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Timeline of American and National League Baseball for the Year In Review section. Project expanded to include the National League (1900-1876), Federal League (1915-1914), Players League (1890), Union Association (1884) and American Association (1891-1882).

MLB Timeline by Michael Aubrecht
Written for's Year In Review section.
Sources: Baseball-Almanac, The Baseball Timeline, The Baseball Library, The Baseball Chronicle,,

Off the field…

One February evening in north Chicago, seven well-dressed men were found riddled with bullets inside the S.M.C Cartage Co. garage. All had been lined up against a wall, with their backs to their executioners (who were disguised as policemen) and shot to death. The men were mobsters working under the leadership of gangster and bootlegger, "Bugs" Moran and were casualties of what would become the "St. Valentine's Day Massacre". Ordered by rival gang leader, Al "Scarface" Capone, the notorious attack was carried out by Jack "Machine Gun" McGurn who had organized the hit. Thanks to prohibition, Capone had become the crime czar of Chicago, running gambling, prostitution and bootlegging rackets while continuously expanding his territories by getting rid of rival gangs.

Stock market prices plummeted from November to December and U.S. securities lost $26 billion, marking the first financial disaster of the Great Depression. The American depression produced severe effects abroad, especially in Europe, where many countries had not fully recovered from the aftermath of World War I. In Germany, the economic disaster and resulting social dislocation contributed to the rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Although it shared the basic characteristics of other such crises, the Great Depression was unprecedented in its length and in the wholesale poverty and tragedy it inflicted on society.

In the American League…

The first-place Philadelphia Athletics scored a whopping 8 runs off of Boston Red Sox pitcher Milt Gaston on the way to an embarrassing 24-6 massacre at Fenway Park on May 1st. The 24 runs matched a franchise record previously set in the "Ty Cobb protest game" in 1912, and the 29 hits set another franchise mark.

The Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers set a major league "marathon" record on May 24th after going 21 innings (3 hours and 31 minutes) for the longest game ever seen to date at Comiskey Park. George Uhle emerged the 6-5 winner, after going 20 innings, with Vic Sorrell finishing in relief. The loser, Ted Lyons, went the distance giving up a respectable 24 hits (over 21 innings).

In the National League…

On April 29th, Brooklyn Dodgers relief pitcher Clise Dudley became the first player ever to hit a home run against the first pitch he saw. Claude Willoughby of the Philadelphia Phillies gave up the inaugural round-tripper en route to an 8-3 victory. Amazingly Dudley would go on to hit only 2 more homers in his four major league years.

The Chicago Cubs and Cincinnati Reds turned an amazing nine double plays on July 3rd to tie the major league DP mark previously set in 1925 by Detroit and Washington.

The St. Louis Cardinals answered back after losing 10-6 in the opener of a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies with a magnificent 28-6 victory on July 6th. The "Redbirds" came out swinging in game 2 and collected 10 runs in the first and 10 more in the fifth. Their 28 hits and 28 runs set a National League record and both teams combined to tie a major league title with 73 hits in a doubleheader.

Around the league…

The New York Yankees announced that they were adding numbers on the backs of their uniforms. Initially, continuous numbers were distributed based upon a player's position in the batting order (Combs, 1, Koenig, two Ruth, 3, Gehrig, 4, Meusel, 5, Lazzeri 6, Durocher, 7, Grabowski, 8). Several weeks later, the Cleveland Indians agreed to follow suite and by 1931 all American League teams were utilizing the new identification technique. However, some National League players still remained numberless until 1933.

On August 3rd, the Chicago Cubs voiced their complaint about the ragged sleeve on the pitching arm of Brooklyn Dodger ace Dazzy Vance (an old trick to distract the hitter). Soon after, a major league rule was passed that required all pitchers to maintain neat attire. The mandate would expand over the years to include caps, gloves, glasses and other visual deterrents.

