1916 April

8th  Tris Speaker is still a holdout as a reaction to Boston owner Joseph Lannin’s proposal to cut his salary from a reported $18,500 to $9,000. Speaker wants $15,000. Speaker’s salary, the highest in the game for the past two years, was negotiated under the threat of Speaker jumping to the Federal League. With the demise of that league, the Sox are looking to save money. The Red Sox, in anticipation of resolving the contract dispute by trading Speaker, purchase the hard-throwing OF Tilly Walker from the Browns.

9th  The Red Sox trade star outfielder Tris Speaker, who did not take to the notion of his salary being cut, to Cleveland for two players—Sam Jones and either SS Bill Wambsganss or infielder prospect Fred Thomas—and $55,000. Indians manager Lee Fohl benches Wamby in favor of Joe Evans so that the Red Sox scouts can’t get a good look at him, and the Sox take Thomas. Speaker will hold out for $10,000 of the purchase price: Ban Johnson will finally intervene and Speaker will collect. A few days earlier, the Yankees had turned down the offer of Speaker for cash and Fritz Maisel.

10th  The World Champion Boston Red Sox suffer an embarrassing 1–0 loss to Harvard, finally being reduced to bunting twice in the 9th to get on base. Tris Speaker, just traded, is in the stands for the game. Tomorrow, the Red Sox will take out their loss on Boston College, 9–1. King Bader and Herb Pennock combine on a five-hitter.

11th  In a 7-0 exhibition game win against the Yale team in New Haven, Giants third sacker Hans Lobert snaps a cartilage in his left knee while sliding. The speedster will miss most of the 1916 season and will never be the same when he returns. He’ll retire after the 1917 year.

The Robins host the Yankees and beat them, 7-2, in the last exhibition game of the pre-season.

12th  On Opening Day the Red Sox scratch Ernie Shore as their starter and Babe Ruth goes 8 innings for a 2–1 win over the Athletics at Boston. The A’s score their only run following Babe’s throwing error, and Rube Foster gets the last 3 outs. The Babe hands the loss to poor Jack Nabors. A poor throw by Charlie Pick, A’s third sacker, is the first of his 42 errors—worst for any 20th-century third baseman. This contributes to his overall .899 fielding average, a mark that Butch Hobson would equal in 1978.

Harry Coveleski gives up just 3 hits, and collects 4 himself including a double and triple, as the Tigers beat the White Sox 4–0 in Chicago. Hundreds of fans complain that their clothes are ruined by fresh green paint recently applied to the grandstand seats.

Before 20,000 at the Polo Grounds, the Yankees and Nationals battle 11 innings before the Nats push across an unearned run against starter Ray Caldwell to win 3–2. Walter Johnson strikes out 10 and walks none in the win. Frank Baker, after sitting out last season in a salary protest, has two of the five hits for New York, while Clyde Milan homers for the Nats.

At Cincinnati, the Cubs beat the Reds, 7-1, behind the pitching of George McConnell, the Federal League’s top winner last year with 25 for the Whales. But McConnell will go 4-12 with a 2.57 ERA this year, his last, for Chicago.

In St. Louis, the Cardinals open with a 2–1 win over the Pirates Erv Kantlehner. “Spitting Bill” Doak scatters six hits—three by Honus Wagner—and SS Rogers Hornsby drives in both runs for St. Louis.

Bob Groom, lately of the Federal League, pitches the Browns to a 6-1 victory over Cleveland in their home opener.

Phils righty Pete Alexander tops the Giants, 5–4. Benny Kauff, the star from the Federal League, goes hitless for New York.

13th  Babe Adams, the Pirates bellwether, pitches a one-hit 4–0 shutout against the Cardinals, the only safety coming when a ball squirts out of 2B Joe Schultz’ mitt. He will win only one more game this season, and the Pirates will release him in August. They will then re-sign him during the 1918 season.

Ernie Shore and Herb Pennock combine to give the Red Sox an 8–2 win over the A’s.

In a 4–2 loss to the Browns, Cleveland catcher Steve O’Neill completes a double play (with SS Ray Chapman), the first of 36, a ML season record for catchers that won’t be topped this century.

