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Wrapping Up 2001
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APRIL 2001


Kazuhiro Sasaki, left, shakes hands with Ichiro Suzuki after Sasaki saved the Mariners win on Opening Day.
April 1 -- Major League Baseball opened its regular season outside the United States and Canada for the third consecutive year as the Toronto Blue Jays defeated the Texas Rangers, 8-1, at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

April 2 -- New York Yankees pitcher Roger Clemens struck out five batters in a 7-3 win over Kansas City at Yankee Stadium and surpassed Walter Johnson's AL record of 3,508 career strikeouts.

April 2 -- Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-5 in his American debut and became the first Japanese position player in history to play in the Major Leagues.

April 2 -- Tim Raines of the Montreal Expos pinch-hit in an Opening Day victory over the Chicago Cubs and became the 24th Major Leaguer to appear in four decades.

April 3 -- Houston second baseman Craig Biggio had a career-high and franchise record-tying five hits in a win over Milwaukee at Enron Field.


Nomo joined Cy Young, Jim Bunning and Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers with no-hitters in both leagues.
April 4 -- Boston's Hideo Nomo pitched the second no-hitter of his Major League career in a 3-0 win over Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He became the fourth pitcher in Major League history to record a no-hitter in each league, joining Cy Young, Nolan Ryan and Jim Bunning. It was also the earliest no-hitter by date in history and the first by a Red Sox pitcher since Dave Morehead defeated Cleveland on Sept. 16, 1965.

April 4 -- Carlos Delgado of the Toronto Blue Jays had his third career three-home run game in a victory over Tampa Bay at Tropicana Field.

April 5 -- Tom Goodwin and Mark Grudzielanek of the Los Angeles Dodgers opened the game against Arizona with consecutive home runs. It was the first time in franchise history the feat had been accomplished.


President Bush shakes hands with Brewers' manager Davey Lopes after throwing out the ceremonial first pitch on Friday.
April 6 -- The Milwaukee Brewers defeated the Cincinnati Reds, 5-4, as they opened their brand-new ballpark, Miller Park, before a sellout crowd of 42,024. President George W. Bush threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the game.

April 8 -- Aramis Ramirez of the Pittsburgh Pirates homered in his first three at-bats in a 9-3 win over Houston, becoming the first Pittsburgh player with three homers in a game since Darnell Coles on Sept. 20, 1987.

April 10 -- Houston's Jeff Bagwell drew his 1,000th career walk in a victory over the Milwaukee Brewers, becoming only the fifth player with at least 300 home runs, 1,000 runs, 1,000 RBI and 1,000 walks in his first 11 Major League seasons. The others were Mickey Mantle, Eddie Mathews, Ted Williams and Frank Thomas.

April 11 -- Rookie Shea Hillenbrand of the Boston Red Sox went 1-for-4 in a loss to Baltimore at Fenway Park and established a new franchise rookie record by hitting safely in the first eight games of the season. Ted Williams (1939) and Ben Steiner (1945) shared the previous mark.

April 12 -- Milwaukee's Jose Hernandez hit a grand slam and three-run homer with seven RBI and equaled a 31-year-old team RBI record as the Brewers defeated Houston. Hernandez tied the mark set by Ted Kubiak on July 18, 1970 against Boston.

April 13 -- When Anaheim pitcher Shigetoshi Hasegawa faced Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki in the ninth inning of the Angels' victory at Edison International Field, it marked the first time in Major League history a Japanese-born pitcher faced a Japanese-born hitter. Ichiro swung on the first pitch and reached base on an infield single.


Barry Bonds becomes the 17th player in Major League history to hit 500 home runs.
April 17 -- San Francisco Giants outfielder Barry Bonds became the 17th player in Major League history to hit 500 career home runs when he connected for a two-run shot off Los Angeles' Terry Adams in the eighth inning at Pac Bell Park.

April 17 -- St. Louis pitcher Gene Stechschulte connected for a pinch-hit homer on the first pitch he saw as a Major League batter in a 17-4 loss to Arizona and became the 82nd player in Major League history to homer in his first Major League at-bat. He also became the sixth pitcher to homer on the first pitch of his career and the first pitcher in history to hit a pinch homer on the first pitch of his career.

April 18 -- Jeff Fassero of the Chicago Cubs recorded saves in both games of a doubleheader sweep of Philadelphia and became the first Cubs' pitcher to save both games of a doubleheader since Bruce Sutter on Sept. 18, 1979.

