Dodgers at Padres, 7:10 PM PDT, Bally Sports San Diego, MLBN (out-of-market only), SPNLA
The visiting Dodgers send Walker Buehler (1-0, 1.50 ERA) out for his third start of the year. He’s gone six innings in each of his first two, getting no decision against the Rockies and beating the Nationals. He’ll face the Padres’ rookie LHP Ryan Weathers (1-0, 1.50 ERA), who’ll be making his first career start.
1928 Braves’ pitcher Charlie Robertson has his glove removed from the game by umpire Charley Moran after the Brooklyn Robins (Dodgers) complain the ball is acting strangely. The Boston hurler still manages to win, 3-2.
1946 LOCAL NEWSPAPER AD — “An Apology to Braves Fans – The management will reimburse any of its patrons for any expense to which they might have been put for necessary cleansing of clothing as a result of paint damage.” As the result of the newly painted grandstand seats having not yet completely dried, about 5,000 fans attending the Boston’s home opener against the Dodgers left Braves Field with green paint covering much of their clothing. The team took out newspaper ads to apologize to the affected patrons, agreeing to reimburse any expense caused by the mishap, an offer that will cost the team $6,000, after it generates nearly 13,000 claims, including some from as far away as California and Nebraska.
1964 Shea Stadium is christened with Holy Water from the Gowanus Canal, which passes near Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, the Dodgers’ old home, and Holy Water from the Harlem River at the location where it flows past the Polo Grounds, the once longtime ballpark of the Giants and the Mets’ home for the past two seasons. The stadium’s namesake Bill Shea, the lawyer credited with bringing the National League back to New York, pours the water from two bottles, blessing the Flushing Meadows structure on the eve of its debut.
1975 After making the second of his two poor starts for the Dodgers, Juan Marichal, who signed with the team as a free agent, appears in his final major league game. The 37 year-old ‘Dominican Dandy’ finishes his 16-year Hall of Fame career with more complete games (244) than the total of his victories (243).
1983 Steve Garvey appears in his 1,118th straight game, breaking the National League record established by Hall of Fame outfielder Billy Williams playing for the Cubs in 1970. The Padres’ first baseman, who spent 13 seasons with the Dodgers before signing as a free agent with San Diego in the offseason, will see his consecutive game streak end at 1,207, the third-longest span in major league history at the time, due to a dislocated thumb suffered as a result of a collision at home plate during the first game of a doubleheader in 1983.
1988 The Braves establish a National League record for losses at the start of a season by losing their tenth consecutive game. With a 7-4 defeat to the Dodgers, Atlanta surpasses the mark, previously owned by four teams, including the infamous 1919 Braves and the 1962 Mets.
LHP Austin Gomber (0-2, 2.89 ERA) goes for the Rockies and LHP Julio Urias (2-0, 2.84 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers. Walks have contributed heavily to Gomber’s winless record; he gave up seven to the Dodgers in three innings in his first start and four to the Giants in 6 1/3 innings in his second. He allowed just one hit in each game. Urias has had two very good starts and in fact has not lost a decision in the regular season since August of 2019.
1909 On Opening Day, the Superbas are no-hit by the Giants’ Red Ames for 9.1 innings. The Polo Grounds contest will go thirteen innings before Brooklyn defeats the 26 year-old right-hander, 3-0.
1915 In his first start of the season, the Giants’ southpaw Rube Marquard no-hits the Brooklyn Robins, the team that will select him off waivers at the end of August. In his 2-0 Polo Grounds victory, the 28 year-old faces 30 batters, striking out two and walking two in the 85-minute contest.
1930 On Opening Day, Phillies’ southpaw Les Sweetland throws a three-hitter at Ebbets Field. The 28 year-old southpaw doubles and scores the lone run in the eighth inning of his 1-0 complete-game victory over Brooklyn.
