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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…

"The Daughters of the American Revolution", a colonial patriotic society in the United States open to women having one or more ancestors who aided the cause of the Revolution refused to allow Marian Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C. Anderson was the first African American to be named a permanent member of the Metropolitan Opera Company, as well as the first black woman to perform at the White House. In protest of their protest, First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned her DAR membership and sponsored Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

On August 12th, Louis B. Mayer and his staff at MGM released what is considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made, the classic musical version of "The Wizard of Oz". Although the lavish production of L. Frank Baum's children's book originally lost a million dollars on its initial release, its musical score, technical artistry, star-making performance from Judy Garland, and unexpected TV success turned it into a perennial classic.

In the American League…

On May 2nd, New York Yankee Lou Gehrig, also known as "The Iron Horse" voluntarily benched himself "for the good of the team" ending his consecutive-game streak at 2,130. After being diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (later renamed Lou Gehrig's Disease) the ailing first baseman continued to struggle while batting .143 with a single RBI. Soon after, the 36-year-old star retired, but remained with the team as the captain. Later that season (on the Fourth of July) a tearful Gehrig spoke to 61,808 fans at Yankee Stadium stating, "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth." After his moving speech, his uniform #4 was retired.

The New York Yankees hit a whopping eight homeruns in the first game of a June 28th doubleheader with the Philadelphia Athletics, and then followed up with five more in the second. Both totals set a major league record for most homeruns in a game as well as their total of 53 total bases in a doubleheader. To no surprise, the Bronx Bombers swept the series winning the opener 23-2 and taking the night-game 10-0.

In the National League…

St. Louis Cardinals standout Johnny Mize equaled a National League record on July 3rd after hitting four extra-base hits including a double, triple, and two home runs during a 5-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.

In New York, nine players from the Giants and Dodgers combined for 9 homers in a 10-6 Brooklyn win at the Polo Grounds. The homerun derby fell one round-tripper short of the record for two teams in one game set in 1923.

On September 21st, the National League announced that for the first time in the 20th century games would be moved from one city to another in order to top one million paid attendance. As a result, a double header between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Philadelphia Phillies was swapped from the "City of Brotherly Love" to "The Big Apple".

Around the league…

On June 12th, the greatest line-up in the history of baseball assembled in Cooperstown, New York for the official dedication of the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Grover Alexander, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, and Connie Mack all accepted their plaques and a special six-inning game was also held at the adjacent Doubleday Field featuring the talents of many future members.

The first telecast of a major-league baseball game took place at Ebbets Field on August 26th as the Cincinnati Reds took on the home team Brooklyn Dodgers in a doubleheader. Announcer Red Barber broadcasted the play-by-play on Channel W2XBS as both teams split with the "Bums" taking the first game 6-2 and the visitors taking the second 5-1.

An "off-season" experiment known as "The National Professional Indoor Baseball League" debuted in November to poor reviews. Headed by president Tris Speaker, the league boasted 10 clubs, one in each major-league city except Washington. Unfortunately, the novel concept of playing baseball indoors during the winter months failed miserably at the ticket gates and the league was disbanded within a month.

Off the field…

On October 30th, actor Orson Wells broadcasted his own adaptation of the H.G. Wells classic "War of the Worlds". His original "news-style" format proved more than a little convincing and created a nationwide panic as many listeners actually believed that alien invaders had landed in New Jersey. After the controversial program established him as a creative genius, Wells was signed by RKO pictures where he co-wrote, produced, directed, and starred in his first film, "Citizen Kane" (1941) which is still considered by many to be the greatest movie ever made.

The Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 was passed to establish minimum living standards for workers engaged directly or indirectly in interstate commerce. A major provision of the act was the establishment of a Minimum Wage, initially $0.25 an hour, along with a maximum workweek of 44 hours. These went on to become $0.40 an hour and 40 hours after seven years.

