1941 ‘Big Poison’ Paul Waner is signed by the Braves after being released by Brooklyn. The former Dodger joins his brother ‘Little Poison’ Lloyd on the Boston roster.
1947 Carl Furillo hits a three-run homer as a pinch-hitter in the first frame of the Dodgers’ 4-3 ten-inning loss to Philadelphia at Ebbets Field. The unusual substitution occurs when Phillies manager Ben Chapman uses his right-handed starter Al Jurisch to pitch only to Brooklyn’s first two hitters, Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson, and then brings in southpaw Oscar Judd, who had been warming up from the start of the game, to face the next three lefty hitters, Pete Reiser, Dixie Walker, and Gene Hermanski, the batter replaced by Furillo.
1973 In a 19-inning marathon, LA outfielder Willie Davis collects six hits in a 7-3 loss to the Mets at Dodger Stadium. The two clubs establish a National League mark by hitting into a combined nine double plays.
2000 Sixteen Dodger players and three coaches are suspended by the commissioner’s office for going into the stands during the Wrigley Field scuffle with fans on May 16. The suspensions totaling 60 games for players and 24 games for coaches are the harshest penalties ever handed down by major league baseball.
1947 At Forbes Field, Hank Greenberg asks Jackie Robinson if the Dodger infielder was hurt in a collision with him at first base earlier in the game and then tells the embattled Brooklyn rookie, “Stick in there. You’re doing fine. Keep your chin up.” Jackie will remark to the writers a few days later that his “diamond hero” is Hank Greenberg, knowing that the Pirates’ first baseman, who due to the bigotry endured as a Jew, can appreciate his difficulty of facing racial injustice every day as the first black player in the major leagues this century.
1978 Pinch-hitting for Davey Lopes in the Los Angeles 10-1 rout of the Pirates, Lee Lacy goes deep in the bottom of the eighth inning off Will McEnaney at Dodger Stadium. The utility player becomes the first player in major league history to homer in three consecutive at-bats as a pinch hitter.
1992 Using only 21 dates, the Blue Jays reach the one-million mark in attendance sooner than any team in major league history. The 1991 Blue Jays and the 1981 Dodgers shared the previous record.
1947 During the pregame infield practice, a barrage of racial slurs is directed at Jackie Robinson by the Cincinnati fans during the Dodgers’ first visit to Crosley Field this season. Brooklyn shortstop Pee Wee Reese, captain of the team and a Southerner from Kentucky with friends attending the game, engages the black infielder in conversation, and then put his arm around his teammate’s shoulder, a gesture that stuns and silences the crowd.
Statue of Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese outside MCU Park, 08/02/10: zoom-lens close-up of Pee Wee’s arm around Jackie (IMG_1908)
Photo from Flickr by Gary Dunaier
1952 Larry Miggins hits the first of his two major league home runs, going deep off Preacher Roe in the fourth inning of the Cardinals’ 14-8 loss to the Dodgers at Ebbets Field. The round-tripper hit by the Bronx-born outfielder, who had once shared his dream of playing in big leagues during a prep school assembly with a buddy with aspirations to be a baseball broadcaster, is called by an overwhelmed Vin Scully, Brooklyn’s play-by-play announcer who had wondered that day with his friend “what the odds against that would be.”
1958 San Francisco teammates Willie Mays and Darryl Spencer each have four long hits, driving in four and six runs, respectively, in the team’s 16-9 victory over the Dodgers at LA’s Memorial Coliseum. The Giants’ center fielder and shortstop combine for 28 total bases, with Mays hitting two homers, two triples, a single, and Spencer adding two round-trippers, a three-bagger, and a double to the offensive outburst.
2013 Thanks to a seventh-grade history class project, a three-mile stretch of the Kansas K-79 highway, from K-16 highway to Circleville, is designated by the Kansas legislature as the Barnes Brothers Memorial Highway in honor of Ozzie and Virgil, who grew up in the community and played with the Braves, Giants, and Dodgers in the 1910-20s. The McAlister middle schoolers’ research brought to light the many major league accomplishments of the two siblings, including being participants in first brother matchup in big league history.
1947 Philadelphia manager Ben Chapman, who admits he had been ‘kinda loud’ in leading his team in verbally abusing Jackie Robinson with racial slurs during yesterday’s game, sends word to the Brooklyn clubhouse that he would like to make amends by posing with the Dodger first baseman for the newspaper photographers. The orchestrated gesture, which Robinson agrees to, admitting later that is one of the hardest things he ever had to make himself do, is prompted by the bad press created by the Phillies manager’s intolerance and the wrath of Commissioner Chandler.
