1963 April

1st  The Mets bring the Duke back to New York, purchasing Snider from the Dodgers for $40,000.

2ndThe Pirates steal young OF Manny Mota from the Colt 45’s, which had acquired him in December, sending Houston OF Howie Goss and cash. For 5 years, Mota will be a solid 4th outfielder for the Bucs and a pinch hitter extraordinaire.

7th  A public stock offering of 115,000 shares in the Milwaukee Braves is withdrawn after only 13,000 shares are sold to 1,600 new investors.

8th  With John F. Kennedy in attendance at the Opener in Washington D.C., young Steve Barber starts the season for the O’s against the Washington Senators. In the Nats lineup is Barber’s high school teammate, Tom Brown, who goes on to football fame. Jim Gentile and Boog Powell homer for the Birds, who win 3–1.

      The Tigers claim young pitcher Denny McLain from the White Sox for the $25,000 waiver price.

9th  In the Opener at Kansas City, Ralph Terry pitches a complete game 8–2 win for the Yankees. Led by Joe Pepitone’s two homers and a double, New York collects 13 hits. Elston Howard adds a homer off starter Diego Segui.

      Mays, McCovey, Cepeda and Felipe Alou all homer but the batting star is pitcher Jack Sanford with 3 RBIs in the Giants, 9-2 win over the Colt 45’s.

10th  The Yankees follow a 8–2 opening day victory yesterday with a 5–3 victory today at Kansas City.  The 45-degree weather takes its toll, as Yankee starter Bill Stafford leaves in the 7th inning with a twinge in his right arm, and will never be quite the same. Mantle homers but pulls a muscle in his last at bat, that he will re-injure on the 13th, sidelining him for 2 weeks.

      At Colt Stadium, Ed Bailey clubs an 8th inning pinch grand slam, off reliever Don McMahon, to give the Giants a come-from-behind 8-7 victory over the 45’s.

11th  Warren Spahn’s Opening Day, 6–1, victory over the Mets is his first win of the season and the 328th of his career. He thus moves ahead of yesteryear’s great Eddie Plank as the all-time winningest lefthander. Except for Duke Snider’s HR, no Met gets past 2B.

      Tom Cheney fires a one-hitter and Don Leppert belts three homers and drives in 5 runs as the Senators whitewash the Red Sox, 8-0.  Eddie Bressoud’s 4th inning single provides Boston with its only baserunner. Cheney strikes out 10 and walks none.

      Baltimore’s Milt Pappas spoils New York’s home opener, beating them, 4–1. The only Yankee score is a Mantle homer.

13th  After 11 hitless at bats, Cincinnati 2B Pete Rose records his first ML hit, a triple off Pittsburgh’s Bob Friend. Increased enforcement of the balk rule produces a ML record 7 in the Pirates’ 12–4 trouncing at Cincinnati. Friend is called for 4 balks.

      Red Sox rookie Dave Morehead shuts out the Senators, 3–0, in his first ML start.  He’s the first Red Sox pitcher to debut with a shutout since Boo Ferriss in 1945.

14th  Phillies reliever Jack Baldschun picks up both wins today as the Phils sweep a doubleheader from the Cards, 4–3 and 5–4. Baldschun pitches the 10th inning of the opener and another two innings of the nightcap.

16th  In a 13-inning, 11–10 loss at Minnesota, the Angels use 9 pitchers, tying the ML record for an extra-inning contest.

      At Busch, the Cardinals score 2 runs in the bottom of the 9thto beat the Pirates, 4-3. Duke Carmel hits a pinch homer and Curt Flood follows with a double, then scores on an error.  The win goes to reliever Harry Fanok, in his ML debut. Also in his ML debut is Phil Gagliano, who pinch runs for Sawatski. Gagliano is a Memphis high school teammate of Tim McCarver, who has 2 hits today.

17thJohnny Edwards has a grand slam and a sac fly to drive in all the runs in the Reds 5–0 victory over the Mets at Crosley Field. Jim O’Toole is the shutout victor over Carl Willey.