The New York Giants used the first public address system in a big-league ballpark during a July 5th game against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

On September 25th, New York Yankees manager Miller Huggins died from accidental blood poisoning at New York's St. Vincent Hospital at the age of 49. On the day of his funeral in Cincinnati, the American League canceled all games. Yankees coach Art Fletcher remained, as interim skipper, and Bob Shawkey was brought in as the official manager for the 1930 season.

Off the field…

On June 18th, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean during a historic flight that lasted 24 hours and 49 minutes. The first woman to obtain pilot's certification from the National Aeronautic Association, Earhart flew as a passenger aboard a Fokker F.VIIb-3m flown by Wilmer Stultz and Slim Gordon. She later made the first solo flight by a woman from Hawaii to California in 1935, but her plane was later lost somewhere in the Pacific in 1937 as she was attempting to circumnavigate the globe. The exact circumstances of her (presumed) crash are still unknown today.

The Kellogg-Briand Pact was developed as an international effort to outlaw war. The declaration originally started as a bilateral French-American accord, but 14 nations registered immediately, and 62 nations eventually signed. Although unsuccessful, the treaty marked the high point of idealism in the pursuit of peace. The proclamation stated "Whereas a Treaty between the President of the United States Of America, the President of the German Reich, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, the President of the Republic of Poland, and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy."

In the American League…

On May 1st, the Cleveland Indians outfield tied a major-league record with five assists in a game against the St. Louis Browns. Rookie Sam Langford also tied another major league mark after posting four of them himself. It was the 10th time (once in extra innings) that the record was equaled in the major leagues, and the last time the century. Although the "Tribe" was out-hit 12-10, they managed to hold on for the 4-3 victory.

41-year-old Detroit Tiger veteran Ty Cobb stole home on June 15th against the Cleveland Indians for the 50th (and final time) in his 24-year career to extend another one of his 90 major-league records.

Washington Senators pitcher Milt Gaston set another unusual American League record after surrendering 14 hits en route to a 9-0 shutout over the Cleveland Indians on July 10th.

In the National League…

The Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals combined on June 2nd to set a major league record with a 2-1 effort that was the result of 3 pinch-hit homeruns.

Following a Labor Day doubleheader rainout, the Boston Braves went on to play a record nine consecutive doubleheaders between September 4th and the 15th: First, the Brooklyn Dodgers on the 4th and 5th; then Philadelphia Phillies on the 7th and 8th; followed by the New York Giants on the 10th, 11th, 13th, and 14th; and finally the Chicago Cubs on the 15th. Starting with Philadelphia, the Braves also went on to set an unwanted record by dropping 5 consecutive games including all four against the Giants.

On September 18th, the Boston Braves and Chicago Cubs combined to set a National League record with eight double plays between them.

Around the league…

After voters in Massachusetts finally approved Sunday baseball in Boston (provided that the ballpark is more than 1,000 feet from a church), Pennsylvania was left as the only state in the major leagues with no Sunday baseball.

Alfred J. Reach, founder of A.J. Reach Sporting Goods, died on January 14th at the tender age of 87. Reach had become the first ballplayer ever to receive a regular salary after signing as a catcher with the Philadelphia Athletics at $25 a week (for expenses) in 1865.

On December 11th, National League President John Heydler first proposed the concept of a designated hitter (also known as the tenth regular). Heydler contended that the fans were tired of seeing weak hitting pitchers come up to bat and the incorporation of a DH would improve the quality of play and speed up the game.

Off the field…

On August 23rd, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts executed two Italian immigrants for a double murder. It was widely believed that the men's reputation as anarchists prevented them from receiving a fair trial and the case remains one of the most controversial in American history. On April 15, 1920, a paymaster for a shoe company in South Braintree, Massachusetts, and his guard were shot and killed by two men who escaped with over $15,000. It was thought from reports of witnesses that the murderers were Italians. The suspects, Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti were later arrested. Neither, however, had a criminal record, nor was there any evidence of their having had any of the money. In July of 1921, they were found guilty after a trial in Dedham, Massachusetts, and sentenced to death. Years later it was determined that Sacco was probably guilty of the crime, but that Vanzetti was innocent.

