The Best Moments in Baseball History for Each Day in April

We take you through the entire month of April and break down all the best moments in Major League Baseball history on each day.

MIAMI, FL - APRIL 03: Luis Arráez #3 of the Miami Marlins meets with Pablo Lopez #49 of the Minnesota Twins prior to the game at loanDepot park on April 3, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jasen Vinlove/Miami Marlins/Getty Images)

Baseball would not have the same feel without it’s long history. We are here today to help keep that history alive by highlighting key events from each day in the month of April.

April 1

  • 1970: Bud Selig buys the Seattle Pilots (64-98 in their one season) for $10.8 million and moves them to Milwaukee. He immediately changed their name to the Brewers.
  • 1972: The first strike in league history starts, lasting 13 days in total. This strike led to salary arbitration being added to the CBA.
  • 2018: Shohei Ohtani makes his pitching debut going six innings with six strikeouts and three earned runs.

April 2

  • 1931: Jackie Mitchell strikes out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition game in Chattanooga, TN. The 17 year-old girl had a story for the rest of her life.
  • 1996: Renovation cause the Athletics to open their season in Las Vegas, losing 9-6 to the Blue Jays in front of less than 8,000 fans. Perhaps foreshadowing.
  • 2001: For the first time in regular season history, a Japanese position player debuts in the majors. Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki collects the first two of his 3,089 career hits.

April 3

  • 1987: The Cubs trade Dennis Eckersley to the Athletics for three prospects. Eckersley would go on to save 320 games in an A’s uniform, win a World Series, and experience the success that eventually put him in the Hall of Fame.

April 4

  • 1911: Car maker Hugh Chalmers introduces the concept of the MVP to baseball. Selected by the baseball writers, the winner would be awarded a new car.
  • 1974: Hank Aaron hits a home run off Jack Billingham, his 714th of his career tying him with Babe Ruth for the most in baseball’s history.
  • 2001: Hideo Nomo throws a no-hitter in his Red Sox debut, the second No-no of his career. He becomes the fourth pitcher to have a no-hitter in both the American and National League joining Jim Bunning, Nolan Ryan, and Cy Young.
  • 2003: Sammy Sosa hits his 500th career home run off Reds pitcher Scott Sullivan.

April 6

  • 1973: The Pirates retire Roberto Clemente’s #21.
  • 1992: The Orioles play their first game at Camden Yards. President Bush was in attendance for the O’s 2-0 defeat of Cleveland.
  • 2005: Washington’s Brad Wilkerson hits for a cycle securing the Nationals first victory since moving to D.C.

April 8

  • 1969: Four expansion teams debut: Royals, Pilots, Expos, and Padres. Each win their first game.
  • 1974: Hank Aaron homers off Dodgers pitcher Al Downing breaking Babe Ruth’s record of 714 home runs.
  • 1975: Frank Robinson makes his debut as a manager, the first African-American to manage a Major League game.

April 9

  • 1912: The first game at Fenway Park takes place as the Red Sox beat Harvard in an exhibition game played in the snow.

April 10

  • 1947: Jackie Robinson becomes the first African-American player to sign a major league contract.
  • 2000: On his Dad’s birthday, Ken Griffey Jr. hits his 400th career home run. At 30 years and 141 days, Jr. is the youngest to reach 400 home runs.

April 11

  • 1996: Braves pitcher Greg Maddux ends a major league record for consecutive road wins with a loss to the Padres. Maddux went 20-straight road starts without a loss, 18-0 with a 0.99 ERA.
  • 2023: Luis Arraez becomes the first Marlins player to hit for the cycle.

April 13

  • 1954: Hank Aaron makes his debut at 20 years old playing left field for the Brewers.
  • 1963: Pete Rose collects his first of 4,256 Major League hits. On the same date in 1984, playing for the Expos, Rose collects hit 4,000.

April 14

  • 1910: President William Howard Taft becomes the first president to throw out a first pitch.
  • 1969: The Montreal Expos host their first game making it the first MLB game played in Canada.

April 15

  • 1947: Jackie Robinson makes his historic debut. On the same day in 2009, baseball players across the league wear the number 42. A tradition that has continued through today.
  • 2018: Bartolo Colon, at 44 years old, tosses seven perfect innings. Truly the ageless wonder.

April 16

  • WGN televises the first Major League baseball game. White Sox beat the Cubs 4-1.

April 17

  • 1869: The first professional baseball game is played. The Cincinnati Red Stockings beat the Cincinnati Amateurs 24-15.
  • 1947: Jackie Robinson collects his first career hit, a bunt single.
  • 1955: Roberto Clemente debuts for the Pirates at 20 years old.

April 18

  • 1950: The first Opening Night game is held in St. Louis. Stan Musial homers as the Cardinals beat the Pirates 4-2.

April 20

  • 2006: Julio Franco, 47 years and 240 days, becomes the oldest player in major league history to hit a home run. Franco played 23 seasons in the league hitting a total of 173 home runs.

April 22

  • 1914: Babe Ruth makes his pitching debut – a six-hit shutout.
  • 1915: The iconic pinstripes first appear on the Yankees uniform.
  • 2014: Albert Pujols hits his 500th career home run. He would go on to finish his career with 703.

April 23

  • 1939: Boston rookie Ted Williams hits his first career home run.
  • 1999: Fernando Tatis (Sr.) becomes the first player to hit two grand slams in one inning, both coming off Chan Ho Park.
  • 2022: Miguel Cabrera collects hit number 3,000.

April 26

  • 1941: The Cubs become the first team to install an organ to play during games. The organ has remained a staple at ballparks to this day.

April 28

  • 1961: 40 year-old Warren Spahn becomes the second oldest pitcher to throw a no-hitter.
  • 2012: Bryce Harper makes his debut for the Washington Nationals.

April 30

  • 1923: The New York Yankees sign 20-year-old Lou Gehrig to a $2,000 contract.