Today in Tribe History: April 8, 1975
Bob Toth | On 08, Apr 2020
On a historic day for Major League Baseball, the Cleveland Indians defeat the New York Yankees, 5-3, on Opening Day.
Frank Robinson made his managerial debut for the Tribe, becoming the first black manager in MLB history. The 39-year-old, in the lineup as the team’s designated hitter, hit a solo home run in his first at bat of the game, his eighth Opening Day home run of his career (a record later matched by Ken Griffey Jr. and Adam Dunn).
The Yankees took the lead in the top of the second after a two-run double from former Indian Chris Chambliss and an RBI-single from Thurman Munson off of Cleveland ace Gaylord Perry. The Indians cut into the lead with a sacrifice fly from Jack Brohamer in the second and a solo home run from Boog Powell in the fourth. The pair gave Cleveland the lead for good in the bottom of the sixth, when an RBI-double from Powell put the Indians back on top and Brohamer added another run with a single three batters later.
Perry held the lead from there for the win.
Also on this date in Tribe history:
1979 – Pitcher Jeremy Guthrie is born in Roseburg, Oregon. The right-hander was the Indians’ first round pick in the 2002 draft with the 22nd overall selection. He pitched with the Indians from 2004 to 2006.
1986 – Current Indians first baseman Carlos Santana is born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2008 with pitcher Jon Meloan for utility man Casey Blake, Santana spent the 2010-2017 seasons in Cleveland before signing a big free agent contract with the Philadelphia Phillies for the 2018 season. He was traded twice in the 2018 offseason, first to Seattle, and then back to Cleveland, with the latter three-team trade sending Edwin Encarnacion to the Mariners and Yandy Diaz and Cole Sulser to the Tampa Bay Rays.
1987 – Former Indians first baseman Yonder Alonso, who was traded by the club after one season in Cleveland in 2018 because of the return of Santana, is born in La Habana, Cuba. Alonso hit .250 with 23 homers and 83 RBI in his lone season with the Indians.
1993 – Carlos Baerga becomes the first player in Major League history to hit home runs from each side of the plate in the same inning. Baerga used the seventh inning to take Yankees relievers Steve Howe and Steve Farr out of the park at Cleveland Stadium. The Indians win by a 15-5 final.