APRIL 18, 1952
On Opening Day in Brooklyn, Willie Mays is knocked unconscious when he smashes into the Ebbets Field wall after chasing pinch hitter Bob Morgan’s seventh-inning, two-out base-loaded line drive into the gap in left field. All three Dodgers base runners cross the plate, but do not score when the motionless Giants center fielder comes to his feet and jogs into the dugout, apparently unhurt, having held onto the ball after making an amazing catch for the third out to end the inning.(Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 18, 1955
In his first major league appearance, 25-year old Pirates reliever Al Grunwald, getting just one batter out, gives up a single to Don Mueller‚ a double to Monte Irvin‚ a triple to Willie Mays‚ and a homer to Whitey Lockman. The Giants fourth- inning ‘cycle’ contributes to an eight-run frame in the eventual 12-3 victory over Pittsburgh at the Polo Grounds.(Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 17, 1912
In front of a larger than usual crowd at the Polo Grounds of over 14,000 patrons that includes Broadway legend George M. Cohan, the Giants beat the new-look Yankees, now sporting pinstripes, in an unscheduled exhibition game, 11-2, to raise money for the survivors of the HMS Titanic. The charity contest, the first Sunday game ever played between major league teams at the Coogan’s Bluff ballpark, raises over $9,000 when each individual fan donates the price of an admission ticket to purchase a special program for the event.
APRIL 16, 1946
On Opening Day at the Polo Grounds, Mel Ott goes deep for the final time of his career. The Giants’ legend hits his 511th career home run off Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Oscar Judd. (Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 14, 1911
Shortly after midnight, a tremendous fire breaks out destroying much of the Polo Grounds leaving the Giants without a place to play. The Highlanders invite the McGraw men to share Hilltop Park, an offer the displaced National League team accepts for six weeks until temporary stands are completed at their damaged ballpark.
APRIL 11, 1907
The Giants lose their home opener to the Phillies when some of the Polo Grounds fans, growing tired of the team’s lackadaisical performance, begin throwing snowballs onto the playing field disrupting the game. After he is hit by a frozen sphere, Bill Klem, the home plate umpire, decides enough is enough and forfeits the game to Philadelphia. (Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 11, 1912
Rube Marquard begins a nineteen-game consecutive winning streak by beating the Dodgers, 18-3. The streak will end in July when the Giants lose to Chicago at the West Side Grounds, 7-2.(Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 8, 1947
In an exhibition game played against the Indians in Sheffield‚ Alabama, second-year player Whitey Lockman breaks his leg sliding into second base trying to break up a double play. With the exception of two appearances as a pinch hitter, the Giants sophomore outfielder will miss all of the season. (Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 3, 1901
Although he tried to return the money, Christy Matthewson is accused by Connie Mack of reneging on his contract with Philadelphia. In January, ‘Big Six’ after meeting with the A’s manager, received a signing bonus, committing himself to play for the 1901 season with the American League team, but then used the offer as leverage to get a richer contract from the Giants.(Nationalpastime.com)
APRIL 2, 1952
In Denver, Giants’ Monte Irvin breaks his ankle sliding into third base during an exhibition game against Cleveland. The future Hall of Fame outfielder will appear in only 46 games this season, mostly as a pinch-hitter, batting .310. (Nationalpastime.com)
MARCH 8, 1946
The first spring training game ever to be played in Arizona takes place at Tucson’s Hi Corbett Field. The Indians, behind the pitching of Bob Lemon, beat the Giants, 3-1, in the inaugural Cactus League contest. (Nationalpastime.com)
THE NEW YORK GIANTS PRESERVATION SOCIETY SALUTES MONTE IRVIN ON HIS 100TH BIRTHDAY by Bruce Slutsky
The New York Giants Preservation Society met last night at Finnerty’s to celebrate the 100th birthday of Monte Irvin who played for the New York Giants from 1949-1955 and who was one of the first African American baseball players in Major League Baseball. You can see from Baseball-Reference that he did not come to the Giants until he was 30 years old, but played in the Negro Leagues before that. Gary Brown and John Barr, who actually met Monte Irvin, spoke to the audience and said only glowing things about him. Audience members were invited to contribute to the discussion as well. A great time was had by all!