1938 After accepting GM Larry MacPhail’s offer to coach first base, Babe Ruth wears a Dodger uniform for the first time as a coach and takes batting practice with the team. The ‘Bambino’ will quit at the end of the season, ending his ties with major league baseball.
1940 Dodger Ducky Medwick, acquired in a trade less than a week ago, is beaned by former Cardinal teammate Bob Bowman and needs to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Brooklyn president Lee MacPhail accuses the St. Louis pitcher of deliberately hitting Medwick in the head because the two had quarreled in a hotel elevator prior to the game.
1996 Brant Brown hits the first three home runs of his career on the same day. The 25 year-old rookie goes deep as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning off Chan Ho Park in a 9-6 loss to the Dodgers in the opener of a Wrigley Field twin bill, but his two additional round-trippers contribute to Chicago’s 7-4 victory in the nightcap.
2014 With the only batter reaching base as a result of a throwing error by shortstop Hanley Ramirez in the seventh inning, Clayton Kershaw no-hit the Rockies at Dodger Stadium, striking out a career-high 15 batters. The left-hander’s teammate Josh Beckett also threw a no-hitter 24 days ago, making it the shortest span between no-hitters by a team since the Reds’ Johnny Vander Meer accomplished it in consecutive starts, four days apart, in 1938.
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 Dodgers give the ball to RHP Dustin May (1-2, 4.29 ERA) tonight. He’ll face the Giants’ Logan Webb (13-8, 2.88 ERA).
On this day in Dodgers’ history:
1924 Cardinal first baseman Sunny Jim Bottomley goes 6-for-6, including two homers, and bats in a record twelve runs when the team beats the Dodgers at Ebbets Field, 17-3. The previous mark of 11 RBIs in one game was established in 1892 by today’s opposing Dodger manager, Wilbert Robinson.
1976 In the 11th inning at Veterans Stadium, Rick Joseph hits a walk-off grand slam in the Phillies’ 8-4 victory over the Dodgers. Two batters are walked intentionally by Ron Perranoski to face the weak hitting Philadelphia pinch hitter, who responds with his first career home run, which will be his only round-tripper this season.
1988 The Reds’ Tom Browning pitches a perfect game against the Dodgers, striking out eight and allowing only eight balls to be hit out of the infield in his 1-0 victory. Over three starts, including the perfect game, he retires 40 consecutive batters – one shy of a major league record.
On September 16, 1993 Dave Winfield got his 3000th hit. In 1996 Paul Molitor did the same. And in 2005 Youppi!, who got his start at Olympic Stadium, is named as the first official mascot of the Montreal Canadiens, becoming the first to ever switch from Major League Baseball to the NHL. The acquisition, reportedly at the cost of six figures, is made possible when the Expos leave the hairy orange arm-waving giant behind in favor of an eagle called “Screech” when they moved to Washington, D.C. to become the Nationals.
RHP Logan Webb (11-8, 2.89 ERA) pitches for the Giants and LHP Andrew Heaney (2-1, 2.12 ERA) does the same for the Dodgers.
Houston Mitchell of the LA Times makes the case that Julio Urías has been the Dodgers’ pitching ace for the past three years.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1908 Superbas southpaw Nap Rucker strikes out 14 Doves en route to tossing a no-hitter in the team’s 6-0 victory over Boston at Washington Park. The only runners to get on base off the talented left-handed redhead come as a result of three Brooklyn errors.
1938 For the third time this season, Dodger catcher Babe Phelps breaks a bone in his throwing hand. Although the injuries will limit his playing time to only 66 games and 208 at-bats this season, the southpaw-swinging backstop will hit .308 and was named to the National League All-Star team, the first of three consecutive games he’ll play in the Mid-summer classic.
1955 In an 11-4 win over the Phillies, Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe hits his seventh homer, establishing a National League record for home runs by a pitcher in a season. The victory is Newk’s 20th of the season.
1978 On a night the Dodgers and Angels are scheduled to play at home on the same date, which is a rare occurrence, each team has their game rained out, another oddity in Los Angeles. The second time both clubs’ home contests will be washed out on the same day in the City of Angels will take place late in the season in 1986.
1998 Barry Bonds sets a new National League mark, reaching base in 15 consecutive plate appearances. The Giants outfielder’s five singles, two doubles, two homers, and six walks during the streak break Dodger Pedro Guerrero’s mark of 14 established in 1983.
