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This Week in Baltimore Sports History: Homer-happy Orioles subdue Devil Rays

April 3, 2006: Four home runs help the Orioles defeat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, 9-6, on Opening Day at Camden Yards. Melvin Mora, Miguel Tejada, Luis Matos and Jeff Conine connect for Baltimore.

April 3, 1996: Worried about throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day, President Bill Clinton practices beforehand. “He must’ve thrown 100 pitches,” says Orioles owner Peter Angelos, who catches Clinton’s lobs. The POTUS does fine and the Orioles beat the Kansas City Royals, 4-2, at Camden Yards.

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Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas (19) and coach Weeb Ewbank on the sideline during a Nov. 6, 1960, game game against the Green Bay Packers at Memorial Stadium.
Colts quarterback Johnny Unitas (19) and coach Weeb Ewbank on the sideline during a Nov. 6, 1960, game game against the Green Bay Packers at Memorial Stadium.(Neil Leifer / Baltimore Sun)

April 2, 1959: With Colts coach Weeb Ewbank present, the Maryland House of Delegates passes a resolution congratulating him for the team’s “stupendous [NFL] championship game with the New York Giants,” a 23-17 win, and gives Ewbank a standing ovation.

April 4, 1949: Benny Civitello, an apprentice jockey, wins six consecutive races at Bowie Race Course, giving him 14 victories in seven days.

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April 2, 1938: Ben Alperstein of Maryland wins his second straight National Collegiate Boxing Championship, capturing the 125-pound title in Charlottesville, Virginia.

April 3, 1926: Maryland beats a lacrosse team from Oxford-Cambridge, England, 11-4, before 4,500 fans in Washington. Jack Farber scores four goals for the Terps; he’ll go on the coach them for 35 years and win six national championships.

April 1, 1916: Harry Blodgett of Navy pitches his second straight shutout, defeating Amherst, 1-0, on a three-hitter. The Midshipmen will finish 18-6.

April 2, 1896: John McGraw, the Orioles’ feisty third baseman, is stricken with typhoid fever. He’ll return in August and hit .325 to help Baltimore win its third straight National League pennant.

That Orioles team featured its share of historic figures, including manager Ned Hanlon and star players "Wee Willie" Keeler (top left), John McGraw (top right), Hughie Jennings (bottom right), Kid Gleason and Wilbert Robinson.
That Orioles team featured its share of historic figures, including manager Ned Hanlon and star players "Wee Willie" Keeler (top left), John McGraw (top right), Hughie Jennings (bottom right), Kid Gleason and Wilbert Robinson.

Birthday

April 2, 1869: Hughie Jennings, Hall of Fame shortstop for the Orioles, who in 1896 was hit by a pitch 51 times — a major league record that still stands. Jennings died in 1928.

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