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LINEDRIVER
04-17-2006, 03:44 PM
April 17 Baseball History Picks from LINEDRIVER

APRIL 17, 1956...Cincinnati's Frank Robinson delivers in his first major league at-bat when he doubles off Cardinals' pitcher Vinegar Bend Mizell. The Reds lose on Opening Day at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, 4-2.

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APRIL 17, 1951...Nineteen year-old Yankees' outfielder Mickey Mantle goes 1-for-4 while playing in his first major league game. Mantle makes his debut as a right fielder against the Boston Red Sox in New York’s Yankee Stadium. New York 5, Boston 0.

APRIL 17, 1953...Multi-talented Mickey Mantle belts a mammoth 565-foot HR at Griffith Park in Washington, D.C. off Senators' left-hander Chuck Stobbs. Later in the game, the young Yankees' star bunts for a single. Yankees 7, Senators 3.

APRIL 17, 1955...Twenty-year-old outfielder Roberto Clemente makes his major league debut while playing against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Pittsburgh. Clemente hits a single in his first major league at-bat off Dodgers' pitcher Johnny Podres. Dodgers 10, Pirates 3.

APRIL 17, 1956…Twenty-four year-old Yankees' superstar Mickey Mantle belts a pair of 500-foot tape measure HR’s off Camilo Pascual of the Senators on Opening Day in Washington. President Dwight D. Eisenhower is in attendance as the Yankees win, 10-4.

APRIL 17, 1960...Twenty-nine year-old Braves' third baseman Eddie Mathews pounds a double, a triple, and his 300th career HR as the Milwaukee Braves beat ace pitcher Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies, 8-4.

APRIL 17, 1970...The Reds score 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th inning at Crosley Field to whip the Giants, 8-5. Hal McRae ties the score at 5-5 with a pinch-hit solo HR. Moments later, Tony Perez cracks a three-run HR to win the game.

APRIL 17, 1976...Phillies' third baseman Mike Schmidt leads the offensive charge with four consecutive homers as Philadelphia beats the Chicago Cubs, 18-16, in a wild and windy game at Wrigley Field.

APRIL 17, 1989...Cincinnati Reds' reliever Kent Tekulve pitches two innings of shutout ball and passes Hoyt Wilhelm as the all-time leader with 1,019 relief appearances. Reds 3, Dodgers 2.

Chip R
04-17-2006, 03:53 PM
http://news.cincypost.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060417/SPT05/604170316/1035/SPT

Golden anniversary for Robby
Reds debut came 50 years ago today

By Dan Connolly
Baltimore Sun

Today marks the 50-year anniversary of when a 20-year-old kid named Frank Robinson first dug into a major league batter's box.

Here's betting that a patch of old dirt in Cincinnati still feels young Robinson's cleat marks.

Almost to the day of his golden anniversary, Robinson, now the Washington Nationals manager, held court with reporters about the difference in mind-set between today's hitters and those of his era - especially when it comes to being hit by pitches.

Considered one of the most intimidating sluggers in baseball history, Robinson said he never felt he had to charge the mound once plunked. He got even his own way.

"You get up, you go to first base, you come back up and hit against the guy the next time and you do some damage with the bat," Robinson said. "Those days are over."

The other alternative was to make the opposing infielders pay with a clean hard slide on the base paths that taught a lesson through bruises.

"If I went to first base," Robinson said, "there was a bull's eye on the shortstop and a bull's eye on the second baseman."

He said he doesn't understand why hitters today feel that pitchers don't have the right to throw inside. He added that he'd never wear padded "body armor" at the plate.

When told by a TV reporter that players today rush the mound and start a brawl because they feel they have to defend their "manhood," especially on national television, Robinson flashed a trademark scowl and quipped: "Are you telling me I wasn't concerned about my manhood back then?"

With a laugh, the reporter respectfully rephrased the question.

So, yes, 50 years later Robinson can still intimidate.

Robinson, who singled and doubled in three at-bats against St. Louis pitcher Wilmer "Vinegar Bend" Mizell, wasn't the only future Hall of Famer to debut on April 17, 1956, which was Opening Day for all major league teams.

Also starting their careers that day were Chicago White Sox shortstop Luis Aparicio and Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale. According to the Baseball Hall of Fame, only 10 times in history have multiple Hall of Famers debuted on the same day. Robinson's is the only time in modern baseball history that three have debuted at once (it occurred three other times, from 1871 to 1882).

Robinson was the ninth-youngest player in the game in 1956. Three that were younger, Drysdale, Sandy Koufax and Bill Mazeroski, also are in the Hall of Fame.