1941 The Giants join the Dodgers and Senators in requiring their players wear protective headgear. The durable plastic liners, which are sewn into the hat, don’t provide a defense against defeats when the team drops both ends of a doubleheader to Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds, 5-4 and 4-3.
1957 After an 86-minute delay, the first fog out in major league history occurs at Ebbets Field when the umpires call off the Dodgers’ game against the Cubs due to extremely poor visibility. Brooklyn has a 1-0 lead when the game is postponed with one out in the bottom of the second inning.
1968 The day after Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy is assassinated in Los Angeles, Maury Wills refuses to play in a 4-2 loss to the Dodgers, his former team. The 35 year-old shortstop stays in the Chavez Ravine training room, reading RFK’s book, To Seek a New World.
1994 Mike Piazza hits the longest home run recorded in the history of Joe Robbie Stadium when his first career grand slam is estimated to travel 477 feet. The catcher’s Ruthian blast, one of four Dodger round-trippers during the Florida contest, isn’t enough to thwart the Marlins’ 11-10 come-from-behind victory.
2006 On the sixth day of the sixth month of the sixth year of the century, the Dodgers score six runs in the sixth inning during the sixth game of the homestand, beating the Mets, 8-5. On 05/05/05, the Twins scored five times in the fifth inning en route to a 9-0 victory over the Indians.
2007 At Petco Park, Trevor Hoffman becomes the first reliever to save 500 games. It takes the all-time saves leader 10 ninth inning pitches, including an 87 mph fastball thrown past Russell Martin for the final out, to reach the milestone in the Padres’ 5-3 victory over the Dodgers.
Another event of note: in 1944 Baseball canceled its scheduled eight-game slate due to the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day. The military operation has 60,000 Allied troops, including future Hall of Famer Yogi Berra and six minor leaguers who will be killed in action, landing along a heavily protected 50-mile stretch of the coastline in France to begin an offensive assault against Hitler and the Nazi party. Of less momentous note, in 2000, thanks to the Angels’ video crew playing a clip from the 1994 movie “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective” on the JumboTron, the Rally Monkey is born. With the words “Rally Monkey” superimposed over a monkey jumping up and down in the Jim Carrey movie, the crowd goes wild when Anaheim scores two runs in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Giants, 6-5.
1946 In Boston’s 10-8 victory over the Dodgers, Bama Rowell’s long drive hits the Bulova clock located above the right field scoreboard, making the left-fielder the first major leaguer to reach the famous landmark at Ebbets Field. The crushing four-bagger, that shatters the face of the clock causing glass to cascade onto Dodgers right fielder Dixie Walker, is believed to be the inspiration for author Bernard Malamud having Roy Hobbs, the hero of his 1952 novel “The Natural,” belt a similar home run, which also rains glass over the diamond.
1962 Frank Thomas strokes a double off Sandy Koufax in the Mets’ 13-6 loss to Los Angeles, extending his franchise mark of consecutive games with a hit to 18 for the expansion team. The streak, which will be only one shy of Maury Wills’ league-leading total for the season, is halted when the New York left fielder goes 0-for-4 in the nightcap of the Dodgers’ sweep at the Polo Grounds.
1986 In a 6-4 loss to the Dodgers at Three Rivers Stadium, future home run king Barry Bonds goes 0-for-5 in his major league debut. The Pirates center fielder, batting leadoff, strikes out three times.
In an amusing uniform requirement, in 2014 the Mets become the first team to have three players appear in a game whose last name begins with a lowercase letter d when Travis d’Arnaud, Jacob deGrom, and Matt den Dekker play in the Mets’ 6-5 walk-off loss to Philadelphia at Citizens Bank Park. After using an upside-down capital ‘P’ on d’Arnaud’s jersey, equipment manager Kevin Kierst asked Majestic, MLB’s uniform supplier, to make ‘small’ letters available, knowing there would be even more of a need this season.
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.
1956 The Orioles, taking a gamble, purchase sore-armed Billy Loes from the Dodgers for a reported $25,000. The 26 year-old right-hander, who will be selected for American League All-Star team next season, will post a 21-30 (.412) record during his four years with Baltimore.
1978 In a contest best remembered for Tommy Lasorda’s postgame rant, Dave Kingman hits three home runs, accounting for eight RBIs against the Dodgers in the Cubs’ 10-7 victory at Chavez Ravine. The third-year manager takes exception to radio reporter Paul Olden asking his opinion about the Chicago slugger’s performance, responding with an obscenity-laced tirade that has become legendary.
1981 With a 3-2 win over Montreal in front of the largest Dodger Stadium crowd in seven years, rookie sensation Fernando Valenzuela improves his record to 8-0. The 20 year-old southpaw, who has started the season with five shutouts and a minuscule ERA of 0.50, gets the victory when right fielder Pedro Guerrero hits a leadoff game-ending home run off Steve Ratzer in the bottom of the ninth inning at Chavez Ravine.
2011 For the first time since 1914, the Dodgers are defeated after allowing just one hit, losing to the visiting Diamondbacks,1-0. Chad Billingsley, the hard-luck loser, gives up a leadoff double in the second to Stephen Drew, who scores the game’s only run when shortstop Jamey Carroll fails to cover the bag in an attempted pick-off play.
1941 An Army-Navy Relief game between New York’s two National League teams raises over $60,000. Dolph Camilli’s homer is the difference in the Ebbets Field exhibition as the Dodgers edge the Giants, 7-6.
2012 Josh Hamilton becomes the 16th major leaguer to hit four home runs in one game when he blasts an 0-2 pitch over the Camden Yards centerfield fence in the eighth inning of the Rangers’ 10-3 victory over Baltimore. The Texas outfielder, who connected each time with a man on base, also hits a double to set the American League’s single-game record for total bases with 18, one shy of Shawn Green’s major league mark of 19 established in 2002 with the Dodgers.
