1871 May

4th  The first game played in the National Association is played at Fort Wayne, between the Kekiongas and the Forest Citys of Cleveland. Bobby Mathews shuts out the Cleveland team 2–0, one of only 4 shutouts in 1871 and the smallest score of the year. Jim White makes the first hit, a double, and participates in the NA’s first DP when he is caught off second on Gene Kimball’s fly ball. Second baseman Tom Carey makes the unassisted DP.

5th   At the Olympic Grounds, Al Spalding makes his organized ball debut, pitching the Boston Red Stockings to a 20-18 thriller against Washington. Using a baseball of his own making, Spalding allows 10 runs in the first two innings to the Olympics, which bat first. Spalding walks 10 batters, but Asa Brainard passes 18. Boston scores 5 runs in the bottom of the 9thfor the win.

8th  The visiting Boston Reds demolish the Brooklyn Atlantics 25–0 in the worst defeat in the history of the Brooklyn club.

In Chicago, Ezra Sutton hits the National Association’s first homer, off Chicago’s George Zettlein, connecting in the 4th inning with a blast over the center fielder’s head. In the 7th, Sutton, playing for Cleveland Forest Citys, connects again, but Chicago wins, 14–12.

16th  The first professional game ever played in Boston is played between the Red Stockings and the visiting Haymakers before 5,000. Boston has Harry Wright playing SS in place of his injured brother George. George will miss half the games played by the Reds, severely hampering their pennant chances. Troy wins 29–14, making 24 hits to Boston’s 13. None are for four bases. The Boston Evening Journalnotes the pivotal 7th inning: “The Haymakers now went to the bat, and by some heavy hitting, assisted materially by the fielding errors of the Bostons, scored eleven runs, but two or three being earned.”

25th  The heavily favored Mutuals are soundly defeated by the Haymakers of Troy, in Brooklyn, 25–10. Lipman Pike, the Troy 2B, collects 6 hits.