1923 April

3rd  Two “Black Sox” sue the White Sox. Swede Risberg and Happy Felsch seek $400,000 damages and $6,750 back salary for conspiracy and injury to reputation, but their suit will be unsuccessful.

5th  Reflecting the strength of corporate baseball teams, an article (noted by Carlos Bauer) in today’s Beloit Daily News reports that “Beloit Fairy pitchers (Hippo) Vaughn, Cashion, (Win) Noyes, (Zip) Zabel, and Dave Davenport (all ex-major leaguers) leave Beloit today for Hot Springs, Arkansas, where they will take a week-long conditioning drill before being joined by the remainder of the factory squad, due to leave for the southland April 11. Manager Chubb will accompany the pitchers to Hot Springs, and will be on hand to pray for less rain at that resort than has been the portion of the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Boston Red Sox—which clubs have been wallowing through three weeks of soggy weather there.”

17th  Record Opening Day crowds turn out in Chicago—more than 33,000—for the Cubs’ dedication of their greatly enlarged and remodeled park. But the fans are disappointed as Johnny Morrison stops the Cubs, 3–2, to give Pittsburgh the win. Charlie Grimm drives in all 3 Pitt runs to start a hitting streak of 25 games. This is the Pirate record for a hitting streak to start the season and is the club batting streak record until Danny O’Connell breaks it in 1953.

In Cincinnati, 30,338 watch the Reds win an 11-inning 3–2 contest over the Cards. Pete Donohue tops Les Sell. The Redbirds are wearing uniform numbers corresponding to the position in the batting order.

At Boston, Heinie Groh cracks a triple and an inside-the-park homer to lead the Giants to a 4-1 Opening day win over the Braves. Hugh McQuillan scatters 4 hits in the win.

In the longest NL opener to date, Brooklyn and Philadelphia battle to a 14-inning 5–5 tie. Dutch Ruether, who beat the Phils 7 straight in 1922, goes the distance.

18th  On a balmy spring day, the debut of Yankee Stadium is a huge success with an announced attendance of 74,217. Another 25,000 are turned away. Police arrest two for scalping: one man for trying to sell a $1.10 grandstand ticket for $1.25, while another tries to get $1.50. Governor Al Smith throws out the first ball. Bob Shawkey, aided by Babe Ruth’s 3-run clout in the 3rd inning off Howard Ehmke, beats Howard Ehmke and the Red Sox 4–1. Ruth hits the first home run in the Stadium and also makes the first error. Shawkey allows 3 hits, including a run-scoring triple in the 7th by former Yank Norm McMillan.

In the Opener at Sportsman’s Park, the Tigers outslug the Browns, 9-6. Ken Williams has 3 hits including a homer, and 3 RBIs, but he’s got little support. On Detroit’s side, Ty Cobb has 3 hits and scores 3, while Harry Heilmann, last year’s batting champ, begins a 1923 21-game hitting streak by stroking 4 hits, including a homer and double, and driving in 4 runs. Heilmann missed all of September last season with a broken collarbone, but ended the year with an 11-game hitting streak intact.

In Philadelphia, the A’s beat Senators, 3–1. The big blow is Jimmy Dykes’ 2-run HR off Walter Johnson in the 2nd inning to give Slim Harriss the win. Johnson allows six hits in 8 innings of work.

20th  The Cubs win 12–11 over the Pirates on Gabby Hartnett’s 9th-inning HR, his 2nd of the game. There are 8 HRs in the game, 6 by the Cubs, who had hit 4 the day before. Bernie Friberg has a pair of homers for Chicago, while Charlie Grimm has a single, triple and homer for the Bucs. The Cubs will hit 90 homers for the year, more than double their team total of 42 last year.

Dolf Luque pitches the Reds to a 10-2 win over the Cardinals, as Rogers Hornsby helps with 3 errors for the Birds. Bill Pertica pitches 2+ innings for St. Louis in his last ML appearance. It is the first win this season for Luque, as the Cuban Cutie will have a masterful year with a 1.93 ERA and 27 wins.

At Yankee Stadium, Red Sox rookie Dick Reichle hits his only ML four bagger, a 2-run bounce homer in the 1st off Waite Hoyt, but the Yankees plate a run in the 8th and 2 in the 9th to win, 4-3. Ruth is a homer shy of the cycle as his bases-loaded double in the 9th wins it for New York. Reichle will play 122 games this year for the Red Sox, then resurface as a tight end in 1926 with the NFL Milwaukee Badgers.

22nd  The first Sunday game at Yankee Stadium draws an estimated 60,000, but the Yankees, despite an 8th inning HR by Everett Scott, suffer their first loss of the year, 4–3, to Washington’s Walter Johnson.

At Dunn Field, pitcher Stan Coveleski scores in the 10th to give the Indians a 1-0 win over the Tigers. Coveleski will pitch 27 straight scoreless innings before giving up 2 runs in the 9th inning of an April 30thwin.

23rd   At Pittsburgh, the 1st-place Pirates top the Cardinals, 8-4. Jimmy Sebring leads the way by racing around for two inside-the-park homers.

In a 7-7 14-inning tie with the Browns, White Sox pitcher Red Faber swipes home in the 4th inning.

24th  President Warren G. Harding attends the game at Yankee Stadium and sees Babe Ruth hit a 440 foot homer in a 4–0 win over the Senators, the first shutout in the new stadium. Sad Sam Jones applies the calcimine. Reb Russell serves up Ruth’s homer. The Babe adds 2 singles as he drives in 3 runs.

26th  The Giants receive their 1922 WS rings, then beat the Braves 7–3 in their home opener, despite a record-tying 5 double plays by Boston. Giants 1B George “Highpockets” Kelly ties a record, handling 21 chances in the field. Pitcher Art Nehf allows just one hit, a double by Tony Boeckel, as all three Boston runs are unearned.

With 20,000 on hand at the opener at Fenway, Boston mayor James Curley tosses out the first pitch to his catcher Governor Channing Cox, and the proceedings get under way between the Yankees and Red Sox. The Yankees trail most of the game against the Fenway Fusileers before Babe Ruth ties the game in the 9th with a sac fly off reliever Lefty O’Doul. A double by Joe Harris and a single by George Burns gives Boston a 5-4 win. O’Doul wins his only ML game, but will give up the mound for the outfield and prosper.

28th  In a PCL game between Oakland and Salt Lake, Oaks pitcher Harry Krausse hands out an intentional walk with the bases loaded in the 9thinning to Paul Strand, the PCL’s leading hitter in 1923. The walk forces in a run making the score 5-4, and brings up Joe Wilhoit. Wilhoit flies out to end the game. (Baseball Records-PCL. From 1923-1940)

30th  Phils OF Fred “Cy” Williams starts an unprecedented slugging spree, going 2-for-4 in a 12–3 loss to the Braves. In 15 games in the Baker Bowl, he will accumulate 65 total bases on 11 singles, 5 doubles, 11 home runs, and 29 RBI. He will lead the NL with 41 HRs, equal to Ruth’s AL top total, but his BA will drop to .293, his only sub-.300 mark during a 7-year stretch. Ray Powell leads Boston today with 5 hits, including a double and homer, to drive in 4 runs.

At Griffith Stadium, the Yankees come back from a 4-2 deficit after 5 innings to blast the Senators, 17-4. Irish Meusel has 4 hits, including a double and homer, and drives in 5 runs. Wally Pipp has 4 hits and drives home 6, while Babe Ruth and pitcher Sam Jones each score 4 runs.