By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
It turns out that April 13 is a fairly significant date in Canadian baseball history.
Over the years, four Canadians made their major league debuts on this date, while Pete Rose made history as a Montreal Expo and a Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer preserved a win for Tom Seaver in his MLB debut.
Here’s a summary:
April 13, 1954 – Right-hander Ozzie Van Brabant (Kingsville, Ont.) made his big league debut when he threw two innings in relief of starter Bobby Shantz and recorded a hold for the Philadelphia A’s in their 6-4 win over the Boston Red Sox at Connie Mack Stadium. Van Brabant allowed one run on three hits while toeing the rubber in the sixth and seventh innings for the A’s.
April 13, 1962 – Ray Daviault (Montreal, Que.) made his MLB debut for the New York Mets. The Canadian right-hander hurled two innings in relief. He didn’t allow a hit but walked four in the Mets’ 4-3 loss to the Pirates at the Polo Grounds.
April 13, 1998 – Ryan Radmanovich (Calgary, Alta.) made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners. He started in right field and batted ninth and went 0-for-3 for the M’s in their 6-5 loss to Cleveland at Jacobs Field. Batting ahead of him in the M’s lineup that day: Alex Rodriguez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Edgar Martinez.
April 13, 1999 – Jeff Zimmerman (Kelowna, B.C.) made his MLB debut with the Texas Rangers. He tossed 1 2/3 scoreless innings and struck out four in relief against the Mariners in the Rangers’ 15-6 win. He struck out the first two batters he faced: Raul Ibanez and Domingo Cedeno.
Saving a win for “Tom Terrific” in his MLB debut
April 13, 1967 – Tom Seaver made his MLB debut with the New York Mets. He permitted two earned runs in 5 1/3 innings to lead the Mets to a 3-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. Seaver got the win and Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Ron Taylor (Toronto, Ont.) pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up the save.
Need some inspiration?
April 13, 1954 – Henry Aaron made his MLB debut with the Milwaukee Braves. He started in left field and batted fifth and went 0-for-5 in the Braves’ 9-8 loss to the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field. So the next time you’re feeling discouraged, remember Hank Aaron went 0-for-5 in his first MLB game.
Rose makes history as an Expo
April 13, 1984 – Batting leadoff and playing left field for the Montreal Expos, Pete Rose, doubled to right field in the fourth inning off Philadelphia Phillies left-hander Jerry Koosman at Olympic Stadium to record his 4,000th MLB hit. You can watch the milestone hit in the video below. The hit is at the 3:33 mark. It’s a great call by Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee and Jack Graney Award winner Dave Van Horne.