LINEDRIVER'S April 20th Baseball History Picks
APRIL 20, 1967…Nineteen-year-old Reds’ starter Gary Nolan, making just his second big league start, fans twelve Dodgers while allowing just one run on eight hits at Dodger Stadium. Nolan loses his shutout in the bottom of the ninth-inning when Jim Hickman strokes a pinch-hit double to score Jim LeFebvre. Lefty Gerry Arrigo takes over for Nolan and throws four innings of shutout relief. The Reds score a pair of runs in the top of the thirteenth-inning off Ron Perranoski when Don Pavletich and Tommy Harper score on singles from Vada Pinson and Pete Rose. Final score, Reds 3, Dodgers 1. Win-Arrigo. Loss-Perranoski.
APRIL 20, 1974…The Cincinnati Reds give a spanking to the San Diego Padres with a Saturday afternoon 11-0 victory in Cincinnati. Reds’ lefty starter Don Gullett allows just three hits in eight innings before giving way to Clay Carroll. Left fielder Pete Rose bangs out four hits and scores three runs. Joe Morgan knocks in five runs with three hits and his first HR of the season. Tony Perez slams his fifth HR of this young season. Padres’ starter Steve Arlin is chased from the game in the second-inning after allowing the Reds five runs.
APRIL 20, 1975...Veteran Reds’ reliever Clay Carroll picks up the win for the second consecutive day after left fielder Pete Rose slams a 2-run HR with two outs in the bottom of the ninth-inning to beat the Astros, 5-3. Houston takes the second game of the doubleheader, 7-6.
APRIL 20, 1977…Veteran Dodgers’ pitcher Don Sutton limits the Reds to only one run as Los Angeles wins at Riverfront Stadium, 3-1. The Dodgers are off to a rousing start with a first place 9-2 record under new manager Tommy Lasorda. The Reds are now in sixth-place in the NL West with a 4-8 record. Cincinnati fans are anxiously waiting for slugger George Foster to hit his second homer of the season.
APRIL 20, 1938…Nineteen-year-old Iowa farmboy Bob Feller, now in his third major league season, allows only a sixth-inning bunt single to St. Louis Browns catcher Billy Sullivan in the Indians 9-0 win over the Browns in Cleveland. Sullivan apologizes after the game for bunting to spoil Feller’s no-hit bid. (This game will later prove to be the first of Feller’s twelve career one-hitters)
APRIL 20, 1939...The New York Yankees host the Boston Red Sox on Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. Twenty-year-old Red Sox rookie Ted Williams makes his major league debut. Williams whiffs in each of his first two at-bats before smacking a 400-foot double to right-center. New York’s legendary first baseman Lou Gehrig extends his consecutive games played streak to 2,123 games. (This is the only time that Gehrig and Williams played against each other in a major league game)
APRIL 20, 1967...Tom Seaver earns his first major league win as the New York Mets beat the Chicago Cubs at Shea Stadium, 6-1. The hard-throwing right-hander doesn’t walk a batter in his 7 2/3 innings of work.
APRIL 20, 1973…In a special election nearly four months after his death, Pittsburgh Pirates’ great Roberto Clemente is inducted into the Hall of Fame. Clemente amassed 3,000 hits, a .317 lifetime batting average, four batting titles and twelve consecutive Gold Gloves in a career that spanned from 1955-1972. Clemente died in a plane crash on December 31, 1972 while on a mercy flight to transport supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.