1889 April

6th The Tourists arrive back in NYC having staged 28 games overseas since leaving the U.S. on November 18.

8th The New York State legislature passes a bill closing the “old” Polo Grounds for “street purposes.” The field, between 110th and 112th streets, is home to the New York Giants. Giant President John Day appeals the decision. The legislature will pass another bill on April 19th, but the Governor will veto it, leaving the Giants homeless.

9th  Pete Browning, “The Louisville Slugger,” signs with Louisville for $1,600. Browning also delivers a signed pledge of abstinence sworn out before a local judge. A sober Browning will misfire, hitting just .256 this year, but next year will bounce back to lead the PA in hitting with a .373 average.

15th  Invited to the White House, the Chicago and All-America squads meet with new President Benjamin Harrison. Harrison proves to be quite a baseball fan and would attend many Washington games during his term in office.

16th The Athletics beat Boston in their final spring training exhibition game, thereby giving the AA an edge over the NL in pre-season competition, 24 to 23 with one tie.

17th The AA season opens with games in Cincinnati and Louisville and rainouts in Baltimore and Philadelphia.

20th The Around the World tour ends with a final game in Chicago. The All Americas win the finale, 22–9 to finish 26-23 (3 ties) over the Chicagos.

23rd New York governor David Hill vetoes a last-ditch bill from the state legislature designed to block NYC’s plans to force the Giants out of the Polo Grounds by cutting a street through the property.

24th  Opening Day in the NL. The New York Giants open their season in Jersey City’s Oakland Park (Home of the Atlantic League entry) losing to Boston 8–7 before a crowd of 3,042. The pitching matchups feature two future Hall of Famers, Boston’s John Clarkson and New York’s Mickey Welch. After tomorrow’s game in Jersey City, an 11–10 Giant win, the Giants will relocate at the Mets’ old grounds in Staten Island.

25th After spending the first week of the season on the road, AA contenders St. Louis and Brooklyn both stage their home openers. The Browns improve their record to 7–0 with a 10–5 win over the Reds before 10,000. With a crowd of 3,500, the Bridegrooms settle for a 9–9 tie with the Babies from Columbus, and remain at 1–6 for the year.

At Jersey City while the Polo Grounds is under construction, the Giants edge Boston, 11–10, overcoming a 9th inning ploy by Boston (as noted by JP Caillault). With 2 outs, Boston’s Hardie Richardson hits a ball over the fence, but stops at 3B instead of completing his home run circuit. Richardson’s move is intended to harass and disrupt the pitcher, Cannonball Titcomb, talented but notoriously erratic, as noted by historian David Nemec. This ploy—stopping at 3B on an apparent home run—was particularly used by Boston. In this instance, the Giants allow Richardson to stroll home and Titcomb gets Billy Nash for the last out and the win.

27th Chicago’s sale of Frank Dwyer and Dell Darling to Minneapolis (WA) is announced. But the deal doesn’t go through and Dwyer will post a 16–13 record for Chicago in 1889.

Charlie Duffee hits a 1st-inning grand slam, off Tony Mullane but Cincinnati rallies to beat St. Louis, 12-10.

28th Elton Chamberlin of St. Louis hurls a 5–2 six hitter and provides the Browns’ winning margin with a 3-run homer. Tip O’Neill adds a HR and RBI single.

29th  The New York Giants play and win their first game 4–2 at St. George Grounds on Staten Island. Art Whitney and Ed Crane supply 9th-inning HRs. This picturesque park, home of the AA Mets in 1886 and 1887, houses the Giants and a production of the play Nero. The right fielder is obliged to play out on top of the stage platform, necessitating the use of rubber-soled shoes in wet weather.

30th Jack Glasscock’s 3rd hit of the day, a 9th inning single, drives in the winning run as Indianapolis beats Chicago, 6–5. Glasscock, considered a weak hitter when he entered the league ten years ago, will reach career highs this year with 205 hits and a .352 average.