In the American League…

New York Yankee icon Lou Gehrig hit his 23rd (and final) grand slam during an 11-3 victory over the Philadelphia Athletics on August 20th for a major league record that still stands today.

Indian catchers Frank Pytlak and Hank Helf broke the "all-time altitude mark" by catching baseballs dropped from the 706-foot Cleveland Terminal Tower on August 20th. Over the next few years, several players were seriously injured attempting to break this unusual record.

Cleveland ace Bob Feller set a major league strikeout record after fanning 18 Detroit Tigers on October 2nd (including 6 straight), yet still lost 4-1 on rival Harry Eisenstat's 4-hitter.

In the National League…

The St. Louis Cardinals signed Texas Christian University All-American football star and Washington Redskins quarterback Sammy Baugh as an infielder. Although he started off with the team in spring training, he was eventually assigned to the "Redbirds" farm system in both Columbus and Rochester.

Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Hal Kelleher set two unwanted major league records on May 5th after surrendering 12 runs off of 16 Chicago Cub batters in the 8th-inning of a 21-2 massacre. Joe Marty led the attack with four hits for four runs and four RBIs.

In December, the National League granted the Cincinnati Reds their season opener one-day before the rest of the league in recognition of the 100th anniversary of baseball and the 1869 Red Stockings who were baseball's first professional team.

Around the league…

A special committee from the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted Alexander Cartwright for originating baseball's original concepts and sports writer Henry Chadwick for the invention of the box score.

On June 18th, Babe Ruth signed on as a Brooklyn Dodgers coach for the remainder of the season. Desperately seeking a management position, "The Sultan of Swat" agreed to participate in many exploitive "non-coaching related" publicity stunts including appearing before games in uniform for batting demonstrations.

The founder of the Elias Sports Bureau and official statistician of the National League, Al Munro Elias, died in New York City on August 1st at the age of 67.

The New York Yankees became the first team to win 3 successive World Championships after defeating the Chicago Cubs by a score of 8-3. On a somber note, the ailing Lou Gehrig, went 4 for 14 (all singles) for his last Series appearance.

Off the field…

On May 6th, the German blimp "Hindenburg" burst into flames 200 feet over its intended landing spot at New Jersey's Lakehurst Naval Air Station. Thirty-five people on board the flight were killed (13 passengers and 22 crewmen), along with one crewman on the ground. The giant flying zeppelin measured 803 feet in length and weighed approximately 242 tons, but still managed a top speed of just over 80 miles per hour. As it reached its final destination in New Jersey, it hovered over its landing spot and was beginning to be pulled down to the ground by landing lines by over 200 crewmen when disaster struck. A small burst of flame started just forward of the upper fin, then blossomed into an inferno that quickly engulfed the dirigible's tail.

Once again, tragedy struck in the skies as America's first female pilot pioneer, Amelia Earhart, was lost over the Pacific during her attempt to make an around-the-world flight along the equator. The flight, which began in Miami, had made it around the world to Lae before she and her Lockheed Electra mysteriously vanished. Her last communication by radio was "we are flying northeast."

In the American League…

On July 25th, Mel Almada of the Washington Senators tied a major league record by scoring 5 runs himself in the first game of a doubleheader against the St. Louis Browns. Almada added four more in the second game setting another ML record for most individual runs in an 18-inning period.

Harlond Clift of the St. Louis Browns equaled an American League record with nine assists in a 5-4 loss to the Detroit Tigers. By the end of the season, the third baseman went on to set a new major league record for total chances and the still-standing mark of 405 assists.

On December 6th, the Boston Red Sox acquired the contract of an up-and-coming 19-year-old named Ted Williams. Signed at the age of seventeen by his hometown San Diego Padres, Williams produced adequate numbers in the tough Pacific Coast League but improved beyond his years (and peers) while playing for the American Association in Minneapolis.

