1902 April

3rd  The NL names club owners Arthur Soden, John T. Brush, and James Hart as an interim committee to run the league.

17th  After the playing of “The Star Spangled Banner” before infield practice at the Polo Grounds, Christy Mathewson tosses a four-hit shutout over the Phillies. New York wins, 7–0, beating Harry Felix, before a crowd of 24,000. It is the first win for Giants manager Horace Fogel since July 11, 1887 when he went 20-49 as the skipper of the Indianapolis team.

According to the NY Evening Telegram, the Superbas also have a band in Brooklyn, and the music is “On a Sunday Afternoon,” a curious choice for a Thursday home opener. Bill Donovan beats Boston, 2-1.

The Reds open a new ball park called “the Palace of the Fans” and inaugurate the occasion by losing to Chicago, 6–1. John Taylor wins his 2nd straight opener.

The Pirates edge St. Louis, 1–0. when Tommy Leach scores in the 3rd inning. Deacon Phillippe, on his way to his 4th 20-game season in a row, is the winner. Going the other way, Stan Yerkes loses his first of 20.

19th  Righthander Bob Ewing, 29, makes his ML debut with the Reds, and ties a NL record by walking 7 batters in the 4th inning. The Chicago Cubs get 5 runs on one hit in the inning. Ewing adds another 3 walks en route to a 9–5 loss.

At Boston’s Huntington Avenue Grounds, 15,000 watch Boston defeat Baltimore, 7–6, in the AL Opening Day game. Cy Young Cy Young is the winner. John McGraw sets the tone for his season by being tossed out of the game.

The Cardinals fumble their way to 10–4 loss against Pittsburgh, setting a since-tied NL record with 11 errors. Pittsburgh adds 4 errors for a 2-team 20th C. NL record, which will be matched just once, in 1904.

20th  In an exhibition match in Chicago, the Milwaukee Brewers top the White Stockings, 3–2. Chuck Comiskey scheduled the tune-up with the American Association squad after the Brewers took three straight from the Cincinnati Reds.

21st  The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, reversing a lower court’s decision, grants a permanent injunction (effective only in Pennsylvania) barring jumpers Nap Lajoie, Chick Fraser, and Bill Bernhard from playing for the A’s, or any team but the Phillies. Not mentioned, but covered by the decision, are: Elmer Flick, Monte Cross, and Bill Duggleby of the A’s; Ed Delahanty, Al Orth, Harry Wolverton, and Jack Townsend of Washington; Ed McFarland (White Stockings) and Red Donahue (Browns).

Mathewson gives the Giants its 2nd victory, winning his 2nd by topping Boston, 6–3.

23rd  St. Louis Cardinals owner Frank DeHaas Robison offers to put up $10,000 that the Pirates will not repeat as NL champions. Pittsburgh players accept the challenge with a matching pool, and go on to win the pennant by 27 1⁄2 games.

The White Stockings open the season at home by marching in from the outfield accompanied by Thompson’s American Band. After unfurling the AL pennant, the Chicagoans then stop the Detroit Blues, 12–2 behind Nixey Callahan.

Let the injunction wars begin: The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia issues a restraining order returnable May 3 against the National Baseball League stopping that organization from interfering with the 4 Washington AL ball players. In Chicago, Charles Comiskey comes to the defense of Eddie McFarland saying the White Stockings just won’t play him in Pennsylvania. In St. Louis, lawyers for the NL Cardinals initiate proceedings in the circuit court of St. Louis to restrain Harper, Wallace, and Heidrick from playing with the St. Louis American League team. All three have signed contracts with the Cards. In Philadelphia, President Shibe of the AL Athletics says, according to his lawyers, the Supreme Court ruling applies only to Lajoie and has no reference to any other player.

The Senators open with a 7-3 home victory over the Boston Americans.

In front of nearly 13,000 at Baltimore, the Athletics beats the Orioles and Joe McGinnity, 5–1. In the 8th inning, when Connie Mack hears about the injunction affecting Nap Lajoie, he pulls him from the game.

24th The Giants lose 8–4 to Boston when RF Jim Delahanty lets a bases loaded single skip by him and three runners score. New York scores 3 in the bottom of the 9th, but Boston still beats Mathewson.

Brooklyn scores 5 in the 9th and wallops Philadelphia, 16-6. Willie Keeler scores 5 runs for a ML record 6th time.