American Aviator Charles Lindbergh astounded the world on May 21st by landing in Paris after a solo flight from New York across the Atlantic in "The Spirit of St. Louis". Upon his return to the United States he received an unprecedented welcome, was promoted to colonel, and made a nationwide tour to foster popular interest in aviation. Lindbergh later married Anne Morrow, the daughter of the U.S. ambassador to Mexico and made several more historic flights with her. After the kidnapping and death of their son in 1932, the Lindberghs moved to England where Charles collaborated with Alexis Carrel on the invention of a perfusion pump that could maintain organs outside the body.

In the American League…

With an all-star lineup known as "Murderer's Row", the New York Yankees outscored its opponents by nearly 400 runs and hit .307 as a team. Babe Ruth set the original single season mark with 60 homeruns which was more than any other American League team had combined. Outfield counterparts, Earle Combs in center and Bob Meusel in left, hit .356 and .337 respectively. Lou Gehrig had his first big season, batting .373 with 47 homers and a league leading 175 RBIs. Second year man Tony Lazzeri ranked third in the loop with 18 homers.

On May 30th, Washington Senators ace Walter Johnson tossed the final shutout of his career (number 110) with a 3-hit, 3-0 victory over the Boston Red Sox. The "Big Train" went on to retire at the end of the season, but eventually returned to the majors as a manager for both the Senators and Cleveland Indians.

In the National League…

On May 3rd, Jess Barnes (Brooklyn Dodgers) and Virgil Barnes (New York Giants) combined for the first match-up in major league history between two brothers. Jess pitched the last seven innings, surrendering runs in the 7th and 8th, while Virgil allowed 12 hits in the first seven 2/3 innings, and finished with a 7-6 loss.

Chicago Cubs shortstop Jimmy Cooney pulled off a rare unassisted triple play in the opener of a Memorial Day doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Cooney first caught a Paul Waner line drive, then stepped on second to retire brother Lloyd Waner and finally tagged Clyde Barnhart who was attempting to get back on first. Amazingly, the feat would be duplicated the following day by Detroit Tigers first baseman Johnny Nuen against the Cleveland Indians.

Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Paul Waner set a new National League record after finishing 14 straight games with at least one long hit (12 doubles, five triples, three home runs). The following day, his 23-game hitting streak also came to an end.

Around the league…

During a May 14th game between the Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals, a section of 10 rows in the right field stands at the Baker Bowl collapsed spilling hundreds of fans onto spectators below. There are many injuries, but the one death that occurred was caused by the crowd's ensuing stampede, not the collapsing bleachers.

The New York Yankees grand finale for the 1927 season, the World Series, was the quickest ever played and lasted only 74 hours and 15 minutes. They became the first American League team to sweep a World Series, and it was only the 2nd four game sweep in World Series history (Braves over Athletics in 1914). The Yankees trailed a total of only two innings during the entire series out scoring the Pirates 23-10. Pittsburgh, only once, managed to score more than one run in an inning (during Game 4).

Off the field…

U.S. troops were deployed to Nicaragua in May to help restore civil order after a revolt broke out against the new president Emiliano Chamorro. The resulting "Bryan-Chamorro Treaty" (terminated in 1970) granted the United States an option for a canal route through the country as well as the installation naval bases. For the majority of the century, Nicaragua's politics had been dominated by the competition for power between the Liberals, who were centered in the city of León, and the Conservatives who were centered in Granada.

Controversial radio host Father Coughlin began broadcasting his right-wing addresses in which he criticized such diverse groups as U.S. bankers, trade unionists, and Communists. Later, he organized the National Union for Social Justice, which denounced President Roosevelt's "New Deal" policies and advocated such measures as silver inflation as well as the nationalizing of banks, utilities, and many natural resources. Coughlin also published a magazine titled "Social Justice" in which he made increasingly anti-Semitic remarks directed especially at Jewish members of Wall Street.

