1878 May

1st  A crowd of 5,500 turns out for the Opening Day game at the brand-new Messer Street Park in Providence, but the Boston Reds (NL) spoil the festivities by nipping the Grays 1–0.

4th  Providence returns the favor and spoils Boston’s home opener by winning 8–6. Dick Higham hits a 3-run HR over the cozy LF wall at the South End Grounds.

6th  Chicago makes one error and turns 4 DPs to beat Indianapolis 3–1. The losing Blues make 7 errors.

8th  Providence CF Paul Hines pulls off a spectacular and perhaps unassisted triple play. With men on 2B and 3B and none out in the 8th inning, Boston’s Jack Burdock lines one over SS as both runners go. Hines, racing in, catches the ball at his shoe tops and keeps going to touch 3B. This retires the runner who started on 3B, but did it retire the runner who started on 2B but had already rounded 3B? To make sure, Hines throws back to Charley Sweasy to touch 2B. This touches off a lively debate over whether the triple play was unassisted or not, a debate that still continues over a century later. In the May 4, 1901 issue of The Sporting News publishes letters by four of the game’s participants in which they all agree that Hines threw to 2B to complete the TP. Two of the letter writers are Sweasy, the second baseman, and E. B. Sutton, the runner at 2B.

9th  Sam Weaver pitches a no-hitter to lead the Milwaukee Cream Citys to their first NL win, beating Indianapolis 2–1, one run scoring after a walk. One scorer gave a hit to John Clapp of the Blues, but Weaver is generally credited with a no-hitter.

10th  Indianapolis scores its first NL win, beating Milwaukee 6–1.

11th  Indianapolis edges Milwaukee 1–0 when the Reds are able to field Will Foley’s long drive beyond the carriages parked in the LF corner in time to nip Foley’s bid for a game-tying HR.

14th  A crowd of 1,500 attends the first NL game in Milwaukee and sees the Grays end the Cincinnati Reds’ 6-game winning streak with an 8–5 decision.

15th  Providence beats Boston 24–5, pounding out 25 hits for 34 bases and running up the score with 12 runs in the 8th inning and 7 more in the 9th.

20thChicago’s Terry Larkin allows only a first-inning single, to Orator Shaffer, to beat Indianapolis, 3–1.

21st  Ed “The Only” Nolan of Indianapolis sets Milwaukee down with just 2 hits, but he barely wins a 6–5 game because of 11 errors and passed balls by his team.

25thWith starter Fred Corey disabled in the 1st inning by arm trouble, Providence reliever Tricky Nichols has to stay in the box despite suffering a dislocated finger in the 3rd inning. He is hit hard and loses to Boston, 17–10.

28th  After starter Fred Corey gives out, Providence is forced to try its catchers as pitchers. Backstops Lew Brown and Doug Allison pitch the final 6 innings in a 12–4 loss to Milwaukee.

30thIndianapolis hitter Russ McKelvey strikes out 4 times against Cincinnati right Will White as the Reds beat the Blues, 4–1.