Today in baseball history:
- 1876 - In the first National League game ever played, Joe Borden of Boston beat the hometown Philadelphia 5-4. (2)
John Zinn (SABR) writes it up.
- 1898 - Ted Breitenstein of the Cincinnati Reds and James (Jay) Hughes of Baltimore each pitched no-hit ball games. Breitenstein no-hit the Pittsburgh Pirates 11-0 and Hughes no-hit the Boston Braves 8-0. (2)
Breitenstein was called “the greatest left-handed pitcher in America,” by Alfred H. Spink, the founder of The Sporting News. Wee Willie Keeler said “Breitenstein is one of the few left-handers who can locate the plate when he wants to, and in addition to this he has terrific speed, sharp curves, and there is not a pitcher in the league that fields his position better.”
Breitenstein was credited with 43 percent of the St. Louis Browns’ victories from 1893 to 1896. In 21 seasons of professional baseball from 1891 to 1911, the durable southpaw won more than 325 games. (4)
- 1903 - The Highlanders, previously called the Orioles before their recent move from Baltimore, win their first game representing New York. Spitballer Harry Howell goes the distance, throwing a two-hitter to get the win when the team that will become known as the Yankees beats Washington at American League Park, 7-2. (1)
Hall-of-Famers Willie Keeler, Jack Chesbro, and Clark Griffith were on that 1903 Highlanders team, which went 72-62 that year. They played in Hilltop Park, along 168th St., Fort Washington Ave, and 165th St. in Washington Heights of Manhattan. The Giants played there in 1912 after the Polo Grounds burned.
More about Hilltop Park from SABR.
- 1906 - A new rule puts the umpire in sole charge of all game balls. The home team manager previously had some say as to when a new ball was introduced. (2)
More about this in a good read from SABR.
- 1924 - On WMAQ, Hal Totten, a Chicago Daily News play-by-play reporter, does a play-by-play radio report of the 12-1 Cubs’ victory over the Cardinals. It will be the first broadcast of every Cub and White Sox home game of the season, marking the first time a team’s games have been on the airwaves on a regular basis. (1)
- 1964 - At Colt Stadium, Ken Johnson becomes the first pitcher to lose a nine inning no-hitter when the Reds beat the Colt .45’s, 1-0. Pete Rose, who, attempting to bunt, reaches second on a throwing error by the pitcher, scores the game’s lone run in the top of the ninth inning when Nellie Fox boots Vada Pinson’s two-out ground ball to second base. (1)
- 1990 - White Sox utility player Steve Lyons plays all nine positions during an exhibition game against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. ‘Psycho’, however, will not join the small list of players, that includes Bert Campaneris (1965 A’s) and Cesar Tovar (1968 Twins), who have accomplished the feat in a major league game. (1)
- 1999 - Fernando Tatis becomes the only player in major league history to hit two grand slams in the same game in one inning. The Cardinal third baseman hits both off Dodger starter Chan Ho Park in an 11-run third, setting the major league mark. The third baseman’s eight RBIs in one inning also breaks the old record of six. (1)
- 2008 - The Cubs become the second franchise in major league history to win 10,000 games, beating the Rockies in a ten-inning contest at Coors Field, 7-6. (1)
- Cubs birthdays: Joe Kelly, Ray Starr, Dolph Camilli, Carlos Silva, Emilio Bonifacio. Notable: Jim Bottomley (HoF), Warren Spahn (HoF).
- (1) — The National Pastime.
- (2) — Today in Baseball History.
- (3) — Baseball Reference.
- (4) — SABR.