Willie Mays of the San Francisco Giants hits four home runs against the Milwaukee Braves in the Giants’ 14 – 4 victory at Milwaukee County Stadium. Mays becomes just the ninth player in major league history to hit four homers in one game.
Tom Phoebus of the Baltimore Orioles pitches a 6 – 0 no hitter against the visiting Boston Red Sox. Third baseman Brooks Robinson drives in three runs and makes a great catch to rob Rico Petrocelli of a hit in the 8th inning.
Johnny “The Big Cat” Mize of the New York Giants becomes the first major leaguer to hit three home runs in a game on five different occasions. Mize hits his trio off Johnny Sain of the Boston Braves, but in spite of his barrage, the Giants lose to the Braves, 14 – 5.
Whitey Ford of the New York Yankees pitches a 14-inning, 1 – 0 shutout against the Washington Senators, giving up 8 hits while striking out 15. The Yankees win in the first half of the 14th inning on a Moose Skowron solo home run – the longest contest in MLB history ending 1 – 0 on a home run.
Future Hall of Famer Joe Cronin of the Boston Red Sox breaks his leg running the bases. The injury will influence him to retire as a major league player. Cronin will continue to serve the Red Sox as their manager. He will also later serve as AL President.
In 47-degree chill, Bob Feller of the Cleveland Indians hurls the first and thus far only Opening Day no-hitter in MLB history. He beats Eddie Smith of the Chicago White Sox in a 1 – 0 decision at Comiskey Park. During one at-bat, White Sox star Luke Appling fouls off 15 straight pitches, but fails to get a hit.
Eddie Sawyer resigns as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies just one day into the new season. Sawyer, the manager of the National League champion “Whiz Kids” of 1950, is replaced with Gene Mauch, who begins a 26-year managing career in the major leagues.
On Opening Day, Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Don Drysdale hits a home run, becoming the first pitcher to hit more than one career homer in opening games. Drysdale’s historic blast doesn’t prevent the Dodgers from losing their game, 6 – 1, to the Chicago Cubs.
Philadelphia Athletics manager Connie Mack, who is 84 years old, challenges Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith, who is 78, to a foot race from home plate to first base. The contest ends in a photo finish tie!