1962 April

1st  University of Detroit basketball star Dave DeBusschere, also a pitcher, signs with the Chicago White Sox.

2nd  The Twins trade P Pedro Ramos to Cleveland for 1B Vic Power and P Dick Stigman.

8th  Bob Sadowski hits three homeruns for the White Sox in an exhibition game against the Reds.

9th  President John F. Kennedy throws out the first ball to open the 1962 baseball season at new District of Columbia Stadium. Despite rain, a record Washington crowd of 42,143 shows up to see Bennie Daniels stop Detroit with a 5-hit, 4–1 win in the new park. This is a switch for Daniels, who had lost the last games played at both Ebbets Field, in 1957, and Griffith Stadium, last year.

10th  The Houston Colt 45s begin play before 25,271 fans at Colt Stadium, a temporary facility, adjacent to the land for the Astrodome. Roman Mejias hits two 3-run HRs, and Bobby Shantz pitches Houston to an 11–2 win over the Cubs.

      Dodger Stadium, the first ML arena privately financed since Yankee Stadium in 1922-23, opens in Chavez Ravine. With 52,564 fans on hand, the Dodgers inaugurate the $22 million facility with a 6–3 loss to the Reds. Wally Post hits the first homer in the new stadium, a 3-run shot over the CF fence in the 7th.

      Everything is friendly in the Pirates home opener as they stop the Phillies, 6-0. Bob Friend throws a 5-hit shutout and Roberto Clemente belts a grand slam.

      At Comiskey Park, the White Sox win their Opener, 2-1, edging the Angels.  Winning pitcher Juan Pizarro has 2 hits while batterymate Sherm Lollar has 4 hits and drives in the winning run in the 9th inning. Lollar also sets an AL record by recording 6 outs on foul flies. Ryne Duren takes the loss, the first of 4 the Sox will hand him this year.

      At Yankee Stadium, Mantle, Maris, and Skowron, the three Yankees who combined for 143 homers last season, hit Opening Day homers to lead New York to a come-from-behind 7–6 win over Baltimore. Moose’s is a 2-run shot to dead center that he legs out for an inside-the-park homer, while Mantle hits his in the 8th inning to tie the game, and Maris hits a 3-run shot in the 5th. Johnny Temple, in his first game for the O’s, has three hits, including a HR.  Starters Billy Hoeft and Whitey Ford are gone after six innings, and the win goes to Ralph Terry, while Skinny Brown takes the loss.

11th  Carroll Hardy breaks up a scoreless duel with a 12th inning grand slam for a 4–0 Boston victory over Cleveland.  This is first loss for Tribe’s manager Mel McGaha who started with a win yesterday. Bill Monbouquette is the complete game winner, allowing just 4 hits.

12th  Pete Richert of the Dodgers, in his ML debut, fans the first 6 batters he faces against the Reds, tying Karl Spooner’s record set on September 22, 1954 (as noted by Dave Smith). This includes 4 straight swinging strikeouts (a passed balls allows Coleman to reach 1B) in the 3rd inning. He wins in relief, of Stan Williams, lifted in the 2nd frame after allowing 4 runs. Richert sparkles, giving up no hits or walks and fanning 7 in 3 1⁄3 innings. While not noted, Richert undoubtedly holds the ML record for strikeouts to start his career.

      Jose Pagan has 3 hits and 4 RBIs to back Jack Sanford as the Giants double up the Braves, 8-4. Joe Adcock accounts for Milwaukee’s scores with a grand slam.

13th  Just 12,447 Mets’ fans welcome the return of NL baseball to New York. Sherman Jones drops a 4–3 decision to the Pirates at the Polo Grounds, which sparkles after a $350,000 face-lift.

      Stan Musial scores his 1,869th run—a new NL record. The Cardinals beat the Cubs 8–5 in 15 innings.

      In a 5–3 win against the Yankees, Tigers P Frank Lary pulls a muscle while running out a triple in the 7th and is forced to leave the game. The injury will subsequently create arm problems that will end his career. Lary will win just 2 games this after notching 23 wins in 1961.