The Phillies hand RHP Taijuan Walker (2-1, 4.97 ERA) the ball to start the series, while the Dodgers give theirs to RHP Tony Gonsolin (0-0, 0.00 ERA), who’ll be making just his second start of the season. He went 3 1/3 innings in his first.
1906 At Brooklyn’s Washington Park, Philadelphia southpaw John Lush strikes out 11 batters en route to throwing a 6-0 no-hitter against the Superbas, a team that will become known as the Dodgers in 1911. There will not be another no-hitter by a Phillies pitcher until Jim Bunning’s perfect game against the Mets in 1964.
1920 The longest game ever played ends after 26 innings in a 1-1 tie, with Brooklyn Robin right-hander Leon Cadore and the Braves hurler Joe Oeschger, also right-handed, both go the distance for their respective clubs. Boston third baseman Charlie Pick establishes the major league record for hitless at-bats in one game, going 0-for-11 in the marathon.
1965 Tommy Davis, trying to break up a double play, dislocates and breaks his ankle sliding into second base in the fourth inning of the team’s 4-2 victory over the Giants at Dodger Stadium. The two-time National League batting champ will not play again this year until he appears as a pinch-hitter in the season finale.
1972 Philadelphia starter Dick Selma goes the distance, three-hitting the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine, 2-1. The victory is the fifth consecutive complete-game thrown by a Phillies starter, with Steve Carlton, Woody Fryman, Barry Lersch, and Bill Champion each finishing their game without help from the bullpen in team’s previous four contests.
1974 Tom Seaver strikes out 16 Dodgers, giving up only three hits in twelve innings of work, but gets a no-decision when the Mets lose the Chavez Ravine contest in 14 innings, 2-1. Steve Garvey strokes a walk-off single to center field off Harry Parker, scoring Billy Buckner with the winning run.
2000 The Braves establish a franchise-record 14th straight victory, with a 2-1 win at Dodger Stadium. Quilvio Veras’ third-inning homer proves to be the difference.
2009 With two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, Duaner Sanchez walks Russell Martin, who checks his swing on a full count with the bases loaded, bringing home the winning run in L.A.’s 1-0 triumph over the Padres. The win keeps the Dodgers undefeated at home, extending their record at Chavez Ravine to 8-0 with their ‘walk-off’ victory.
2012 With the final payment received on the record $2.15-billion purchase price, Frank McCourt’s turbulent era of the Dodger ownership comes to an end. The team’s new ownership group, fronted by Magic Johnson and incoming club president Stan Kasten, includes Mark Walter, chief executive of the Chicago-based Guggenheim Financial, who arranged the financing and holds a controlling interest in the franchise.
Lineups when available.
Let's be real you guys only want to see tomorrow's lineup. #RingTheBell
2001 After two and a half years in the post, Kevin Malone resigns as the general manager of the Dodgers. Despite having the league’s largest payroll, Los Angeles has failed to make the playoffs during his tenure.
2008 Brad Penny’s 96-mph fastball is missed by Dodger batterymate Russell Martin and knocks out umpire Kerwin Danley. After the players are asked to leave the field, the home plate arbitrator, who lost consciousness briefly, is placed on a stretcher and leaves the Dodgers-Rockies game in an ambulance.
2008 “We can’t tell you to survive the storms of life, we can tell you to dance in the rain, and you can do it. You really can do it. Very difficult, but possible.” – VIN SCULLY, delivering the commencement address at Pepperdine University. (Take note of the graduates’ headgear.)
Vin Scully receives an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, the institution’s highest honor. The Dodgers’ Hall of Fame broadcaster delivers a stirring commencement address to the 2008 Class of Seaver College, telling the graduates that achieving dreams may be “very difficult, but possible”.
In terms of who plays where and when against Milwaukee, Gavin Lux will likely be paired up the middle with rookie infielder Miguel Vargas, who hasn’t been swinging due to a hairline fracture on his pinky finger, but he should play about five innings. David Peralta could be in the lineup as well. Aside from knowing that starter Michael Grove will be the starting pitcher on Saturday, there are still questions brewing, especially with lineup construction.
“I’ve thought about it, you know,” said Roberts, when asked about how much time he’s spent on lineup combinations. “It’s just trying to figure out, you know, Mookie [Betts] at the top, is it best? Where to put J.D., where to put Will Smith, where’s Max [Muncy]? I don’t think there’s a right answer. As we have conversations and let things play out, it’ll show itself a little more.”
How does the up-the-middle defense hold up?
The Dodgers will have a new starting shortstop, second baseman and center fielder. Lux moves to short, Vargas will start at second (not till next week when his hairline-fractured finger is fully healed), and center is still uncertain.
Can Syndergaard turn back the clock?
Can he get his velocity back, and will his command come with it?
Which young pitchers take the next step?
If there are no injuries the rotation on Opening Day will be Julio Urías, Clayton Kershaw, Tony Gonsolin, Dustin May and Syndergaard. After them? Ryan Pepiot, Michael Grove and Andre Jackson. According to observers, Pepiot has impressed early in camp, and Grove will start the Dodgers’ opener on Saturday.
Top prospects Gavin Stone and Bobby Miller will also be in the mix. Stone is the Dodgers’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year and is the more polished of the two pitchers. Miller, on the other hand, hits triple digits with ease, and scouts fall in love with his ability to spin the baseball.
“It’s going to be important,” Roberts said of the Dodgers’ young pitchers continuing to develop. “They have to take the next step because we expect more from them this year than we did last year.”