The Twins Almanac for April 3rd

April 3
Happy Birthday, Darrell Jackson

Happy birthday to former Twins pitcher Darrell Jackson, born in Los Angeles on this date in 1956. The Arizona State alumnus pitched nine no-hit innings in his professional debut at double-A Orlando on April 14, 1978. (Manager Johnny Goryl went to the pen in the 10th and Orlando eventually won in 12 innings.)

In Jackson’s fourth major league start on July 7th of that year he pitched a three-hit shutout for a 1-0 Twins win in Oakland. A’s pitcher Rick Langford also went all nine innings, allowing just one unearned run in the top of the fifth. That’s a good old-fashioned pitchers’ duel! 

April 3
Happy Birthday, Ryan Doumit

Happy birthday to switch-hitting catcher Ryan Doumit, born in Moses Lake, Washington on this date in 1981. He was DH’ing on July 22, 2012 when he became the third player in Twins history to homer from both sides of the plate in a game. He also had a two-run single, knocking in four runs altogether in a 7-5 Twins win in Kansas City.

The first two Twins to homer from both sides in a game were Roy Smalley and Chili Davis. Smalley, Davis, and Doumit were all at Target Field one day in 2012 (Smalley as a broadcaster, and Davis as the A’s hitting coach) and autographed balls for each other commemorating their accomplishment. 

Kennys Vargas and Jorge Polanco have since joined the club. 

April 3, 1982
First MLB Game at the Dome

The Twins and Phillies played an exhibition game at the Metrodome, the first major league game at the new ballpark. After Pete Rose connected for the Dome’s first single, Bloomington native Kent Hrbek hit the first AND second home runs in Metrodome history, powering the Twins to a 5-0 win.


April 3, 1997
Old Man Grand Slam

40-year-old Twins DH Paul Molitor hit a grand slam off Detroit’s Willie Blair at home in the Dome on this date in 1997, driving in Todd WalkerChuck Knoblauch, and Rich Becker.

It was the third and final grand slam of the 1974 Cretin High School graduate’s career. The second came off Minnesota’s Dave Stevens on July 5, 1994. The first came way back on April 22, 1981.

41-year-old Dave Winfield hit a grand slam at the Metrodome on April 4, 1993. I believe he is the oldest Twin to do so. (Let me know if I’m wrong.)

Atlanta’s Julio Franco became the oldest player in major league history to hit a grand slam on June 27, 2005 at age 46. Playing for the Mets, he became the oldest player to hit a home run off the Diamondbacks’s Randy Johnson on May 4, 2007 at age 48.

April 3, 2000
Radke Does Radke Stuff

Brad Radke gave up a home run to Devil Rays center fielder Gerald Williams on literally the first pitch of the 2000 season. Now, Radke was famously susceptible to the first-inning long ball, but first pitch of the season? Come on! 

Hall of Famer Fred McGriff also homered off Radke in the 7-0 Tampa Bay win at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome.

April 3, 2017
Stelmaszek Throws Out First Pitch

Flanked by an assembly of Twins all-time greats, Rick Stelmaszek threw out the first pitch at the Twins home opener on this date in 2017. It was an emotional occasion, as Stelly had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer over the winter and was visibly frail. He passed away just seven months later at age 69.

NOBODY spent more seasons in a Twins uniform. Thirty-two seasons, from 1981 to 2012. In the entire history of Major League Baseball, only two men have coached more years with a single team.


April 3, 2021
Combined One-Hit Shutout

José Berríos and Milwaukee’s Corbin Burnes both had no-hitters going through six innings on this date in 2021, with 12 of Berríos’s 18 outs coming via the K. Both pitchers were perfect before exchanging hit-by-pitches in the fifth inning.

In a move that surely met with immediate grumbling on social media, Rocco Baldelli pulled Berríos after six innings with the no-hitter still on the line.

Brewers manager Craig Counsell, on the other hand, left Burnes in there, and he gave up what would be the game-winning home run to Byron Buxton with one out in the top of the seventh. (It was Buxton’s second-straight game with a homer to start the season.) 

Taylor Rogers, meanwhile, struck out the side in the bottom of the seventh. 

The Brewers finally broke up the Twins no-hit bid with a single off Tyler Duffey in the eighth. Alex Colomé got the ninth and locked down the one-hit shutout for a 2-0 Twins win. (Arráez added an RBI single in the eighth.)

Removing a starter with a no-hitter going in always controversial, but here we have a case where one got lifted for a reliever and his teammates completed the shutout, while the other stayed in the game and gave up the game-winning home run. Well played, Rocco; well played. 



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