APRIL 15th in BASEBALL HISTORY
APRIL 15, 1967 … Eighteen-year-old Reds’ starting pitcher Gary Nolan makes his major league debut and strikes out Houston’s Sonny Jackson, Jim Landis, and Jimmy Wynn in the first-inning at Cincinnati’s Crosley Field. Reds’ rightfielder Tommy Harper opens the bottom of the first-inning with a HR off Chris Zachary. Reds’ thirdbaseman Deron Johnson contributes to the day’s offense with a pair of solo homers. Veteran reliever Ted Abernathy picks up his third save of the season after replacing a tired Nolan in the eighth-inning. Cincinnati 7, Houston 3.
Longtime Crosley Field goers are making the needed adjustment in accepting longtime Braves’ third baseman Eddie Mathews as a Houston Astros’ firstbaseman. The 35-year-old Mathews, playing in just his fifth game as an Astro, slugged 493 HR’s in 15 seasons while anchoring the Braves' hot corner from 1952-1966. Mathews and Henry Aaron blasted a total of 863 HR’s as teammates from 1954-1966, surpassing the old teammate record of 859 set by a couple of guys named Ruth and Gehrig.
---Other April 15 Baseball History Picks---
APRIL 15, 1918 … Twenty-two-year-old Red Sox’ lefty pitcher Babe Ruth, the winner of 65 regular season games over the past three seasons, throws a four-hitter against the Philadelphia A’s on Opening Day in Boston’s Fenway Park. Boston 7, Philadelphia 1.
APRIL 15, 1969 … The Reds and Giants battle for 12 innings before the Reds win, 11–10. The game is tied at 5–5 at the end of eight innings. Each team scores three in the 9th and two runs in the 10th. Johnny Bench’s bases-loaded single off Gaylord Perry ends it in the 12th.
APRIL 15, 1993 … The Detroit Tigers defeat the Oakland A’s, 3-2, allowing manager Sparky Anderson to pick up his 2,000th career victory. Only six managers in MLB history have won more games.
APRIL 15, 2000 … The Orioles defeat the Twins, 6-4, as Cal Ripken, Jr. gets the 3,000th hit of his illustrious career. Ripken goes 3-for-5 in becoming the 24th player to reach the milestone, and the 7th to get 3,000 hits and 400 HR's.