BC-BBO--This Date in Baseball

March 24, 2020 - 1:38 pm
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March 29

1973 — Orange baseballs are used in an exhibition game by Oakland owner Charlie Finley. The A's suffered 11-5 exhibition loss to Cleveland. George Hendrick of the Indians hit three home runs in the game.

2000 — The Chicago Cubs open the major league season at the Tokyo Dome in Japan by defeating the New York Mets 5-3 in the first big league game ever played outside of North America.

2015 — Belmont broke three NCAA Division I records and tied a fourth during a 20-run sixth inning in a 34-10 victory over UT Martin. The Bruins set the marks for most plate appearances (26), total bases (43) and RBIs (20) in an inning. Belmont homered seven times in the sixth to tie the record for most homers in an inning.

2017 — New York Mets reliever Jeurys Familia was given a 15-game suspension under Major League Baseball's domestic violence policy.

March 30

1966 — The Koufax-Drysdale holdout ended. The Los Angeles Dodgers announced the signings. Sandy Koufax got $120,000 and Don Drysdale $105,000, making them the highest paid teammates in history.

1992 — The Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox made a trade. The Cubs sent outfielder George Bell to the White Sox for outfielder Sammy Sosa and pitcher Ken Patterson.

2004 — The New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Devil Rays opened the season in Japan with Tampa Bay posting an 8-3 victory behind the pitching of Victor Zambrano and the hitting of Tino Martinez. Martinez had three hits including the 300th homer of his career.

March 31

1961 — The Pacific Coast League's proposal to use a designated hitter for the pitcher was rejected by the Professional Baseball Rules Committee by a vote of 8-1.

1968 — Seattle, the American League's second new team, announced its nickname — the Pilots.

1995 — Major league baseball players end their strike when Federal judge Sonia Sotomayor of U.S. District Court in Manhattan rules against the owners in the labor dispute.

1996 — The Seattle Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox 3-2 in 12 innings in major league baseball's season opener, the first major league game played in March.

1998 — The Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks looked like expansion teams in their first games. The Devil Rays fell behind 11-0 in an 11-6 loss to Detroit at Tropicana Field, and the Diamondbacks dropped a 9-2 decision to the Colorado Rockies at Bank One Ballpark. Milwaukee dropped a 2-1 decision at Atlanta in the Brewers' first game since becoming the only team to switch leagues this century.

2003 — The Cincinnati Reds played their first regular season game at the Great American Ballpark. The Pittsburgh Pirates spoiled the day with a 10-1 win.

2013 — The Houston Astros, coming off consecutive 100-loss seasons, made an impressive debut in the American League, trouncing the Texas Rangers 8-2 in the major league opener. Having switched from the National League to the AL in the offseason, the Astros earned their first opening day victory since 2006 and the 4,000th regular-season win in franchise history.

April 1

1931 — Pitcher Virne Mitchell, 17, signed with the Chattanooga club of Tennessee, becoming the first woman to play for an otherwise all-male baseball team.

1972 — The first collective players strike in major league history began. The strike lasted 12 days and canceled 86 games.

1996 — Umpire John McSherry, 51, who planned to see doctors the next day about an irregular heart beat, collapsed seven pitches into Cincinnati's opener and died at a hospital about an hour later.

1970 — An investment group headed by Bud Selig bought the Seattle pilots for $10.8 million.

1989 — A. Bartlett Giamatti took over as baseball commissioner.

2001 — The Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 8-1 when the major league baseball season opened in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

2013 — Bryce Harper homered in his first two at-bats, Stephen Strasburg retired 19 batters in a row and the defending NL East champion Washington Nationals opened the season with a 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins. Harper, the reigning NL Rookie of the Year, hit solo shots over the out-of-town scoreboard in right-center field off Ricky Nolasco in the first and fourth innings.

