homer to Whitey Lockman. The Giants fourth-inning ‘cycle’ contributes to an eight-run frame in the eventual 12-3 victory over Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds.
Ed Rommel becomes the first major league umpire to wear glasses during a game when he mans third base during the Yankees' 9-5 victory over Washington at Griffith Stadium. The bespectacled arbitrator, known as the father of the modern knuckleball, played 13 seasons with Philadelphia, compiling an impressive record of 171-119 with the A's from 1920 to 1932.
At Briggs Stadium, Roger Maris hits a game-winning, grand-slam home run in the top of the 11th inning against Detroit in the indians' second game of the season. In his major league debut two days ago, the 22 year-old rookie outfielder went 3-for-5 in the Tribe's 3-2 loss to Chicago at Cleveland Stadium.
At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a National League record crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels. Carl Erskine gets the win besting Al Worthington and the Giants, 6-5.
Branch Rickey, former general manager of the Cardinals, Dodgers and Pirates, is appointed president of the Continental League. The third potential major league never materializes, but helps to accelerate the expansion of the existing leagues, including putting a National League team in New York to fill the void created by the Giants' and the Dodgers' departure to the west coast in 1958.
L.A. southpaw Sandy Koufax throws the second of his two career immaculate innings when he strikes out the side on nine pitches. Although Leo Cardenas, Johnny Edwards, and Jim Maloney all strike out quickly in the top of the third inning, Cincinnati will score all of the game's runs in the next frame, thanks to a three-run homer hit by Deron Johnson, to beat the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine contest, 3-0.
Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills singles to center off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, becoming the first batter to hit on artificial turf in a major league game. The Astrodome's new playing surface, originally called Chemgrass by its manufacturer, the Monsanto Company, couldn't be made quickly enough, so the season begins with the artificial material only on the infield with the outfield remaining painted dirt until July.
Denny Doyle's first-inning single is the only hit allowed by Nolan Ryan when he blanks the Phillies at Shea Stadium, 7-0. The 23-year old Mets right-hander ties Jerry Koosman's 1968 mark with 15 strikeouts, but Tom Seaver will break the short-lived record whiffing 19 Padres later in the week.
For the first time in franchise history, the Yankees play a night game at Yankee Stadium on Opening Day. The Bronx Bombers, behind the three hitter by thrown Steve Kline, beat the Brewers, 3-0.
In the top of the 11th inning in San Francisco’s 4-3 victory over Atlanta at Candlestick Park, Dave Rader completes an unusual unassisted double play for a catcher. After catching an attempted sacrifice bunt which is popped up with Braves runners on first and second base, the Giants' backstop races to second base and steps on the bag before Sonny Jackson, who had headed toward third on contact, can get back.
After getting ahead in the count 3-0, Reggie Jackson, knowing he has a green light to hit away, pretends to be angered by getting a bogus take sign from third base coach Dick Howser. Oriole right-hander Tippy Martinez, deceived by the batter's behavior, grooves a fastball down the middle of the plate that the Yankee slugger promptly puts over the fence, giving the Yankees a 4-3 walk-off victory.
In International League action at McCoy Stadium, the Pawtucket Red Sox and Rochester Red Wings begin the longest professional game ever played; the game is suspended at 4:07 am after playing to a 2-2 tie through 32 innings. The game will be completed later in the season with the Red Sox scoring the winning run in the 33rd inning.
Joe Torre's Braves win their 11th straight game to start the season when they beat Houston, 6-5, at the Astrodome, setting a National League record. The eventual NL West Division champs, who finish the campaign with an 89-73 record, will extend the mark to 13-0 when they add two more victories against Cincinnati at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium.
At Three Rivers Stadium, Mike Schmidt becomes the 14th player in big league history to hit 500 career home runs. The Phillies' third baseman's three-run ninth inning shot off Don Robinson is cheered by the Pittsburgh fans and his teammates in the 8-6 Phillies win.
