1920 April

13th  The Negro National League (chartered as the National Association of Colored Professional Baseball Clubs) is organized at a meeting at the YMCA in Kansas City, MO.

14th  On Opening Day at Cleveland’s League Park, 20,000 fans cheer as Stan Coveleski shuts out the Browns 5–0, beating Indian killer Allen Sothoron. The spitballer had won 5 of 6 last year from Cleveland.

At Shibe Park, Babe Ruth makes his Yankee debut, lacing two hits, but dropping an easy fly in center that allows two runs to score in the 8th. The A’s Scott Perry is the beneficiary of Babe’s error, winning, 3–1 over Bob Shawkey. Each allows 7 hits, one homer, and a walk. Wally Pipp lofts a homer for New York, while Cy Perkins connects for the A’s. New York leaves its best pitcher Carl Mays back in New York, since there is still a warrant out for his arrest in Philley.

The World Champion Reds open the season in Cincinnati by whipping Grover Cleveland Alexander, 7–3. The Reds combine 12 hits, including a HR by Edd Roush, and Dutch Ruether’s pitching to beat the Cubs. Alexander has a triple and all 3 Cub RBIs.

At Pittsburgh, the Pirates win their Opener, 5–4, over the St. Louis Cardinals behind Babe Adams. It is the first win for new manager George Gibson, the first Canadian big league manager.

In the Opener at the Polo Grounds, the Braves score 5 in the 2nd and hold on for a 6-3 win over the Giants. Eddie Eayrs, who last appeared in the majors with Pittsburgh in 1913, earns the start on the strength of a 4-1 complete game victory over the Tigers in spring training. It’ll be the lone win for the Brown graduate.

15th  In Boston, the Sox jump on Washington ace Walter Johnson and score 5 runs on four hits before the Big Train is lifted after 2 innings. Johnson’s sore arm will limit him to an 8–10 record this year. The Sox hang on to win 7–6 with Allen Russell picking up the win.

The Yanks rally for 4 runs in the last 3 innings to top the A’s, 4–1. Babe Ruth is hitless in 5 at bats.

17th A pitching duel between the Pirates Elmer Ponder and the Cards Jess Haines ends when the Bucs score 3 runs in the top of the 13th for a 3–0 victory.

Boston Red Sox owner Harry Frazee announces that suspended catcher Wally Schang will be enjoined from playing for any other team. Schang will make his first appearance for the Sox on May 5.

19th  Not clowning around, the Senators Al Schacht, later known as “The Clown Prince of Baseball,” shuts out the A’s, 7–0. A sore arm will end his career after the next season, but the Schacht act will be on hand for 25 World Series and 18 All-Star games.

In the annual Patriots Day doubleheader in Boston, the Red Sox take the a.m. game 6–0 in front of 6,000 fans. In the p.m. game, 22,000 are on hand to watch ex-Red Sox Carl Mays pitch for the Yankees. The Sox don’t disappoint, cuffing Mays for 4 runs in 7 innings as they win 8–3. Babe Ruth is 3-for-8 for the two games.

20th Phils’ manager Gavvy Cravath inserts himself as a pinch hitter and hits a 3-run HR to beat the Giants, 3–0. For Cravath, the top HR hitter of the past decade, it is his last four bagger. Eppa Rixey is the winner over Rube Benton.

In a preview of their May 1 marathon, Brooklyn’s Leon Cadore and the Braves’ Joe Oeschger battle for 11 innings before Brooklyn rookie Walter Hood lines an RBI double to win it, 1–0. Hood took over in CF in the 6thafter Hy Myers was tossed for fighting with Oscar Dugey.

At Cleveland the Indians wins a marathon from Detroit, 11–10, as 10 pitchers combine to issue 18 walks and a hit batsman. Caldwell is the winner for the Tribe in a game that takes 3 hours and 4 minutes.

22nd  The Yankees open their home season with a 8–6 win over the A’s, but lose Babe Ruth to an injury. The $125,000 batsman pulls a cartilage in batting practice and, after striking out in the 1st, has to be assisted off the field and Frank Gleich takes his place in CF. The team announces he’ll be out 2 weeks.

In the Phillies 4-3 victory over the visiting Robins, Dots Miller draws a base on balls, the first walk that a Phillie batter has received in six games. The next walk won’t come until game 9 as the Phillies will be the only team in the majors not to total 300 walks this year. They won’t top it next year either, the last season that any team has fewer than 300 walks.

24th The Yankees Carl Mays pitches 10 innings in beating the Philadelphia Athletics, 3–2. Mays allows 6 hits in winning his 6th straight over the Mackmen.

According to historian David Vincent, this is the last day in major league history that all teams played games and no home runs were hit. The last day of 8 games (5AL; 3NL) in which no homers were hit is August 8, 1923.

25th The largest crowd ever to attend a game in Brooklyn watch as the Giants down the locals, 5–2. Jess Barnes holds Brooklyn to 4 hits in beating Leon Cadore. The game is called with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th when the crowd surges onto the field.

26th In Washington, Red Sox SS Everett Scott plays in his 534thconsecutive game, a major league record. The previous mark was 533, set by the Phillies Fred Luderus. The Nationals win, 2–0, as Joe Johnson outduels Bush.