1901 May

1st  An AL first: 2 homers in one game, and both grand slams—by Herm McFarland and Dummy Hoy in the White Sox’ 19–9 win over Detroit. The Tigers’ 12 errors—10 by the infield—sets another AL record, which the White Stockings will tie May 6, 1903, against the Tigers.

2nd Under overcast skies at Chicago, the Tigers score 5 runs in the top of the 9th to take a 7–5 lead over the Sox. Clark Griffith then decides to stall, hoping that rain will wash out the last inning out and the score will revert to the 8-inning total. Umpire Tom Connolly is in no mood for the slowdown tactics and forfeits the game to Detroit, the first forfeit in the AL. Detroit will win a forfeit against Baltimore on May 31st.

Against the Philadelphia Athletics and their untested rookie pitcher Pete Loos, the visiting Boston Somersets score a pair in the first inning, explode for 9 runs in the 2nd inning, then do better in the 3rd by scoring ten runs, a ML record scoring spree of 19 runs for consecutive innings. The aptly named Loos walks the first 4 hitters in the 2nd, then exits after going 2–0 on the 5thbatter. Vet Bill Bernhard relieves with little effect. The final score is 23–12, with a record 9 players scoring two or more runs. The A’s have four players scoring twice for 2-team ML-record 13, a mark not tied until the same two teams match it in 1950. For Pete Loos, it is his only major-league appearance. Parson Lewis is the winner.

The Pirates sell Rube Waddell’s contract to the Chicago Orphans. Despite an NL best 2.37 ERA last year, Rube was 8-13 and was 0-2 in 7+ innings this year. Rube will go 14-14 for the mediocre Chicagoans before he jumps ship at the end of August to appear with a number of semi-pro teams in Wisconsin.

3rd In a matchup of future Hall of Famers, the Giants beat Boston, 2–1, as Christy Mathewson wins his 3rd straight, beating Kid Nichols, on a 3-hitter. Bobby Lowe, who has all of Boston’s hits, scores the Beaneater’s only run on a passed ball.

4th  Fire destroys the wooden grandstand at League Park in St. Louis and halts St. Louis and Cincinnati with a 4–4 tie in the 10thinning. The 6,000 fans, a third in the 35-cent grand stands, beat a leisurely retreat. The city refuses to permit a duplicate park to be reconstructed, but wants a steel or fireproof grandstand instead.

5th At Milwaukee, the White Sox jump to a 4–1 lead over the Brewers before the hosts roar back against Bob Patterson, scoring 8 runs in the 4th on their way to a 21–7 win. The Sox make just three hits. Patterson, meanwhile faces 57 batters, 53 official at bats—both 20th C major league records for 9 innings—and is pasted for 25 hits. Patterson, the pitcher who won the first AL game two weeks ago, will give up 345 hits this season, a distant 2nd to Baltimore’s Joe McGinnity.

6th Christy Mathewson wins his fourth straight game, blanking Philadelphia, 4–0, on 5 hits. It is Matty’s first career shutout. He is also 3-for-4 at the plate.

7th The Orioles and A’s set an AL record in Philadelphia when the two teams score in 14 half innings as Baltimore prevails, 14-10. The Orioles score in every inning but the 4th. This record will be tied in 1927 and again in 1940, but not topped this century.

8th  Amos Rusie, onetime Hoosier Thunderbolt, makes his first start for the Cincinnati Reds after a two-year layoff and is bombed 14–3 by the Cards. Emmett Heidrick makes 5 singles off Rusie. After 2 more appearances, he goes back to digging ditches, having won 245 games, mostly for the Giants, in 9 years.

At New York, the Giants edge the Phillies, 9–8, using a hidden ball trick to end the game. 1B Jake Ganzel applies the tag to Harry Wolverton for the 3rd out in the 9th.

In their long-delayed AL home opener, Boston defeats Philadelphia’s Bill Bernhard, 12–4, behind Cy Young, who jumped from the St. Louis NL team and signed in the second week in March. Boston is led by Buck Freeman, who has a single, triple and homer. Young complains that he does not like the rule against pitchers warming up but he will still lead the AL with his 1.62 ERA. His 33 wins are 41.8 percent of his team’s 79 victories, a post-1900 record. It will stand until Steve Carlton wins 45.8 percent of the Phils’ 59 wins in 1972. Young also complains about catchers. “I do not like the league rule compelling the catcher to stand behind the bat all the time. It handicaps a pitcher. I cannot extend myself as I would like.”

In a letter to AL team owners, Ban Johnson says that the rule requiring clubs to cut their players to 14 will not be enforced until May 20th.

9th In Cleveland, rookie P Earl Moore, purchased from Dayton for $1,000, allows two unearned runs but no White Sox hits through 9 innings. Cleveland matches the White Sox with 2 runs of their own in the 3rd inning. In the 10th, with rain coming down, the Sox use singles by Sam Mertes and Dutch Hartman off Moore, “The Steam Engine in Boots”, to score 2 runs and win, 4–2. The threatening weather keeps the crowd to 400 at League Park. For years this will be considered the AL’s first no-hitter, but in 1991 Moore will lose this accolade.

The Pirates beat Chicago, 8–1, as Deacon Phillippe tops Jock Menefee. It is the 8th game in 9 days between the 2 teams, half in Pittsburgh and the last four in Chicago.

11th The largest NL crowd of the year so far (8,500) fills Brooklyn’s Washington Park to view the Boy Wonder from Bucknell, Christy Mathewson. Matty doesn’t disappoint, topping Brooklyn’s William Kennedy, 7–0, as Brooklyn manages just 2 hits off the Giants budding star. New York moves into 3rd place with the win.

