1903 April

4th  The Philadelphia Athletics threaten to strike unless they share in the receipts of last fall’s City Series. They don’t get the money, but they don’t strike.

14th  Ed Delahanty, one of 5 ML brothers, and the greatest natural hitter of his time, rejoins the Washington Nationals in accordance with the peace terms. A 3-year contract with the Giants at $8,000 a year, signed during the winter, is canceled. The Nationals reimburse the Giants for the $3,000 advanced to Big Ed.

15th San Francisco’s Jimmy Whalen blanks Los Angeles, 6–0, on 3 hits, ending the Angels’ 15-game winning streak since the start of the season.

16th The Reds open the season before 12,000 fans and lose to the Pirates, 7–1, the first of four straight losses to the Bucs. Deacon Phillippe allows just 2 Cincy hits for the win.

17th At the Opener at the Polo Grounds, Brooklyn scores 4 in the 1st against Christy Mathewson, but New York counters to take a 5–4 lead. Matty allows another 5 runs as his teammates contribute six errors. Brooklyn wins, 9–7, behind rookie Henry Schmidt. The 30-year-old Schmidt, who was 34-21 last season with the Oakland Dudes (California League), will win 23 games with Brooklyn this season. When they send him a contract for 1904, he will return it unsigned along with a note: “I do not like living in the East and will not report.” He’ll go 26-28 for Oakland (PCL) in 1904.

19th Joe McGinnity wins his first game as a Giant, beating Brooklyn, 6–1, and allowing just one hit, by Doyle.

20th  Since yesterday was Sunday, today is both Opening Day and Patriot’s Day in Boston, resulting in an unusual Opening Day doubleheader. The Boston Americans play an a.m. game before 8,376 fans beating the A’s Rube Waddell, 9–4. The Athletics take the afternoon contest, 10–7, watched by 27,658, behind Eddie Plank and rookie Chief Bender. Cy Young and Long Tom Hughes pitch for Boston. Duke Farrell, 16-year veteran, is given a diamond ring by his Boston teammates in the 2nd inning of the opener. He collects 3 hits for the afternoon.

The NL doubleheader at Boston’s South End Grounds draws just 6,700. Boston takes the morning game, 4–3, behind Togie Pittinger, then lose the p.m. game to Philadelphia, 10–7.

21st  At Brooklyn’s home opener at Washington Park, Mrs. Charles Ebbets throws out the first ball and then Henry Schmidt and the Giants’ Christy Mathewson keep the ball low as a NL-record 43 total chances are taken by two clubs. The Superbas have 23 assists, including 8 by Schmidt; the Giants have 21. Catcher Jack Warner drives home the winning run for a 2–1 New York victory. The total chance record will be tied by the Giants and Reds, May 15, 1909.

22nd At Washington, before 11,950, the New York Highlanders play their first game under manager Clark Griffith, losing 3–1. Washington elects to bat first, but the New Yorkers score in the bottom of the opening inning to take a 1–0 lead. Each starter gives up six hits with Jack Chesbro, the NL’s top winner last year (28-6) taking the loss. Al Orth, in his second season with Washington, is the winner.

For the second time in 4 days, New York’s Iron Joe McGinnity tops Brooklyn, this time winning, 7–2.

In the AL’s formal Opening at Philadelphia before 13,578 fans, AL President Ban Johnson presents the 1902 championship pennant to the A’s. The Athletics then top Boston, 6–1, as Rube Waddell bests Bill Dinneen. Rube finishes with a flourish in the 9th inning. Waddell calls in his outfielders to play infield and then strikes out Buck Freeman, Chick Stahl and Jimmy Collins without allowing even a foul tip (this according to an account by Jake Stahl that appeared in the Boston Globe of January 22, 1913, and noted by historian Bill Nowlin in Day By Day With the Boston Red Sox).

23rd  Behind the pitching of Harry Howell, the New York Highlanders (1–1) win their first game, 7–2, over Washington.

Butte (Pacific Coast League) makes 2 triple plays in one game against Los Angeles.

24th Against the Pirates, the Cardinals go into the 9th with a 7-6 lead, in part due to three errors by SS Honus Wagner. Honus atones for the miscues by tripling in the 9th and scoring on a Kitty Bransfield single. With 2 outs in the 11th, Wagner walks, steals 2B and scores the winner on another Kitty bingle, and the Bucs win, 7–6. Wagner finishes with 2 triples among his 4 hits, 4 RBIs, and 3 stolen bases.

27th Christy Mathewson keeps New York in 1st place with a 10–7 win over Boston. Matty gives up two homers, including a grand slam by 2B Frank Bonner.

Three days after Boston OF Chick Stahl injures his leg sliding, teammate catcher Duke Farrell fractures his leg while stealing 2B in a 6–3 loss against Washington. This leaves Boston with Lou Criger as its only catcher.

The Tigers (4-0) remain undefeated, topping the White Sox, 8-1, behind the pitching and hitting of George Mullin. Mullin hits three doubles setting a record for AL pitchers next matched by Walter Johnson in 1917.

28th New York plays host to the Phillies and wins, 12-7. Roger Bresnahan has a grand slam for the Giants connecting in the 5thoff Jack McFetridge.

29th The Americans Norwood Gibson is the main cause of Boston’s 9–5 loss to Washington as the pitcher issues nine walks and Washington collects 8 stolen bases.

30th  The new AL park opens in New York with an estimated crowd of 16,000 watching the home team beat Washington 6–2. Jack Chesbro, who lost to the Nats on Opening Day, is today’s winner.

At St. Louis, the Pirates stay tied for first with a 13-4 win over the Cardinals. Tommy Leach has a grand slam for Pittsburgh off Three Fingered Brown.