In the National League…

On May 3rd, the New York Giants tied an unusual major league record after playing an entire 9-inning game against the Boston Bees without a single chance for their outfielders. The Bees outfield managed only 3 chances themselves and went on to win 3-1.

En route to a 21-10 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies at the Baker Bowl, Cincinnati Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi matched the modern major-league record with six hits (5 singles and a double) in six consecutive times at bat.

Mickey Owen, the catcher for the St. Louis Cardinals, became only the third backstop to ever pull off an unassisted double play as the "Redbirds" went on to beat the Boston Bees 5-2 at Sportsman's Park III on August 3rd.

Around the league…

In January, Cincinnati fell victim to its worst flooding disaster ever as rising water overwhelmed the lower city limits and Crosley Field. At its peak, river water covered the infield diamond and lower grandstands with as much as 21 feet of water. Taking advantage of a photographic opportunity, Reds pitchers Gene Schott and Lee Grissom rowed a boat out from the center field wall for a once in a lifetime image that appeared in newspapers across the country.

The American League All-Stars topped the Nationals 8-3 in the Midsummer Classic. However, the biggest story of the contest was a bizarre play that marked the beginning of the end of Dizzy Dean's spectacular career. With two out, Earl Averill cracked a low line drive that caught Dean directly on the front of his foot. Later, in the clubhouse, it was discovered that Dean's toe was broken. Anxious to get back in the game, Dean and the Cardinals management decided he would return to the mound before the toe was fully healed. Their impatience proved costly as the injury affected his delivery, which eventually injured his arm, and ultimately ended his glory days at the tender age of twenty-six.

Off the field…

Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was re-elected with a whopping 61% of the vote. His immense popularity around the country was attributed to his successful efforts in helping the American economy out of the depression with his New Deal programs. Later, he went on to provide strong leadership in the winning of World War II, and was the only president to be elected four times. At the turn of the millennium, Time Magazine selected him as a runner-up for Person of the Century.

"Dust Bowl" problems continued to plague the Midwest and U.S. prairie states. Initially caused by the over-planting in support of World War I, farmers were encouraged to grow more wheat by plowing and seeding areas in Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico, which were formerly used only for grazing. After years of adequate yields, livestock were returned to graze the areas, and their hooves pulverized the unprotected soil. Strong winds blew the soil into huge clouds, and in the succeeding years, from December to May, the dust storms recurred. As a result, miles and miles of crops and pasturelands were ruined and many farmers and their families experienced severe health problems.

In the American League…

New York Yankees second baseman Tony Lazzeri set several hitting records on May 24th after hitting two grand slams, a 3rd home run, and a triple for 15 total bases in a 25-2 massacre over the Philadelphia Athletics. Lazzeri had appeared unstoppable after tallying seven home runs in four games and six in three games as well a major league record 11 RBIs in a single game.

An up-and-coming outfielder named Joe DiMaggio tied several major-league records after hitting 2 home runs (for 8 total bases) and 2 doubles (four long hits in a game) during a June 24th outing between the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox.

During a July 18th nightcap, the Chicago White Sox and Philadelphia Athletics combined to set an American League record for the most combined runs scored by two teams after posting a 21-14 final. White Sox outfielder Rip Radcliff tied an additional A.L. record with six hits (4 singles and two doubles) in seven at bats.

In the National League…

Philadelphia Phillies catcher Earl Grace set an unwanted major league record on April 26th after granting bases to Brooklyn Dodgers shortstop Ben Geraghty twice on two separate interference calls (tipped bat).

Second baseman Stu Martin tied the major league mark of 11 assists in the first game during a June 6th doubleheader between his St. Louis Cardinals and New York Giants.

On July 10th, Chuck Klein of the Philadelphia Phillies hit four home runs (in five at bats) during a 10-inning game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. At age 36, Klein became the oldest player ever to hit four round trippers in a single game as well as first National League player in the 20th century to do so.

