1890 June

1st  Professional baseball is born in England as 4 teams—Derby, Preston, Stoke, and Birmingham—form a league. Four Americans are imported to provide instructions for the teams, made up mostly of English pro footballers. Derby, using 3 pros, including an American pitcher, clinches the championship without a loss in the first month. The other teams protesting, Derby agrees not to use the pitcher in any games except against Birmingham, the only team to beat him. But the American pitches against Preston, and a formal protest follows, resulting in Derby resigning from the league. Birmingham is declared the winner with a 20-9 record.

NL pioneer manager Harry Wright, in his 7th year at Philadelphia, is taken ill and temporarily loses his sight. Club owner Al Reach takes over.

2nd  Ed Delahanty of Cleveland (PL) goes 6-for-6 with 5 runs as his club crushes Chicago 20–7. Tomorrow in the NL, Brooklyn will beat the New York Giants by the same score.

3rd Brooklyn (11) and New York (5) combine for a record (for the 5th) 16 runs as Brooklyn rolls to a 20-7 victory.

4th Tim Keefe becomes the 2nd pitcher in history to win 300 games as his New York (PL) team whips Boston, 9–4. Keefe allows 8 hits, strikes out 7 and makes 4 errors. The two teams combine for 14 errors.

5th  Rookie RHP Billy Rhines, 21, pitches Cincinnati to a 9–1 win over Pittsburgh (NL), starting a 13-game winning streak that moves the Reds to a 33-13 record and 4-game lead over Brooklyn.

Despite a grand slam from Oyster Burns off Kid Gleason in the 5th, the first-place Bridegrooms lose to the Phillies, 6–5.

The Boston Beaneaters beat the Giants, 13-2, as Boston catcher Charlie Bennett hits a homer over the LF fence at the Polo Grounds, the first time that has been done this season.

At Cleveland (NL), Chicago is batting in the 3rd when a sudden downpour sends the teams to cover. Lightning strikes the grandstand; a shower of fire and splinters forces spectators to flee into the rain.

At Chicago (PL), Pittsburgh’s Jocko Fields leads the Burghers to a 12-6 win over the Chicago Pirates. Fields marshalls a grand slam in the 8th and an IPHR; it won’t be done in the same game again until Charlie Gehringer does it in 1930 (according to homerun historian David Vincent).

6th  Hugh Duffy, playing for the Chicago Pirates (PL) lines an game-winning inside-the-park homer in the 10th inning to beat Pittsburgh, 6-5.

Harry Wright, manager of Philadelphia (NL), is now said to be able to see while wearing colored glasses. A serious illness 5 days earlier had blinded him temporarily, making him the only blind manager in ML history.

7th  Rookie John McFetridge, 20, wins his ML debut, a 5-hit 4–1 win over Brooklyn in a game 2 of a doubleheader at Philadelphia (NL). He then disappears until 13 years later when he is 1-11 for the Phils. The Phils lose the opener, 4-3, but remain in first place by a half game over the Reds.

Down 3-1 going into the 9th, the New York Giants finally figure out Pretzels Getzein and score 8 runs to win, 9-3, over Boston.

9th  Brooklyn beats Syracuse, 13–7, as the AA club begins playing the rest of its home games at the Polo Grounds, except on Sundays when Ridgewood, a Long Island park is used.

10th  St. Louis AA pitcher Jack Stivetts hits two homers (and strikes out 10), the 2nd a grand slam in the top of the 9th, off Fred Smith, with his team down by 3 runs to win, 9–8, over visiting Toledo. He later duplicates this batting feat on August 6, 1891, and on June 12, 1896, making him the first pitcher to achieve this. The only two pitchers to match this achievement are Wes Ferrell (who had 5 such games) and Don Newcombe.

14th Cincinnati’s Long John Reilly strokes a ML-record 3 triples in a 9–0 win over visiting Cleveland.

Former Brooklyn Atlantic great Dickey Pearce is said to be doing an excellent job as groundskeeper for the Brooklyn PL team. Pearce is an all-too-typical example of a former player dependent on the kindness of fellow sportsmen for employment, however menial.

15th  Lefthanded 2B Bill Greenwood plays SS for Rochester versus Syracuse today and becomes the only lefthanded throwing SS to participate in a triple play. Syracuse beats the Hop Bitters, 11-8.

