1890 May

1st  The ML record 577 consecutive-game streak of 3B George Pinckney of Brooklyn (NL) comes to an end when he is spiked in a game in Boston, which is later rained out. He has played every inning of the 577 games (almost all of them with Brooklyn, AA) since September 21, 1885, including 2 games as SS and one as 3B-P. The every-inning record will last until surpassed by Cal Ripken, Jr. of Baltimore in 1985, while Ev Scott will break Pinckney’s consecutive game streak.

3rd   In this issue of the New York Clipper, covering the 2nd week of the season, AA game reports and box scores are omitted, indicating the lack of interest in the AA in the wake of the NL-PL war. For the rest of the season AA fans will have to settle for line scores and occasional league summaries.

4th Promising Buffalo (Eastern League) pitcher Bill Thomas apparently falls to his death while his team is taking the night boat Richard Peck from New Bedford to New York City following a series of games in Providence. Thomas left word with his roommate and the night porter that he wanted to be awakened early so he could see the New York skyline at sunrise. Thomas, a well-known sleepwalker while in the PCL where he won 79 games in 3 years, was not in his bunk and was never seen again.

5th  For the first time in this busy litigation season an injunction is granted against a player, John Pickett. The judge rules that Pickett’s acceptance of advance money from his Kansas City club bound him to that club.

8th  Now you know why they’re called the Infants. Cleveland’s Willie McGill hurls a complete-game 14–5 victory over Buffalo (PL) at age 16, the youngest ever to perform the feat. The Buffalo lineup includes Connie Mack, Dummy Hoy, and Deacon White, at 42 the oldest player in the ML.

At West Side Park, Chicago scores 12 runs in the 6th inning and tops the Reds, 18–9. The big blow in the inning is Howard Earl’s grand slam off Lee Viau, which lands on Congress Street.

9th  In an era when 320 errors is the fewest made by any ML team, and over 10,000 are charged in the three leagues (with walks, WP, PB, and HPB counted as errors), it’s a rare day when a team commits no errors of any kind. But the NL New York squad does it, beating Boston, 16–3, behind Amos Rusie’s 6-hitter. Boston commits 8 fielding errors and 11 battery errors.

12th  A scoreless pitching duel between future Hall of Famers Amos Rusie of New York and Charles “Kid” Nichols of Boston at the Polo Grounds is broken up by a tape measure one-out solo HR by the Giants Mike Tiernan in the 13th inning. The ball clears the OF fence and high dirt embankment and lands in the middle of a Boston-New York Players League game going on at the adjacent Brotherhood Park. [news accounts of the time have the ball landing in the alley between the two parks.] Fans from both parks cheer Tiernan’s homer. Tiernan is in the middle of a 20-game hit streak that will end May 27th. Nichols gives up just 4 hits, while Rusie allows only 3. Attendance for the NL game is reported as 687 while the crowd at the PL game is 1,707.

13th  New York PL first baseman Roger Connor hits 2 homers in a 9–5 win over Boston. The PL will total 311 homers, more than the NL or AA, but the total is spread over many players. Connor will lead with 13, one less than the NL leader Walt Wilmot.

17th  Pittsburgh (NL) wins today at Brooklyn, 6–4, but it’s all downhill from here. In their next 23 games, they will win just one, heading to a record 113 losses and .169 PCT, the lowest since the NL’s first year when Cincinnati was .138 in a 65-game schedule. The loss record will be claimed by the 1899 Cleveland Spiders.

19th  New York PL SS Danny Richardson gets an assist by foot. With Buffalo P George Haddock on 1B, Clark grounds to short. Richardson accidentally kicks the ball to Shannon at 2B who throws to first for the out. A 9-run 3rd for Buffalo wins it, 12–11.

20th  Buffalo plays a 4-game series at Brooklyn during which an attendance of 80 is recorded at one game. Today the Brooklyn PL team wins, 8–3.

In a Northwest League game, Seattle edges Tacoma, 6-5, in 22 innings.

22nd Without warning Phils manager Harry Wright is struck blind. On May 31, he will be able to at least distinguish between light and dark. He’ll return to the field July 18, sitting in his carriage in the centerfield parking area with “smoked glasses” and waving a white handkerchief out the side window every time a Phillie player makes a great play. On August 6, after missing 55 games, he will return as manager. In the interim catcher Jack Clements will run the team while rookie shortstop Bob Allen counts the money and sets up team travel. Allen is listed as the manager in today’s encyclopedias. Interestingly, Allen’s own career suddenly (effectively) ends in 1897 when a fastball shatters his cheekbone and gave him permanent vision problems. (as noted by Frank Vaccaro).

Philadelphia (AA) uses a record-tying 6 errors by Toledo’s third baseman William Alvord to defeat the Maumees, 12-3.

23rd  Chicago’s 10–8, 10-inning win at Philadelphia is thrown out by NL directors when umpire McQuaid admits he made an error in not allowing Philadelphia to send OF Billy Grey in as a sub during the game.

In a 17–10 New York victory, New York and Pittsburgh (NL) combine for an NL-record 20 stolen bases in a single game. New York swipes a NL record 17 against the battery of rookie Crazy Schmit and Doggie Miller. Joe Hornung gets 6 of the thefts. Crazy gives up 19 hits, and 17 runs.

24th  Amos Alonzo Stagg, later a longtime football coach, brings his Yale nine to Princeton and loses a 1–0 battle. Young pitches a 2-hitter over the Eli before 2,575.

25th  After a Louisville-Syracuse game played in Three Rivers, NY, part of the grandstand collapses, throwing 50 or more people to the ground. No deaths are reported, but many are injured.

30th  In an a.m.-p.m. doubleheader, Chicago pitcher Bill Hutchinson pitches both games against Brooklyn winning, 6–4 and 11–7. Only three of the runs allowed by the former Yale star are earned as he bests Adonis Terry and Bob Caruthers.

Cincinnati’s 3–1 and 1–0 sweep at New York pulls them into a 3-way tie for the NL lead with Brooklyn and Philadelphia.

Cleveland sweeps a pair from the host Phillies, winning 8-4 and 4-1. George Davis hits a grand slam in the 3rd of the opener for Cleveland.

Philadelphia PL OF Joe Mulvey makes a “simply wonderful” catch with his left (gloved) hand. Even though almost all players wear gloves now, a one-handed grab is still cause for celebration. Philadelphia sweeps Chicago, 4–2 and 9–3.

31st  In a 23-3 win over Pittsburgh, New York PL players George Gore, Buck Ewing, and Roger Connor hit consecutive HRs in the 8thinning. It is a ML first. This feat will not be matched until May 10, 1894.

PL secretary Frank Brunell sends a letter to PL umpires notifying them about complaints of “the monotony of games in several cities caused by the apparent apathy of the players.”