1933 In his major league debut, Tigers rookie Lynwood “Schoolboy” Rowe tosses a six-hitter, blanking the White Sox, 3-0. During his 15-year career, playing also with the Dodgers and Phillies, Rowe will compile a 158-101 record, posting an ERA of 3.87.
1947 A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats, but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
1958 On Opening Day, the transplanted New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers play the first major league game on the West Coast. The California contest sees Ruben Gomez blanking Los Angeles and Don Drysdale at San Francisco’s Seals Stadium, 8-0.
1959 Cardinal right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in a 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
2004 Major league baseball begins the tradition of Jackie Robinson Day, an annual celebration commemorating the day the color line was broken in 1947. At big league venues across the country ceremonies are being held to honor the ground-breaking historic event, including baseball commissioner Bud Selig and Jackie’s widow Rachel Robinson attending the festivities at Shea Stadium.
2005 The Dodgers, to commemorate the 58th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s first game in the big leagues, wear replicas of the old road uniforms worn by the 1947 team which played in Brooklyn. Right-hander Derek Lowe throws a three-hitter, blanking the Padres in San Diego, 4-0.
2007 To honor Jackie Robinson, some players on each team, including Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter and Braves’ outfielder Andruw Jones, wear the Dodger immortal’s uniform No. 42 on the 60th anniversary of his historic breaking the color barrier in baseball. In the Cardinals and Brewers contest at Busch Stadium, every player and coach on both teams dons Jackie’s revered number.
The visiting Rockies send RHP Jon Gray (1-0, 1.54 ERA) out to face the Dodgers’ RHP Dustin May (1-0, 0.00 ERA). Gray went five innings against the Dodgers in his first start while giving up just one run, and followed that with a two-hit one run outing over 6 2/3 innings against the D-Backs. May made his first start this season eight days ago, and it was brilliant: he went six shutout innings and gave up just two hits.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1931 At Braves Field, Jack Quinn becomes the oldest pitcher to start an Opening Day game. The 47 year-old Robin right-hander gives up six runs on nine runs in six innings of work, taking the loss when Brooklyn bows to Boston, 7-4.
1968 Jim Bunning becomes the first pitcher since Cy Young to collect a thousand strikeouts in both leagues when he whiffs eight Dodgers during his first win for the Pirates, a 3-0 complete-game victory in Chavez Ravine. The 37 year-old right-hander, acquired from the Phillies in December, sent 1,406 American League batters back to the bench with a bat in their hands for nine seasons while pitching for the Tigers at the start of his Hall of Fame career.
1993 After establishing the all-time career major league record last night with his 358th save, Cardinal reliever Lee Smith breaks the National League mark, recording his 301st in the Senior Circuit when he tosses a perfect 15th frame in the Cardinals’ 2-1 victory at Dodger Stadium. The right-handed reliever will extend the big league mark to 478, pitching for the Cubs (1980-1987), Red Sox (1988-1990), Cardinals (1990-1993), Yankees (1993), Orioles (1994), Angels (1995-1996), Reds (1996), and Expos (1997).
2004 In the game played after teammate Mike Mussina earns his 200th career victory, Kevin Brown, who was obtained from the Dodgers for Jeff Weaver and two minor-leaguers in an off-season trade, reaches the same plateau, beating the Devil Rays, 5-1. It is the first time in baseball history members of the same pitching staff have won their 200th career victory in consecutive starts.
The visitors send RHP Antonio Senzatela (1-1, 5.56 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ RHP Trevor Bauer (1-0, 4.15 ERA). Senzatela had a rough start against the Dodgers ten days ago, going only 3 1/3 innings and giving up 9 hits and 7 runs. In his next start, though, he went eight scoreless innings against the D-Backs. Bauer has been virtually unhittable in the first six innings of each start, but in the seventh opponents have reached him for three HRs and hit .625 against him.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1939 In a spring training game played in Norfolk, Virginia, Yankee first baseman Lou Gehrig, with apparent muscle loss, especially around his shoulders, goes deep twice in a 14-12 exhibition loss against the Dodgers. The second and ninth-inning home runs will be the last round-trippers the ‘Iron Horse’ will ever hit.