In the American League…

After 11 seasons (10 1/2 years), New York Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp was replaced by an "up-and-coming" rookie from Columbia University named Lou Gehrig who would hold the position for 2,130 consecutive games.

Despite losing 11-7 to the Chicago White Sox at Sportsman's Park III on April 22nd, the St. Louis Browns managed to tie an American League record with five double plays.

On April 13th, Washington Senators ace Walter Johnson and Philadelphia Athletics knuckleballer Eddie Rommel met for what is still considered to be the greatest opening-day pitchers' duel in baseball history. After going head-to-head for 15 grueling innings, Johnson emerged the 1-0 victor after fanning 12 batters.

In the National League…

The Cincinnati Reds used a major league record-tying eight sacrifices on May 6th, in a 14-1 triumph over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field.

The city of St. Louis declared May 22nd as "Rogers Hornsby Day" to honor the longtime player/manager. The Cardinals presented Hornsby with $1,000 in gold and a medal as the National League MVP for his performance in the 1925 season.

During a September 3rd outing against the Boston Braves, the New York Giants set a National League record after recording an astounding 12 runs in the 5th inning. The mid-game rally devastated the Braves who were unable to recover en route to an embarrassing 17-3 disaster.

Around the league…

The major league baseball Rules Committee finally agreed to allow the use of a resin bag by pitchers. The Committee also discussed the elimination of the intentional walk (forcing the pitcher to throw to the batter), as calling a "catcher balk" had not eliminated the practice as originally intended.

A 19-year-old pitching phenomenon named Satchel Paige made his debut on May 1st in the Negro Southern League leading Chattanooga to a 5-4 triumph over Birmingham.

On May 8th, the bleachers along the left field line at Fenway Park were partially destroyed by a fire. Surprisingly, the Red Sox management opted not to replace the seats.

Off the field…

One of the most sensational court cases in twentieth-century America, the "Scopes Monkey Trial" went infinitely beyond the boundaries of law and the courtroom to question the social, intellectual, and cultural values of America. In 1925, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that it was willing to financially support anyone challenging a recently enacted Tennessee law that prohibited the teaching of Darwinism in the state's schools. John T. Scopes, a 25-year-old high-school science teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who taught evolution in his school biology class, accepted the ACLU offer and agreed to stand as the defendant in a test case to challenge the law. At the conclusion of the hearings, Scopes' attorney asked the jury to return a verdict of guilty in order that the case might be appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court where, he hoped, the anti-Darwin law would be overturned. The jury, complying with his request, returned a verdict of guilty and fined Scopes $100.

In the American League…

Ty Cobb set another one of his many major league records on May 5th after going 6-for-6, (including three home runs) in a Detroit Tiger win over the St. Louis Browns. Cobb's 16 total bases topped the American League record previously set by Joe Hauser (14) on August 2nd of 1924.

Boston Red Sox outfielder Ira Flagstead initiated 3 double plays on May 19th in an 8-2 loss to the St. Louis Browns breaking the record previously set by Tris Speaker in 1918. (All of Speaker's were unassisted).

Rookie Ben Paschal of the New York Yankees hit two inside-the-park homers, in an 11-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on September 22nd. Paschal totaled seven homers in the month of September setting a franchise record (for rookies) that stood until 1998.

In the National League…

Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Glenn Wright pulled off the impossible after completing a solo triple play at second base during a 10-9 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 7th. Wright ended the game after snagging a Jim Bottomley line drive while simultaneously stepping on the bag before Johnny Cooney could return. Then he tagged Rogers Hornsby who was attempting to retreat after coming down from first base.

Second baseman Milt Stock of the Brooklyn Dodgers set a modern National League record after tallying four hits in four consecutive games.