Around the league…

After Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took a voluntary pay-cut in 1933 (from $65,000 to $40,000) due to the Depression, Internal Revenue figures posted Branch Rickey as the highest paid man in baseball at $49,470. Rickey would later gain fame as the man who signed Jackie Robinson, breaking the silently upheld "color barrier" that had existed since the 1880s. By exploiting the Negro Leagues as a new source of talent, Rickey built a dynasty in Brooklyn that won the National League pennant seven times from 1947 through 1956.

After purchasing the fledgling Boston Braves, the team's owners asked a local newspaperman to choose a new nickname for the franchise based on suggestions made by the fans. After hundreds of entries, the moniker Boston "Bees" was selected. Unfortunately, it would never catch on and be changed back to the Braves after the 1940 season.

The baseball writers association voted for the first set of players to be named to the new Baseball Hall of Fame. The inaugural class included Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson who each received the requisite 75 percent of ballots cast.

On April 29th, the first professional baseball game in Japan was played as Nagoya defeated Daitokyo by a score of 8-5.

Off the field…

American political leader Huey Long was assassinated in Louisiana. Known as "The Kingfish", Long narrowly defeated for governor of Louisiana in 1924 and moved into office four years later. When the state legislature obstructed his program of economic and social reform, he established control of the state through extensive use of patronage. Long was responsible for the building of badly needed roads and bridges, the expansion of state-owned hospitals, and the extension of the school system into remote rural regions. He also increased the taxes of large businesses in Louisiana, especially those of the big oil companies. In September, he was assassinated by Dr. Carl A. Weiss, who was also slain by Long's bodyguards. Despite his untimely death, Long's administration continued to prosper for several years and the Long family remained an important political power in the state.

In the American League…

Jo Jo White of the Detroit Tigers and Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees both tied an American League record after tallying 5 walks each in a single game.

The Cleveland Indians set a new American League marathon mark (41 innings) on April 21st after playing in their 3rd consecutive overtime game: 14 innings against the St. Louis Browns and 24 and 13 innings against the Detroit Tigers.

On August 31st, Chicago White Sox ace Vern Kennedy tossed the first no-hitter (5-0) ever at Comiskey Park as well as the first no-no in major league baseball since 1931.

In the National League…

Blondy Ryan of the Philadelphia Phillies tied a major league record (for an individual) on April 21st after turning 5 separate double plays against the New York Giants. After collectively adding a sixth, the Phillies themselves tied the National League record (for a team) with 6 DPs.

Cincinnati Reds catcher Ernie Lombardi tied the major league record for most consecutive doubles after hitting four straight (off of 4 different pitchers) en route to a 15-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on May 8th.

Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Lloyd Waner set a still-standing major-league record with 18 put outs during a doubleheader sweep against the Boston Braves on June 26th.

Around the league…

Babe Ruth, who was recently released by the New York Yankees, signed a short-term contract with the National League's Boston Braves that included $20,000 and a substantial share in the team's profits.

The Cincinnati Reds hosted the Philadelphia Phillies for the first ever night game on May 24th. Under the lights, the home team prevailed 2-1 before a Crosley Field crowd of 24,422.

On May 25th, Babe Ruth hit the last three homeruns of his career (712, 713, 714) during an 11-7 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field. "The Sultan", who had a previously boasted a three-homer game in the American League (May 21, 1930), became the first major league player ever to turn a "hat trick" in both leagues.

In November, the National League temporarily assumed control over the bankrupt Boston Braves after several failed attempts to sell the club. Finishing the season with 115 losses, (a record that remained until the 1962 expansion New York Mets lost 120) the fledgling franchise had barely managed a winning percentage of .248, which remained a 20th Century low.

