1987 April

1st  After testing positive for cocaine during spring training, Mets ace Dwight Gooden avoids suspension by agreeing to enter a drug rehabilitation program.

      St. Louis sends highly regarded youngsters OF Andy Van Slyke, C Mike LaValliere, and P Mike Dunne to Pittsburgh in exchange for All-Star catcher Tony Pena.

3rd  The Cubs trade veteran pitcher Dennis Eckersley (6-11) and minor leaguer Dan Rohn to the A’s for 3 minor leaguers. Eckersley made his only relief appearance of the year on June 24th, and his first out of the bullpen after 301 starts.  For the A’s, Eckersley will perform brilliantly as a full-time reliever.

      At Tiger Stadium, Jack Morris makes his 8th straight start for Detroit and is booed by the 51,315 for his attempts to leave the Tigers over the winter.  The Yankees and Tigers each score one run in 9 innings before New York scores in the 10th to beat Morris, 2–1.  Dave Righetti, in relief of Dennis Rasmussen, is the winner. Rasmussen is touched for one run, a tremendous shot by Larry Herndon in the 6th that lands in the upper-deck of the CF bleachers, one of the longest homers ever recorded in Detroit. The CF wall is 440 feet.

6th  Appearing on ABC’s “Nightline” to discuss Jackie Robinson’s 40th anniversary, Dodger GM Al Campanis is asked whether “there is still that much prejudice in baseball today.” Campanis responds, “ I don’t believe it’s prejudice. I truly believe that [blacks] may not have some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager or perhaps a general manager.” Goodbye, Al.

7th  Atlanta’s Rick Mahler ties the NL record with his third Opening Day shutout, a 6–0 three-hitter over the Phillies.

8th  Faced with a storm of public criticism, the Dodgers fire vice president Al Campanis for racially insensitive remarks he made on the April 6th telecast of ABC-TV’s Nightline news show. Campanis had said that blacks may lack “some of the necessities to be, let’s say, a field manager or general manager.”

9th  Gary Carter drives in his 1,000th career run with an 8th-inning single that scores Len Dykstra as the Mets defeat Pittsburgh 4–2.

      At Exhibition Stadium, Cory Snyder hits the first of 4 Cleveland homers, a grand slam in the 6-run 1st inning, as the Tribe rolls to a 14-3 win over Toronto. Phil Niekro (1-0) pitches 5 innings for his 312th win and Steve Carlton throws 4 innings of scoreless relief. It is the first time two 300-game winners have pitched in the same game as teammates.

      In a slugfest at County Stadium, the Brewers edge the Red Sox, 12-11.  The two teams combine for 7 homers, including a pair of three-run homers by Rob Deer.

12th Atlanta’s Dion James gets a double the hard way when he knocks a fly ball to Mets CF Kevin McReynolds. On its way down the ball hits and kills a pigeon. Atlanta wins the game as well, 12-4, over the Mets, helped by 2 homers and a double from Dale Murphy.

13th  San Diego sets a since-tied ML record when its first 3 batters of the game—Marvell Wynne, Tony Gwynn, and John Kruk—all homer off the Giants Roger Mason. But the Giants come back to win 13–6, as Robby Thompson has 3 hits, including a grand slam, and drives in 5 runs.  The three homers to lead off will be matched in 2003.

      Free-agent 3B Bob Horner, unable to find a ML club interested in his services, signs a one-year contract with Japan’s Yakult Swallows.

14th  At Royals Stadium, Bo Jackson has 4 hits, including a 3-run homer and a grand slam, to lead the Royals to a 10-1 pasting of the Detroit Tigers.

      At Yankee Stadium, Rickey Henderson hits a leadoff homer off Phil Niekro and Joel Skinner adds a grand slam off Steve Carlton as the Yankees beat the Indians, 10-6. Joe Carter has 4 hits, including a homer, and 4 RBIs for the Tribe.

15th  Twenty-two-year-old Juan Nieves throws the first no-hitter in Brewers history 7–0 at Baltimore, and Milwaukee runs its record to 9-0.

      Kirk McCaskill allows 4 hits in pitching a shutout over Seattle, 4-0. For the 2nd game in a row, Brian Downing hits a leadoff homer for all the runs Kirk needs.

      At Los Angeles, Mike Scott dominants the Dodgers, striking out 10 and allowing one hit, a single by Mariano Duncan, as Houston beats the Dodgers, 4-0.