Marv Goodwin (one of the few remaining "spitball" pitchers) was killed in an accident during an Air Reserve training flight on October 21st. The former right-hander for the St. Louis Cardinals had recently joined the Cincinnati Reds at the end of the season and became the first active-player ever to be killed in a plane crash.

Around the league…

At the annual meeting of American League owners, a plan was adopted to alternate the site of future World Series openers by league rather than deciding it by a coin toss. Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 would be played in one park and 3, 4, and 5 would take place in the other.

On April 5th, New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth collapsed suddenly at a railroad station in Asheville, North Carolina. He later underwent an emergency operation for an ulcer at New York Hospital on April 17th and remained in bed until May 26th.

On May 12th, a record (to date) of 20 home runs was hit around the major leagues.

Baseball legend Christy Mathewson died of tuberculosis on October 7th at Saranac Lake, New York, at the age of 45. At the time of his death he was part owner and president of the Boston Braves franchise.

Off the field…

Interior Secretary Albert B. Fall and oilmen Harry Sinclair and Edward L. Doheny were all charged with conspiracy and bribery in the "Teapot Dome scandal" which involved fraudulent leases of naval oil reserves. Fall was later indicted for conspiracy and for accepting bribes and after being convicted of the latter; he was sentenced to a year in prison and fined $100,000. In another trial for bribery Doheny and Sinclair were acquitted, although Sinclair was subsequently sentenced to prison for contempt of the Senate and for employing detectives to shadow members of the jury in his case. Eventually, the oil fields were restored to the U.S. government through a Supreme Court decision in 1927.

In the American League…

During a 12-4 Philadelphia Athletics' victory over the Cleveland Indians, first baseman Joe Hauser set an American League record with three homeruns and a double for a total of 14 bases. Ty Cobb later broke the record with 16 bags of his own on May 5th, 1925.

On May 1st, White Sox shortstop Bill Barrett stole home twice (1st and 9th innings) tying the major league mark for home-plate thievery. Chicago went on to beat the Cleveland Indians 13-7.

Washington Senators' ace Walter Johnson struck out 14 on May 23rd (including six in a row) for a 4-0 one-hitter over the Chicago White Sox and his 103rd shutout. Johnson went on to finish the season with his best record in 5 years while going 23-7.

In the National League…

On April 15th, Rogers Hornsby of the St. Louis Cardinals became the only batter to ever to go 2-for-5 on Opening Day (against Vic Aldridge of the Chicago Cubs). Later in the season, his .424 batting average would mark the highest major league BA of the 20th century.

Giant's first baseman George Kelly went "solo" on June 14th after hitting three homers to drive in all of New York's runs during an 8-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Over a decade later, Bob Johnson of the Philadelphia Athletics matched the "one-man-show" with an 8-3 win over the St. Louis Browns.

On July 11th, Chicago Cubs first baseman Lee Cotter equaled a major league record with 21 putouts and one assist during a 9-1 loss against the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Around the league…

Following the American League's lead, the Nationals agreed to offer a $1000 cash prize to the player named their most valuable player as selected by an exclusive panel of sports writers.

Sen Kaney called the first live radio broadcast (from a grandstand behind home plate) on October 1st at Cubs' Park in Chicago. The home team went on to beat their cross-town rival White Sox with a solid 10-7 effort.

On December 10th, both leagues agreed to a permanent rotation system for World Series play with the first two games at one league's park, next three at the other leagues park, last two (if needed) back at the first league's park, and all future openers to alternate between leagues. The National League was granted the inaugural advantage in 1925.

Off the field…

President Warren G. Harding suddenly fell ill on July 28th while returning from a trip to Alaska and was rushed to a San Francisco hospital where he died of a heart attack on August 2nd. Harding's undeviating Republicanism and vibrant speaking voice led him far in Ohio politics. He originally served in the state Senate and as Lieutenant Governor, but unsuccessfully ran for state Governor later. Harding's career soared after he delivered the nominating address for President Taft at the 1912 Republican Convention and he was eventually elected to the Senate in 1914. Many local supporters began to promote Harding for the 1920 Republican nomination and he went on to win the Presidential election by an unprecedented landslide of 60 percent of the popular vote.