Also on this day: In 2015 with runners on second and third, the Pirates turn the first recorded 4-5-4 triple play in baseball history, recording all three outs entirely on the left side of the infield. The oddity occurs when Yadier Molina lines out to second baseman Neil Walker (1), who throws to third baseman Jung Ho Kang to double up Jhonny Peralta (2), who had strayed too far off the third, and then fields the third baseman’s return throw to triple up Jason Heywood at second base (3).
1937 Dodgers and Giants fans attending afternoon ball games at both the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field are thrilled to have the opportunity to catch a glimpse of the Hindenburg when the passenger airship appears over New York, nearing the end of its maiden voyage of the season from Germany. A few hours later, the majestic German zeppelin will explode on a landing strip in Lakehurst, N.J., killing 36 of its passengers.
1947 In a small office high up behind home plate at Ebbets Field, National League president Ford Frick meets with seven Cardinal players individually, revealing he is aware of their secret plan to strike as a protest to Jackie Robinson playing for the Dodgers. The usually non-confrontational leader of the Senior Circuit makes his position clear about their planned boycott, telling the Redbird conspirators they will encounter quick retribution from his office that will include suspensions from baseball.
1978 After going deep as a pinch hitter on May 2, Lee Lacy becomes the first major leaguer to pinch-hit home runs in consecutive at-bats. The Dodgers’ super sub will make it three in a row on May 17.
2009 With a 10-3 victory over Washington, the Dodgers break the major league mark for consecutive victories at home to open a season with their 13th straight win in L.A. The previous record of 12 was established in 1911 by the Tigers.
2015 Bob Uecker, along with fellow broadcasters Joe Block and Jeff Levering, longtime engineer Kent Sommerfeld, and his assistant, Mary Burns, become trapped for several innings as the result of a broken lock on the Miller Park’s radio broadcast booth door. A crew of workmen, using a ladder positioned on the loge level, climbed into the booth to remove the door from its hinges, while the announcers’ play-by-play continued to detail the action of Brewers and Dodgers game on the field.
“People who are listening to the ballgame, I know what you’re thinking. He’s ready for the home. He’s cooked. It’s finally happened. He’s seeing ladders and doors without handles.” – BOB UECKER, explaining being trapped for several innings by a broken lock on the radio broadcast booth’s door.
2021 The Angels designated Albert Pujols, hitting .198 with five homers and 12 RBIs in 86 at-bats, for assignment, releasing the aging superstar after he clears waivers. The reigning World Champion Dodgers will sign the 41-year-old future first-ballot Hall of Famer to a one-year deal for the prorated share of the $570,500 league minimum, with the $30-million remaining in his 10-year, $240-million contract the responsibility of the Halos. It worked out well for the Dodgers: Pujols had a slash line of .259/.299/.460 with 12 HRs and 38 RBIs in 85 games with the team.
1947 In a controversial move, Branch Rickey trades five Dodgers, including southerner Kirby Higbe, to the Pirates for five-foot, six-inch left-hand-hitting outfielder Al Gionfriddo and $100,000. Some believe ‘the Mahatma’ made the deal to send a message to the team about his commitment to breaking the color barrier and his support of Jackie Robinson, the first black to play in the major leagues this century. It’s a darned good move, considering that Gionfriddo made a game-saving catch of a DiMaggio fly ball in Game 6 of that fall’s World Series.
2004 Similarly to last season, the aging outfielder Rickey Henderson re-signs with the Atlantic League’s Bears, hoping for a shot of returning to the big leagues. The 45 year-old future Hall of Famer batted .339, hit eight home runs, drove in 33 runs, scored 52 runs, and stole nine bases for the Newark team last season before joining the Dodgers in July.
2009 Defeating San Diego 2-1 in 10 innings, the Dodgers tie a franchise record, winning their ninth consecutive decision at home from the start of the season. The 1946 club also reeled off nine straight victories at Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field at the beginning of the post-war campaign.
RHP Jameson Taillon (0-2, 7.00 ERA) goes for the Cubs and RHP Michael Grove (0-1, 14.73) pitches for the Dodgers.
Here’s a profile of an alumna of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Rep. Lauren Underwood, a Democrat from IL-14 and a nurse with a postgrad degree (like Jackie’s wife Rachel, who’s got an MS in psychiatric nursing and was an Assistant Prof at Yale’s School of Nursing). It’s from the NYT but it’s out from behind the paywall and free for y’all to read.
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.
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.
In the first of just 13 (rather than the former 19) games between these two rivals, LHP Julio Urías (2-0, 1.50 ERA) pitches for the Dodgers while RHP Logan Webb (0-2, 6.55 ERA) does so for the Giants.