      Boston scores an unearned run in the 2nd and 4 more in the 6th on a grand slam by Dwight Evans to edge the Rangers, 5-4. Bruce Hurst (2-0) pitches 6 innings and Wes Gardner throws 3 scoreless innings, striking out 7.

17th  At Riverfront, Kurt Stillwell gives the Reds the lead with his first ML homer, a 6th inning a grand slam, as the Reds edge the Astros, 9-8. Dave Parker adds a 3-run homer for Cincinnati.

18th  Mike Schmidt hits his 500th career home run, a 3-run shot off Pittsburgh’s Don Robinson in the top of the 9th inning to give the Phillies an 8–6 win. Schmidt is the 15th ML player to reach the 500-HR plateau.

      In a wild game in St. Louis, the Cards come back from a one-run deficit in the 9th to tie at 7-7 on Ozzie Smith’s steal of 3B and score on a wild throw by the Mets’ Carter. The Mets score in the 10th on a wild pitch to move ahead 8-7. Jesse Orosco, who gave up the unearned run in the 9th, gives up three singles to knot the score at 8 apiece. With the sacks full, Jesse serves Tommy Herr a game-winning grand slam for St. Louis. Herr finishes with 6 RBI. Howard Johnson has a 3-run homer and 4 RBI for the Mets.

      In Oakland’s 7–5 win over Seattle, Reggie Jackson steals home on the front end of a double steal with Jose Canseco.

      The Brewers tie the AL record for wins to start the season when they beat Texas for the fifth time this year. Milwaukee is now 11–0.

19th  Rob Deer’s 3-run homer and Dale Sveum’s 2–run shot off Greg Harris caps a 5-run rally in the bottom of the 9th inning and gives the Brewers a 6–4 win over Texas and a 12-0 record, breaking the 1981 A’s record for the best start in AL history.

      Cardinals ace John Tudor suffers a broken leg when Mets catcher Barry Lyons crashes into the St. Louis dugout while chasing a foul pop. Tudor, who was not pitching in the 4–2 Cardinals win, will be sidelined until August 1st.

      The Yankees shut out the Royals twice, winning 5-0 and 1-0. Charles Hudson is victorious in game 1, while Pat Clements is a winner over Mark Gubicza. Tommy John goes 7 innings in the nightcap. 

20th  At Anaheim, Oakland doubles the Angels, 10-5, when Tony Phillips clubs a grand slam in the top of the 9th.

21st  The White Sox beat the Brewers 7–1, ending their season-opening winning streak at 13 games. Milwaukee’s 13-0 start tied the ML record set by the 1982 Braves.

In Pittsburgh, the Mets score 2 runs in the 9th before pinchhitter Wally Backman hits into a triple play, as New York wins, 8-6. Rafael Santana and Barry Bonds each hit three-run homers.

22nd  At Busch, the Cubs score 5 runs in the 7th to beat the Cardinals, 5-4. Andre Dawson belts a grand slam for Chicago.

25th  At the Astrodome, the Reds score 3 unearned runs in the 10th to defeat the Astros, 3-0. Houston has just 2 hits off 3 Reds pitchers.  Nolan Ryan strikes out 11 in 8 innings and Eric Davis is 0-for-5 with 5 K’s, 4 against Ryan.

      The Tigers use 18 hits, including 4 homers, to drive by the Royals, 13-2.  Rookie Billy Bean ties an AL mark by collecting 4 hits, including 2 doubles, in his first ML game.

26th  With Lance Parrish connecting for a grand slam off Rick Reuschel, the Phillies score 6 runs in the 1st inning and beat the Pirates, 6-4.

27th  Boston’s Don Baylor collects his 2,000th ML hit, a single off Curt Young in a 5–2 loss to the A’s.

28th  Mike Boddicker pitches a one-hitter as Baltimore beats the Royals, 3–0. The lone hit is Willie Wilson’s single in the 6th.  It is Boddicker’s second career one-hitter.

29th  Andre Dawson goes 5-for-5 while hitting for the cycle to lead the Cubs to an 8–4 win over the Giants at Wrigley Field.

30th  Reggie Jackson hits his 522nd home run and Oakland beats the Brewers, 4–1. The loss gives Milwaukee an 18-3 record for the month, just behind the April record of 18-2 by the 1984 Tigers.

      Matt Nokes hits a grand slam in the 6th inning and Detroit scores 8 runs in the last 3 frames to pull away from the Angels with a 12-4 win.