A year ago today: Star rookies launch first homers

Alonso and Tatis go deep for the first time on the same day

April 1st, 2020

To help fill the baseball void, we’re flipping the calendar back one year to remind us all just how awesome our great game is. Here's a look back at the best of April 1, 2019:

A pair of electric rookies, Mets first baseman Pete Alonso and Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., will forever share something in common about their first career home run: They came on the same day.

Alonso crushed a three-run shot off Drew Steckenrider to help the Mets beat the Marlins, 7-3, in Miami -- a laser shot right over the center-field wall. It was the first of a rookie-record 53 homers Alonso would hit en route to winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

Meanwhile, Tatis smashed a laser of his own to the base of the Western Metal Supply Co. building at Petco Park, taking the D-backs' Merrill Kelly deep for a two-run shot in a 10-3 loss to Arizona. Tatis' rookie campaign was cut short due to a back injury, but he still put up great numbers, slashing .317/.379/.590 with 22 homers and 16 steals in 84 games.

If they stay healthy, we'll be watching these two crush homers for many years to come.

The best of the rest:

Clevinger strikes out a dozen: Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger struck out a career-high 12 batters to help the Tribe beat the White Sox, 5-3. It was his sixth career game of 10 or more strikeouts, and he would strike out 10 or more batters six more times the rest of the season, including 12 again on July 17 against the Tigers. Overall, he posted a 2.71 ERA and struck out 34 percent of the batters he faced, though he made only 21 starts due to injury.

Laureano shows off the cannon, hits a bomb: Athletics center fielder Ramón Laureano wows the baseball world on a regular basis, usually as a result of his incredible arm. Well, he did that again on April 1, throwing out Xander Bogaerts in the second inning of Oakland's 7-0 win over the Red Sox at the Coliseum. Statcast recorded the throw at 96 mph over a distance of 270 feet, reaching catcher Nick Hundley on a line. Then in the third, Laureano crushed a 428-foot homer over the center-field wall. He's a human highlight reel.

Acuña belts first homer, Cubs commit six errors: Ronald Acuña Jr. would have a tremendous season in which he'd join the 30-30 club by hitting 41 home runs and stealing an NL-best 37 bases. He kicked off the campaign on the home run side with a solo shot to left off Kyle Hendricks in an 8-0 Braves victory in Atlanta.

Chicago committed six errors, the most the club had been charged with in a single game since September 2006. Mark Zagunis dropped a fly ball in foul territory down the third-base line in the first inning, Javier Báez overthrew first base while trying to complete a double play later in that frame, Anthony Rizzo misplayed a ground ball to first and then made an errant toss to the pitcher covering in the third, David Bote made an errant throw to second in the fifth, and Kris Bryant misplayed a ground ball in the sixth.