Off the field…

American justice prevailed as Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker aka "Bonnie and Clyde" were ambushed and killed instantly by a posse of lawmen led by Texas Ranger Frank Hamer near Sailes, Bienville Parish, Louisiana on May 23rd. Together the pair committed 13 murders, numerous kidnappings, and several burglaries and robberies requiring the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to engage in the largest manhunt the United States had seen up to that time. Another famous bank robber and cold-blooded killer who terrorized the Midwest during the early '30s, John Dillinger was also shot and killed by FBI agents outside of a Chicago movie theater in July.

The Securities and Exchange Commission agency of the U.S. government was created by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and was charged with protecting the interests of the public and investors in connection with the public issuance and sale of corporate securities. The Federal Communications Commission was also established to regulate interstate and foreign communications in the public interest.

In the American League…

Washington Senators reserve catcher Moe Berg set an American League record on April 21st, after playing in his 117th consecutive errorless game (dating back to 1931).

New York Yankees icon Lou Gehrig hit two home runs (one a grand slam) and a pair of doubles on May 10th, to tie the major league record with four long hits and seven runs (in only five innings of play) to top the Chicago White Sox, 13-3.

The amazingly inconsistent St. Louis Browns shocked everyone on June 3rd after tying an American League record for most consecutive hits (nine in the 6th-inning - all with two outs) to beat the first place Cleveland Indians 12-8.

In the National League…

On April 29th, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the last remaining major league city to play a home outing on a Sunday (beating the Cincinnati Reds 9-5) after the state's "Blue Law" (prohibiting games on Sundays) was repealed.

St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dazzy Vance notched the 2,000th strikeout of his career during his last complete game, a 4-2 victory over the Boston Braves, on July 22nd.

Reggie Grabowski of the Philadelphia Phillies, set an unwanted National League record after surrendering 11 hits (and runs) in the ninth inning against the New York Giants for a humiliating 21-4 loss on August 4th.

Around the league…

Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who was granted absolute power in 1920 after the Black Sox scandal had tainted the game, denied participant Shoeless Joe Jackson's appeal for reinstatement in January.

Due to declining attendance, both the St. Louis Cardinals and St. Louis Browns discontinued radio broadcasts from Sportsman's Park in an effort to promote ticket sales with the hometown fans. All games had been aired since 1926, but only on weekdays for the last two years.

As a novelty concept (that would eventually catch on), fans were tasked with voting in the participants for the 2nd annual All-Star Game, which was to be played on July 10th at the Polo Grounds in New York. Bill Terry of the New York Giants was the top vote-getter in the Midsummer Classic balloting.

Negro League ace Satchel Paige tossed a 4-0 no-hitter on July 4th against the Homestead Grays in Pittsburgh, and then drove to Chicago to shut out the Chicago American Giants 1-0 (in 12 innings) giving him two shutouts (in two different cities) on the same day.

Off the field…

The legal prevention of alcoholic beverages known as "Prohibition" was finally repealed due to the ratification of the Twenty-first Amendment. After World War I, national prohibition had become the law as stated in the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution, which strictly forbid the manufacturing, sale, import, or export of any and all intoxicating liquors. In spite of the Volstead Act (1919), law enforcement proved to be very difficult and smuggling (or bootlegging) on a large scale could not be prevented. As a result, the illicit manufacture of liquor sprang up with such rapidity that authorities were unable to suppress it.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated his "New Deal" domestic reform program. The first phase (1933-34) attempted to provide recovery and relief from the Great Depression through programs of agricultural and business regulation, inflation, price stabilization, and public works. As a result, Congress established numerous emergency organizations, notably the National Recovery Administration (NRA), the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Agricultural Adjustment Administration (AAA), the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the Public Works Administration.

In the American League…

During a May 16th marathon at Griffith Stadium, the Washington Senators and Cleveland Indians both combined to break a major-league record by using 11 different pitchers in 12-innings. With both bullpens depleted, the Senators finally broke through the stalemate for the 11-10 decision.

