During a 9-2 loss to the Braves, Chicago Cubs outfielder Billy Williams becomes the first player in N.L. history to play 1,000 consecutive games. His streak will end with 1,117 consecutive games played for the Cubs.
Five days past his 40th birthday, Warren Spahn becomes the second-oldest major league pitcher (after Cy Young) to hurl a no-hitter, blanking the San Francisco Giants 1-0. Hank Aaron drives in the only run off loser Sam Jones. It is Spahn’s 290th win and 52nd shutout.
In 50-degree Detroit weather, Royals rookie Steve Busby no-hits the Tigers 3-0. It is the first Royals no-hitter and the first at Tiger Stadium since Virgil Trucks did it in 1952. Busby is the first no-hit game pitcher not to bat due to the DH “experiment” begun in the American League that season.
Chicago Cubs pitchers walk nine Reds in the fifth inning, an N. L. mark, as Cincinnati wins 9-5. Moe Drabowsky starts with four walks, Jackie Collum adds three, and Jim Brosnan passes two. The Yankees hold the MLB record of getting 11 BBs in one inning from the Washington Senators in 1949.
In only his second start since August 1982, Montreal Expos pitcher David Palmer threw five perfect innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in a 4-0 victory stopped by rain. He would start 18 more times en route to a 7-3 record.
Sam Jethroe becomes the first black to play for the Boston Braves. He has two hits in his major league debut, including a home run. He will go on to become N. L. Rookie of the Year, leading the league with 35 stolen bases and posing a line of .273/ .338/ .442
Kent Tekulve pitches two shutout innings in the Reds 3-2, ten-inning win over the Dodgers to pass Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm as the major leagues’ all-time leader in relief appearances with 1,019. This is Tekulve’s final season, and he ends with 1,050 appearances.
Detroit Tigers pitcher Milt Wilcox is one out away from a perfect game when pinch hitter Jerry Hairston singles, and Wilcox settles for a 6-0 one-hitter over the White Sox. This is only the third time in major league history a perfect bid has been stopped with one out to go.
Lee Smith became the all-time saves leader as the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-7. Smith got his 358th save, passing Jeff Reardon of the Cincinnati Reds. Smith’s Hall of Fame career will end with 478 saves.
Warren Spahn’s Opening Day 6-1 victory over the Mets is the 328th win of his career. The Braves hurler moves ahead of Eddie Plank as the all-time winningest MLB left-hander. Except for Duke Snider’s home run, no Mets get past second base.