There are fewer games within the division in this new era of a balanced schedule. That means the Dodgers and D-Backs have already played over half the games they will this season. The way those series went, that’s just as well. Fewer intra-divisional games could affect the playoffs, as Mike Petriello of MLB discusses here.
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.
The D-Backs send RHP Merrill Kelly (2022: 13-8, 3.37 ERA) to the hill to face the Dodgers’ RHP Dustin May (2022: 2-3, 4.50 ERA). May and the Dodgers hope that his second year after Tommy John surgery will show marked improvement over the first.
Jon Weisman has a new site called “Slayed By Voices.” It’s linked over on the sidebar to the right in the “Non-Baseball Sites” section. It’s usually a subscription-only site but his Opening Day entry, Major League Baseball returns, and it’s fun!, is free to all. It includes a very good “In Memoriam” video of the losses suffered by the MLB family in the past year put together by Paul Sullivan.
1948 At Ebbets Field No. 2, the Dodgers play their first exhibition game at Dodgertown in Vero Beach, which will remain the team’s home for 61 years. Amidst much fanfare, including Governor Millard Caldwell throwing the ceremonial first pitch, Jackie Robinson homers in the first inning as Brooklyn beats its top farm club, the Montreal Royals, 5-4.
2018 Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts, who goes 3-for-4 in the team’s 3-2 victory over the Rays at Tropicana Field, becomes the first American Leaguer to have multiple extra-base hits in the first three games of the season. In 2015, Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez also accomplished the feat, collecting at least two hits in each of LA’s first three contests when he compiled ten hits his first 14 at-bats of the season.
1901 The Superbas establish a new franchise record for runs scored in a game when they rout the Reds, 25-6. Brooklyn tallies 11 times in the fifth inning during the League Park contest played in Cincinnati.
1916 Allowing only just one walk during a twin bill with the Cincinnati Reds, Grover Alexander of the Phillies wins both ends of a doubleheader, 7-3 and 4-0,to establish a National League record. The future Hall of Famer will repeat the feat on September 3, 1917 against the Brooklyn Robins at Ebbets Field.
1939 In the first game of a twin bill, Brooklyn’s third baseman Cookie Lavagetto reaches base seven consecutive times as the Dodgers rout the Phillies, 22-4. The 26-run Shibe Park contest takes only two hours and five minutes to complete.
1947 Prior to a game against the Giants in a sold-out Ebbets Field, the Dodgers staged Jackie Robinson Day. The Brooklyn rookie, who endured much grief this season as the game’s first black player in modern times, is moved when his teammates crowd around home plate to take part of the ceremony.
1956 Due to the enforcement of a curfew, the Sunday contest between the Dodgers and Pirates is postponed with two outs in the top of the ninth inning, sending the 44,932 fans, the largest crowd in Forbes Field’s history, home. The game will be completed tomorrow with Brooklyn maintaining their 8-3 advantage over Pittsburgh.
1969 In his last major league at-bat, John Miller homers, making the Dodger the only player in history to have hit a home run in his first and last plate appearance in the major leagues. In 1966, as a Yankee, he went deep in the first of only 61 big league career at-bats in which he would collect only 10 hits, including the two memorable round-trippers to start and end his 32-game career.
1986 Astros rookie starter Jim Deshaies sets a major league record by striking out the first eight batters he faces. The young left-hander will finish with a two-hitter and ten strikeouts, beating the Dodgers, 4-0.
1992 Lead-off hitter Bip Roberts ties the National league record with his 10th consecutive hit, a first-inning single in the Reds’ 3-0 victory over Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine. The Cincinnati left fielder’s streak ends when he grounds out in the fifth inning, facing Dodger starter Pedro Astacio.
2006 With one home game left on the schedule, the Dodgers break their single-season attendance record established in 1982 as the team sells 3,708,723 tickets to its games played in Chavez Ravine. The previous record of 3,608,881 was determined by former National League rules which counted fans by turnstile count.
2009 Trailing 8-0 at Dodger Stadium, the Giants take the lead, scoring nine runs in the top of the seventh inning. Although L.A. will come back twice to tie the score with clutch two-out hits in the eighth and ninth, San Francisco tallies four runs in the top of the tenth frame for the 14-10 victory.
Also, in 1908 Fred Merkle’s failure to touch second after an apparent game-winning hit by Bridwell scoring McCormick from third costs the Giants a 2-1 win over the Cubs when the ump calls him out and rules the game a tie. Merkle’s ‘boner’ will eventually cost the Giants the flag.