Happy April Fools Day and Greetings from Cincinnati…. The 2007 MLB season gets underway tonight with the New York Mets and the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs get started on Monday afternoon with Carlos Zambrano scheduled to make his third consecutive Opening Day start. Rumors are abound that Zambrano and the Cubs will sign a new contract before Monday, with the possible announcement coming on Tuesday….only time will tell.
Historically, this was the week the Cubs traded Dennis Eckersley, Tuffy Rhodes hit a “couple of home runs”, Sosa hit number 500, John Clarkson was sold, a save was credited, the Wild Thing left the North Side and a Cardinal manager scored a run for the Cubs.
Now to the ‘Way Back Machine’…. April 1
- 1988 – The Cubs traded Luis Quinones (1987) to the Cincinnati Reds for Bill Landrum (1988)
- 1985 – David Lee Roth left Van Halen
- 1983 – The Cubs traded Rich Buonantony to the Milwaukee Brewers for Steve Lake (1983-1986)
- 1981 – The Cubs sold Mick Kelleher (1976-1980) to the Detroit Tigers
- 1969 – The Seattle Pilots traded Lou Piniella (Manager, present) to the Kansas City Royals for Steve Whitaker and John Gelnar
- 1930 – Gabby Hartnett (1922-1940) held on to a ball dropped from the Goodyear Blimp hovering at an altitude of 550 feet. Gabby topped Gabby Street’s feat of hanging onto a ball dropped from the Washington Monument – 504 feet.
- 1885 – The Spalding Sporting Goods store opened in New York
- 1983 – The Cubs traded Robert Schilling and Craig Weissman to the New York Mets for Tom Veryzer (1983-1984)
- 1976 – The A’s traded Reggie Jackson, Ken Holtzman (1965-1971) and a Minor League pitcher to the Orioles for Don Baylor (Manager, 2000-2002), Mike Torrez and Paul Mitchell
- 1970 – Jon Lieber, born
- 1987 – The Cubs traded Dennis Eckersley (1984-1986) and Dan Rohn to the A’s for three Minor Leaguers (Dave Wilder, OF; Brian Guinn, IF; Mark Leonette, P)
- 1958 – The Cubs traded Bob Speake (1955-1957) and cash to the Giants for Bobby Thompson (1958-1959)
- 1937 – Phil Regan, born
- 1902 – The National League named club owners Arthur Soden (Boston), John T. Bush and James Hart (1902-1905) as an interim committee to run the league.
- 1888 – The Chicago National League Ball Club sold John Clarkson (1884-1887) to Boston for $10,000.
- 2005 – The Cubs beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 16-6 and in the process recorded 23 hits. Aramis Ramirez, who signed a new contract worth $42 million before the game, was 3-4 with a home run and Carlos Zambrano was ejected in the 5th inning.
- 2003 – Sammy Sosa (1992-2004) became the first Latin American player and 18th overall to hit 500 career home runs. The home run was hit off of Scott Sullivan of the Reds in the 7th inning.
- 2002 – The Mets traded Gary Matthews, Jr. (2000-2001) to the Orioles for John Bale
- 1994 – Carl ‘Tuffy’ Rhodes (1993-1995) became the first National League player to hit 3 home runs on Opening Day. Rhodes hit all 3 home runs off of Dwight Gooden at Wrigley Field, but the Mets beat the Cubs 12-8.
- 1974 – Hank Aaron hit number 714 off of Jack Billingham
- 1905 – Cap Anson (1876-1897) was elected City Clerk of Chicago on the Democratic ticket.
- 1892 – The Cubs traded Fred Pfeffer (1883-1889, 1891, 1896-1897) to Louisville for James Canavan (1892) and an undisclosed amount of money
- 2004 – The Cubs beat the Reds behind the pitching of Kerry Wood (1998 to present), 7-4 in Cincinnati. Wood became the first Cubs’ pitcher to win back-to-back opening game starts since Claude Passeau (1939-1947) in 1941 and 1942.
- 1995 – The Royals traded Brian McRae (1995-1997) to the Cubs for Derek Wallace and Geno Morones
- 1993 - Greg Maddux (1986-1992, 2004-2006) beat the Cubs 1-0 in his first game against his former team on Opening Day
- 1960 – The Giants purchased Dale Long (1957-1959) from the Cubs
- 2004 – David Aardsma (2005-2006) recorded his first major league victory in his first major league appearance; the Giants beat the Astros 7-5. With the appearance Aardsma replaced Hank Aaron in the top spot in baseball’s all-time alphabetical listing.
- 2001 – Julio Zuleta (2000-2001) hit the first home run of the year for the Cubs
- 1993 – Jose Guzman (1993-1994) made his National League debut and took a perfect game into the 8th inning against the Atlanta Braves. Otis Nixon’s single with two outs in the 9th was the Braves only hit. The Cubs won 1-0.
- 1992 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ In the first ever game at Camden Yards, Rick Sutcliffe (1984-1991) pitched a shutout for the Orioles
- 1973 – Reliever Mike Marshall walked Rick Monday (1972-1976) with the bases loaded in the 9th inning to give the Cubs a 3-2 victory over the Expos at Opening Day in Wrigley. Tony LaRussa (1973) scored the winning run, his only run in a Cub uniform.
- 1971 – Billy Williams (1959-1974) hit a home run in the 10th inning that gave the Cubs a 2-1 victory over Bob Gibson and the Cardinals. Ferguson Jenkins (1966-1973, 1982-1983) outdueled Gibson for the victory.
- 1961 – Vedie Himsl (The College of Coaches) was designated as the head coach of the Cubs for the first two weeks of the season
- 2000 – The Rockies traded Manny Aybar (2001) to the Reds for Gabe White
- 1992 – On Opening Day in Philadelphia, Greg Maddux (1986-1992, 2004-2006) held the Phillies to six hits in seven innings and the Cubs won 4-3
- 1991 – The Phillies traded Chuck McElroy (1991-1993) and Bob Scanlan (1991-1993) to the Cubs for Mitch Williams (1989-1990)
- 1969 – Bill Singer of the Dodgers was credited with the first official save
Will the Cubs make any History this week?