1887 May

1st  Charlie Comiskey triples and steals home and later homers to lead the Browns to a 14–13 victory over Cleveland. St. Louis scores 74 runs in a 4-game sweep and is on its way to becoming the first team ever to score over 1,000 runs in a season.

2nd  After winning 31 straight exhibition games and 3 regular-season games, Detroit loses its first of the year, to Pittsburgh and Jim Galvin 8–3. The Alleghenies had won their first 2 games, both by Kid Galvin. Pittsburgh is led today by Fred Carroll, who hits for the cycle.

3rd  After opening the season with 10 consecutive losses on the road, the Mets win their home opener on Staten Island from Brooklyn, 8–2.

5th King Kelly muffs 2 fly balls in the 9th inning to allow the NY Giants to tie the Boston Beaneaters, 6–6. “The Only Mike” is playing with a sore finger.

6th  The National Colored League, patterned after the NL, opens with a game in Pittsburgh, the Gorhams beating the Keystones, 11–8, before a crowd of 1,200. Because of rainouts and small crowds the league, which has been recognized by the National Agreement as a legitimate minor league, will fold on May 16th after only 13 games.

7th  In a 12-7 win over Louisville, Tip O’Neill of the Browns hits for the cycle for the 2nd time in 5 games. In each game, Tip had a walk (counted as a hit) as well as a clean single. He also has a 2nd home run, the first player to cycle and add a homer. It’ll next be done in 1914, by Ed Lennox. Tip will lead the league in triples and homers this year, just one of eight players in history to do so. Harry Stovey (for the second time) will next accomplish the mark in 1891.

Opposing pitchers go deep as Pud Galvin for Pittsburgh and John Clarkson for Chicago hit homers in a 10-8 Pittsburgh win. Clarkson will match this in July, the only pitcher in history to do so twice.

Sam Thompson of Detroit becomes the first major leaguer to hit two bases-loaded triples in one game as the Wolverines (8-1) chew up Indianapolis, 18-2. The two bases-loaded triples also sets an NL and ML team mark (since tied).

9th  Ed Morris of the Alleghenies refuses to pitch today’s game and is suspended for 3 weeks. Morris is having trouble with the new rules limiting the movement of pitchers in the box. Bill Bishop takes his place and loses to Detroit, 10-3.

12th  The Browns score 12 runs in the 5th inning and beat the Orioles, who score 10 in the 8th, 22–14. The new 4-strike rule and the restricted pitching motion have generated a big jump in scoring.

13th Fred Dunlap has his 2nd 6-hit game in a week (walks are counted as hits) to help Detroit beat Chicago, 17–7. Sam Thompson has 3 triples. Both pitchers homer—Stump Wiedman for Detroit and Jimmy Ryan for Chicago (according to homerun historian David Vincent).

14th Pitching for New York (NL), John Roach tosses a 22-hitter with 4 walks in a complete game 17-2 loss to Philadelphia. This is Roach’s lone ML appearance. What makes it noteworthy is that he is a switch pitcher (ambidextrous), throwing equally poorly with either hand.

16th  St. Louis (AA) wins its 15th straight game, which will be the longest streak of the year in the ML, beating the Athletics 7–2. All the wins are at home.

Giants rookie Mike Tiernan makes 5 errors, tying the ML record for an outfielder. But he contributes a HR as New York beats Indianapolis, 11–8.

Fred Mann of Cleveland (AA) hits an 8th inning grand slam off New York’s Ed Cushman, but the rally falls short. New York wins, 9-8.

17th  Detroit’s Dan Brouthers hits a bases-loaded triple and a bases-loaded homer as the Wolverines outslug the Phillies 19–10.

The Giants slaughter the visiting Indianapolis club, 26-6 on 31 hits, 5 by O’Rourke. Everyone in the lineup has at least 2 hits for New York as the two teams combine for 50 hits. A day after making 5 errors, Mike Tiernan scores 5 runs while 4 others score 4 runs apiece.

The Beaneaters edge the Pittsburgh Pirates, 11–9, as player-manager John Morrill contributes a grand slam for Boston. He’ll have a career-high 12 homers this year. His homer comes against Pud Galvin in the 7th.

In a 14-6 loss to Washington, Chicago rookie Marty Sullivan hits 3 triples.

In the four games today, the National League establishes a league record with 101 runs scored.

18th  White Stocking rookie Marty Sullivan ties a record by making 5 errors in RF as Chicago loses its 3rd straight in Washington, 11–4, and 5th straight overall. Sullivan matches the 5 errors of Giants outfielder Mike Tiernan on May 16th. Sullivan is the last outfielder to make 5 errors in a game.

20th  Nearly 2 weeks after defeating the Falls Citys in their NCBBL opener in Louisville, the Boston Resolutes finally leave for home after earning enough money for train fare by working as waiters. Their departure, and the circumstances surrounding it, sounds the death knell for the second professional baseball league organized by African Americans. The league will fold in 5 days.

21st  Sam Thompson’s 3-run HR is the difference as Detroit beats Washington, 4–2. Thompson will be credited with 166 RBI for the season, a 19th-century high.

24th  Indianapolis 3B Jerry Denny saves a run by holding King Kelly by the belt as Kelly tries to tag up on a fly ball. The umpire misses the play and does not penalize Denny. But the ploy does not save the Hoosiers from an 8–7, 10-inning defeat in Boston.

In a 15-13 White Stocking victory in Boston, Fred Pfeffer clouts a homer, showing he doesn’t need Chicago’s 30-mile per hour prevailing winds to hit a four-bagger. It is Pfeffer’s first homer on the road after hitting 44 consecutive homers at home (as noted by John Pastier and confirmed by homerun historian David Vincent). Pfeffer hit his first homer on June 16, 1882 at home for Troy. He hit one for Chicago in 1883, and all 25 at home in 1884 All 5 were at home in 1885 and all 7 in 1886. In 1887, he hit his first 5 at home before today. Vincent confirms that for his career, Pfeffer hit 81 of 94 homers at home.

26th  The Louisville Colonels pile up a club record for runs in a 27–9 rout of the visiting Brooklyn Trolley Dodgers. Three Colonels have 5 hits in the match while Reddy Mack leads with six hits and five runs. Starter John Harkins goes 5 innings for Brooklyn, allowing 18 runs in the 4th and 5thinnings. Adonis Terry finishes up. Toad Ramsay is the easy winner for the Colonels.

28th Recently suspended Tony Mullane sues the Reds over his lost pay. He will eventually settle out of court and rejoin the team in mid-June.

30th  In an a.m.-p.m. holiday game in New York, Chicago rallies, scoring 6 runs in the 9th, for an 12–11 victory in the morning. Giants P Bill George helps by walking 16 batters, including 4 in the 9th, to establish a ML mark (it will be tied in a month). Infielder Danny Richardson relieves in the 9th and walks one more to give Chicago a record 17 bases on balls. Although a walk requires, George finds this no handicap, as he walked 13 against Indianapolis on May 15 and will hand out another 13 passes against them on June 15. Chicago wins the nightcap, 3–2, with Clarkson winning over Keefe.

31st Bob Ferguson is removed as manager of the Metropolitan club, the Indians having gone 6–24 under his harsh leadership. Easygoing Dave Orr is elevated to the manager’s post.