5th An exhibition game with the newly christened Yankees opens Ebbets Field; 25,000 are on hand to watch Nap Rucker beat the American Leaguers, 3–2. The first HR is hit by Brooklyn’s Casey Stengel, who legs out an inside-the-parker in the 1st. Jake Daubert legs out another round tripper in the 2nd. The Yanks suffer a loss when Zack Wheat spikes starting SS Claud Derrick on his throwing hand. Derrick will play just 7 games before New York ships him to Sacramento (PCL).
In Philadelphia, the Athletics score 2 in the 1st against the Phillies in their city series 5th game. Down 4–0 in the series, the Phils score 2 in the bottom of the 9th to tie and the game ends that way after 18 innings. Boardwalk Brown pitches all 18 innings for the A’s.
9th With league approval, the Dodgers play their opener—and first regular-season game at Ebbets Field—a day ahead of the rest of the league. Cold weather keeps the crowd down to about 12,000, and the Phils’ knuckleballer Tom Seaton beats Nap Rucker, 1–0. Seaton will lead the NL in wins with 27. The Philadelphia Evening Telegraph reporter observes that the park is still receiving “finishing touches. The diamond is covered with grass, but the outfield is as bare as Mother Hubbard’s cupboard. This should make the handling of hard-hit grounders in the outfield very difficult.”
10th President Woodrow Wilson, who receives a gold pass from Ban Johnson, throws out the first ball at Washington’s home opener at National Park. Under new manager Frank Chance, New York is playing its first official game as Yankees. New York starter George McConnell, 8–12 last year as a 35-year-old rookie, allows just 6 hits but loses to Walter Johnson 2–1. Danny Moeller drives in both Nat runs with a single. After giving up an unearned run in the first, Johnson begins a string of shutout innings that will reach a record 55 2/3 before the St. Louis Browns score in the 4thon May 14th. Johnson scatters 8 hits today, including one by 1B Charlie Sterrett. Regular first sacker Hal Chase, though left-handed, fills in at second base for injured player/manager Frank Chance.
In Boston, A’s ailing ace Jack Coombs shuts out the Red Sox in the first three innings of the opener, but tires and leaves in the 6th, leading 10-5. Chief Bender relieves and the A’s hold on for a 10-9 victory. The Chief will finish the year with a 21-10 record and make 27 relief appearance, the most for a 20-game winner until Ernie Broglio, in 1960. Coombs will start again in two days, his last appearance of the year.
At New York, the Giants open the season with an 8-0 loss to the Boston Braves, skippered by new manager George Stallings. Hub Perdue tosses a two-hitter for the Braves. Rain on the East Coast will cause delays and Boston will next play in 7 days when Perdue will get a no-decision in a loss to the Giants and Mathewson in Boston.
12th A’s pitcher Jack Coombs gives up 4 runs in the first and leaves after facing 5 batters. The A’s beat Boston 5-4 but Coombs will be out for the year with an illness, subsequently diagnosed as typhoid fever, which he picked up in spring training in Montgomery, AL. His weight will drop from 180 pounds to 126. He will eventually come back to pitch two late-season games in 1914.
14th Behind the pitching of Ray Caldwell, the Yankees beat the visiting A’s, 4-0. Fritz Maisel steals 4 bases for New York: he’ll do it again next April 17.
15th At Chicago, pinch runner Wilbur Good swipes home in the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 5–4 walkoff win over Pittsburgh. He teams up with Ward Miller on a double steal. Larry Cheney takes the victory against Howie Camnitz (as noted by Jan Larson).
17th After two losses and four rainouts, the Giants finally register a victory, in Boston, winning 3–2 in 10 innings. Larry Doyle collects 4 of the 5 New York hits, including the game winner in the 10th off Bill James. Mathewson is the winner, scattering 9 hits.
Before 25,000 at the Polo Grounds, Washington mars the debut of new manager Frank Chance, but routing his Yankees, 9–3. The Yanks are renting the Polo Grounds on a temporary basis.
18th At Ebbets Field, the Phillies edge Brooklyn, 1–0, behind Tom Seaton, who will lead the NL in wins, innings pitched, strikeouts and walks. Nap Rucker takes the loss.
