1942 The Dodgers replace team president Larry MacPhail, who accepted a commission in the U.S. Army in September, with Branch Rickey, formerly the Cardinals’ vice-president before resigning three days ago. Brooklyn’s new boss will guide the team to two pennants during his eight-year reign in the “The Borough of Churches.”
1966 In the final time when there is only one selection from both leagues, Dodger southpaw Sandy Koufax becomes the first three-time recipient of the Cy Young Award. The 30-year-old left-hander, recipient of the prestigious pitching prize in 1963 and 1965, posted a 27-9 (.750) record and an ERA of 1.73 for the National League champs.
2001 The first major league game ever started in November becomes memorable when the Yankees, for the second consecutive night, make a dramatic comeback in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game and go on to a World Series Game Five victory in extra innings. Scott Brosius hits a game-tying two-out two-run homer to knot the game at 2-2, and Alfonso Soriano singles in Chuck Knoblauch in the 12th, giving the Yankees a 3-2 victory and 3-2 lead in the Fall Classic over the Diamondbacks.
2005 The unveiling of a bronze sculpture capturing the friendship of Pee Wee Reese and Jackie Robinson takes place at Brooklyn’s KeySpan Park, home of the Mets’ Single-A team. The William Behrends sculpture captures the moment when the Dodger captain showed support by putting his arm around his black teammate’s shoulder, hushing an unruly crowd hurling racial slurs at his teammate at Crosley Field in 1947.
2010 Edgar Renteria, who drove in the Marlins’ winning run against Cleveland during Game 7 of the 1997 Fall Classic, joins Yankees legends Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, and Yogi Berra as only the fourth player in baseball history to collect two World Series-winning hits. The Series MVP’s three-run homer off Cliff Lee in the seventh inning leads to San Francisco’s 3-1 victory over the Rangers, bringing a World Championship to the Giants for the first time since 1954.
1945 Dodger President Branch Rickey announces that the team has signed two black players, shortstop Jackie Robinson and pitcher Johnny Wright, to play with Brooklyn’s Triple-A team in Montreal. The 26-year-old Negro League infielder will be the first black player in organized baseball since 1884.
1952 The Pacific Coast League announces its teams will play a reduced 176-game schedule next season. However, the PCL clubs will continue to play 180 contests next season, similar to the past two years.
“Touch ’em all Joe, you’ll never hit a bigger home run in your life” – Tom Cheek, radio voice of the Blue Jays.
Thanks to Joe Carter’s dramatic ninth-inning three-run homer over the left-field wall, the Blue Jays beat the Phillies 8-6 to win their second consecutive World Championship. The Toronto outfielder becomes the second player to end the World Series with a home run, joining Bill Mazeroski, whose Forbes Field’s round-tripper beat the Yankees in 1960.
2005 For the 14th time in World Series history, a walk-off home run ends the contest when Scott Podsednik’s ninth-inning blast in Game 2 at Chicago’s U.S. Cellular Field beats the Astros, 7-6. Bill Mazeroski remains the only player to accomplish the feat in the seventh game of the Fall Classic.
1945 A moment in American history takes place in Brooklyn as Branch Rickey meets with Jackie Robinson to share his plans to integrate the major leagues. During the three hour meeting, the Dodgers’ president will shout racial epithets to ‘test’ the 26 year-old ballplayer’s mettle to withstand the abuse which will come with being the first player to cross the color line this century.
1951 The Giants’ 16-game winning streak comes to end when Howie Pollet six-hits the team in the Pirates’ 2-0 victory at the Polo Grounds. The consecutive victories enable Leo Durocher and his club to narrow the Dodgers’ lead from 13.5 to six games.
1967 Giants hurler Gaylord Perry begins the longest consecutive inning scoreless streak in franchise history when he shuts out the Dodgers at Candlestick Park, 7-0. The right-hander will not give up another run over a span of 40 innings, a feat the son of a tenant farmer from North Carolina will repeat three seasons later.
1977 Steve Garvey collects five extra-base hits in one game when he bashes three doubles and two homers, including a grand slam, in the Dodgers’ 11-0 rout over St. Louis at Chavez Ravine. The LA first baseman becomes just the fourth major leaguer to accomplish the feat, joining Lou Boudreau (1946 Indians – HR, four 2B), Joe Adcock (1954 Braves – four HR, 2B), and Willie Stargell (1970 Pirates – two HR, three 2B).