15th  In a 9–4 win, White Sox C Ray Schalk steals twice against Detroit en route to a season total of 30. This is a record for catchers until 1982 when John Wathan nicks 36. The Sox plate 7 runs in the 1st inning as Eddie Cicotte wins his first of the year.

16th  Now with Cleveland, Boston’s Tris Speaker doubles against the Tigers’ Hooks Dauss, the first of 41 that will tie him with teammate Jack Graney for the AL lead, and one of an all-time career high of 792. The Indians top Detroit, 4–3.

17th  At Fenway, Babe Ruth and Walter Johnson square off with the young Red Sox lefty emerging the winner, 5–1 over the Washington ace. Ruth scatters 8 hits in 6 innings and strikes out 6, while Johnson gives up 11 hits before being lifted in the 6th. Rain starts falling in the 7th and the game is called.

Detroit scores a 12-inning 3–1 victory over Stan Coveleski, in his first year at Cleveland. Righthander George Cunningham fills in when Tiger ace Harry Coveleski refuses to take the mound against his younger brother. Sam Crawford’s consecutive-game streak ends at 472. He played in every Tiger game in 1913 through 1915.

18th  Phillies star Pete Alexander blanks the Braves on 5 hits at Baker Bowl to win 4–0. Dick Rudolph takes the loss. It is Pete’s first shutout of the year; 15 will follow.

At Cincinnati, Hal Chase lives up to his middle name of Homer and legs out a game-ending inside-the-park fourbagger in the 10th to give the Reds a 4-3 win over the Pirates.

The Nationals top the Red Sox, 4–2, for Washington’s first win in Boston since 1914.

20th  The Cubs play their first game in the newly built Federal League park that will soon have its name changed to Wrigley Field. The stadium, minus the upper deck added later, seats 14,000, but 20,000 fans are on hand. Greeting fans on the Addison Street side is JOA, a bear cub owned by Cub’s (partial) owner J. Ogden Armour. Everyone goes home happy as Vic Saier’s 11th inning sac fly gives the Cubs a 7–6 win over the Reds.

Washington 3B Eddie Foster hits his only homer of the year, and the last he will hit. He ends his career in 1923 with 6 homers in 3,278 at bats. The Senators total 17 hits as they down the Yankees, 12-4.

Boston’s Babe Ruth is 0-for-4 at the plate but whips the A’s, 7–1, on five hits.

21st  In St. Louis, the Browns Bob Groom (2-1) beats Cleveland, 11-1, as Tris Speaker plates the only Indians run in the 9th. Elmer Smith’s double is the only hit off “Belleville Bob.”

22nd  The A’s Jack Nabors tops the Red Sox, 6–2. His only victory of the season, and the first and only one of his ML career, evens his record at 1–1. He will follow with 19 straight losses to tie a major-league record of Bob Groom’s. Teammate Tom Sheehan will be right behind him at 1–16.

23rd  The Giants are saved from a humiliating exhibition loss to the Long Branch Cubans at West Side Park, Jersey City, when rain halts the game in the first inning with the Cubans leading, 8–1.

At St. Louis, Jack Graney has a pair of homers and scores 4 runs as the Indians roll to a 14-2 win over the Browns. Ray Chapman scores three times as does winning pitcher Guy Morton. The loss goes to Bill Fincher, making his ML debut.

In Chicago, George McConnell allows just one hit as the Cubs set down the Pirates, 3-0. George Viox hits a double for the lone Buc shot.

25th At the Polo Grounds, Boston’s Babe Ruth goes 10 innings to defeat the Yankees, 4–3. The Babe gives up 2 earned runs on 8 hits, but is hitless at the plate.

26th Yankee Fritz Maisel does his part to keep the score down by getting thrown out 3 times trying to steal against the A’s. The Yankees still win, 9–0.

29th  Buck Weaver (3B) and Jack Fournier (1B) execute the season’s first triple play in the 3–1 White Sox win at St. Louis.

Pirate SS Honus Wagner saves a 2–1 win over the Reds by making a sensational grab of Greasy Neale’s line drive.

Innovative Cubs owner Charles Weeghman decides to let fans keep balls hit into stands. The decision follows an incident where a fan scuffles with park attendants when he refuses to give up a foul ball during the Cardinals’ series. The Cards win today, 8–4.