On August 14th, Philadelphia Athletics slugger Jimmie Foxx hit for the cycle against the Cleveland Indians while driving in nine runs for a new American League record. Eight players amazingly would hit for the cycle during the 1933 season.

New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth returned to the mound on October 1st to pitch the final outing of his career. Adding a homerun to support his own cause, "The Bambino" finished the complete game with a 6-5 victory over his old teammates (and rivals) the Boston Red Sox.

In the National League…

Honus Wagner left retirement to rejoin the Pittsburgh Pirates as a coach. Wagner had previously played 17 years with the ball club and would remain for 39 more while giving batting tips to future Hall of Famers Pie Traynor, Kiki Cuyler, Arky Vaughn, Ralph Kiner, and the Waner brothers.

On March 11th, a substantial earthquake rocked the Los Angeles area interrupting an exhibition game between the Chicago Cubs and New York Giants. As fans exited the grandstands amidst panic, players from both teams were forced to huddle around the center of the diamond until the tremors stopped.

Philadelphia Phillies shortstop Dick Bartell equaled a major league mark on April 25th with 4 doubles in 4 at bats during a 7-1 victory over the Boston Braves at the Baker Bowl.

Around the league…

Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis took a voluntary pay-cut of 40 percent setting an example for the league-wide salary cuts that were anticipated due to the lingering Depression.

The All-Star Game made its debut on July 6th 1933, at Chicago's Comiskey Park. It was initiated at the insistence of Arch Ward, a sports editor for the Chicago Tribune, to coincide with the celebration of Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition. The NL's manager John McGraw and AL's Connie Mack were chosen to lead a line-up of big hitters including Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Babe Ruth. With fellow All-Star, Charlie Gehringer on first in the bottom of the third, Ruth drove one into the right-field stands for the first homer in All-Star history. The rest of the American Leaguers followed suite and went on to beat the Nationals in the inaugural Midsummer Classic 4-2.

Off the field…

Charles A. Lindbergh, the American aviator who made the first solo, nonstop transatlantic flight from New York to Paris, faced every parent's nightmare after his child was kidnapped and murdered. In March, Lindberg's son was abducted from his own bedroom with a ransom demand of $50,000 for his release. After paying the sum, Lindberg's son was not returned infuriating the country and sparking one of the largest manhunts in modern history. In September, the missing child's battered body was found near Hopewell and further investigation revealed a suspect named Bruno Richard Hauptmann, who was found in possession of the ransom. In a sensational trial at Flemington, N.J., Hauptmann was convicted of murder and electrocuted on April 3rd, 1936.

In the American League…

On May 16th, the New York Yankees recorded their 4th straight shutout to equal the American League record set by both Cleveland and Boston in 1903 and 1906. The Pinstripes "perfect rotation" included Johnny Allen, George Pipgras, Red Ruffing, and Lefty Gomez who combined for an 8-0 triumph over the Indians.

Lou Gehrig, of the New York Yankees, tallied four consecutive homeruns during a 20-13 slugfest against the Philadelphia Athletics on June 3rd. Teammate Tony Lazzeri hit for the cycle and the Bronx Bombers also set a major league record with 41 extra bases.

Washington Senators third baseman Ossie Bluege tied the American League record after being walked 5 times in the first game of a doubleheader that was eventually won by the Detroit Tigers 8-6.

In the National League…

First baseman Bill Terry tied a National League record on April 17th with 21 putouts as the New York Giants topped the Boston Braves 6-0 at the Polo Grounds.

Pittsburgh standout Paul Waner tied a major league mark with four doubles in five at bats as the Pirates topped the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0 on May 20th. Waner would later go on to break Chuck Klein's National League record for most doubles in a season with 62.

John Quinn of the Brooklyn Dodgers became the oldest pitcher (at 49) to win a major league baseball game after relieving Van Mungo in the ninth to beat the New York Giants 2-1 on August 14th. Teammate Johnny Frederick had tied the game with his fourth pinch-hit homerun of the year setting a new major league record and would go on to add two more before the season's end.

