1924 April

3rd In Ashville, the first game ever played in McCormick Field is a smashing success as the visiting Detroit Tigers beat the Ashville Skylanders, 18–14. A sparse crowd of 3199 watches as Harry Heilmann bangs 3 homers, two off the top of the LF grandstand. Ty Cobb adds a homer. When the Dodgers leave Ebbets Field, the scoreboard will be relocated to McCormick Field.

8th In Nashville, the Giants lose an exhibition game 9–8 to the White Sox on a scorekeeper’s error. The Sox scored 8 runs in the early innings, but the scorekeeper posted a 9. When the Giants came back to score 8 runs, the scoreboard indicated New York was a run down, and that’s the way it ended. Both managers were furious after the game when the error was pointed out by several writers traveling with the teams. The American League will finish with a 28-21 record against the Senior Circuit.

15th  The Giants open before the NL’s biggest Opening Day crowd, more than 45,000 fans, but lose to Brooklyn, 3–2.

The Reds beat the Pirates 6–5 before a crowd of 35,747, a record for Redland Field. Tom Sheehan is the winner over Lee Meadows. Bubbles Hargrave is 4-for-4 with a pair of triples, the first major leaguer to hit a pair of triples in a season opener: Arky Vaughan will match it in 1941. This is the first Reds game broadcast on the radio, on WLW and WSAI: KDKA also broadcasts the game back to Pittsburgh.

After President Coolidge tosses out the first ball, Walter Johnson shuts out the A’s 4–0 on Opening Day, his 99th shutout. Slim Harriss, who topped Walter in last year’s Opening Day game, is the loser. One of the 4 hits off Johnson is a single by rookie Al Simmons, who hit .360 at Shreveport (Texas) and .398 in Milwaukee (AA) last season. Another A’s rookie (of sorts), Paul Strand, goes 0-for-4. Strand, the PCL’s top hitter the past two seasons, collected 325 hits in 1923, still an all-time record, and then was a high-priced purchase by Connie Mack. Strand last appeared in the majors in 1915 as a pitcher with the Boston Braves, and he’ll play just a third of the season before he and his .228 average will go back west.

George Sisler returns after missing a full year due to impaired vision caused by severe sinusitis. He is 2-for-4 in the Browns’ 7–3 win over the White Sox, but his years as an extraordinary player are over. Sisler agrees to take on the managerial job.

The opener at Fenway Park draws 25,000 (23,856 paid) but the Red Sox lose a heartbreaker to the Yankees, 2–1. The Sox lead, 1–0, after 8 innings, with Howard Ehmke driving in the lone run. But two 9th-inning errors by 2B Bill Wambsganss allow two unearned runs and pin the loss on Ehmke. Bob Shawkey pitches 8 innings and is replaced by Waite Hoyt, the winning pitcher.

The Cards beat the Cubs, 6–5, as Jeff Pfeffer is the winner over Vic Aldridge. Despite the victory, St. Louis will waive the veteran to Pittsburgh next month. The Cards’ Rogers Hornsby is the only batter who ever goes 2-for-5 on Opening Day and improves on his BA for the rest of the year. His .424 will be the highest ML BA in the 20th century. The Cardinals open the season with the players wearing small numbers on their sleeves, an experiment that will continue in 1925, then be dropped.

16th At Philadelphia, the Braves edge the Phils, 4-3, in 10 innings as Casey Stengel hits a homer and two singles. Boston (1-0) is the only undefeated team in the NL.

17th Baby Doll Jacobson cycles for Browns at Chicago, but the White Sox deflate the Browns, 6–3. The winner is Sarge Connally in relief.

19th The Red Sox score 10 runs in the bottom of the 2nd against the A’s, then cruise home, 12–0, behind Howard Ehmke.

At Washington, Whitey Witt hits a towering leadoff homer over the newly heightened RF wall. He is the first accomplish the feat but he will be matched by Ruth and Sisler this year. It is Whitey’s last ML homer as the Yankees fall to the Senators, 7-2. Serving up the Whitey wallop is John Martina, making his ML debut.

20th In Washington, Walter Johnson picks up an easy 12–3 win over the Yankees. Babe Ruth scores 2 of the New York runs on a triple and an 8thinning home run, then also adds a 90-foot high bat toss (as noted by bat-toss expert Frank Vaccaro). It comes after a third strike call by Billy Evans in the 9th and earns the Babe an ejection.

21st The Reds edge the Cubs, 2–1 in 10 innings as Tom Sheehan bests Pete Alexander.

22nd With the help of a Cobb steal of home in the 3rd inning, the Tigers edge the Browns, 4-3.

24th Detroit pitcher Lil Stoner gives up 9 hits to the Indians. but helps beat them 8-2 when he clouts a three-run homer off James Edwards.

25th In Philadelphia, the A’s Al Simmons hits his first ML homer, a 3-run shot in the 6th, off the Nationals’ Walter Johnson. The A’s win, 6–5.

26th At Yankee Stadium, New York edges Boston, 4–3, when a squeeze bunt in the 11th inning scores Ernie Johnson. Both teams score a pair in the 10th; the Sox on a homerun by Bobby Veach and a Joe Harris double, his 4th hit of the game. Harris scores on a single. The Yankees answer when Wally Pipp hits an apparent single that bounces over the centerfielder’s head for an inside-the-park homer. Ruth is a non-factor, receiving three IBB. The win gives the Yanks a 4-game sweep of the Red Sox.

At Detroit, the Tigers move into 1st place by pummeling the White Sox, 16-7 as the 2 teams commit 8 errors. The most dramatic error occurs with the bases load in the 9th and two out when Maurice Archdeacon hits a little roller in front of the plate and beats it out. First baseman Lou Blue doesn’t see the out call and flips the ball into Detroit’s dugout as the Tigers head for the dugout and the fans flood the field. Archdeacon gets as far as 3B before Cobb comes out to inquire what is going on. An argument ensues and finally the police are called to clear the field. Hooper then grounds out to end the game.

27th For the 2nd time in five days, Ty Cobb steals home in a 4–3 Tiger win. This time it’s against the White Sox in the 7th. During a White Sox double steal in the top of the 6th, Willie Kamm bumps heads with Detroit SS Bill Rigney, and both are dazed. Kamm crawls to 2B before second baseman Del Pratt can retrieve the ball. When Kamm discovers he’s been spiked, player/manager Cobb allows Bibb Falk in as a courtesy runner (as noted by Retrosheet).

28th Pittsburgh’s rookie SS Glenn Wright hits his first ML homer, off Vic Keen, in a 7–4 victory over the Cubs. Wright will set a ML record in 1924 with 601 assists: no one will top 600 till Ozzie Smith, 621, in 1980.

29th At Cubs Park, Pete Alexander wins his own game, 2–1, with a double in the 11th off Pittsburgh’s Specs Meadows.

30th At Chicago Pittsburgh’s Rabbit Maranville lines a triple in the 14thinning off Elmer Jacobs, then swipes home to beat Chicago, 2–1. Johnny Morrison is the winner.