1897 April

9th  A touring team of 13 Australian players arrives in San Francisco, and President Young encourages the 12 NL teams to arrange exhibition games with the visitors.

17th Manager Gus Schmelz and the Washington Senators visit President McKinley at the White House. Because of other pressing business, the president will be unable to attend the Senators’ opener.

19th In the season opener at Boston before 14,000, a 3-run homerun by Nap Lajoie in the top of the 9th gives the Phillies a 6-run lead that holds up despite a last-gasp, 5-run Beaneater rally.

Amos Rusie ends a year-long holdout and signs with the Giants for $3000 and drops his law suit challenging the reserve clause.

In an exhibition game in Elizabeth, NJ, the Giants wallop a local team, 40-1. George Van Haltren has 7 hits.

22nd Willie Keeler’s single and double in the Orioles’ first game, a 10-5 victory over Boston, begins a streak of safe hits in 44 consecutive games this year, plus his last game last season.

A loss to Pittsburgh, 4–1, starts Red Donahue, St. Louis Browns righthander, on the way to a league-leading 33 losses. A true workhorse, Donahue will also lead in appearances (46), starts (42), complete games (38), and hits allowed (484). He will win 11 and have an ERA of 6.13.

24th  Nap Lajoie has a big day with 5 hits—2 singles, one double, 2 triples—and 3 errors at 1B in the Phillies’ 12–4 win over New York.

Joe Corbett, younger brother of recently defeated heavyweight champ James, pitches the Orioles to its 3rd straight win over Boston, winning 7-1.

26th  At Ora, IN, Charles Haines is killed when hit by a pitch in the head thrown by Winona player Scott Guyer.

Chicago’s Cap Anson catches and bats 9th as the Colts win their first game of the season, 9-2, at St. Louis.

Connie Mack’s Milwaukee Brewers win their Western League home opener against Charley Comiskey’s St. Paul Saints, 12–5.

27th  Amos Rusie, the Giants’ “Hoosier Thunderbolt,” returns to the mound to beat Washington 8–3 before 10,000 welcoming New York fans.

28th  George Stallings, manager of the Phillies, is “bruised and shaken” when he is hit by a trolley car while bicycling to his hotel after the team’s morning workout. Fortunately, the car was slow moving. Boston then beats his Phillies, 6-5.

29th  Joe Boyle’s grand slam in the 6th, off Dan Daub, is the difference as the Phillies edge the visiting Brooklyn team, 12-11.