      At Candlestick, the Astros use a triple steal and a homer to edge the Giants, 2-1, in 13 innings. Jim Campbell’s homer caps the scoring and a triple steal–with Bob Aspromonte, Carroll Hardy following Howie Goss—starts it. Ken Johnson is the winner with 12 innings of 5-hit ball.

20thAt Comiskey, Dave Nicholson drives in 5 runs, 4 on a grand slam, as the White Sox hold off the Twins, 10-7. Frank Baumann is the winner in relief.

      At Fenway, the Tigers squander a 12-inning pitching performance by Jim Bunning and a 2-run lead in the 15th to lose to the Red Sox, 4-3, in 15 innings.  Ramon Mejias hits a 2-run double for the winning runs in the 15th and Dick Radatz, with a 7-inning relief effort, is the victor.

21st  Playing at Little Rock, C Rico Carty of the Toronto Maple Leafs (International League) hits two home runs in one at bat. With one on in the top of the second, the catcher’s first blast is nullified because it’s ruled time had been called—so 4 pitches later Carty hits a second shot over the fence.  The victimized pitcher is Ferguson Jenkins of the Little Rock Travellers, who loses the game, 5-1.

      At the Polo Grounds, the Mets sweep the Braves in 2 games, winning 8-5 and 9-2.  Jim Hickman clubs a grand slam in the Mets’ 5-run 8th inning in game 1, then he doubles and hits another 8th inning homer in game 2.  Charlie Neal his 2 hits and 3 RBIs in each game for New York.

      Cincinnati P Jim Owens sets a NL record as the first hurler in NL history charged with 3 balks in one inning (the 2nd) in a 7–0 loss at Los Angeles.

      The Senators acquire P Jim Coates from the Yankees in exchange for P Steve Hamilton. The Yanks sell P Hal Brown to Houston.

22nd  Not used to starting, Skip. At Connie Mack Stadium, Mets rookie Don Rowe makes his one career start and gives up 3 runs and 3 balks in 4+ innings, as the Mets lose to the Phillies, 8-6. His 3 balks won’t be matched by a Met until Mike Pelfrey in 2009. Jay Hook takes the loss in relief.

24th  At Tiger Stadium, Al Kaline hits a walk off homer, his 3rd hit of the game, in the 15th to give the Tigers a 4-3 win over the Angels.  LA’s little Albie Pearson is 1-for-2 with 5 walks.

26th  At D.C. Stadium, the Kansas City Athletics push across 2 runs in the 13th to top the Senators, 12-10. Wayne Causey and Ed Charles each have 4 hits for KC, including a homer. The win goes to Bill Fischer with 5 innings of relief.  Norm Bass pitches 4 innings for KC, allowing 4 runs in his final ML appearance. The Athletics will release Bass, his ML career over at 24 because of rheumatoid arthritis. Bass will make a one-game appearance as a defensive back with the Denver Broncos (AFL) but even with cortisone shots and aspirin regimen, he will be unable to compete. But at age 61, Bass will win a medal as a paralympic table tennis player.

      Behind Bob Bruce’s one-hitter, the 45’s down the visiting Reds, 2-0. Vada Pinson’s first inning single is the only hit for Cincy.

27th  Jump ball. Pro basketballers Gene Conley of the Celtics and Dave DeBusschere of the Knicks oppose each other as Red Sox and White Sox pitchers. Conley hurls 4+ innings for Boston, while DeBusschere relieves for two-thirds of the 4th inning for Chicago. Boston wins the tip-off at Fenway 9–5.

      At Washington, Dan Pfister pitches the Kansas City Athletics to a 7–3 win over the Senators. The Nats treat Pfister’s batterymate, Billy Bryan, like Babe Ruth, intentionally walking him 3 times, tying a ML record. Bryan hit .158 and .149 the past 2 seasons, and will improve to .169 this year.

      At Yankee Stadium, Clete Boyer hits an 8th inning grand slam to ice the 8-1 victory for the Yankees over the Indians. Ralph Terry (3-1) is the winner.

28th  Whitey Ford gives up 2 hits in 7 innings and hits his 3rd and last career homer as the Yankees down the Indians, 5-0. Hector Lopez has 3 hits and drives in 3 runs.