The second Ku Klux Klan movement in U.S. history was initiated stirring widespread controversy and racial violence. Professing itself nonpolitical, the Klan nevertheless controlled politics in many communities and in 1922, 1924, and 1926 elected many state officials and a number of Congressmen. Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Oregon, and Maine were particularly under its influence. Its collapse thereafter was largely due to state laws that forbade the wearing masks in public, which eliminated the secret element, and apparently from the declining interest of its members.

In the American League…

Yankee Stadium debuted when "The House That Ruth Built" opened its doors on April 18th to an announced attendance of 74,217. "The Babe" himself provided the "house warming gift" with a 3-run homer that beat Howard Ehmke and the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

On May 25th, Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb scored his 1,741st run to pass another legend, Pittsburgh Pirate Honus Wagner. "The Georgia Peach" went on to hold 90 separate major league records when he retired in 1928.

The Cleveland Indians set an American League record on July 7th after scoring in every inning against the Boston Red Sox. In eight innings (the home team did not bat in the ninth), "The Tribe" ran up 27 runs, including 13 in the 6th, for an embarrassing 27-3 win.

In the National League…

On April 7th, the longest National League opener (to date) took place with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies battling head-to-head for a grueling, 14-innings and a 5-5 tie.

A riot broke out in Chicago on September 16th after umpire Charlie Moran made an "out" call at second base on Sparky Adams. Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was in attendance and shook his cane at the angry mob as Moran and the other officials were pelted by hundreds of empty bottles. After holding up play for over 15 minutes, the game resumed with the visiting New York Giants winning 10-6.

Dolf Luque of the Cincinnati Reds finished his season in style after posting an 11-1 finale over the St. Louis Cardinals. Following the game, Luque returned to Havana with a major league leading win-loss record of 27-8 which is still the best single-season mark ever posted (to date) by a Latin American pitcher.

Around the league…

Pitching legend Christy Mathewson became the president of the Boston Braves franchise after purchasing the club with New York attorney Judge Emil Fuchs and Bostonian James McDonough for a reported sum of $300,000. However, Braves Field remained in the custody of former owner James Gaffney and 85 minority stockholders.

The St, Louis Cardinals announced plans for their players to wear numerals on their uniforms, and number them according to the team's batting line-up.

Two members of the infamous "Black Sox Scandal", in which the 1919 World Series was "fixed" in favor of the Cincinnati Reds, attempted to sue their former team, the Chicago White Sox. Swede Risberg and Happy Felsch unsuccessfully sought $400,000 in damages and $6,750 back salary for conspiracy and injury to reputation. Both men, along with all Chicago players involved in the incident, had been banned from baseball due to their undeniable link to gamblers.

No games were played on August 3rd following the death of President Harding in San Francisco. The entire major league schedule was also canceled one week later on the day of his funeral.

Off the field…

On March 20th, at Norfolk, Virginia, the U.S.S. Langely was commissioned as the first United States Naval Aircraft Carrier. Originally a coaler christened the Jupiter, the mammoth vessel was refurbished for the purpose of conducting experiments in the new idea of seaborne aviation. At the outbreak of World War II, Langley was anchored off Cavite, Philippine Islands and was ordered to proceed to Balikpapan, Borneo, and Darv, in Australia, where she assisted the RAAF in running antisubmarine patrols out of Darwin. She was then assigned to American-British-Dutch-Australian forces assembling in Indonesia to challenge the Japanese thrust in that direction. Early in the morning of February 27th, 1942, Langley rendezvoused with her usual antisubmarine screen of Navy destroyers as nine twin-engine enemy bombers attacked her. The first and second Japanese strikes were unsuccessful; but during the third Langley took five hits igniting several planes on the flight deck. After an unsuccessful attempt to extinguish the flames, the order to abandon ship was passed. The escorting destroyers fired nine 4-inch shells and two torpedoes into the old tender to insure her sinking and she went down about 75 miles south of Tjilatjap with a loss of 16.