2013 — Clayton Kershaw launched his first career home run to break a scoreless tie in the eighth inning, then finished off a four-hitter that led the Los Angeles Dodgers over the San Francisco Giants 4-0 on opening day. Kershaw became the first pitcher in the majors to homer on opening day since Joe Magrane of St. Louis in 1988. He was the first pitcher to throw a shutout and hit a home run in an opener since Bob Lemon for Cleveland in 1953.

April 2

1931 — Virne Beatrice "Jackie" Mitchell, the first woman in professional baseball, pitched against the New York Yankees in an exhibition game in Chattanooga. Babe Ruth waved wildly at the first two pitches and took a third strike. Lou Gehrig timed his swing to miss three straight pitches. Tony Lazzeri, after trying to bunt, walked and Mitchell left the game.

1952 — Hall of Fame outfielder Monte Irvin of the New York Giants broke his ankle in an exhibition game. Irvin played just 46 games that season.

1984 — The New York Mets lost to the Cincinnati Reds 8-1 for their first opening-day defeat in 10 years.

1996 — St. Francis of Illinois pummeled Robert Morris 71-1, with Robert Morris coach Gerald McNamara ending the after four innings.

1997 — For the first time, the salary of one player — Albert Belle — exceeded the payroll of an entire team — the Pittsburgh Pirates. Belle, the game's highest-paid player for 1997 at $10 million, made $928,333 more than the whole Pirates payroll of $9,071,667.

2001 — Roger Clemens became the AL strikeout king, getting five to pass Walter Johnson as the Yankees beat Kansas City 7-3 in their season opener. Clemens fanned Joe Randa for his 3,509th career strikeout.

2003 — Alex Rodriguez became the youngest player to hit 300 home runs, connecting for a three-run drive in the Texas Rangers' 11-5 loss to the Anaheim Angels. Rodriguez at 27 years, 249 days old, surpassed Hall of Famer Jimmie Foxx (27 years, 328 days).

2003 — The Detroit Tigers became the first team to have four pitchers make their major league debuts in the same game — Jeremy Bonderman, Wilfredo Ledezma, Chris Spurling and Matt Roney. The Tigers lost 8-1 to the Minnesota Twins.

2007 — Tampa Bay's Elijah Dukes homered in his first big league at-bat in a 9-5 loss to the New York Yankees.

2011 — Ian Kinsler of Texas became the first major leaguer with leadoff homers in each of his team's first two games. Kinsler hit the first of four homers by the Rangers in a 12-5 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

2012 — Matt Cain and the San Francisco Giants agreed to a $127.5 million, six-year contract, the largest deal for a right-handed pitcher in baseball history.

2017 — Madison Bumgarner hit two homers but the Arizona Diamondbacks scored twice with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning off new San Francisco closer Mark Melancon to beat the Giants 6-5 in a wild season opener. Bumgarner retired his first 16 batters and became the first pitcher to hit two home runs on opening day. He struck out 11 with no walks in seven innings.

April 3

1923 — Expelled "Black Sox" players Happy Felsch and Swede Risberg sued their former club for back salary and $400,000 in damages. They were among eight members of the Chicago White Sox team charged with fixing the 1919 World Series.

1966 — The New York Mets won the right to sign Southern California pitcher Tom Seaver when Commissioner William Eckert pulled the team's name out of a hat. Eckert had voided Seaver's contract with Atlanta, when the Braves signed him during his college season. Cleveland and Philadelphia were the other two teams that had a chance, matching the Braves' original $40,000 offer.

1985 — The Players' Association agreed with the owners to expand the 1985 League Championship Series from best-of-five to best-of-seven.

1994 — The St. Louis Cardinals beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4 in the first Sunday night opener, sending baseball into a new era with three divisions and a new playoff format.

1998 — Milwaukee's Jose Valentin hit three homers and drove in five runs to lead the Brewers to a 7-1 victory over the Florida Marlins.

