The Chicago White Stockings make their National League debut with a 4-0 victory over the Grays at the Louisville Baseball Park. The franchise, which will be also known as the Colts and Orphans before becoming the Cubs in 1903, will finish in first place in the circuit's inaugural season.
On Opening Day at Bennett Park in Detroit, the Tigers tally ten times in the bottom of the ninth to beat Milwaukee, 14-13. The contest is the American League's first game in Detroit.
At American League Park, the Senators remain winless since the start of the season when the team loses their eighth consecutive game, bowing to New York 4-1. Highlander right-hander Jack Chesbro picks up the first of his record 41 victories he'll record this season.
Yankees rookie hurler Russ Van Atta goes 4-for-4 and shuts out the Senators, 16-0, in his major league debut. The 26 year-old southpaw will finish his rookie season with a 12-4 record, batting .283 in 67 plate appearances.
Philadelphia shortstop Dick Bartell becomes the first major leaguer to stroke four consecutive doubles in a nine-inning game. Rowdy Richard's quartet of two-baggers helps the Phillies defeat the Braves at the Baker Bowl, 7-1.
At Griffith Stadium, the benches clear when Yankee outfielder Ben Chapman viciously spikes Buddy Myer, and then responds to the Senators infielder's retaliation by punching and hurling anti-semitic remarks at the injured Jewish second baseman. The ugly 20-minute brawl, that spreads into the stands and includes over 300 fans getting into the action, will result in suspensions and fines for the players involved.
Cliff Melton becomes the first rookie to fan at least 10 batters in his major league debut, finishing with 13 strikeouts in a complete-game loss to the Braves at the Polo Grounds. The 25 year-old southpaw, who loses the contest due to the poor defense of the Giants in the ninth inning, will hold the rookie record for K's in his debut until Dodger freshman Karl Spooner whiffs 15 batters in his first major league start in 1954.
Larry Doby ties a major league record by striking out five times in one game. The Indians' right-fielder's performance doesn't hurt the Tribe when they beat Detroit at Briggs Stadium, 7-4.
The Dodgers beat St. Louis, 5-2, in front of 60,635 fans at the Los Angeles Coliseum, setting a National League record for the largest crowd to attend a night game during the regular season. The mark will be broken next season when 61,552 fans show up on Opening Night at the Coliseum to watch their team defeat the Redbirds again, 6-2.
In the second year of their existence, the Mets win a game on a Thursday for the first time when they beat Chicago at Wrigley Field, 3-2. In their inaugural season, the expansion team failed to register a victory in the 15 games played on the fifth day of the week.
Jim Lefebvre commits three errors in the fourth frame, paving the way for a Braves 7-1 win at Dodger Stadium. The Los Angeles third baseman commits a fourth error, booting Hank Aaron's grounder in the top of the ninth inning.
Tiger pitcher Earl Wilson nearly scores after he strikes out because Twin catcher Paul Ratliff inadvertently rolled the ball to the mound instead off tagging the batter or throwing to first after trapping a third strike.
After getting off to a 4–7 start, the Padres fire Preston Gomez, and replace the only manager the team has known since their inception in 1969 with 41 year-old third base coach Don Zimmer. Gomez, a native of Oriente, Cuba, averaged over 103 losses per season during his three-year tenure with the expansion team.
LA hurler Andy Messersmith strokes three doubles at Candlestick Park.
The trio of two-baggers contributes to the Dodgers' 6-5 victory over San Francisco when the right-hander scores two runs and drives in another en route to his victory.
During the fourth inning of the game being played at Dodger Stadium, Rick Monday becomes a national hero when he takes away an American Flag about to be set on fire by the two trespassers (a father and son) in the outfield. The Cubs' 30 year-old fly chaser, who served six years in the Marine Reserves, will be presented the flag a month later in a pre-game ceremony at Wrigley Field by L.A. executive Al Campanis as a gesture of patriotic thanks.
George Foster has seven RBIs, scores five runs times, bangs out four hits (two home runs, double, and a single) when the Reds rout the Braves 23-9. Cincinnati ties a National League record by scoring 12 runs in one inning.
After the Cardinals get off to a slow start, the team fires manager Vern Rapp and replaces him with fan-favorite Ken Boyer. The former Redbirds' third baseman will pilot the club to a fifth-place finish, compiling a 62-81 record during his tenure in the dugout this season.
At Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia, the Phillie Phanatic makes his debut in a game against the Cubs. The six foot green mascot with a 90-inch waistline is played by Dave Raymond, who will keep the job for 15 years after starting as an intern in the team's front office.
Hoping to give his pitchers an edge, Maury Wills gets the Kingdome’s ground crew to enlarge the batter box, making it a foot closer to the mound. Prior to the game, A’s skipper Billy Martin shares his suspicions with the umpire Bill Kunkel, and the exposed Mariners manager is suspended for two games.
In a 2-1 victory over Montreal at Olympic Stadium, Mets right-hander Dwight Gooden becomes the first teenager to strike out ten batters in a major league game since Bert Blyleven accomplished the feat with the Twins in 1970. The 19 year-old rookie will lead the National League with 276 strikeouts this season.
Billy Bean becomes just the tenth rookie to collect four hits in his major league debut. Detroit's left fielder collects a pair of singles and a pair of doubles, batting leadoff in the team’s 13-2 rout of Kansas City at Tiger Stadium.
The Mariners trade their ace, Mark Langston, along with minor leaguer Mike Campbell to the Expos for Brian Holman, Gene Harris, and 6' 10" southpaw Randy Johnson. The left-handed 'Big Unit' will become a mainstay in Seattle's rotation for a decade, compiling a 130-74 (.637) record and next season will throw the first no-hitter in franchise history.
With former players on hand, including Billy Herman, Andy Pafko, and Billy Williams, the Cubs celebrate the 75th anniversary of Wrigley Field with a 4-0 victory over L.A. at the Friendly Confines. The 'ceremonial' first pitch of the game, a spitball, is thrown by 97 year-old Bob Wright, who appeared in two games for Chicago in 1915 when the team played their home games at West Side Park.
The 257-day strike ends as the Dodgers beat the Marlins 8-7. The work stoppage caused last season to end early, forced the cancellation of the World Series, and delayed the opening of this season.
In a 13-8 Mariners victory over the Blue Jays at the SkyDome, center fielder Ken Griffey, Jr. hits three home runs, two off Roger Clemens and one off Mike Timlin. The blast barrage gives Junior 13 homers this month, breaking the record for the most round-trippers hit in April.
The Indians establish a team record, hitting eight home runs in one game when Matt Williams (3), David Justice (2), Manny Ramirez, Sandy Alomar, and Chad Curtis all go deep in an 11-4 rout of the Brewers at County Stadium. With the additional three homers slammed by Milwaukee, the teams combine to tie a major league record for round-trippers in a nine-inning night game, with 11.
The 'Iron Man's' streak continues when Cal Ripken plays in his 2,500th consecutive game, an 8-2 Orioles' victory over Oakland at Camden Yards. The Baltimore third baseman goes two-for-five, knocking in three runs, during the milestone contest.
The fifth monument in Yankee Stadium history is unveiled as a tribute to Joe DiMaggio, who died last month at the age of 84. "Joltin' Joe" becomes the fifth Bronx Bomber to be accorded this honor, joining Miller Huggins (1931), Lou Gehrig (1942), Babe Ruth (1949), and Mickey Mantle (1996).
Honoring the work stoppage called by Cuban-Americans over the Elian Gonzalez situation, Marlins Alex Fernandez, Vladimir Nunez, Michael Tejera, and Mike Lowell, Devil Rays' Jose Canseco and Mets' Rey Ordonez and Cookie Rojas do not participate in major league action.
Rickey Henderson breaks the career walks record established by Babe Ruth in 1935 when he receives his 2,063rd base on balls. The 42 year-old Padres outfielder takes his historic stroll leading off the ninth inning on a free pass issued by Philadelphia's Jose Mesa in the team's 5-3 loss at Qualcomm Stadium.
In a sixteen strikeout performance against the Diamondbacks in a 3-2 Padres loss at Chase Field, Jake Peavy comes within one check swing from tying Tom Seaver's major league record of ten consecutive strikeouts. The right-hander loses his bid to tie the mark when Eric Byrnes' apparent swing on a 3-2 count is ruled ball four, a questionable call by the first base umpire Jeff Kellogg.
David Wright becomes the Mets' all-time RBI leader with 735 runs batted in when he hits a two-run home run in the team's 5-1 victory over the Marlins at Citi Field. The 29 year-old third baseman passes Darryl Strawberry's franchise mark with his sixth inning blast off Mark Buehrle.