In the American League…

During a 5-4 win over the Detroit Tigers at League Park II on June 3rd, Cleveland Indians first baseman Stuffy McInnis committed his first error in an astounding 163 games and 1,625 chances.

On July 13th, 68 fans representing the smallest crowd in Fenway Park's history, turned out to watch the visiting St. Louis Browns shut out Alex Ferguson and their Boston Red Sox 2-0.

Chicago and Boston combined to set an American League record with 35 singles (Chicago, 21 and Boston, 14) during a 19-11 White Sox victory on August 15th.

In the National League…

Ten Pittsburgh Pirates collected two or more hits (22) on August 7th to rally over the seventh place Philadelphia Phillies 17-10. The Phils were headed for a storybook comeback (after scoring six runs in two 2/3 innings), but the Buccos added eight of their own in the fourth to take the lead. The following day Pittsburgh set a major-league record with 46 hits during a doubleheader against Philadelphia.

On August 25th, the Chicago Cubs managed to edge out the Philadelphia Phillies 26-23 in one of the worst combined pitching performances in baseball history. The game itself featured 51 hits, 23 walks, and 10 errors with the Phillies stranding 16 men on base and the Cubs leaving 9.

Rogers Hornsby completed the season with a .401 average making him the first .400-hitter in the National League since Ed Delahanty in 1899. He also set a NL record with 250 hits, another with 102 extra-base hits and was awarded the Triple Crown with 152 RBIs and 42 homers.

Around the league…

For the first time since 1900, there were no playing managers in the National League. It would be 1930 before the American League would follow suite and bench all of its managers.

Following a lawsuit brought by the Federal League's Baltimore franchise, the U.S. Supreme Court voted 9-0 that professional baseball (on any level) was not considered an interstate business.

In an effort to curb the rise of home run hitting (1,054 in the major leagues, up from 936), several American League owners proposed a new zoning system that called for a minimum distance of 300 feet for a round-tripper to be "official". Although that motion was denied, another action that required all teams to furnish two uniforms per player was passed and at the National League meeting Charles Ebbets proposed the addition of numbers on players' sleeves or caps.

Off the field…

The first burial of an unidentified soldier who had been killed in France during WWI was held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on November 11th. On Memorial Day, 1958, the bodies of two other unknown soldiers; one of whom had died in World War II, the other during the Korean War, were also buried in the tomb, which was later renamed the Tomb of the Unknowns.

The United States, Britain, Japan, France and Italy met for the Washington Naval Convention and agreed on a treaty limiting worldwide naval powers. The treaty called for a ratio of naval ships of 5 to 5 to 3 to 1.7 to 1.7. As a result, for every 5 large ships in the U.S. British fleets, Japan could have 3, and France and Italy, 1.7. The United States also agreed to scuttle 30 of it's own war ships as a result of the treaty.

In the American League…

The New York Yankees purchased a 20-acre plot of land in the Bronx as the future site for Yankee Stadium.

During an August 19th doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, Ty Cobb became the youngest player (34) ever to reach 3,000 hits.

Jimmy Dykes handled an American League record 17 chances at second base for the Philadelphia Athletics, as they took on the St. Louis Browns at Sportsman's Park III on August 28th. Dykes averaged 125 games in 13 full seasons with the A's, but only once played the same position all year - second base in 1921.

In the National League…

On July 8th, an order was issued that allowed fans to keep any balls hit into the stands at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field. Up until that point, all foul and homerun balls were still considered property of the league and were expected to be returned.

The first radio broadcast of a major league game was heard on August 5th over the country's first established radio station, KDKA in Pittsburgh. Harold Arlin, who also announced the first football game between Pittsburgh and West Virginia, called the 8-5 Philadelphia Phillies win over the hometown Pirates.