16th  At Philadelphia, the Cards and Phillies each plate 6 runs in the first inning, but that’s all the scoring for the hosts. The Cards add 6 more to win, 12–6. Starters Cal McLish and Bob Gibson each last less than an inning. Ernie Broglio earns the win with 8 1/3 innings of shutout ball.

      Welcome to the bigs, kid.  The Dodgers outhit the Giants, but San Francisco wins, 19-8, as 8 players score 2 runs or more.  Harvey Kuenn scores 4 times. The 4th Dodger pitcher, Willard Hunter, making his ML debut, gives up 10 runs in 2 innings, but doesn’t take the loss.

      At Chicago, 42-year-old rookie Diomedes Olivo picks up his first ML win as the Pirates take their 5th straight, 6–5. For the Cubs it is their 6th straight loss.

      The Yankees release vet Robin Roberts, signed in October. The Orioles will sign Roberts on May 21st.

17th  The Cubs use 5 pitchers in the 8th inning of a 10–6 loss to Pittsburgh, tying an NL mark. Rookie Ken Hubbs is 5-for-5.

      White Sox pitcher Joel Horlen scatters 7 hits in beating the host Twins, 8-0, for his first win of the year.  Floyd Robinson provides the offense with 7 RBIs on a single, two doubles and a homer.

18th  At Crosley Field, the Reds roll over the Dodgers, 14–0. Jim O’Toole tosses a 4-hitter for the win, while Joe Moeller, making his first ML start is kayoed in the 2nd.  Vada Pinson has 5 RBIs.

      The Orioles Milt Pappas, who had an emergency appendectomy during spring training, allows two hits through six innings before being relieved by Hoyt Wilhelm, who combines on a 1-0 win.  The only score comes when Pappas hits a homer in the 5th inning off the Yankees’ Bill Stafford.  

19th  Mantle’s homer in the 4th, off Chuck Estrada, starts the Yanks to a 3–1 win over the Orioles. Mantle has 2 runs, 2 walks and a triple to go along with the HR.

      After the first four White Sox batters single, Twins starter Jim Kaat exits, but the Sox pile on for 9 runs in the 1st inning and win, 10-3. Leadoff batter Jim Landis hits a grand slam in the opening frame to make it easy for pitcher John Buzhardt.

      At Fenway, Lu Clinton blasts a grand slam off former Bosox Jerry Casale and then adds a triple as the Red Sox pound the Tigers, 9-5.

      The Pirates win their 9th straight, beating the Phils, 8–3.  This is a new club record, breaking the mark at the beginning of the 1938 season. Clemente’s 2-run single and Maz’s 2-run homer are the big blows.

21st  In a Carolina League game, future Red Sox Jim Gosger of Winston-Salem totals 10 RBIs.

22nd  The Pirates win their 10th straight game, edging the Mets 4–3, and matching the 20th century ML record to start a season, while the Mets tie a NL record by opening 0–9.

      The Cubs, 1–9 before today, hand the Cards their first defeats of the year, sweeping the Birds, 11–5 and 5–1. Banks hits a 3-run HR to start the scoring in the opener.

23rd  Jay Hook gives the New York Mets their first regular-season victory, a 5-hit 9–1 win at Pittsburgh.  Pittsburgh is now 10–1 for the season, but will lose 13 of its next 17 games.

24th  Sandy Koufax ties the modern ML record he shares with Bob Feller by fanning 18 Cubs in 9 innings. The Dodgers win 10–2.

      Reds rookie Sammy Ellis wins his first ML game, beating the Mets, 7–3.  Ellis goes 6 innings and allows just one hit, but walks 11 and is replaced by Moe Drabowsky.

      Mets manager Casey Stengel is fined $500 by Commissioner Ford Frick for allowing his picture to appear in a beer ad.

      Warren Spahn pitches Milwaukee to a 2–1 win over the Phillies. For Spahn it is his 11th straight win over Philadelphia, breaking his own Braves team record stretching back to May 13, 1959.