1993 Lee Smith passes Jeff Reardon to become the all-time major league saves leader when the Cardinals beat the Dodgers, 9-7. The right-handed reliever tosses a scoreless ninth inning at Chavez Ravine to record his 358th career save.
2009 In the LA home opener, Orlando Hudson completes his cycle with a sixth inning triple down the right-field line in the team’s 11-1 rout of the Giants. The second baseman becomes the first Dodger to hit for the cycle at Dodger Stadium, and the first franchise player to accomplish the feat in a nine-inning game since Gil Hodges did it in 1949.
2012 Aaron Harang, after surrendering a leadoff single to Cameron Maybin to start the game, strikes out the next nine consecutive Padres in L.A.’s 9-8 victory at Dodger Stadium. The 34 year-old right-hander’s performance is one more than Johnny Podres’ franchise mark of 8, but falls one short of the major league record held by Tom Seaver, who fanned 10 straight Friars for the Mets in 1970.
2019 Chris Davis ends his recording-setting streak of consecutive at-bats without a hit with a two-run single in the first inning of the Orioles’ 9-5 victory over the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Baltimore first baseman’s safety snaps the major league record at 54 straight hitless at-bats by a position player, easily extending the previous mark of 46 set by utilityman Eugenio Vélez, who established the dubious distinction over two seasons while playing with the Giants (0-for-9) and Dodgers (0-for-37), respectively in 2010 and 2011.
It’s a battle of 3-time Cy Young winners today. The Nats send RHP Max Scherzer (0-0, 6.00 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 4.26 ERA). Scherzer gave up four HRs in six innings on Opening Day; he did strike out nine. Kershaw had a forgettable Opening Day start but redeemed himself his second time out, when he gave up just four hits and one run over seven innings while striking out eight.
Before today’s game there’ll be a commemoration of Fernando Valenzuela’s accomplishments and the 40th anniversary of Fernandomania (40 years? Really?).
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1912 Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3, in a game which features 13 ground rule doubles hit by the visitors because of the overflow crowd being placed in the outfield and along the foul lines. The future Hall of Fame southpaw’s streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.
1961 Robin Roberts, in his twelfth-straight Opening Day start, is tagged with the loss when the Phillies lose to the Dodgers in the LA Memorial Coliseum, 6-2. The right-hander’s effort ties Grover Cleveland Alexander’s National League record for consecutive season openers.
2006 Jeromy Burnitz, Ryan Doumit, Jack Wilson, and Craig Wilson hit solo home runs in the Pirates’ 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at PNC Park. The quartet of round-trippers blasted by the Buc sluggers is each player’s second homer of the season.
The visiting Nats have yet to declare a starter. Never fear, they eventually will because they have to. The Dodgers send out Julio Urías (1, 1.29 ERA), whose seven-inning stint in his first start was the longest outing of his career. It was brilliant: he gave up one run on three hits while striking out six and walking just one.
In the “you can’t ever have enough pitching” department:
The Dodgers have claimed RHP Ashton Goudeau off waivers from the San Francisco Giants. He’ll be added to the 40-man roster.
1947 During the sixth inning of an exhibition game against their minor league team at Ebbets Field, the Montreal Royals, Dodgers’ president Branch Rickey issues a brief statement to the press. The two sentences will forever change the game when the team announces “The Brooklyn Dodgers today purchased the contract of Jackie Roosevelt Robinson from the Montreal Royals. He will report immediately.”
1962 In front of 52,564 fans, Reds infielder Eddie Kasko doubles off of Johnny Podres in the first ever at-bat at Dodger Stadium, and Duke Snider’s single in the bottom of the second accounts for the home team’s first hit. After playing their first four seasons at the LA Memorial Coliseum, the team drops a 6-3 decision to the Reds in the debut of the new $22 million ballpark in Chavez Ravine, financed with a low two-percent interest loan from the Union Oil Company in exchange for exclusive rights to advertise within the stadium.
