1888 April

1st  The Texas League plays its first game, Houston winning at home 3–1 over Galveston before 3,000 fans.

2nd  The Browns beat Detroit 5–3 in New Orleans in the first game of a World Series rematch from last fall. The games are advertised locally as a “World Championship Series.”

3rd  Chicago sells pitching star John Clarkson to Boston for $10,000. He has said he doesn’t ant to play for Chicago but would rather play near his Boston home. With last year’s deal for catcher King Kelly, the Beaneaters have acquired a “$20,000 Battery” from the White Stockings.

7th The Washington Evening Star writes about Dummy Hoy, “When he bats a man stands in the Captain’s box near third base and signals to him decisions of the umpire on balls and strikes by raising his fingers.” Many years later, Hoy comments in The Silent Worker of April 1952, that “the coacher at third kept me posted by lifting his right hand for strikes and his left for balls. This gave later day umpires an idea and they now raise their right … to emphasize an indisputable strike.” (as noted by Bob Schaefer)

9th Matt Kilroy signs with Baltimore in the morning and then hustles back to Philadelphia to marry Fanny Denny in the evening. The honeymoon will be spent training with the Orioles.

10th Denny Mack dies after a fall down a stairs. Mack started with the Rockford team in 1871 and played for many NL teams, For the past 2 seasons he managed Wilkes-Barre.

13th Pittsburgh shuts out Boston twice, winning 4-0 and 6-0. Harry Staley and Pud Galvin apply the whitewash.

14th The Kansas City Cowboys (AA) beat the KC Blues (WA), 6–5, in 10 innings to clinch the best of 3 series and the local bragging rights. The 2 clubs will compete fiercely for support during the season.

16th  As reported in tomorrow’s edition of the Washington Post, Jacob Murphy; the temperance apostle, held a meeting at the Louisville baseball park this morning. Every member of the Louisville Club signed the pledge. Pete Browning was the first to put on the blue ribbon and was followed by Tommy Ramsey. The Louisvilles will now be known as the Blue Ribbon Club. (as noted by Clifford Otto).

18th  At Opening Day in the AA, umpire John Gaffney makes news by standing behind the pitcher with men on base, an innovation that will soon be adopted by all single umpires.

20th Opening Day in the NL. The inauguration of the new grandstand in Indianapolis is overshadowed by fights on the field involving Paul Hines and Dude Esterbrook of the Hoosiers and Dell Darling and Marty Sullivan of the Chicago Colts. Chicago wins, 5–4, with Terry Larkin beating Only Nolan.

23rd  The Athletics pile up 28 runs on 23 hits, 5 walks, and 13 Cleveland errors in making the largest score of the season.

The St. Louis Browns Tommy McCarthy performs a 1st in ML history when he reaches 1B on single, steals 2B and 3B. Then with 2 out and with 2 strikes on batter Silver King, he swipes home to win the game, 3–2.

27th  Detroit manager Bill Watkins fines captain Ned Hanlon $10 and suspends P Lady Baldwin without pay after Baldwin and the Wolverines are routed in Indianapolis 16–7, dropping the Wolverines’ record to 1-5.

28th The champion Wolverines rebound by beating the Hoosiers, 1–0, on Charlie Getzien’s 4-hitter and Sam Thompson’s HR.

29th  Phillie star Charlie Ferguson, 25, a 20-game winner in each of his first four seasons, dies of typhoid pneumonia at the home of Arthur Irwin. As a general ballplayer he had few equals.

30th Boston runs its record to 9-0 as Clarkson wins his 5th game. Batterymate Kelly scores 3 times including the game winner in the 10th of the 4–3 win.