1905 April

9th At San Francisco, the Seals (PCL) sweep a pair from visiting Portland, 19–3 and 2–0. Seals pitcher James “The Whale” Whalen throws his 5th consecutive shutout and his 4th consecutive shutout of the season. He has now thrown a record 47 consecutive shutout innings. On the 13th, Tacoma will score 5 first inning runs off Whalen to stop his streak and beat him, 6–1.

10th  A New York magistrate rules Sunday baseball legal, but the battle will continue in the courts.

12th  The Washington owners offer the players a $1,000 bonus if they finish higher than 8th and $500 for each position higher. They will finish 7th, 11 games above St. Louis.

14th  Wait Till Next Year: Boston’s Kaiser Wilhelm loses to the Giants’ Joe McGinnity, 10–1, in the opener at the Polo Grounds before an enthusiastic estimate of 40,000. He will finish the year 3–23, one of 4 Beaneaters who will lose 20 or more this year. The other 3 are Irv Young, Vic Willis, and Chick Fraser. The only other team ever to have a quartet of 20-game losers will be the Beaneaters again in 1906.

Before a local-record crowd of 15,118 at the Opener in Cincinnati, Pittsburgh defeats the Reds, 9-4, scoring 6 runs in the 6th off Charlie Chech. Chech is making his ML debut as is umpire Bill Klem.

At Washington’s American League Park, Jimmy Williams’s two-run homer, an inside-the-park shot in the first inning, helps New York to a 3–0 lead against lefty Case Patten. An unearned run in the 5th pins the 4–2 loss on Patten, winner of 14 of Washington’s 38 victories last season. Jack Chesbro wins his second straight opener.

The Cleveland-Detroit game is postponed due to snow.

15th The Giants continue to beat up on the Beaneaters, riding Dick Harley for 16 hits, and winning 15–0. Mathewson allows just 3 hits and is lifted after 6 innings in favor of Hooks Wiltse. He becomes the first pitcher in 106 years to allow 10 or more runs in his first start of the season and then no runs in his next one, without a relief appearance between those 2 games. Rookie Dick Harley turned the trick for the 1905 Boston Beaneaters.

At Cincinnati, the Reds lose to the Pirates, 9–4, with Pat Flaherty beating Jack Harper.

18th By George. At Washington, Boston pitcher George Winter pitches a one hitter and loses 1–0. George Mullin’s questionable single is the only Nat safety.

19th The Beaneaters sweep a pair from Brooklyn, winning 2-1 and 1-0. Dick Harley tosses the shutout, after losing his first ML start four days ago to the Giants, 15-0. He is the only pitcher in the 20th century to allow 10+ runs in his first start of the season, and no runs in his next start, without a relief appearance in between (Fausto Carmona will match this in 2011). Alas, the shutout will prove a high point for Harley, and Boston will release him August 5th.

20th  Due to the late Easter this year, games are played on Good Friday for the first time. At Philadelphia, the Phils top the Giants, 8–1.

22nd  Having failed to give out rain checks the day before when a storm stopped the game, the Highlanders open the gates for free admission, and 30,000 people jam the park for the clash with Washington. It ends with a 5–3 Highlander victory. This is the first time that fans can take the new subway to the ball game.

In a 10-2 win over the host Phillies, Dan McGann is thrown out at the plate by outfielder Sherry Magee, and punches catcher Fred Abbott, who hits McGann in the back with the ball (as noted in SABR Bioproject). The umpire ejected both players (McGann will lead the NL in rejections this year) and fans started tossing cushions on the field, then elevate the caliber to bricks and stones. When there is more rowdiness after a Phillies-Giants game, one Philley newspaper asks, “How long will the National League stand for the hoodlum tactics of this New York team both on and off the field. During a game McGraw and his men are fighting umpires all the time, questioning every decision against them and resorting to all the dirty tactics known to baseball in order to win. McGraw and his crowd are intolerable during a game to all decent, self-respecting people in the stands.”

23rd  In St. Louis, the Browns Harry Howell and Cleveland’s Otto Hess go head to head for 11 innings before the Browns emerge with a 1-0 victory. The Browns outfield accepts no fielding chances, the only time in the 20th century this has happened. It happened once in the NL in 1899.

24th At Baker Bowl, Giants manager John McGraw lets Mathewson hit with two on in the 9th, and the ace promptly singles in two runs to give the Giants a 5–4 lead. Matty then checks the Phils in the bottom of the 9th for the win over Bill Duggleby.

Bugs Raymond, the workhorse of the lowly St. Louis Cardinals staff, shuts out the Pirates, 3–0. Bugs will lose a league high 25 games this year, but win 15. Homer Hillebrand finishes up with a shutout inning for the Pirates, in his last ML appearance. In his short career for the Bucs, Hillebrand also played the outfield, first base and was a lefthanded catcher for three games in 1905.

26th  Jack McCarthy ties the ML record when he becomes the second outfielder to start 3 DPs (Candy Nelson in 1887, started 3 DPs, but only 2 were completed at home, in a AA game; George Van Haltren, 1897, one at home) in one game, preserving the 2–1 Chicago Cubs victory over the Pirates. All three DPs, including the game-ending DP, are at home plate to catcher Jack O’Neill, who sets a ML record for participating in 3 double plays: the record will be broken by Chris Hoiles. McCarthy will play just 37 games in the OF. The last to throw three out at home was Jim Jones on June 30, 1902. The AL record for 3 DPs started by an outfielder in one game will not be set until Ira Flagstead on April 19, 1926.

Detroit beats Cleveland, 5-0, but loses the services of Jimmy Barrett who twists his knee while batting in the 9th. He will return to the lineup in July but re-injure the knee and the Tigers will call up young Ty Cobb. Barrett will sit out most of 1906 and play as a backup the next year for Boston.

Barney Dreyfuss, claiming the fans want to see more hitting, calls for abolishing the spitball. But it will remain legal until 1920.

29th During the Giants 10–3 victory in Philadelphia, Christy Mathewson is razzed by a teenager selling lemonade and responds by belting the boy in the teeth. The crowd turns ugly but the Giants emerge unscathed.

30th  Over 30,000 attend a Sunday game between the Giants and Superbas in Brooklyn. To get around the law, fans make “contributions” for admission. The Giants win, 5–3.

At Shreveport (Southern League), Harold Smith makes a strikeout-HR against Memphis, when the catcher misses the ball and it goes into the grandstand. No ground rules limit the runner’s advance.

At Evansville, IN, future ML umpire Cy Rigler begins the practice of raising his right arm to indicate strikes, so that friends in the outfield can distinguish calls.

San Francisco pitcher Joe Corbett, brother of heavyweight boxing champ James J Corbett, defeats Oakland, 3–1.