Cy Young pitches Boston to an 11-3 win over Washington. Buck Freeman has 4 hits, including 3 doubles, while Jimmy Collins and Hobe Ferris homer. Lew Drill, a rookie from Georgetown University, drills 2 singles and a homer in his first 3 at bats before Young finally strikes him out.

25th In a 9–8 win over the Cincinnati Reds, St. Louis Cards Homer Smoot smites a pair of inside-the-park homers. In a related note, the president of the Worcester club of the Eastern League orders Smoot to report to their team or he is going to sue the Cardinals. Smoot played for Worcester last season in the first year of a two-year contract, before jumping to St. Louis.

Cleveland’s Erwin Harvey collects 6 hits of the 21 hits off Bill Reidy in a 10–0 win over St. Louis.

26th  In his ML debut, Cleveland’s Addie Joss fans 4 of the first 6 batters and hurls a one-hitter against the Browns to win 3–0. The only hit is a scratch single by Jesse Burkett, which RF Zaza Harvey claims he caught. Ump Bob Caruthers calls it a hit, a ruling that will irk Joss for years.

Boston and Washington combine for 17 extra base hits, with Washington winning, 15-7. The Nationals have 3 homers, 4 doubles and a triple off Bill Dinneen and Pep Deininger, making his pro debut. Pep will appear in one more game before departing the majors.

27th  Cubs 18-year-old rookie lefthanded pitcher Jim St. Vrain, batting righthanded at the urging of manager Selee, grounds to Pittsburgh SS Honus Wagner. But then, the confused St. Vrain runs toward 3B as the astonished Wagner throws him out at 1B. Pittsburgh wins, 2–0, as Deacon Phillippe is the winner. The Pirate infield records all the putouts with 16 made at 1B. The Cubs now return to Chicago for a 25-game homestand. This story about St. Vrain was related by Davy Jones in The Glory of Their Times, and Jones said he witnessed it. It supposedly happened on April 27, 1902, but Jones wasn’t with the Cubs then. It is possible it could have happened on May 30, 1902, according to historian Al Yellon.

In a 9–0 whitewash over Cleveland, White Sox hitter Sam Strang draws 5 walks. He is the first to do it in the league, setting the AL mark. Jimmie Foxx will break it in 1938 with 6.

28th Outfielder Jimmy Sheckard of the AL Baltimore Orioles jumps the team and returns to the NL after 4 games, the first American Leaguer to jump to the NL. In his short stay in the AL, Sheckard had been constantly razzed by fans about his contract jumping. White Sox president Comiskey says, “We don’t want Sheckard in our league. He has broken too many contracts.” President Tom Daly of the Ball Players’ Protective Association echoes the sentiments. “Our organization is unalterably opposed to such tactics as Sheckard has made use of. I am glad he has gone back to Brooklyn, for while he is a great ball player and a nice fellow personally we do not countenance violating a written contract as he has done. I suppose (Ned) Hanlon scared him into jumping.” With Sheckard (and his $1,000 signing bonus gone) Orioles manager John McGraw will play third base with Kelly moving to center field.

In Chicago, Cleveland’s Dummy Taylor shuts out the White Stockings, 2–0. Many of the Cubs players are on hand to watch the former Giant pitcher beat the locals.

In the A’s 12-0 victory over Washington, Monte Cross has a pair of homers. Snake Wiltse is the winner.

President Mautner of the Ft. Wayne team gets papers ordering the arrest of P George Mullin for obtaining money under false pretenses. Mullin, now with Detroit, played for Ft. Wayne last year.

29th Brickyard Kennedy, a member of the Brooklyn Superbas for 10 years, makes his second start as a New York Giant and shuts out his old team, 6–0, on 4 hits. The game goes 6 innings before a heavy shower forces umpire Tom Brown to call the game. Two of the hits are by Sheckard, now in LF after jumping back to Brooklyn from the Baltimore AL team. It will be Brickyard’s only win of the year and his only win as a Giant. The loser is John McMakin. The Giants also announce the release of Jim Delahanty, who hit .231 in 7 games. He’ll reappear in the majors in 1904 and play another 11 years.

Four days after he got lit up for 15 runs by Washington, the Red Sox sell 24-year-old pitcher Bert “Pete” Husting (0-1) to the A’s. Husting will go 14–5 for Philadelphia in this his last ML season before retiring to practice law in Wisconsin.