A sellout crowd of 42,191 watches the White Sox play their first game at new Comiskey Park and sees the home team get crushed by the Tigers, 16-0. Jack McDowell gives up the park's first homer to Cecil Fielder.
Roger Pavlik of the Rangers becomes the first starting pitcher in the American League to begin a game by walking the first four batters. The Blue Jays take advantage of the All-Star hurler's wildness by scoring five runs in the frame en route to a 6-5 victory at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Adam Kennedy ties a franchise mark by driving in eight runs during the Angels' 16-10 rout of Toronto. The Halo infielder's run-producing single, three-run triple and grand slam account for his RBIs in the SkyDome contest.
After serving a 12-game suspension for making disrespectful comments about minorities, John Rocker pitches a scoreless ninth inning against the Phillies in a 4-3, 12-inning home victory. The outspoken Braves' reliever is given a standing ovation as he enters the game.
During the Angels' 16-10 victory over the Blue Jays, a SkyDome promotion becomes a bit too frank when fans get hit with bits of hot dogs when the wieners fall apart after being shot from the 'Hot Dog Blaster'. Undaunted by the fall out, promoters continue to propel the missiles even though the hot dogs repeatedly splatter the onlookers.
After a 4-10 start, former Royals' skipper Hal McRae replaces Larry Rothschild as new manager of the Devil Rays. Rothschild, the only pilot in the team's four-year history, finished in last place three consecutive years, compiling a 205-294 record.
After the Brewers' dismal start of 3-12, manager Davey Lopes is released by GM Dean Taylor. Lopes, who had a 144-195 overall record with Milwaukee, will be replaced on an interim basis by bench coach Jerry Royster.
At Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field, Mark Buehrle hurls the 16th no-hitter in White Sox history and the first home no-no since 1967. The South-side southpaw faces the minimum 27 batters, thanks to picking off Sammy Sosa, who walked in the fifth inning.
Tom Glavine of the Braves is put on the disabled list for the first time during his 22-year career. The 42-year-old southpaw's ailing right hamstring needs more time to heal before he goes after his 304th career win.
In the longest game in franchise history, the Rockies beat the Padres, 2-1, in a 22-inning marathon played at Petco Park. The game, which ends at 1:31 am, takes 6 hours, 16 minutes to complete, falling one minute shy of San Diego's record for the length of a game, but goes into the team record books for the most innings played to complete a contest.
After receiving numerous complaints, the Michael Vick “Welcome to the Neighborhood” promotion is dropped by the Kansas City T-Bones, a minor league team in the independent Northern League. The May 28th event, which was to feature prison uniforms, spotlights and escape sirens mocking the former Falcons quarterback, who is serving a 23-month sentence in a nearby prison after pleading guilty to federal charges related to dogfighting, will now be used to raise awareness of animal safety and the need for adoptions.
Conor Jackson, needing only a double to complete the cycle, hustles instead to get his second triple of the game. The Diamondbacks outfielder's unselfish offensive output helps to pace the club to a 9-0 win over the Padres.
The Dodgers announce Joe Beimel been has been selected by fans, in an online poll during Spring Training, as the player whose likeness will now be used in an August 12 bobblehead promotion. The 30-year old southpaw reliever, considered a long shot for the honor, gets the nod due to a strong internet campaign orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge.
Beginning with the second pitch of the fifth inning through the seventh pitch of the eighth frame, Bartolo Colon throws 38 consecutive strikes en route to picking up the victory in the A's 6-0 win over the Angels. The Oakland starter faces eleven consecutive batters who never see a pitch that is call a balled in the Anaheim contest.
A memorable pitching duel between Cliff Lee, who throws 10 innings of scoreless ball against San Francisco, and Matt Cain, who doesn’t give up a run to the Phillies in his nine innings of work, ends with the Giants beating the Phillies, 1-0, in 11 innings at AT&T Park. The only run in the extra-inning contest, which takes only two hours and 27-minutes to complete, scores as the result of Melky Cabrera’s one-out RBI single off Antonio Bastardo.