April 18 -- San Francisco's Barry Bonds hit a home run in his sixth consecutive game during a victory over Los Angeles at Pac Bell Park and became the first National League player to homer in at least six consecutive games since San Diego's Graig Nettles in 1984.

April 18 -- Philadelphia pitcher Randy Wolf started the second game of a doubleheader as his brother, Jim, worked as the third base umpire, marking the second time in Major League history there was an umpire-player brother combination in a game. In 1972, Bill Haller worked a game his brother Tom, a catcher for the Detroit Tigers, was playing in.

April 20 -- Tino Martinez of the New York Yankees connected on a grand slam in a victory over Boston at Yankee Stadium and became the fifth player in Major League history to hit a grand slam in seven consecutive seasons. Willie McCovey did it in nine straight seasons and Vern Stephens, Gil Hodges and Cecil Fielder did it in seven.

April 20 -- San Diego's Tony Gwynn, 40, and Rickey Henderson, 42, both started in the outfield against Los Angeles and became the first teammates over the age of 40 to play in the same Major League outfield since Doc Cramer and Chuck Hostetler of the 1945 Detroit Tigers.


Toronto Blue Jays' Carlos Delgado, back left, is congratulated by teammate Jose Cruz (23) after his home run, as Kansas City Royals catcher Hector Ortiz looks on in the first inning Friday, April 20, 2001, in Kansas City, Mo. Toronto won 12-4.
April 20 -- Carlos Delgado of the Toronto Blue Jays had his fourth career three-home run game in a victory over Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium.

April 22 -- The Minnesota Twins beat the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park and established a new club record with their 14th victory in April. They won 13 April games in 1969, 1977, 1979 and 1996.

April 24 -- The Cincinnati Reds defeated San Francisco, 9-5, at Pac Bell Park and set a NL record by not getting shutout for the 182nd consecutive game. Philadelphia had set the previous mark of 181 from 1893-95.

April 25 -- Rickey Henderson of the San Diego Padres surpassed Babe Ruth's career record of 2,062 walks when he drew his 2,063rd career walk in the ninth inning of a loss to Philadelphia.

April 26 -- Luis Gonzalez homered twice in a victory over Atlanta at Bank One Ballpark and broke the NL record with 13 home runs in April. Willie Stargell, Mike Schmidt, Barry Bonds and Gary Sheffield held the previous mark of 12.

April 28 -- Seatt le Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki recorded a save in a victory over the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park and established a new Major League record with 13 saves in April. Lee Smith set the previous mark of 12 in 1994 with the Baltimore Orioles. The Mariners also set a new Major League record with 20 victories in April. The Atlanta Braves set the old mark of 19 in April 1997.

April 28 -- Albert Pujols of the Cardinals homered during a loss to the Mets at Busch Stadium and tied the Major League rookie record of eight homers in April. Pujols matched the mark held by Kent Hrbek (1982) and Carlos Delgado (1994).

April 29 -- Tampa Bay first baseman Fred McGriff hit a solo home run in a loss to Detroit at Comerica Park and broke the Major League record with home runs in 38 different Major League parks. Mark McGwire held the previous mark of 37.

April 29 -- Geoff Jenkins of the Milwaukee Brewers connected for a pair of home runs in a victory over Montreal at Miller Park and became the 22nd player in Major League history to hit five homers in two games. The last player to accomplish the feat was Cleveland's Manny Ramirez on Sept. 15-16, 1998.

 


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Vote on the best plays of 2001 in the following categories:
Regular Season Play
Home Run of the Year
Catch of the Year
Throw of the Year
Defensive Infield Play
Greatest Comeback / Finish
Individual Performance
Memory of the Year
Pitching Performance
Collision of the Year
Postseason Play
Blooper of the Year
State of the Game: Where baseball stands as we begin 2002
What a Season!: MLB.com reporter Ian Browne recaps 2001
2002 Predictions: Mark your calendars for these baseball events this season.
Resolutions: New Year's resolutions from around the league
Diamond Digits: Crunching the 2001 stats
Team gifts: Holiday presents from Santa
Boys to Men: Players who showed extraordinary growth in 2001
Men to Boys: Players who had big 2000 seasons, but flopped in 2001
Gone but Not Forgotten: Tributes to the players we've lost this year
2001 Player Debuts
2001 Season Trivia: Think you know baseball? Test your knowledge
By the Numbers: Figures that stood out in 2001
2001 Retirees: Players who ended their careers
2001 A to Z: A handy reference for the season

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