TODAY IN BASEBALL courtesy of National Pastime
1947 – A year before President Truman desegregated the military, Jackie Robinson debuts for the Dodgers, becoming the first black player to participate in a major league game this century. In front of 25,623 Ebbets Field fans, the 28 year-old first baseman is hitless in three at-bats, but scores a run in the 5-3 Opening Day victory over the Braves.
1959 – Cardinals right-hander Bob Gibson makes his major league debut at LA Memorial Coliseum, tossing the final two innings in the 5-0 loss to the Dodgers. The 23 year-old rookie becomes the first future Hall of Fame hurler to give up a home run to the first batter he faces in the major leagues when third baseman Jim Baxes takes him deep in the seventh inning.
1972 – On Opening Day in Oakland, A’s outfielder Reggie Jackson becomes the first player in fifty-eight years to wear a mustache during the regular season. The last time facial hair was worn in a major league game was in 1914 when Wally Schang had hair above his lip catching for Philadelphia Athletics.
And finally…in 2000, in the 2,800th game of his career, Orioles infielder Cal Ripken lines a base hit to center off the Twins’ Hector Carrasco to become the 24th major leaguer to reach the 3000th hit milestone. The single also makes the ‘Iron Man’ only the seventh player to get 3000 hits and 400 home runs in major league history.
PLAYERS BORN TODAY
Willie Davis (1940), Ted Sizemore (1945), Jeromy Burnitz (1969), Milton Bradley (1978) and John Danks (1985)