Today in Tribe History: April 3, 2011

In a most memorable first career MLB start at first base, Carlos Santana begins a triple play in the fourth inning of a 7-1 Indians win over the Chicago White Sox at Progressive Field.

With the Indians down 1-0 in the top of the fourth, Cleveland starter Justin Masterson walked the leadoff batter, Carlos Quentin, and gave up a hit to A.J. Pierzynski. Chicago shortstop Alexei Ramirez attempted to drop down a bunt but popped it up down the first base line. Santana, charging in on the play, made a diving catch on the foul line half way to home plate, threw to second baseman Orlando Cabrera covering at first to eliminate Pierzynski, and Cabrera threw to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera at second to force Quentin to end the inning.

The Indians would take the lead in the sixth on a two-run homer and scored seven unanswered runs to win their first game of the season and to avoid a first series sweep at the hands of the Sox.

The triple play was the 32nd in club history, including the only postseason variety in 1920 and three different unassisted ones.

Also on this date in Tribe history:

1940Jose Vidal is born in Batey Lechuga, El Seibo, Dominican Republic. The outfielder will play in 70 games for Cleveland over three seasons from 1966 to 1968 before a stint with the Seattle Pilots.

1943 – Left-handed starter Barry Moore is born in Statesville, North Carolina. He spent part of the 1970 season in Cleveland, appearing in 13 games.

1944 – Infielder Gomer Hodge is born in Rutherfordton, North Carolina. He spent his entire MLB career in an Indians uniform over 80 games of the 1971 season.

1954Larry Littleton is born in Charlotte, North Carolina. A former first round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1976, he appeared in 26 games in the Majors, all with the Indians in 1981. He was hitless in 27 plate appearances, drawing three walks, scoring two runs, and driving in one on a sacrifice fly.

1961 – Pitcher Tim Crews is born in Tampa, Florida. The right-handed reliever had joined the Indians in January of 1993 and had been in spring training with the club, but died in a tragic boating accident on March 23 of that year.

1964 – Former Cleveland Indians president and general manager Mark Shapiro is born in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1974 – The Indians send 18-year-old minor league third baseman Pedro Guerrero to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for former Dodgers 63rd round draft pick Bruce Ellingsen. Guerrero will debut with his new club in 1978 and will make five All-Star teams over the course of his 15-year career as a corner infielder and outfielder. The left-handed pitcher Ellingsen will play in just 16 games in his MLB career – all with the Indians in 1974.

1979Harry Simpson passes away in Akron, Ohio. He joined the Indians organization in 1949 and made his Major League debut in 1951. He spent parts of his first four MLB seasons with the club before his contract was sold to the Kansas City Athletics in 1955.

1987 – Second baseman Jason Kipnis is born in Northbrook, Illinois.

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