1962 Wally Post hits the first home run in Dodger Stadium history, a two-out, three-run shot in the seventh inning off Johnny Podres that proves to be the difference in the Cincinnati’s 6-3 victory. The left fielder’s round-tripper to center field is a fair ball, unlike some others hit in the ballpark where the foul poles are discovered to be positioned in foul territory, requiring special permission from the National League to be recognized as fair during the first year in the team’s new home in Chavez Ravine.
1976 After being granted his free agency in a landmark case which will forever change baseball, Andy Messersmith becomes one of the first major leaguers to use his new status to sign with a team of his choice. The former Dodger right-hander comes to terms with the Braves and will post a 16-15 record during his two-year tenure for his new club.
2012 Vin Scully misses the Dodgers’ home opener for the first time in 35 years when doctors order the 84 year-old Hall of Fame broadcaster to rest as he recovers from a bad cold. The last time the team’s play-by-play announcer was absent from the season’s first home game he was calling the first round of the Masters in 1977.
This is the home opener for 2021, but it’s more than that. The Dodgers will be raising their World Series Chanpionship banner, handing out World Series rings, and welcoming fans back into the stadium for the first time since October 2019. There are some great photos of the stadium as it was being prepared here.
RHP Joe Ross (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first start of the season for the Nationals. He’ll face RHP Walker Buehler (0-0, 3.00 ERA) of the Dodgers. Ross opted out last season due to the pandemic; he’s got a 7.02 ERA against the Dodgers in 16 2/3 career innings. Buehler struck out four and gave up two runs in six innings in his first start against the Rockies.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1913 The Phillies spoil the debut of Ebbets Field, beating the Dodgers, 1-0, in front of a small crowd of approximately 10,000 fans, who brave the frigid weather to witness the pitching duel. Given special permission, Brooklyn opens the season a day early to properly inaugurate its new $75,000 Brooklyn ballpark, which took a year to build.
1947 Dodger skipper Leo Durocher, feuding with the Yankees, is suspended for one year by commissioner Happy Chandler for an assortment of actions deemed detrimental to baseball, including association with known gamblers. The Brooklyn and New York clubs are both fined $2,000 and by order of the commissioner are not allowed to discuss the matter.
1966 After sharing space at Wrigley Field in 1961 and Dodger Stadium from 1962-65 during their first five seasons in Los Angeles, the Angels move to nearby Anaheim into their own stadium. The ‘Halos’, now known as the California Angels, host the San Francisco Giants in a pre-season exhibition game in the first contest ever played at Anaheim Stadium.
1981 On Opening Day, Fernando Valenzuela, making his first major league start in place of scheduled starter Jerry Reuss, blanks Houston on five hits at Dodger Stadium, 2-0. During the strike-shortened season, the 20 year-old rookie from Mexico will lead the league in game starts (25), complete games (11), and shutouts (8).
Betts and Bellinger are out with injuries. Bellinger will miss his third straight game after getting spiked in Monday’s win over the Athletics. Betts will miss his second consecutive game with a lower back injury.
RHP Trevor Bauer (1-0, 5.68 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers and LHP Jésus Luzardo (0-1, 9.00 ERA) goes for the As. Bauer was sailing along with a no-hitter into the seventh in his first start when the wheels came off the wagon a little; he gave up four runs in that inning. Nonetheless he struck out 10 in 6 1/3 in his Dodger debut. Luzardo struck out 8 and walked none in his first start, but he gave up two HRs and five runs overall in five innings and took the loss.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1969 After throwing just two pitches to start the season, Don Drysdale finds himself and his team trailing by two runs when Pete Rose and Bobby Tolan hit back-to-back homers. The 32 year-old right-hander settles down, and the Dodgers come back to win the Crosley Field contest, 3-2.
