1908 April

2nd  After a 2-year investigation, the Mills Committee, formed on the recommendation of Al Spalding and headed by the former NL president A. G. Mills, declares that baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, NY in 1839. Overwhelming evidence to the contrary is ignored, but the designation makes James Fenimore Cooper’s town the most likely site for a Hall of Fame and museum when these establishments are conceived some 30 years later.

7th  The St. Louis clubs play a benefit game, raising $5,000 for the beleaguered Chris Von der Ahe.

13th  Dove’s infielder Dave Brain, a holdout, issues the following statement: “Misleading statements have appeared in various papers regarding the situation between Mr. Dovey and myself. The facts are that I asked him for a raise in salary last year, but as he had just invested in the Boston club, he asked me to continue at the salary I had been getting, and promised to give me an advance for the season of 1908. I was much surprised, therefore, when he sent me a contract this year at a reduced salary. I returned it to him reminding him of his promise, and offered to accept a raise of $400 for the season. Mr. Dovey replied that that was too much, but said nothing more. After waiting for nearly two weeks I wrote Mr. Dovey that I understood he did not intend having me on his team and asked him to give me a release so that I could secure a position on some other team. This he refused to do, and there the matter rests.” Brain, last year’s homerun king, will be sold to the Reds in mid-May, then be sold to the Giants in mid-July, hitting a collective .125 in his last ML season (as noted by Dennis Auger).

14th At Hilltop Park, Slow Joe Doyle scatters four hits in edging the A’s, 1–0 in 12 innings. The first hit is by A’s left fielder Topsy Hartsell, who has his nose broken by an errant pitch during pre-game warmups. Nick Carter, making his major-league debut, matches Doyle for 11 innings, but in the 12th, a ground rule double into the crowd, and a single put runners at the corners. A line drive to RF Jack Coombs then scores Red Kleinow with the winner.

Before 17,000 in Philadelphia, Mathewson scatters 4 Phillies hits and drives in 2 of the Giants runs. New York wins, 3–1 over George McQuillan.

At Boston, Boston plays their first game under their new nickname “Red Sox” defeating Washington, 3–1.

16th Pittsburgh’s Sam Leever tosses a 3-hit shutout over the Cardinals as Pittsburgh sweeps the 3-game series. But the big news for the Pirates is the signing of Honus Wagner for another year. The star SS ends his holdout and will play on the 19th in a 4–3 loss to the Reds.

17th At Detroit’s Bennett Field, Cleveland scores 2 runs in the 11thand 4 in the 12th to beat the host Tigers, 12-8. Cleveland collects 20 hits. Cobb leads the Tiger attack with three hits and 2 RBIs, while Germany Schaefer has 5 hits.

At Chicago, the Browns Rube Waddell makes his first start of the year, shutting out the White Sox, 1–0, on one hit, a single by Jake Atz that bounces off Ferris’ glove. Only one ball is hit out of the infield. Owen is the loser with 8 innings of work.

At Cincinnati, Chicago beats the Reds, 1–0. After the game the police escort Reds LF Hans Lobert off the field after a fan charges him with spitting on him and hitting him twice. Lobert was criticized for missing one ball and misjudging another.

At New York, the A’s German battery of Schlitzer and Schreckengost beats the Yankees, 8–2. Simon Nicholls hits his first ML homer to pace the attack.

18th In Brooklyn’s home opener, the Superbas manage 6 hits against Mathewson and strike out 12 times. Newly acquired 1B Fred Tenney has two hits and a RBI as the Giants win 4–0.

19th  The National Commission reinstates Jake Stahl and Mike Donlin after fining them $100 each for playing with teams outside organized ball in 1907.

20th “The Father of Baseball,” Henry Chadwick, the leading reporter, commentator, scorer, and indefatigable promoter of the game, dies in Brooklyn at age 85.

Bugs Raymond throws a one-hitter or the Cardinals, but loses to the Cubs, 2–0. Harry Steinfeldt has the only Chicago hit in the 2-run 6th inning. Lundgren is the winner.

At Chicago, the White Sox knock the Browns Rube Waddell out of the box with a 5-run 6th and a 2-run 7th to win, 7–1. They would have plated more in the inning but Al Shaw’s single results in a double play at the plate as two runners are tagged out on the same play, RF Danny Hoffman to C Tubby Spencer.

22nd  In the Giants home opener, 25,000 fans watch Brooklyn take a 2–1 lead into the 9th inning against Christy Mathewson. With Fred Tenney on 1B, Mike Donlin, a hold out all of last year, then homers to give the Giants a 3–2 win.

27th At Boston, Mathewson twirls a one-hitter, walking none, to beat Irv Young, 2–0. Claude Ritchey reaches base on a single and one other runner reaches on an error.

At St. Louis, White Sox pitcher Frank Owen steals home on a double steal against the Browns in the 9th inning to help himself in a 6–5 win. It is the 3rd time Owen has stolen home, a ML record for pitchers.

The A’s trip the Senators, 2-1, with the help of a triple steal in the 2nd inning to break a 1-1 tie. Harry Davis scores on the trifecta when Tom Hughes’ throw is too high to catch him. Coombs and Oldering steal on the play. Rube Vickers is the winning pitcher.

At Boston, the Highlanders edge the Red Sox, 1-0, behind Jack Chesbro. “The once famous moist ball artist was at his best” (New York Times) scoring the lone run and beating George Winter.

29th The Braves rally to tie the Giants in the 5th, then score runs in the 10th and 11th to beat Malarkey, 7–6. Winning pitcher Irv Young scores the winning run when former Brave Fred Tenney drops a perfect throw at 1B.

30th In the 9th inning at Boston, the Braves are tied 2–2 with the Giants. With runners on 1B and 2B, Boston’s Frank Bowman hits a Doc Crandall pitch into the stands, but is credited with only a double in the 3–2 win.

The Pirates game in Pittsburgh against the Reds is cancelled because of snow.