1912 April

6th  The Pittsburg(h) Press reports today that, “The season of 1911 was the most disastrous to minor leagues since the organization of the National association. Much of the trouble was due to failure to keep within the salary limit” (as noted by Bob Harris).

9thIn the first game ever played at Fenway Park, the Red Sox defeat Harvard University, 2-0, in an exhibition game played in a snow storm.  The first batter in the game is Harvard sophomore and Winchester, Mass. native Dana Joseph Paine Wingate, Class of 1914, who strikes out against Casey Hageman. Hageman drives in both runs with a pair of singles as the game, which started at 3:30, is called on account of darkness after 7 innings.

11th  On Opening Day in Brooklyn, fans storm Washington Park hours before the 4:00 p.m. starting time, causing a near riot. An estimated 30,000 people crowd into the outfield and along foul lines. The Giants hit a record 13 ground-rule doubles in their 22 hits and are leading 18–3 in the 6th when the game is called due to darkness.

In Cincinnati, the Reds open Redland Field, the first steel-and-concrete stadium, with a 10–6 win over the Cubs.

The Champion Philadephia Athletics open at home, lacing seven hits and beating Walter Johnson and the Senators, 4–2. Jack Coombs takes the victory.

Playing the Red Sox in the opener at New York’s Hilltop Park, the Yankees wear pinstripes for the first time. Boston scores a run in the 1st against Ray Caldwell, and the Yankees respond with two runs in the bottom against Joe Wood. That is all the scoring until the ninth inning, when the Sox score four runs, including two on a Smoky Joe single. Boston wins, 5–3, on Smoky Joe Wood’s seven hitter.

12th  The Tinker-Evers-Chance double play combination (with Ed Lennox at 3B) plays its final ML game together, a 3–2 Cubs loss in Cincinnati. Vic Saier will replace Chance at 1B.

At Philadelphia, veteran Cy Morgan pitches a superb one-hitter beating the Senators, 3-1. The only hit is an infield single by Moeller. Morgan strikes out 11, including fanning the side in the 5th and the 8th.

The NL has a small box installed in the ground near home plate in each park to supply umpires with baseballs, eliminating the possibility of home team ballboys influencing which balls are used for each team’s turn at bat.

At Hilltop Park, the Red Sox send Buck O’Brien, 5–1 last year after leading the Western League in strikeouts, against the Yankees Russ Ford and the Sox prevail, 5-2. Buck allows 6 hits as he heads towards 20 victories.

13th The Tigers down Cleveland, 12–4, icing it with seven runs in the 6th inning. They get helped by a record tying three errors in the inning by “Big Bill” James, making his ML debut on the mound. The Detroit News writer describes Big Bill as “nearly seven feet (and) as awkward as they make them.” He was 6’4” (as noted by Mike Grahek).

14th At St. Louis, the Cards trip the Cubs, 5–4, in 12 innings, as both teams score in the 10th. In the 8th, Cards SS Pee Wee Hauser pulls a hidden ball trick on the Cubs Jimmy Sheckard.

15th Baseball goes on but the newspapers tomorrow will be filled with news of the sinking of the Titanic. At Boston, Herb Perdue stifles the Giants on 7 hits to shut out New York, 3–0. Christy Mathewson takes the loss.

In New York, the Senators Walter Johnson wins a duel against the Yankees Jack Quinn, 1–0. The Senators score in the 9th when, with 2 outs, Quinn issues his first walk. A single on a 3-2 count plus fumbles in CF and at home score the lone safety.

Playing without Cobb, the visiting Tigers lose to the White Sox, 12-7, as Chicago scores 7 runs in the last two innings. When the Detroit team checked into the Chicago Beach Hotel yesterday, Cobb immediately complained that his room was too close to the railroad tracks. Upset that he might have to wait 7 hours for a quieter room, and declining the other offered alternatives, Cobb stormed off and skipped today’s game (Ty Cobb, by Charles Leerhsen). Ping Bodie hits the first homer of the season for the Sox, while Morrie Rath and Jimmy Callahan each ave 3 hits and 3 runs.

16th The host Cardinals trounce the Cubs, 20–5 in 7 ½ innings, as a record 9 Redbirds score 2 or more runs. Rube Ellis has a grand slam for the Birds, connecting off King Cole in the 4th. The scoring record will be tied in 1922.

The Pirates top the Reds, 8–2, and pull off 5–3–7 double play along the way. Left fielder Max Carey makes the putout at 2B.

The Tigers pull off a triple steal against the host White Sox as they win, 10–1.

18th The opener at the new Fenway Park is rained out.

At Pittsburgh, the Pirates win over the Cardinals, 4-3, when shortstop Arnie Hauser fumbles a 2-out grounder in the 9th to allow the winning run to score. Mike Donlin’s leg injury bothers him and he leaves after the 4th inning, with Leach taking over in CF and Wilson shifting to LF.