Around the league…

On May 30th, a commemorative plaque in memory of former Yankee manager Miller Huggins was dedicated at Yankees Stadium initiating an array of tributes that would later evolve into "Monument Park".

At a June 22nd meeting of the National League club presidents, a committee finally approved the addition of numbers on player uniforms. The American League's New York Yankees had initiated the concept in 1929 with the rest of the AL following close behind.

After holding several hearings, Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis cleared Rogers Hornsby on charges of fraudulently "borrowing" money from several Chicago Cubs players. The investigation was initiated after local papers in the "Windy City" reported that Hornsby had obtained money from players to bet on horse races or to share in joint ventures.

During a joint meeting of American and National League owners on December 15th, the concept of "chain store" baseball (originally developed as the St. Louis Cardinal farm system) was approved despite objections by Judge Landis.

Off the field…

Organized Crime icon Al Capone was finally convicted by a grand jury and sentenced to 11 years in prison for tax evasion. The American gangster had repeatedly escaped prosecution even after being implicated in multiple murders and had received numerous accolades from businessmen and politicians. His crime syndicate, which terrorized Chicago in the 1920s while controlling gambling and prostitution, was estimated by the federal Bureau of Internal Revenue to have taken in $105 million in 1927 alone.

"The Star-Spangled Banner" was officially made the national anthem by Congress, although it already had been adopted as such by the U.S. Armed Forces. On Sept. 13, 1814, Francis Scott Key visited the British fleet in Chesapeake Bay to secure the release of Dr. William Beanes, who had been captured after the burning of Washington, DC. Key was forced to seek shelter onboard a ship overnight during the shelling of Fort McHenry in Baltimore. In the morning, he was so delighted to see the American flag still flying over the fort that he began a poem to commemorate the occasion.

In the American League…

The major league record for catching fly balls was set during a June 29th doubleheader between Detroit and Philadelphia. On the way to both 9-1 and 5-1 victories, the Tiger's outfielders boasted 24 putouts and the Athletics answered back with 19 of their own for a 2-team total of 43 fly-outs in two games.

On July 7th, the St. Louis Browns and Chicago White Sox met for a 12-inning marathon in which not a single strikeout was recorded. The 10-8 decision still remains the longest game in major league history not to record a single "K".

Philadelphia Athletics ace Lefty Grove (25-2) recorded a 4-2 win over the Chicago White Sox on August 9th for his 16th consecutive victory to tie an American League record originally set by Walter Johnson and Joe Wood in 1912.

In the National League…

Chicago Cubs player/manager, Rogers Hornsby, inserted himself into the line-up on April 24th and hit 3 consecutive homeruns to beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 10-6 at Forbes Field. Hornsby went on to lead the Cubs into 3rd place (while batting .331), but was eventually fired due to a lifelong compulsion with gambling that had landed him in debt.

Wally Berger, the Boston Braves centerfielder who had established two National League rookie records with 38 homers and 119 RBIs in 1930, tied a modern mark for the outfield by recording 4 assists during a Socks Seibold 2-0 shutout over the Philadelphia Phillies on April 27th.

Pittsburgh Pirates' outfielder Adam Comorosky proved that lightning could strike twice after making an unassisted double play on May 31st against the Chicago Cubs and another DP on June 13th against the New York Giants.

Around the league…

On February 15th, the New York Yankees' spring training facility in St. Petersburg, Florida was officially renamed "Miller Huggins Field" in honor of the team's late manager.

The Chicago White Sox and New York Giants met for the first major league night game (at Buffs Stadium, Houston Texas) on February 21st. Both teams combined to collect 23 hits during the 10-inning exhibition.

