1917 March

19th The Red Sox lose to Brooklyn, 7–2 in the “Hot Springs World Series.” Both teams are training in Arkansas and will barnstorm north together.

25th John McGraw signs a five-year contract for $40,000 a year plus bonuses. The contract makes him the highest paid figure in baseball.

Babe Ruth pitches four innings against Brooklyn, allowing just one hit, before giving way to a group of inept Red Sox relievers. Brooklyn wins, 11–2, and reigns as “Hot Springs Champs.”

The Red Sox beat Brooklyn, 11–2, in Hot Springs. For tomorrow’s game in Memphis, players on both teams will sport numbers on their sleeves, the idea of Robins’ owner Charles Ebbets. His reasoning is that fans in non-Major league cities would be unfamiliar with the players.

30th In an exhibition game in Dallas between the Giants and Tigers, Ty Cobb slides into second bases and slashes Buck Herzog’s leg with his spikes. Herzog jumps on Cobb and the two fight fiercely until separated. Herzog challenges Cobb to a fight and says he’ll be in Cobb’s room at 10 p.m. and both will be accompanied by one teammate. Herzog and Heinie Zimmerman show up, but Cobb has 8 teammates on hand. Herzog knocks the Tiger star down with his first punch but Cobb gets up and hammers the New Yorker until the two are finally separated. Cobb refuses to play the remaining games with the Giants, and at the end of the week the New York players send him a postcard: “It’s safe to rejoin your club; we’ve left.”

An exhibition game in Oklahoma City between the Dodgers and the Red Sox is held up for three hours by a wind storm of flying dirt. The Sox win, 10-4.