LHP Andrew Heaney (1-0, 0.47 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season, his second after coming off an extended stay on the IL. His first was last Wednesday; he went 4 scoreless innings, gave up just one hit and struck out four while walking three. He’ll face RHP Logan Webb (9-4, 2.91 ERA), who went 2-2 in July with a 2.58 ERA but lost his last start to the D-Backs, giving up four runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Turn your speakers up, there is pure joy in this voice.
1906 After pitching 10 2/3 innings of no-hit ball, Harry McIntire yields a single to Pirates second baseman Claude Ritchey. The Dodgers and McIntire lose the game in the 13th on an unearned run, 1-0.
1924 Dazzy Vance strikes out seven consecutive batters to establish a major league record when the Brooklyn Robins defeat the Cubs at Ebbets Field, 4-0. The future Hall of Famer, who will compile a 28-6 record for the Brooks this season, will lead the National League in strikeouts with 262.
1957 Gil Hodges, in a 12-3 win over the Cubs, hits his 13th and last career grand slam in Brooklyn Dodger history. The first baseman’s bases-loaded shot off Dick Littlefield establishes a new National League record, previously shared by Rogers Hornsby and Ralph Kiner.
2011 After popping out in a pinch-hitting appearance, Craig Counsell remains without a hit in his last 45 at-bats, tying the longest single-season hitless streak by a position player in history, established by Brooklyn backstop Bill Bergen in 1909. The major league record is 0-for-70, established in 1970 by Bob Buhl, a pitcher who toiled with the Braves and Cubs that season. Counsell and Bergen’s record for position players has since been surpassed by the Orioles’ Chris Davis, who got it up to 54 straight hitless ABs in 2019 before getting a hit on April 13.
2015 Clayton Kershaw strikes out Mike Trout looking with a wicked curveball, marking the first time that reigning MVPs have faced one another in a major league game. The interleague contest between the two LA teams ends with Dodger southpaw keeping the Angel outfielder 0-for-3 while hurling eight innings in the team’s 3-1 victory over the Halos at Chavez Ravine.
RHP Logan Webb (9-3, 2.83 ERA) is on the bump for the Giants and LHP Tyler Anderson (10-1, 2.96 ERA) takes the hill for the Dodgers. In his last three starts Webb has given up three runs on fifteen hits in 20 innings and gotten two wins. In his last three starts Anderson has given up four runs on fourteen hits in 19 1/3 innings and gotten two wins.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1913 In a game against the Superbas (Dodgers), Slim Sallee becomes the first pitcher in Cardinal history to steal home. In the third inning, the Redbird southpaw scores the first run in St. Louis’s 3-1 victory over Brooklyn at Ebbets Field.
1966 The Mets left fielder learns he is a new dad when the Dodger Stadium scoreboard relays the message, “Congratulations, Ron Swoboda. Your new son is born tomorrow morning”. Cecilia Swoboda gave birth to Chipper, the couple’s first child, at 1:05 AM Eastern Daylight Time, making it the next day on the West Coast.
2005 Yhency Brazoban records his 18th save when he works a perfect ninth inning as the Dodgers beat the Mets, 6-5. The Los Angeles freshman, who is filling in for injured closer Eric Gagne, breaks Steve Howe’s club rookie record for saves established in 1980.
The Dodgers send out another of their Cy Young candidates, RHP Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA) to face the Giants’ RHP Logan Webb (11-3, 3.03 ERA).
Today in baseball history in 1939 Joe DiMaggio scored from first as Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi “swooned” at home plate, Don Larsen pitched the only World Series perfect game in 1956, Walter O’Malley announced the Dodgers would move to Los Angeles in 1957, and the Dodgers defeated the White Sox 9-3 in Game Six of the 1959 World Series to win the whole shebang, among many other things.
LHP Julio Urías (12-3, 3.63 ERA) goes for the visiting Dodgers. He’ll face RHP Logan Webb (4-3, 3.54 ERA) of the Giants.
Today in Dodgers’ history:
1918 In his major league debut, Robins (Dodgers) starter Harry Heitman, after giving up hits to four consecutive batters in a 22-7 loss to the Cardinals, is pulled from the Ebbets Field contest. The 21 year-old Brooklyn rookie right-hander will never hurl again in the big leagues, ending his career with an ERA of infinity.