2003 Eric Gagne earns his 44th straight save in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Astros at Minute Maid Park. The Los Angeles reliever’s effort establishes a new major league record, surpassing Tom Gordon, who had saved 43 in a row to begin a season with the Red Sox in 1998.
2008 In the 11-2 victory over the Dodgers, Cristian Guzman becomes the second player in Nationals history to hit for the cycle, joining Brad Wilkerson, who accomplished the feat in 2005, the team’s first year in Washington, D.C. The 30 year-old shortstop completes his cycle with an eighth inning triple.
2015 “Vin will be back for one more year (at least). God bless us, everyone” – JIMMY KIMMEL’s cue card message to the crowd.
Team executive Magic Johnson, appearing on the Dodger Stadium video board, introduces Jimmy Kimmel to report “big, breaking news.” The ABC late-night television host, who waves to the fans without saying a word, displays a succession of cue cards, informing the Chavez Ravine crowd the 87 year-old Vin Scully will be returning to broadcast Dodgers games in 2016 for his 67th season.
2020 On the same day MLB celebrated Jackie Robinson Day, Chadwick Boseman, the actor who portrayed the Brooklyn Dodgers star in the 2013 movie 42, dies of colon cancer. The 43-year-old actor, best known for the title role in Marvel’s blockbuster Black Panther, also played music legend James Brown and future Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshal on the big screen.
Miami sends its former Cy Young winner RHP Sandy Alcantara (5-10, 4.09 ERA) to the hill to face Los Angeles’s RHP Tony Gonsolin (8-4, 4.24 ERA). Each pitcher has had a disappointing year after scintillating seasons in 2022.
Due to Hurricane Hillary’s forecast track, MLB has rescheduled the three games scheduled for Sunday in Southern California to be parts of split doubleheaders on Saturday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Sunday home game vs. the Miami Marlins has been rescheduled for a split doubleheader with starts of 12:00 p.m. (PT) and 6:10 p.m. (PT) on Saturday.
1959 Long time baseball executive Branch Rickey is named president of the newly formed Continental League. The 77 year-old former Dodger general manager is currently serving as an advisor with the Pittsburgh Pirates. (Editor’s Note: Here’s a pretty good book about the Continental League)
1982 In the second longest game in franchise history, the Cubs lose to the Dodgers, 2-1. The Wrigley Field contest, which is played over two days, takes a Dusty Baker sacrifice fly and 21 innings to complete.
On this day in 1967 Jack Hamilton of the Angels threw a fastball which shattered Tony Conigliaro’s left cheekbone. The 22 year-old Red Sox slugger missed the rest of 1967 and all of the following year and never came close to the Hall of Fame potential displayed during his first three seasons.
1908 In Brooklyn, the last-place Cardinals blank the Brooklyn Superbas (Dodgers), 3-0. The entire Washington Park contest is played with just one ball.
1941 Mickey Owens becomes the first catcher to handle three foul pop ups in one frame. The Brooklyn backstop’s third inning defense contributes to the Dodgers’ 11-6 victory over New York at Ebbets Field.
1942 In a military relief game at the Polo Grounds, which will be the last war-time twilight game played, Pee Wee Reese’s grand slam in the top of the ninth, which puts the Dodgers up 5-1, doesn’t count, because of the 9:10 pm government curfew. The game ends up as a 1-1 tie with the Giants.
1948 Ernie Harwell, filling in for Red Barber, who is recovering from a bleeding ulcer, calls his first major league game as the Dodgers beat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 5-4. To obtain the future Hall of Fame broadcaster, Brooklyn general manager Branch Rickey trades minor league catcher Cliff Draper to the Atlanta Crackers.
1939 The Red Sox send 21 year-old farmhand Pee Wee Reese to the Dodgers for $35,000 and a player to be named later (Red Evans), along with three minor leaguers due to a less-than-enthusiastic scouting report filed by Joe Cronin, the team’s current player-manager, who deliberately downplayed the prospect’s talent to keep his own job in the Boston infield. The Louisville Colonels regular shortstop, a future Hall of Famer, will become a crowd favorite, helping Brooklyn to win seven pennants during his 16 seasons with the team.