Around the league…

Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was officially named as baseball's commissioner with a contract for seven years at $50,000 per year. Landis was a judge in an Illinois federal district court when he came to the attention of baseball's establishment during the Federal League's antitrust suit, which was heard in his court.

Major League umpires began the practice of rubbing dirt into the balls before each game, using special clay supplied by Philadelphia Athletics' coach Lena Blackburne from his New Jersey farm.

On August 2nd, a Chicago jury rendered a "not guilty" verdict against the infamous "Black Sox" who had been accused of throwing the 1919 World Series in favor of the Cincinnati Reds. Ignoring the verdict, Judge Landis banned all eight defendants from major league baseball for life. "Regardless of the verdict of juries," the commissioner said in a statement, "no player that throws a ball game, no player that entertains proposals or promises to throw a game, no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing games are discussed, and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever again play professional baseball." To this day participants in the "Black Sox" conspiracy have been denied entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Off the field…

After several decades, the Nineteenth Amendment was finally added to the Constitution granting nation-wide suffrage to women. Initiated in 1890 by the merger of the rival women's rights organizations into the National American Woman Suffrage Association (NAWSA), the feminist movement's priority was to push for the ratification of enough state suffrage amendments to force Congress to approve a federal amendment declaring women's rights. Despite some radical factions that continued to address corollary issues, NAWSA's new approach focused the group's energies exclusively on recruiting new members and winning the vote for women.

In the American League…

On January 5th, the New York Yankees officially announced the purchase of Babe Ruth from the Boston Red Sox. The disgruntled pitcher had been unable to reach a contract agreement and was eventually sold to Colonel Jacob Ruppert for $100,000 (plus a loan collateralized by Fenway Park). Later, his .376 batting average, 54 home runs and 137 RBIs would generate an attendance of 1,289,422 fans in his first year and lead to the construction of Yankee Stadium.

The Detroit Tigers lost their first 13 games tying the major league mark for consecutive losses (at the start of a season) set by the 1904 Washington Senators.

Tragedy struck the Cleveland Indians organization after 29-year-old shortstop Ray Chapman was beaned in the head by a Carl Mays pitch and died the following day from a fractured skull.

In the National League…

A plan originally developed by Brooklyn Dodgers owner Charles Ebbets many years ago was finally adopted with the annual drafting of players from the minor leagues taking place in reverse order of each teams' final standings.

Several hours before the start of Game 4, Brooklyn Robins standout Rube Marquard (a Cleveland native), was arrested after attempting to sell a World Series ticket to an undercover police officer for $350. Marquard was later found guilty and ordered to pay a fine and court costs totaling $3.80. Adding insult to injury, his hometown opponents went on to win the game 5-1.

On December 15th, the National League revealed a startling statistic by reporting the use of 27,924 baseballs during the season, which represented an increase of 10,248 over 1919.

Around the league…

The Joint Rules Committee voted to ban the use of all foreign substances (saliva, resin, talcum powder, paraffin) as well as any other alterations (shine or emery) to balls by pitchers. As a result, the American League opted to allow two pitchers from each club the option to use a spitball for one more season. The Nationals set no limitations as long as all "practicing" pitchers were identified and any other pitcher who was caught cheating would be suspended for a minimum of 10 days.

Lou Gehrig (a junior at New York City's School of Commerce) was introduced to the nation after hitting a grand slam out of Wrigley Field during a high school championship game against Lane Tech on June 26th.

The 1919 World Series sparked a major controversy amid rumors of a gambling fix. Eight members of the participating Chicago White Sox were all charged with conspiring to throw the Fall Classic against the Cincinnati Reds. After a lengthy investigation and highly publicized trial (lasting until 1921), the "Black Sox" were acquitted despite their own confessions. Throughout the 1920 season, the league offices were constantly denying accusations from the press that professional baseball itself was in on the take and made every effort to assure the fans that the 1919 scandal was an isolated incident.

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All essays researched and written by Michael Aubrecht.
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