1877 May

1st  In a preseason game in St. Louis, the Browns and the Syracuse Stars play a 15-inning scoreless tie, the longest scoreless game yet played by professional clubs. It is suspected that the new “dead ball” used by the NL is partly to blame, as were pitchers Tricky Nichols and Harry McCormick.

2nd  The Allegheny (IA) club of Pittsburgh upsets the Boston Red Stockings behind the brilliant work of Jim Galvin. Not only does he pitch a one-hit shutout, he hits a HR said to be the first ball to clear the fence at Pittsburgh’s Union Park.

5thIn London, Ontario, the Brooklyn “Hartfords” beat the 1876 Canadian champion Tecumsehs, 6–2.

8th  The Chicago White Stockings, the defending NL Champs, edge Hartford 6–5 in their home opener. Cap Anson and John Glenn each have 3 hits, while batting champ Ross Barnes adds 2 hits, despite the new foul rule that makes a ball that goes foul before reaching 1B or 3B a foul ball. The old rule, under which any ball that bounced in fair territory first was fair, enabled Barnes to hit many a safe “fair-foul” past the third baseman.

10thThere’s no dead ball in evidence as the Reds open their season with a 15–10 win over Louisville. The game was supposed to be in Cincinnati, but 3 days of rain washes out the plans. In a first, the Reds team travels by boat down the Ohio River to play the game. Jim Devlin, loser of last year’s opener, takes another loss with Bobby Mathews the winner. Five Reds collect at least 3 hits. A new rule this year puts the home team at bat first (rather than toss for ups). But even with the Grays scoring one in the 9th, the Reds are unable to finish batting in the 9th and the score reverts to the 15–10 after 8 innings.

11thHarvard College and the professional Manchesters play an unprecedented 24-inning scoreless tie. The ball is blamed, being “dead enough to be buried.”

12th  Chicago makes 21 errors, including passed balls and wild pitches, and loses to Boston 18–9. The winners make 11 errors.

14thLouisville buries Cincinnati, 24–6, under a 32-hit attack. Hall and Bill Hague each have 5 hits, as the Grays score a dozen runs against both Bobby Mathews and Jack Manning.

17th  At a special league meeting, the NL adopts a livelier version of the Spalding ball for all games.

Umpire John Draper walks off the field in the 8th inning of the Cincinnati-Boston game. John Brockway comes out of the stands to finish the game, but the incident underscores the hazards of having amateurs officiate for the NL.

23rdHartford edges Cincinnati, 5–4, thanks to a grounder that goes through the legs of 2B Jimmy Hallinan, allowing 3 runs to score.

25thPitching sensation Edward “The Only” Nolan of Indianapolis shuts out the White Stockings, 3–0.

26thChicago’s Cal McVey is 5-for-5 to lead the Whites to a 12–7 win over Cincinnati. McVey’s last hit starts a tie-breaking rally in the 9th.

31st After having played the A’s in Philadelphia and Brooklyn the previous 2 days, Hartford hosts the Athletics and win, 5–2.

Charley Jones is 4-for-4 with a 3-run HR to lead Cincinnati to an 11–6 win over St. Louis.