4th More than 20 umpires picket the ML season opener at Cincinnati. The game goes ahead anyway on the newly installed Astroturf and the Giants beat the Reds 11–5. San Francisco scores 8 runs in the 2nd to knock out Tom Seaver. Vida Blue is the winner with Mike Ivie hitting the game’s only HR. Attendance is 52,115.
5th At Yankee Stadium, 52,719 see Milwaukee jump on Ron Guidry for 4 runs in the 6th inning and beat New York 5–1. It’s the most runs the Cy Young winner has allowed since 1977. The Yanks get singles from their first three hitters, but manage to score just one run in the first off Mike Caldwell.
6th The Astros beat the Braves, 2–1. Atlanta loses the services of Rookie of the Year 3B Bob Horner for the next 32 games due to an ankle injury.
At Baltimore, manager Earl Weaver wins his 1,000th game as a skipper, as the O’s open with a 5–3 win over the White Sox. Jim Palmer allows 3 hits to win. Rich Dauer, who ended the 1978 season by driving in a run in 10 straight games, adds another game to the streak with an infield out. Prior to the game, the O’s new mascot The Bird, a cartoon version of an Oriole, is ‘hatched’ from a giant egg on the field.
7th In the earliest no-hitter in ML history, the Astros Ken Forsch shuts downs the Braves 6–0. Together with Bob Forsch, who hurled a no-hitter in 1978, the brothers become the first to pitch no-hit games.
Pittsburgh trades pitcher Jerry Reuss to the Dodgers for pitcher Rick Rhoden.
Clemson defeats North Carolina State, 41–9, tying the NCAA record for scoring.
8th George Foster’s grand slam helps the Reds to come back as they beat the Giants, 7–6, in 10 innings.
10th The White Sox lose their season opener 10–2 to the Blue Jays. Huffman pitches 6 innings for the win in his ML debut. The Sox play is so pathetic that Chicago owner Bill Veeck offers every fan at the game free admission to the Sox’ next contest.
J.R. Richard throws a ML record 6 wild pitches in the Astrodome against the Dodgers, but strikes out 13 and wins 2–1.
Before their smallest opening day crowd in history—10,406—the Mets lose to Montreal, 3-2, in 14 innings on Andre Dawson’s RBI-triple. David Palmer pitches 3 shutout innings for the win, as Stan Bahnsen closes with a shutout frame.
12th In a barn burner at Milwaukee, the Red Sox outlast the Brewers to win, 12-10. Each team hits three homers, with Carl Yastrzemski connecting for a grand slam for Boston. Yaz has 4 hits and scores 4. Sixto Lezcano has a 3-rum homer and 4 RBI.
13th The visiting Braves edge the Dodgers, 2–1, as Rick Matula picks up his first major league win.
17th At Oakland, only 653 fans show up to watch the A’s beat the Mariners 6–5.
19th Following a 6–3 loss to the Orioles, Yankees Goose Gossage and Cliff Johnson brawl in the clubhouse. Gossage sustains a sprained ligament in his left thumb, and will be sidelined until July 12th. After the fight, Reggie Jackson predicts that Cliff Johnson’s days as a Yankee are numbered. He is proved correct when Johnson is traded to Cleveland on June 15th for Don Hood.
In Cincinnati, Tom Seaver allows jut 2 hits as the Reds beat the Braves, 2–0.
San Francisco starter Vide Blue (4-0) allows ten runs against the San Diego Padres but is still the winning pitcher in the 14-10 game. Nine of the runs are earned. Batterymate Marc Hill helps Blue with a 3-run homer off Mickey Lolich. The 10 runs allowed in a win is the most since Bob Friend allowed 10 runs, all earned, in 1954. The next to match it will be another Giants, Russ Ortiz, in 2000.
In the second Pearson Cup competition, the Blue Jays and visiting Expos play to a 4-4 tie n 11 innings.
24th Substitute umpires consult 28 minutes over a decision, change their minds twice, and finally issue a compromise decision. Both the Mets and the Giants play the game under protest; the Mets win 10–3.
25thIn a 4–1 Boston win, Butch Hobson of the Sox triples off a Seattle speaker in left. center. On June 5th, Willie Horton will get just a single with same thing
26th Against the Cubs, J.R. Richard homers in the 3rd and leaves the game after 5 innings with a back strain, but is the winner as Houston wins, 6–2. Lynn McGlothen is the starter and loser for Chicago.
27th For Seattle, Bob Stinson and Dan Meyer hit 8th inning pinch HRs, off Dick Tidrow, as the Mariners edge the Yankees, 6–5.
28th Eddie Murray hits his first career grand slam to give the Orioles a 6–4 win over the White Sox.
29thDown 5–0 to the Braves at Atlanta in the 9th, the Cubs load the bases with 2 out. Blackwell singles in 2, Biittner singles in one, and Bobby Murcer hits a 3-run homer for a 6–5 Chicago win.
30th In a Carolina League game, Alexandria’s Gary Pellant homers from each side of the plate in the same inning, leading a 20–7 assault over Salem.