      In a South Atlantic League game at Macon, the Peaches beat Greenville, 32–5. Peaches 2B Pete Rose is 6-for-8 with a home run, triple and 6 RBIs. Seven Spinner pitchers walked 19 batters, as the Peaches batted around 4 times.

25th Chiti traded for himself. Cleveland sends C Harry Chiti to the Mets for a player to be named later.  On June 15, the Mets will sell Chiti back to Cleveland.

      At Colt Stadium, Houston and St. Louis battle to a 17-inning 5-5 tie in a game halted by curfew. The time of the game is 5 hours and 13 minutes, setting a record for a night game.

27th  At D.C. Stadium, the Yankees score 7 runs in the 4th inning and beat the Senators, 10-8.  Elston Howard has a 2 run homer in the 4th and Clete Boyer clubs a grand slam. Pete Burnside gives up 7 runs in 3+ innings to take the loss.

28th  Consecutive HRs by Frank Thomas, Charlie Neal, and Gil Hodges in the 6th inning are among a club-record 5 hit by the Mets against Philadelphia. Neal adds a 2nd homer as the Mets win 8–6 at the Polo Grounds. For Thomas, it is the fifth time in 8 years he has combined with teammates for three consecutive HRs. The Phils belt 4 homers of their own, two by Don Demeter, as the two teams come up a homer short of the NL mark of 10 (May 11, 1923; Aug 11, 1947). That will be topped this decade.

      Don Mincher has a pinch homer in the 2nd for Minnesota, stays in the game and belts a game-tying 7th inning grand slam. But the Indians push across a run in the bottom of the 7th and beat the Twins, 8-7. Mincher is just the 8th player to hit a pinch homer + another in the same game.

      Willie Mays cracks a grand slam, off Al Lary, in the Giants 6-run 2nd inning, and Juan Marichal coasts to an 11-2 win over the visiting Cubs.

29th  The Twins tie a ML record with 6 solo homers against the Indians in the 2nd game of a Minnesota sweep. The Indians add a solo homer to set a ML record, since tied, of 7 solo homers in a game. The Twins down the Indians 8–4 and 7–3.

      At Kansas City, Orioles’ starter Milt Pappas hits his 2nd homer of the season, but is not around to get the decision, an 8-3 Orioles win over the Royals.  The Birds plate 6 runs in the 7th, as pinchhitter Russ Snyder hits a homer and a single. Jim Gentile, who homered in the 6th, adds a 3-run four-bagger in the frame.

      At Tiger Stadium, Dean Chance is knocked out of the box early as the Tigers roll to a 13-6 win over the Angels.  Dick Brown and Jake Wood each drive in 3 runs. Albie Pearson has 3 doubles for LA, giving him 6 extra base hits in 3 games.

      The Yankees sweep a pair from the Senators, winning 3-2 and 11-6. Whitey Ford (2-0) allows two solo homers in the opener but drives in the third New York run with a sac fly. In game 2, Roger Maris has three doubles and a 3-run homer to pace New York. Bobby Richardson has 3 hits and 3 RBIs and Clete Boyer and Bill Skowron homer.  Harry Bright and Johnny Schaive, who both homered in game 1, do so in game 2.

      In the Mets’ 7-run 4th inning, Frank Thomas is twice hit by pitches, from Art Mahaffey and Frank Sullivan of the Phils. Two plunks in an inning is the ML record set in April 1959 by Reds pitcher Willard Schmidt. Brady Anderson will also join this club. The Mets win 8–0, then lose the 2nd game 10–2.

      Billy Pierce and Jack Sanford each toss 3-hitters as the Giants twice shut out the Cubs, 7-0 and 6-0.

30th  The Phils finally beat Warren Spahn, 6–4, after losing to the Braves lefty 11 games in a row.

      The Braves trade Bob Buhl to the Cubs for P Jack Curtis. Buhl, coming off his first losing season since 1954, will be a solid starter over the next 4 years for the Cubs, winning 51 games. He also establish a ML mark as a batter going 0-for the season, going to the plate 70 times without a hit.