This Date In Baseball
1972 — For the first time, the major leagues failed to open on schedule because of a player strike, which started on April 1. The traditional season opener between Houston and Cincinnati was canceled and a total of 86 games were lost before the strike was settled.
1973 — Ron Blomberg of the New York Yankees became the first major league designated hitter. With the bases loaded in the first inning, he drew a walk off Luis Tiant. The Red Sox won 15-5.
1973 — At Oakland Coliseum, Tony Oliva of the Twins became the first designated hitter to homer — a two-run shot in the first inning off Catfish Hunter in Minnesota’s 8-3 victory.
1974 — Renovations at Yankee Stadium forced the New York Yankees’ home opener to take place at Shea Stadium. It was their first home game outside Yankee Stadium since 1922.
1977 — The Seattle Mariners played their first regular-season game at the Kingdome and lost to the California Angels 7-0.
1982 — A storm that brought subfreezing temperatures and heavy snow from the Northeast to the Midwest forced the postponement of American League openers in New York, Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland and Milwaukee, and National League openers in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
2005 — Brad Wilkerson hit for the cycle to lead Washington over Philadelphia 7-3.
2009 — Emilio Bonifacio hit the majors’ first inside-the-park homer on opening day since 1968, swiped three bases and had four hits in Florida’s 12-6 victory over Washington.
2009 — Alfonso Soriano hit his 50th career leadoff home run, sending Chicago past Houston 4-2.
2012 — Adam Dunn tied a major league record with his eighth opening-day home run. He led off the sixth inning for the Chicago White Sox when he pulled a ball into the second deck of seats in right field off Texas starter Colby Lewis. Frank Robinson and Ken Griffey Jr. are the other major leaguers who have eight homers in openers.
2016 — Japanese pitcher Kenta Maeda homered in the second at-bat of his major league debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers and beat the Padres 7-0. San Diego became the first team in major league history to be shut out in its first three games.
2016 — Colorado rookie Trevor Story set a mark against Arizona by hitting a home run in each of his first three major league games. Story also became the first player to homer for each of his first four hits.
2018 — Rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani hit a home run for the third straight game and the Los Angeles Angels rallied from an early six-run deficit to beat the Oakland Athletics 13-9.
Today’s birthday: Bert Blyleven, 68.