The first Sunday game is played at the Driving Park, on the Washington and Southern Railroad, between Washington and Wilmington (Atlantic Association). The Commissioners in Washington, D.C., refused to let the game be played at Atlantic Park, so arrangements were hastily made to play at the Driving Park and “there was no time to level the field, which was somewhat smoother than a cabbage patch, but could not be compared with a first-class diamond. The infield abounded in little hillocks that rendered judgment of a ground hit extremely difficult, while daisies grew so deep that the ball was lost once on a fly hit to center field, and everyone trotted home, while a large contingent of the home nine was searching for the lost ball.” (Washington Post). Washington wins, 22-14 (as noted by Clifford Otto).

16th  Pittsburgh manager-pitcher-1B Guy Hecker gets one of his 2 wins of the year, 4–3, over Chicago in the 2nd game of a twinbill. Chicago takes the opener, 7–3, handing Pittsburgh its 22nd loss in 23 games. Hecker will hang up his manager’s hat at the end of the year.

18th  Pittsburgh’s Kirtley Baker wins his first game of the year, 3–0, over Cleveland, after losing his first 7. Baker will end up at 3-19, with 2 shutouts.

Billy Shindle’s 3rd-inning grand slam, off Ed Crane, is the difference as Philadelphia (PL) tops New York, 12-8.

19th  Pittsburgh splits a pair with Cleveland, winning 9-2 before losing 7-1. Winning pitcher Billy Gumbert, making his debut in game 1, homers to help his cause.

21st  Charles “Silver” King of Chicago (PL) pitches an 8-inning no-hitter, but loses to Brooklyn 1–0 on a two-base error by SS Dell Darling. King’s no hitter is preserved by a 9–3 putout at 1B. Chicago bats first and King does not pitch the last of the 9th. This will be the only no-hitter in the PL, marking King’s no-hitter as the only one thrown at 51 ½ foot distance. The PL had moved the distance back 18 inches from the 50 feet used in the other two leagues.

More than 10,000—the greatest crowd ever seen at a college baseball game—turn out in Cambridge for the Harvard-Yale match. Harvard trails, 3–1, after 7 innings, but rallies to win, 4–3, in the 9th. But Yale wins the season series, 3–2.

23rd  In field games, New York (PL) C Harry “Farmer” Vaughn makes a throw of 402 feet 21⁄2 inches, beating John Hatfield’s 400 foot 71⁄2 inch record of 1872 and winning a $25 purse.

Rochester and Brooklyn (AA) play an exhibition at Elmira; the players are served with warrants for breaking the Sunday laws. In 3 days Rochester will start a 9-game losing streak that will drop them to 4th place.

Mike Griffin (Philadelphia PL) reaches base 4 times by errors for a ML record. Philadelphia tops Pittsburgh, 6–3.

24th  The Brooklyn Bridegrooms (NL) drop to 3 games behind the leaders when they are upended 22-3 by Chicago. Chicago plates 13 runs in the 4th inning. They will match that mark on August 16.

25th  St. Louis (AA) beats Louisville, 10–7, starting a run of 11 victories in 12 games that lifts them into 3rd, where they’ll finish. They buy out the releases of Count Campau, Jake Virtue, SS Bobby Wheelock, Bill Higgins, and C Jake Wells from Detroit. Campau is named captain, replacing Chief Roseman. Two days later, Campau hits a HR to beat Louisville, 8–6, for the 3rd straight time. Virtue can’t be bought, and neither can Wheelock, neither of whom play for St. Louis.

26th  No way to treat a lady. Philadelphia (PL) scores ML-record 14 runs in the 6th inning against Buffalo on the way to a 30-12 win. The 28 hits in the game come against 1887 world series hero Lady Baldwin, but only 6 of the runs are earned. Lady’s teammates manhandle 10 chances for errors.

Visiting Brooklyn loses at Chicago, 11-5, as the Colts are paced by a 1st-inning grand slam by rookie Howard Earl, off Tom Lovett. It is his second of the year.

In an AA game, Syracuse beats Brooklyn, 4–3, when Tim O’Rourke drives in the tying run and then scores the winner by stealing home.

28th Against first place (NL) Cincinnati, New York’s Mike Tiernan cycles for the 2nd time in his career. He did on August 25, 1888. It’s not enough as the Giants fall, 12–3. Bid McPhee has 3 triples for the Reds.

Jimmy Knowles of Rochester hits a 3rd-inning grand slam off ,Jack Stivetts of St. Louis, but the Hop Bitters do little else losing, 10-5.

30th In a PL game, New York’s Ed Crane serves up his second grand slam in two weeks as Cleveland’s Paul Radford hits a 4-run homer in the 5th. It is the difference as the Infants win, 14-10.