On April 2nd, a 17-year-old female named Jackie Mitchell from the Double A "Chattanooga Lookouts" took the mound against the mighty New York Yankees in a spring training exhibition. Mitchell, mainly a "gate attraction", boasted a single pitch, which was a wicked, dropping curve ball. The first two batters she faced from "Murderers Row" were Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. After seven pitches Mitchell fanned the "Sultan of Swat" AND the "Iron Horse," back-to-back.

Off the field…

Economics dominated politics in the 1930's and the decade began with the construction of shanty towns called "Hoovervilles" (named after a president who felt that relief should be left to the private sector) and ended with a series of federal programs funded by the national government and an assortment of commissions set up to regulate Wall Street, the banking industry, and other business enterprises.

The Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act was passed by the U.S. Congress and signed by President Hoover who desired a limited upward revision of tariff rates with general increases on farm products and industrial rates. The controversial act brought retaliatory tariffs from many foreign countries causing U.S. foreign trade to suffer while intensifying America's economic depression.

Many of America's most distinguished writers produced works of fiction during the thirties. The list includes such names as F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thornton Wilder. Some of the novels of this period explored what was happening in America during the Great Depression. One standout, John Steinbeck's "The Grapes of Wrath", chronicled the life of a displaced Oklahoma family who had lost its farm to the drought of the Dust Bowl.

In the American League…

During an April 27th, 2-1 victory over the St. Louis Browns, Chicago White Sox first baseman Bud Clancy became the first player at his position since Al McCauley of Washington (American Association) in 1891 to have no chances in a nine-inning game.

The New York Yankees' and Detroit Tigers' outfields combined on May 9th for a meager 2-putouts setting an American League record that has never been equaled. The National League record for outfielder idleness was previously set at 1-putout when the Pittsburgh Pirates took on the "Brooklyn Superbas" back in August of 1910.

On May 11th, Cleveland Indians outfielder Bibb Falk accomplished true offensive symmetry after collecting five hits, five RBIs and five runs (in the first five innings) during a 25-7 massacre over the Philadelphia Athletics.

In the National League…

New York Giants pitcher Larry Benton set an unwanted modern major-league record (since tied several times) by surrendering six separate home runs in a single game. Training the Chicago Cubs 14-4, Benton and his teammates managed to tack on five runs (on four home runs) in the bottom of the 7th to tie the major league record for most runs in a side.

The rules governing homeruns was changed after Brooklyn Dodgers catcher Al Lopez bounced one over Cincinnati Reds' left fielder Bob Meusel and into the bleachers on September 12th. The lucky round-tripper marked the last recorded "bouncer" and has since then been marked as a guaranteed double.

On the final day of the regular season, a young 19-year-old rookie named Dizzy Dean made his major league debut with St. Louis Cardinals surrendering just 3-hits en route to a 3-1 victory over the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates.

Around the league…

On March 8th, Babe Ruth signed a new 2-year contract for $160,000 with the New York Yankees. At $80,000 per year, "The Sultan of Swat" became the highest paid player of all time and earned more money than the President of the United States. In an effort to assure posterity, Yankees General Manager Ed Barrow was quoted as saying that "No one in baseball will ever be paid more than Ruth."

By April 29th, suspicions that the 1930 ball was the "liveliest ever" increase as an astounding 123 runs were scored in just 7 major league games.

With no MVP award for the second year in a row (due to financial strains), the Associated Press polled its members and named Joe Cronin as it's unofficial American League MVP for 1930. The Baseball Writers Association named Hack Wilson the MVP of the Nationals and his team (the Chicago Cubs) presented him with the $1000 bonus. The Sporting News, also acting to fill the MVP void, announced its own selection of Bill Terry as the Most Valuable Player for the NL, and Joe Cronin for the AL.

On November 23rd, Red Badgro, a St. Louis Browns outfielder / New York Giants receiver caught his third touchdown pass of the season (against the Green Bay Packers) igniting a two-sport career that would eventually land him in the Football Hall of Fame in 1981.

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All essays researched and written by Michael Aubrecht.
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