Monthly Archives: April 2013

Apr. 30, 1961 – Willie Mays hit four home runs against the Milwaukee Braves

Alvin Dark was hired to manage the San Francisco Giants before the start of the 1961 season and named Willie Mays team captain. The improving Giants finished 1961 in third place and won 85 games, more than any of the previous six campaigns. Mays had one of his best games on April 30, 1961, hitting four home runs against the Milwaukee Braves in County Stadium. Mays went four for five at the plate and was on deck for a chance to hit a record fifth home run when the Giants’ half of the ninth inning ended. Mays is the only Major Leaguer to have both three triples in a game and four home runs in a game.

Apr. 29, 1986 – Roger Clemens sets MLB record 20 strikeouts in a single game

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Roger Clemens was drafted 19th overall by the Boston Red Sox in 1983 and quickly rose through the minor league system, making his major league debut on May 15, 1984.

Clemens became the first pitcher in history to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning major league game, against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. Other than Clemens, himself, only Kerry Wood has matched the total. (Randy Johnson fanned 20 batters in nine innings on May 8, 2001. However, as the game went into extra innings, it is not categorized as occurring in a nine-inning game. Tom Cheney holds the record for any game: 21 strikeouts in 16 innings.) Clemens attributes his switch from what he calls a “thrower” to a “pitcher” to the partial season Hall of Fame pitcher Tom Seaver spent with the Red Sox in 1986.

In 1986, his 24 wins helped guide the Sox to a World Series berth and earned Clemens the American League MVP award for the regular season. He also won the first of his seven Cy Young Awards. Clemens was the only starting pitcher since Vida Blue in 1971 to win a league MVP award until Justin Verlander won the award in 2011.