Today in Tribe History: April 16, 1929

Rookie outfielder Earl Averill begins his Major League career with a splash, hitting a home run in his first plate appearance off of Detroit’s Earl Whitehill.

The Indians’ new center fielder, purchased from the Pacific Coast League’s San Francisco Seals, was hitting third in the lineup and sent an 0-2 pitch far away, up over the screen and across the street, for his first hit and homer on one swing. The shot tied the game at one between Cleveland and Detroit at League Park.

Averill would go hitless the rest of the game, but did give the Indians a sacrifice later.

The game was tied 4-4 in the ninth and the Indians had two on and nobody out, but Whitehill kept Cleveland away from home plate. He was not able to replicate the feat in the bottom of the tenth, when Luke Sewell reached and came around to score on Carl Lind‘s game-winning double in a hard-fought game on both sides.

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