1949 Jackie Robinson testifies in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities, reading a carefully worded statement put together with the help of Dodger GM Branch Rickey. The Brooklyn second baseman’s statement makes it clear he disagrees with singer and actor Paul Robeson’s belief that American Negroes would refuse to fight in any war against Russia due to the country’s racial discrimination toward blacks.
1913 In a game against the Cubs, Superbas’ second baseman George Cutshaw handles 14 chances without an error. The infielder’s defensive prowess helps Brooklyn beat Chicago at Ebbets Field, 4-2.
1948 Brooklyn’s Branch Rickey agrees on a deal with Giants owner Horace Stoneham that releases his manager Leo Durocher to become the Giants’ skipper, replacing the popular Mel Ott. Burt Shotton will take the ‘Lip’s’ place in the Dodger dugout.
On this date in 1990 Steve Lyons embarrassed himself dreadfully by dropping his uniform pants while standing at first base after sliding into the bag to beat out a bunt.
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.
1925 At his Waldorf-Astoria apartment, Dodgers’ owner Charles H. Ebbets dies of a heart attack at the age of 65. Later in the day, his team opens the home season in Brooklyn losing to the Giants at Ebbets Field, 7-0.
1939 In Brooklyn, Red Barber calls the action in the first broadcast of a regular-season Dodger game, a 7-3 loss to New York at Ebbets Field. The future Hall of Fame announcer was brought in from Cincinnati by the team’s new president, Larry MacPhail, who had hired the ‘Ol Redhead’ when he was in a similar post with the Reds.
1947 Dodger president Branch Rickey names team scout Burt Shotton to replace Leo Durocher, who was suspended ten days ago by Commissioner Happy Chandler for acts “unbecoming to a major league manager.” Brooklyn’s new 62 year-old skipper reluctantly takes over the team two games into the season and will manage the club for one year in his street clothes along with wearing the team’s hat and jacket.
1950 Vin Scully calls the first game of his illustrious 67-year career with the Dodgers, detailing Brooklyn’s 9-1 defeat to the Phillies on Opening Day at Philadelphia’s Shibe Park. The 22-year old broadcaster, who will be awarded the Commissioner’s Historic Achievement Award by Bud Selig in 2014, will become the team’s primary announcer just three seasons later.
1950 The Phillies play their first game with name official changed back from Blue Jays, routing the Dodgers at Shibe Park, 9-1. The team wears red pinstriped uniforms designed by manager Eddie Sawyer that are reminiscent of club’s look in the early 1900s.
1952 On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch hitter Bob Morgan’s seventh-inning, two-out bases-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers base runners cross the plate but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making a fantastic catch for the third out to end the inning.
1958 At the Los Angeles Coliseum in front of a National League record crowd of 78,672, the Dodgers play their first game in the City of Angels. Carl Erskine gets the win, besting Al Worthington and the Giants, 6-5.
1959 Branch Rickey, former general manager of the Cardinals, Dodgers, and Pirates, is appointed the president of the Continental League. The third potential major league never materializes, but helps to accelerate the expansion of the existing leagues, including putting a National League team in New York to fill the void created by the Giants’ and the Dodgers’ departure to the west coast in 1958.
1964 L.A. southpaw Sandy Koufax throws the second of his two career immaculate innings when he strikes out the side on nine pitches. Although Leo Cardenas, Johnny Edwards, and Jim Maloney all strike out quickly in the top of the third inning, Cincinnati will score all of the game’s runs in the next frame, thanks to a three-run homer hit by Deron Johnson, to beat the Dodgers in the Chavez Ravine contest, 3-0.
1966 Dodgers shortstop Maury Wills singles to center off future Hall of Famer Robin Roberts, becoming the first batter to hit on artificial turf in a major league game. The Astrodome’s new playing surface, called Chemgrass initially by its manufacturer, the Monsanto Company, couldn’t be made quickly enough, so the season begins with the artificial material only on the infield with the outfield remaining painted dirt until July.
2008 The Dodgers announce Joe Beimel has been selected by fans, in an online poll during Spring Training, as the player whose likeness will now be used in an August 12 bobblehead promotion. The 30 year-old southpaw reliever, considered a long shot for the honor, gets the nod due to a strong internet campaign orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge.
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.