TODAY IN BASEBALL courtesy of National Pastime
1954 – Willie Mays, who missed nearly two seasons due to military service, homers in his first game back, a sixth-inning blast off Carl Eskine that will prove to be the difference in the Giants’ 4-3 Opening Day victory over Brooklyn. The 22 year-old center fielder’s prodigious poke may have traveled over 600 feet if it had not been impeded by the upper left-field stands at the Polo Grounds.
1963 – Reds’ second baseman Pete Rose triples off Pirates’ pitcher Bob Friend to collect his first Major League hit. The future all-time hit leader had gone hitless in his first eleven at bats.
1984 – On the same date he got his first Major League hit 21-years earlier, Pete Rose, as a member of the Expos, doubles off Phillies hurler Jerry Koosman for his 4000th hit, becoming the first player in the National League to reach the milestone. Montreal beats Philadelphia in the Friday the 13th contest at Olympic Stadium, 5-1.
And finally…in 1993, by getting his 358th save when the Cardinals beat the Dodgers, 9-7, Lee Smith passes Jeff Reardon to become the all-time career saves leader.
PLAYERS BORN TODAY
Herman Long (1866), Oscar Grimes (1915), Mark Leiter (1963), Hunter Pence (1983) and Lorenzo Cain (1986)