1915 February

3rd  The AL bans the emery ball, a pitch introduced by Russ Ford in 1910.

4th The Yankees purchase Wally Pipp and OF Hugh High from the Detroit Tigers for a reported $5,000 each. Historian Lyle Spatz (Yankees Coming, Yankees Going) writes that this was the first of some promised funneling of ball players to the recently sold Yankee franchise. Pipp hit .161 in 12 games, but he’ll anchor first base in New York for a decade.

11th  The International League tries to put a team in the Bronx, but Giants president Hempstead objects.

Today’s issue of The Sporting News reports on Joe Jackson’s speaking tour (as noted by Bill Deane): “One thing Joe tells them is how he turned down $60,000 to play with the Feds for three years. ‘It looked like a lot of money,’ he said, ‘but there are things in this world to be regarded above money—keeping faith with your friends, for instance.’ All of which goes to show that you don’t have to know how to read and write to be a man of principle and conscience.”

16th  Home Run Baker, 28, announces retirement following a contract dispute with Connie Mack. He will sit out the 1915 season. Mack will also have salary problems with Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, and Jack Coombs, and rather than compete with the Federal League, he releases the stars.

18th  The Cardinals sell 22-year-old pitcher Pol Perritt to the Giants, where he will win 51 games between 1916-18. Veteran Bob Bescher will be added to this deal on March 25th, finally agreeing to report to the Cardinals on April 7 when the Cards meet his price. The still-speedy Bescher will steal 27 bases this season, but get caught 19 times.