1877 April

7thGeorge Hall, who led the NL in home runs last year with 5, hits a homer in his first spring at-bat for Louisville, as the Grays begin training with a practice game against local amateurs. Hall will not hit any homers during the regular season.

12thPlaying for Harvard College, Alex Tyng wear a catcher’s mask in a game against semi-pro Live Oaks in Lynn, MA. Supposedly the invention of Fred Thayer, the team manager, the mask is manufactured by Peck & Snyder of New York City (In the June 2004 Harvard Magazine, historian Stephen Eisenbach writes that Tyng had a local tinsmith make the mask). Thayer will receive a patent for his invention next year. A February 1, 1903 Washington Post account says oldtimers credit Billy McGunnity of Falls River with using the first catcher’s mitt in 1875.

14thPrinceton College’s nine hands the reorganized Athletics an embarrassing 24–11 defeat in Philadelphia.

26th  The IA opening game is played in Lynn, MA. The Manchester, NH, team beats the Live Oaks 14–3. Louis Say stars by scoring 4 runs. IA president Candy Cummings is the losing pitcher.

29th  Jack Manning, outfielder/pitcher, is loaned to the Cincinnati Reds by Boston. Boston did the same thing to Manning in 1874, loaning him to Baltimore.

30th  The Boston Red Stockings and the Hartford Dark Blues open the NL season with a tie game in Brooklyn, 1–1 in 11 innings. Tommy Bond makes his debut with Boston against his old team. Hartford manager Bob Ferguson, who suspended Bond last year after the pitcher accused him of throwing games, drives in the only run for the Dark Blues.

Jim Galvin of the Pittsburgh Alleghenies hurls the minor league IA’s first shutout, defeating Columbus 2–0.