This Day in
May 4 in Baseball History...
1943 - Baseball Commissioner
Ford Frick demonstrates the revised balata ball to reporters by bouncing
it on his office carpet. This ball will prove to be fifty percent
livelier than the 1942 model. When introduced in games on May 9, there
are six home runs hit in four doubleheaders compared with nine home runs
hit with the previous ball in the first 72 games.
Washington's Cecil Travis gets six straight hits before being stopped by
Cleveland's Steve Gromek. A prewar hitting star, Travis has few other
starring moments as a player after suffering frozen feet during combat
1966 - Willie Mays hits a NL record 512th HR, topping
the mark of another Giant, Mel Ott, as the Giants beat the Dodgers 6-1.
- The Giants beat the Astros 8-6 in the first game of a doubleheader at
Candlestick Park. In the second inning, Houston's Bob Watson scores
what is calculated as major league baseball's millionth run of all time.
Philadelphia National Wes Fisler scored the first run on April 22,
1980 - White Sox first baseman Mike Squires catches the
final inning of an 11-1 loss to the Brewers, becoming the first
left-hander to catch in the majors since Dale Long in 1958.
Yankees reliever Ron Davis strikes out the last eight batters of a 4-2
win over the Angels, tying Nolan Ryan's A.L. record for consecutive
strikeouts and setting a new record for consecutive strikeouts by a
1982 - Twins rookie outfielder Jim Eisenreich, who
suffers from the nervous disorder Tourette's Syndrome, is forced to
remove himself from a 5-3 loss to the Red Sox when he is taunted
mercilessly by bleacher fans and his violent twitching becomes
uncontrollable. Eisenreich, hitting .310 after making the jump from
Class A ball to the major leagues, will be hospitalized on May 9 and
will make several unsuccessful comeback attempts before retiring in
1984. He will return to the majors with the Royals in 1987 after finding
an effective treatment for the condition.
1996 - The Rangers
have a pair of one-hit wonders. Roger Pavlik one-hits the Tigers to make
the Rangers the first A.L. team to pitch back-to-back one-hitters since
the Washington Senators in 1917. Neither Pavlik nor his predecessor,
Ken Hill, issues a walk in the one-hitters.
1997 - Detroit
pitcher Willie Blair suffers a broken jaw when he is struck by a line
drive off the bat of Julio Franco. The 31-year-old Blair will bounce
back and double his previous career best with 16 wins.