19th  Behind the pitching of Walter Johnson, Washington wins its home opener 6–0 over the World Champion Athletics. Johnson allows three hits. Only 10,000 fans show up as shocking news of the Titanic sinking keeps people away. President Taft skips the game and Veep James Sherman does the tossing of the first ball.

Playing their home opener against Brooklyn, the Giants win, 6–2. Mathewson is the victor, despite giving up 13 hits.

20th  The Boston Red Sox open in the new Fenway Park with a 7–6, 11-inning win over the New York Yankees before 27,000. Spitballer Bucky O’Brien and Sea Lion Hall top Jumbo Jim Vaughn, handing the Yankees their 6th straight loss.

After hitting the game-winning HR in the 11th inning to beat the Reds, 5–4, Cubs OF Jimmy Sheckard remembers that he had left his glove in the outfield. He detours on his home run trot to retrieve it as teammates yell to him to complete the circuit, which he does. As he scores the winning run, home plate ump Bill Brennan remarks, “I was waiting for you, Jimmy.” (as noted by SABR historian Don Jensen). The manager of the Reds is Hank O’Day, who was the umpire that day in 1908 when Fred Merkle failed to touch 2B.

Detroit opens remodeled Navin Park and beats Cleveland 6–5 in 11 innings before 24,384. George Mullin wins his own game with an RBI single. Detroit opens with two double steals in the 1stinning, including Cobb’s swipe of home when Crawford takes 2B. Cobb has two singles and two steals today.

In New York, Rube Marquard takes over for Jeff Tesreau in the 9thinning, with the Giants leading 2–1. Tesreau had walked two and given up a single in the frame. An error by Art Wilson lets in 2 Brooklyn runners, and Brooklyn leads, 3-2. but New York scores 2 in the bottom of the 9th when Wilson smashes a homer for a 4–3 win. The victory doesn’t go to Rube, but is awarded to Tesreau, depriving Marquard of a eventual 20-game winning streak.

In St. Louis, the Browns George Baumgardner and White Sox hurler James Scott battle to a 15-inning scoreless tie.

21st  Reds SS Jimmy Esmond, a .195 hitter, hits the first HR at Redland (later, Crosley) Field, off Bill Steele. The inside-the-park blow is his only roundtripper of the year. Nobody will hit one out of the Cincinnati park until Pat Duncan does it on June 2, 1921. Esmond’s 3-run homer leads the Reds to a 7–1 over the Cardinals.

22nd The Giants schedule an exhibition game against the Yankees at the Polo Grounds on as a Sunday benefit for the relief fund set up for the Titanic. Instead of selling tickets for the game, the Giants required fans to purchase a program, which cost the same amount as the price of a ticket. More than 14,000 fans come raising nearly $9,500 for the relief fund through their program purchases. The Giants beat the Yankees, 11-2.

25th At Baker Bowl, the Giants Christy Mathewson subdues the Phillies on 7 hits to beat Tom Seaton, 3–1. Two of the Phils’ safeties are by 17-year-old infielder Gene Steinbrenner, the only hits of his brief ML career.

At Fenway, Boston’s Charley Hall (3-0) pitches the Red Sox to a 4-1 win over the Senators. The Mexican-American Hall, born Carlos Clolo, also scores 2 runs. He will win 15 this season.

26th Boston 1B Hugh Bradley is the first player to hit a ball over the LF wall of Boston’s new park. It comes off Lefty Russell. His 3-run shot—his only homer this year and half his career total—helps the Red Sox beat Philadelphia, 7–6.

27th The Pirates jump on the visiting Reds to win, 23–4, doing all their scoring without a home run but collecting 27 hits. Pittsburgh saddles up Reds reliever Hansey Horsey, the last of 3 pitchers, for 14 hits and 12 runs in 4 innings. It is Horsey’s only ML appearance. Bobby Byrne and Dots Miller each have 5 hits, and Honus Wagner adds 4. Chief Wilson has a pair of triples. Byrne also has 3 of the 9 stolen bases for the Bucs.

Bob Groom allows 3 hits as he shuts out the visiting Yankees, 5-0. Former Yankee Eddie Foster hits a 3-run homer for Washington.

28th At Baltimore, the International League Orioles beat the New York Highlanders, 8-2, taking advantage of George McConnell’s wildness. The Yankees will return to American League play tomorrow with a 2-0 loss to the Senators to run their record to 2-10.

29th The Yankees Jumbo Vaughn tosses a 3-hitter, but loses, 2-0, to Washington. Walter Johnson pitches his third shutout in a row and has now thrown 32 consecutive scoreless innings.

30th Detroit beats the visiting White Sox, 4-3, in 10 innings. Ty Cobb singles in the 10th, goes to 3B on a single, sliding into the bag. He then kicks the ball lying in front of Tannehill and scores the winning run.