2000 — Andres Galarraga made a triumphant return to Turner Field. Out all of last season because of a cancerous tumor in his back, Galarraga hit a tiebreaking home run in the seventh inning that lifted the Atlanta Braves over Colorado 2-0.

2000 — Savannah State's baseball team set an NCAA record for consecutive victories. The Tigers beat Claflin 8-0 and 21-1, extending its streak to 42 and eclipsing the record of 40 by Marietta College of Ohio, a Division II school, last year.

2001 — Houston's Craig Biggio had five hits to tie a major league record for a season opener, leading the Astros past the Milwaukee Brewers 11-3.

2006 — Seattle's Kenji Johjima became the first Japanese catcher to start a major league game and also homered for his first hit in the Mariners' 5-3 loss to Los Angeles.

2008 — Kansas City the Tigers 4-1 at Detroit to complete a season-opening three-game sweep. It was the first time the Royals started the year with a sweep on the road since 1977.

2011 — Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz became the first set of teammates to homer in each of the first three games in a season, and Matt Harrison pitched the Texas Rangers to a 5-1 victory over the Boston Red Sox.

2015 — Miami Marlins pitcher Jarred Cosart was fined an undisclosed amount for violating Major League Rule 21(d)(3), which "prohibits players from placing bets with illegal bookmakers or agents for illegal book makers."

2015 — Corey Hassel hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the 18th inning to lead Oklahoma State to a 6-3 victory over Texas in a game that ended after 6 hours, 51 minutes.

April 4

1974 — The Cincinnati Reds defeated the Atlanta Braves 7-6 in 11 innings before a crowd of 52,000 at Riverfront Stadium. In his first at-bat, Hank Aaron hit a three-run homer off Jack Billingham. It was his 714th, tying Babe Ruth's career record. The Braves had considered keeping Aaron on the bench for the season-opening series in Cincinnati so that he could attempt to tie the record four days later in Atlanta. But commissioner Bowie Kuhn would not allow it and ordered the Braves to put Aaron into the lineup for at least two of the three games.

1988 — George Bell became the first player to hit three home runs on opening day, leading the Toronto Blue Jays past the Kansas City Royals 5-3. Bell, bitter throughout spring training with his move to designated hitter, homered three times in that role off Bret Saberhagen.

1994 — Chicago's Karl Rhodes hit three solo home runs off Dwight Gooden in a 12-8 loss to the New York Mets on opening day at Wrigley Field. Rhodes became the second player to homer three times in an opener.

1998 — Mark McGwire tied Willie Mays' National League record by hitting a home run in each of his first four games of the season. McGwire launched a towering three-run shot in the sixth inning of an 8-6 victory over the San Diego Padres.

1999 — America's pastime opened in Mexico for the first time. The Colorado Rockies beat the Chicago Cubs 8-2 in baseball's first season opener away from the United States and Canada.

2001 — Hideo Nomo became the fourth pitcher in major league history to throw a no-hitter in both leagues in Boston's 3-0 victory over Baltimore. Nomo, who threw the first no-hitter in Colorado's Coors Field on Sept. 17, 1996, for Los Angeles, walked three and struck out 11 in the first no-hitter in the 10-year history of Camden Yards. Nomo joined Cy Young, Jim Bunning and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers with no-hitters in both leagues.

2003 — Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs became the 18th player to hit 500 career homers, connecting for a solo shot in a 10-9 loss to Cincinnati. He became the fifth player to reach 500 homers before his 35th birthday. Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays and Jimmie Foxx were the others.

2005 — Dmitri Young became the third player to hit three homers on opening day, and Jeremy Bonderman won as the youngest opening day starter in the major leagues since 1986 to lead Detroit over the Kansas City Royals 11-2.

2011 — Nelson Cruz of Texas became the third player in major league history to homer in the first four games of a season and the Rangers beat Seattle 6-4. Cruz joined Willie Mays (1971) and Mark McGwire (1998) as the only players to go deep in each of their first four games of a season.

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