Friday, April 18, 2014

April 18, 1950: The First Ever Opening Day Night Game Happens In The Lou

     On April 18, 1950, the first ever Opening Day night game was played at Sportsman's Park in St. Louis. A crowd of 20,871 witness the historic occasion, and they watched the hometown Cardinals walk away with a 4-2 victory. The contest took just 1 hour and 49 minutes with Gerry Staley pitching the complete game for the Redbirds. Red Schoendienst and Stan "The Man" Musial homered in the contest.

     Schoendienst  was the second man up in the bottom half of the first and he gave the Birds a quick lead with a solo shot that landed on the roof in right field. Musial added to the Redbirds lead with a solo shot of his own to lead off the third, while Staley was in cruise control on the mound. The Cardinals hurler only gave up two hits through the first five innings before running into a hiccup of a sixth inning. After putting the first two men on, the Bucs first baseman Johnny tied it up with a two-rbi single. The Birds would bounce right back in the bottom of the frame with Joe Garagiola coming up with a big rbi that gave the Cards a 3-2 lead.

     In the top of the seventh Staley put the first two men on, and momentarily looked like he might be in a bit of trouble. Then he set the next three batters down in order. Enos Slaughter added another run with a ribbie in the bottom of the frame, and from there Staley set the next nine batters down in a row to secure the complete game victory.

Check out the box score here:

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