1959 The Continental League is formally announced, with franchises located in Denver, Houston, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York City, and Toronto. The concept of the new major league is the brainchild of William Shea, an attorney who proposed the idea a year after the Giants and Dodgers left New York City to move to the West Coast.
1966 Sandy Koufax strikes out 16 Phillies and Jim Bunning whiffs 12 Dodgers in the first 11 innings of a pitching duel between future Hall of Famers at Chavez Ravine. With both starters out of the game, Los Angeles beats Philadelphia, 2-1, thanks to an unearned run scored in the bottom of the twelfth inning.
1998 Tony Womack of the Pirates establishes a new major league mark by not grounding out into a double play in 888 consecutive at-bats, breaking the record previously established by Dodger outfielder Pete Reiser in 1946.
2005 Ryan Freel becomes the first player in the Reds’ 136-year history to steal five bases in a game, including two in the ninth that moves him to third base, where he scores the eventual winning run on Felipe Lopez’s sacrifice fly. The Cincinnati second baseman’s thievery contributes to the team’s 7-6 victory over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. [Note: the Dodgers’ catcher was Jason Phillips, in his only season with the team.]
The visiting Giants send RHP Logan Webb (4-3, 3.54 ERA) to the Dodger Stadium mound to face the Dodgers’ LHP Julio Urías (12-3, 3.78 ERA). Urías’ 12 wins tie him for the Major League Lead with the Cubs’ Kyle Hendricks.
On this date in Dodgers’ history:
1930 Harvey Henrick’s ninth-inning three-run round-tripper off the bench gives the Dodgers a dramatic 9-8 come-from-behind victory over the Redbirds at Ebbets Field in the first game of a twin bill. Redbirds George Puccinelli and Jim Bottomley and Brooklyn’s Hal Lee also homer appearing as pinch-hitters in the game.
1956 In a 13-6 defeat to the Cubs, Dodgers’ shortstop Pee Wee Reese becomes one of five active players to collect 2000 hits, and teammate Junior Gilliam sets a major league record by handling 12 assists at second base.
1963 The usually mild-mannered Dodger manager Walter Alston is thrown out of both games of a doubleheader when the Braves sweep a twin bill from Los Angeles for the first and only time in Milwaukee, 7-2 and 13-7. To make matters worse, the manager has beer thrown in his face by a hometown fan as he leaves the second game. (My thanks to Lee for sharing this entry. He attended the game at County Stadium as a ten year-old. -LP)
2003 At Dodger Stadium, Vladimir Guerrero hit his 226th career home run, breaking Andre Dawson’s club record. The Expos’ right fielder hits his milestone round-tripper off Odalis Perez, a 454-foot blast over the left field wall.
The visitors send RHP Logan Webb (3-3, 4.09 ERA) to the Dodger Stadium mound to face the home team’s LHP Julio Urias (7-1, 3.03 ERA). Webb is coming off the IL where he’d been with a shoulder strain. Urias has gone 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in his last three stsrts.
1905 According to legend, Dodger hurler Elmer Stricklett introduces the spitball, helping Brooklyn to beat the Giants, 4-3. Prior to the 1921 season, the spitball will be totally banned, except for 17 existing spitballers who are allowed to keep throwing the slippery pitch legally until they are retired, including Burleigh Grimes, who will be the last player to legally throw a doctored pitch before retiring in 1934.
1928 At Ebbets Field, Bill Terry hits for the cycle to pace the Giants to a 12-5 victory over the Robins (Dodgers). The New York first baseman is the first player in major league history to include a grand slam as part of the cycle.
1956 In a 10-1 loss to the Dodgers at Forbes Field, Dale Long is held hitless by Don Newcombe, ending his consecutive-game home run streak. The Pirates’ first baseman had established a new major league mark by homering in the last eight Pittsburgh contests.
1979 At Dodger Stadium, Dusty Baker, Rick Sutcliffe, Steve Garvey, Gary Thomasson, Derrel Thomas, Joe Ferguson, and Davey Lopes set a team record by hitting seven home runs as the Dodgers crush the Reds, 17-6.
2000 At the age of 104, Fred Roberts, the oldest living Dodger fan, makes his first visit to Dodger Stadium. Wearing a jersey with the number 104, the World War I veteran cheers as Shawn Green’s sixth inning grand slam helps to beat Al Leiter and the Mets, 4-1.