This Date in Baseball
1913 — Ebbets Field opened in Brooklyn and Philadelphia defeated the Dodgers 1-0 before a crowd of 10,000. The stadium, which cost $750,000 to build, was named after Charles Ebbets, the club’s principal owner.
1947 — Dodgers manager Leo Durocher was suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for “the accumulation of unpleasant incidents” detrimental to baseball.
1959 — The Baltimore Orioles, playing against the Washington Senators, became the first team in history to execute a triple play on opening day. The Senators won the game, 9-2.
1965 — The Houston Astrodome opened with an exhibition game between the New York Yankees and Astros. President Johnson attended and Gov. John Connally threw out the first ball. Mickey Mantle hit the first home run, but the Astros won 2-1 in 12 innings.
1969 — Billy Williams of Chicago hit four consecutive doubles to lead the Cubs to an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
1974 — San Diego Padres owner Ray Kroc criticized his club over the public address system during the eighth inning of a 9-5 loss to the Houston Astros! “Ladies and gentlemen, I suffer with you,” Kroc told the crowd of 39,083 for the home opener. Kroc added, “I’ve never seen such stupid baseball playing in my life.”
1981 — Fernando Valenzuela made his first major league start a stunning success by pitching a 2-0, five-hit triumph over the Houston Astros in Los Angeles. He would go on to win his first eight games.
1985 — Chicago’s Tom Seaver made his 15th opening day start to break Christy Mathewson’s record. Seaver pitched 6 2-3 innings and was credited with the victory as the White Sox beat the Milwaukee Brewers 4-2.
1993 — The Colorado Rockies beat the Montreal Expos 11-4 for their first win and set a National League record for attendance in their home debut. The crowd of 80,227 broke the record of 78,672 set on April 18, 1958, by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
2000 — In a 13-7 win over Kansas City, Minnesota’s Ron Coomer, Jacque Jones and Matt LeCroy hit consecutive home runs. The Royals’ Carlos Beltran, Jermaine Dye and Mike Sweeney repeated the feat, marking the first time in major league history that both teams hit three consecutive home runs in the same game.
2006 — Cory Sullivan tied a major league record by hitting two triples during a seven-run fifth inning, helping Colorado rout San Diego 10-4.