By Matt Noonan
As noted in today’s ‘On This Date in History’ for Tuesday, April 7th, 2020, former Boston Red Sox great Ted Williams managed his initial game with the Washington Senators, which sadly did not end with a victory, but a disappointing 8-4 setback to the New York Yankees.
New York spoiled Williams’ managerial debut on Monday, April 7th, 1969 by producing eight runs in a span of three innings (second, third, and fourth) to secure a lead they would not relinquish.
Washington would, however, trim the deficit, thanks to Frank Howard, who finished the game with two RBI. Howard also recorded one hit and one run during five plate appearances while Del Unser and Tim Cullen recorded three hits, respectively.
Howard’s lone RBI – a home run – occurred in the ninth inning against Mel Stottlemyre, who would conclude the 1969 season with a career-high 24 complete games.
New York’s Bobby Murcer highlighted his team’s opening day win with three RBI, including a pair of two-out RBI, along with a home run off Washington’s Camilo Pascual in the third inning.
Washington would provide Williams with his initial win two days later (Wednesday, April 9th, 1969) when the Senators beat the Yankees, 6-4.
Williams, who managed the Senators from 1969 to 1971, led the team to its only winning season in franchise history with an 86-76 record. They finished in fourth place in the American League East while the Yankees concluded their 1969 campaign in fifth place.
The Baltimore Orioles, which won the AL East, would advance to the World Series after beating the Minnesota Twins in the American League Championship Series (ALCS) before losing to the New York Mets in five games.