1969 Bill Singer becomes the first major league reliever to officially record a save, a new stat which will be kept starting this season, in the Dodgers’ 3-2 win over Cincinnati in the season-opener at Crosley Field. The ‘Singer Throwing Machine’ does not allow a hit, hurling three scoreless innings en route to saving Don Drysdale’s victory.
1977 Gary Thomasson starts the game by walloping the first pitch in the Dodgers’ opener for a home run off Don Sutton, who had apparently thrown a gopher ball. Unbeknownst to the Giants’ leadoff hitter, the ball was to be taken for a pitch and handed to the home plate umpire to be sent to Cooperstown.
1977 Frank Sinatra keeps his promise to Tommy Lasorda by singing the Star-Spangled Banner on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. ‘Old Blue Eyes’ had told the team’s new skipper he would perform the National Anthem if his friend ever became the L.A. manager.
2012 Octavio Dotel, playing for his 13th team, breaks a major league record he previously shared with Mike Morgan, Matt Stairs, and Ron Villone. The 39 year-old Tiger reliever, who throws 1.1 scoreless innings against Boston, has also appeared with the Mets, Astros, A’s, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, and Cardinals.
LHP Clayton Kershaw (0-1, 7.94 ERA) tries to right his ship after an outing in which he gave up six runs (five earned) on 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings. He’ll face RHP Chris Bassitt (0-1, 5.06 ERA), who lost his first start of the year while giving up three runs on four hits in 5 1/3 innings.
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
2001 In the home opener at Veterans Stadium, Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning’s number 14 jersey is retired. Kentucky’s Republican U.S. senator, who compiled a 224-184 record in his 17-year career pitching for the Tigers, Phillies, Pirates, and Dodgers, joins Richie Ashburn (1), Robin Roberts (36), Steve Carlton (32), and Mike Schmidt (20) as the fifth player to have his number retired by the Phillies.
2004 Adrian Beltre becomes the 36th player in baseball history to hit 100 home runs before the age of 25. The Dodger third baseman joins Cal Ripken Jr. and Lou Gehrig to have exactly 100 homers on their 25th birthday.
2016 The Padres, with their 7-0 loss at Petco Park, become the first team to be shut out in the first three games of the regular season, surpassing the dubious mark set by the Browns, who opened the 1943 campaign with 26 straight scoreless innings. San Diego also dropped their first two decisions of the three-game series against the Dodgers, 15-0 and 3-0.
RHP Dustin May (0-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his first start of the year against fellow RHP Frankie Montas (0-0, 0.00 ERA), also making his first start. May went 3-1 with a 2.57 ERA in 12 starts in the shortened 2020 season. Montas had a down year in 2020, going 3-5 with a 5.60 ERA in 11 starts.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1913 In an exhibition game against the Yankees, 25,000 fans watch the Dodgers play their first game in Ebbets Field. Brooklyn beats New York, 3-2, with Casey Stengel hitting the park’s first home run, an inside-the-parker.
1957 The Phillies trade five players, Ron Negray, Tim Harkness, Elmer Valo, Mel Geho, and Ben Flowers (the player to be named later), and send $75,000 to the Dodgers to obtain much-touted Cuban infielder Chico Fernandez. Philadelphia’s new shortstop plays three seasons in the City of Brotherly Love, batting just .242, before being traded to the Tigers.
1989 At Riverfront Stadium, Dodgers’ hurler Orel Hershiser’s scoreless-inning streak ends at 59. With two outs in the bottom of the first, Todd Benzinger’s single scores Barry Larkin, who had been picked off after getting a base hit to lead off the game, but was safe on the ‘Bulldog’s’ throwing error.
1993 In front of 42,334 fans at Joe Robbie Stadium in Miami, the Florida Marlins, making their major league debut, defeat the Dodgers, 6-3. Joe DiMaggio throws out the ceremonial first pitch, and the team retires uniform number 5 in tribute to Carl Barger, their late president.