20th In the Tigers 6–5 win against host Cleveland, Ty Cobb steals home in the first inning. Gregg is on the mound.
At Robison Field, the Pirates come back to beat the Cardinals, 5-4, after trailing by 4 runs. Lee Magee’s grand slam in the 3rd off Marty O’Toole is all the Birds scoring.
21st The Pirates use 8 hits in a row plus a sacrifice fly to score 7 runs in the 8th inning in a come-from-behind victory over the Cardinals, 8–5.
23rd Christy Mathewson sets down the Phils 3–1, throwing just 67 pitches. He retires the side in the 6th on 6 pitches, and uses just 5 in the 9th inning. Ad Brennan takes the loss. Matty will use 70 pitches in a game on June 24th and (as noted by R.J. Lesch) The Sporting News, forgetting about today’s game, states that this “would have broken the record of 68, said to be held by old Ben Sanders, but for getting in the hold (sic) in the 8th.” The source of the Sanders claim seems to be the pitcher himself, who asserted it in a letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer, dated August 21, 1911 (and reprinted in the Spalding Guide). The old pitcher wrote in response to a Mathewson game of August 16, “… it may be 1890 or 1892, but my recollection is that it was 1891, while playing with the Athletics in a game against the Browns in St. Louis, where I only pitched 68 balls during a full nine-inning contest.” [Researcher Cliff Blau tracked down the game, played on August 5, 1891, and Old Ben’s recollections turned out to be not correct. He threw 91 pitches in the game, which lasted 11 innings.]
24th At Chicago, the Browns beat the White Sox, 3–1, using a record-tying 3 triples by ‘Gloomy Gus’ Williams.
At Boston, the Braves edge Brooklyn, 1–0, on a pinch single by Bill Rariden in the 12th inning. Frank Allen, on his way to a 4-18 record, is the starter and loser. Rookie Bill James, the top pitcher in the PCL last year, goes the route for the win.
At Washington, the Red Sox score 4 runs in the 9th to beat the Nationals, 6–3. Boston strands one runner to Washington’s 11. President Woodrow Wilson is in the stands, his 3rd game in the four played in Washington this year. He leaves in the 8th with the score 2-2 because of a meeting with Secretary Bryan.
At the Polo Grounds, the Giants beat up veteran Earl Moore to score a 7–1 victory over the Phils. Tilly Shafer lines a 3-run homer in the 2nd inning to hasten Moore’s departure. Joe Evers, younger brother of Johnny, pinch runs for Chief Meyers in the 3rd and is thrown out at 3rd during a double steal attempt. That is the extent of Joe’s ML career.
25th Perennial spring training holdout Ty Cobb signs for the 1913 season.
The Superbas win the first of two at Brooklyn when Casey Stengel belts a two-run homer to lead Brooklyn to a 5–3 win over the Giants. In the 10th inning of the nitecap, Giants pinch-hitting specialist Moose McCormick is called upon to get a hit twice in one at bat. With the winning run on base, he singles to win the game. But umpire Bill Klem says his back was turned and he didn’t see it, so McCormick has to try again. This time Moose hits into a double play. Darkness ends the scoreless game after 11 innings.
In a 5–4 loss to the Senators, Red Sox pitcher Tom O’Brien sets the AL record by striking out 6 consecutive batters. O’Brien strikes out 12 through 7 innings before the Nats knock Buck out in the 8th. Jim Scott will tie O’Brien in two months.
29th After a game in St. Louis, the Reds’ trainer forgets to load the uniforms on the train. In Chicago, the Cincy squad borrows White Sox uniforms and then loses to the Cubs 7–2, at the West Side Grounds.
At Ebbets Field, New York’s Christy Mathewson beats Nap Rucker 6–0 in 13 innings and gives up no walks. He has thrown 22 innings without a pass; he will not walk a batter for 47 innings, then will top his own record later in the year. During his 25–11 season, Matty will walk 21 and hit none.
30th Chicago’s Al Bridwell ends a drought of 3,246 at bats without a homer by slugging his first ML homer, off George Suggs. He’ll hit another next year in the Federal League. Al’s dry spell stretches back to 1905.
In Detroit, Cobb is in the lineup for the first time following his holdout, but the White Sox prevail, 6–5, in 12 innings. Ty has a single and RBI.