12th The Reds Noodles Hahn cooks the Pirates, 6–1, allowing 9 hits, one to each batter.

13th Bock Baker, just acquired from Cleveland, goes the first 6 innings for the A’s before concluding his short major league career (2 games) with another loss. Two appearances, 2 losses. Eddie Plank makes his first ML appearance and pitches the last 2 innings giving up 3 runs in the 14–5 loss at Baltimore.

In New York, Brooklyn and the Giants square off and at the end of 8 innings, the Giants leading 7–6. Brooklyn loads the bases with 2 outs in the 9th and Dahlen strokes a hard single resulting in a forceout of Daly at 2B. Brooklyn then takes the field confident that 2 runs scored, but umpire O’Day answers the crowd’s questions by saying just “one.” When the Brooklyn players confront him and continue their argument, O’Day declares a forfeit, 9–0, in the Giants’ favor.

14th Roger Denzer fires his only career shutout as the Giants stop Chicago, 3-0.

15th Mathewson (6–0) tosses his third straight shutout outpitching Jack Taylor to beat the Colts, 4–0. The Giants move into first place with the win over Chicago.

Washington beats the Boston Somersets, 4–0, to record the AL’s first shutout. Watty Lee is the winner on a 3-hitter.

17th  The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court rejects the Phillies’ suit against Lajoie, Fraser, and Bernhard. The decision is appealed to the State Supreme Court, but the trio remains with the Athletics all season. Lajoie will hit .422, while Fraser wins 22 and Bernhard 17 for the 4th-place Athletics.

21st  Giants fractious owner Andrew Freedman accuses umpire Billy Nash of incompetence and bars him from the Polo Grounds. Pirate Chief Zimmer and the Giants John Warner are forced to officiate. Mathewson then wins his 7th straight, 2–1, but his scoreless streak stops at 39 innings when the Bucs score an unearned run in the 9th.

22nd At Cincinnati, Reds ace Noodle Hahn strikes out 16 Boston batters en route to a 4–3 Reds win. He strikes out the side in three innings and his 16 K’s will stand as the club record until it is matched by Jim Maloney in 1963.

Boston takes a pair from the St. Louis Nationals by 5-4 scores. In game 2, a triple play in the 2nd inning helps though Cupid Childs scores on the play. St. Louis also scores in the 1st inning of game 2 when Jesse Burkett leads off with a homerun. He’ll do the same thing tomorrow to tie a ML mark.

23rd  In Chicago, the A’s score 2 in the 9th to close to an 11–7 deficit with the White Stockings. Sox manager Clark Griffith relieves with the sacks filled and no outs and pays the supreme compliment to Philadelphia’s Nap Lajoie—he issues him an intentional walk with the bases loaded, bringing Sock Seybold to the plate followed by Harry Davis and Morgan Murphy. Griff then gets 3 ground outs and Chicago wins. Not until (possibly) Mel Ott, on the last day in 1929, and Swish Nicholson in 1944, will a batter be passed intentionally with the sacks filled. Del Bissonette (1944), Barry Bonds (1998) are the others this century who have received intentional passes with the bases loaded. Abner Dalrymple (1881) received the first intentional pass with the sacks full.

At Cleveland’s League Park, the Blues score a ML record 9 runs with 2 outs in the 9th inning to defeat the Washington Nationals 14–13. Cleveland is down to one strike, on Jack McCarthy, but they put the next ten men on base, winning the game on an error. Winning pitcher Bill Hoffer, who had given up the 13 runs, is carried off the field by the delirious crowd. Patton and Watty Lee pitch for Washington. The scoring (as noted by Bill Kirwin) occurs as follows: Hoffer strikes out, Pickering grounds out, McCarthy singles, Bradley singles, LaChance with two strikes on him) singles scoring McCarthy, Wood is hit by pitch, Scheibeck doubles (Patton, replaced by Lee), Egan walks, Beck (batting for Hoffer) doubles, Pickering singles Beck home to tie the game, and then moves to 2B on a passed ball. McCarthy, who started the whole thing, singles him home for the win. The 9-run rally is one shy of the 10-run outburst that took place on April 25th.

24th At the Polo Grounds, Christy Mathewson wins his 8thstraight, beating Cincinnati’s Bill Phillips, 1–0. Matty gives up just 3 hits.

Reversing yesterday’s 9th inning rally, the Washington Nationals, down 5–0 at the end of 8 innings, score 5 runs to tie the Blues. When Cleveland fails to score in the 9th, the game ends at 5–5.

27th  3B Jimmy Burke of Milwaukee makes 4 errors in the 4thinning, a post-19th century ML record tied by Cleveland’s Ray Chapman in 1914 and the Cubs Len Merullo in 1942. The A’s score 7 times in the frame and Eddie Plank coasts home with an 8–3 win. Burke’s 4 errors in a game sets the AL record for third basemen that will be tied numerous times, but never topped.

28th Behind the shutout pitching of Jack Powell, St. Louis hands Christy Mathewson his first loss, 1–0. Matty’s lone walk, in the 2ndinning, results in the games only run. Matty is now 8-1.

30th  An NL record crowd of 28,500 sees St. Louis beat the Giants, 6–5, in 10 innings in the afternoon game of a split holiday doubleheader at New York. Christy Mathewson takes the loss in relief, after coming on in the 7th with the game knotted at 5 apiece. A passed ball with a runner on 2B and a sacrifice fly is Matty’s undoing. New York wins the a.m. game, 6–4 in front of 2,500 fans.

The Boston Americans play their first doubleheader, dropping both to Chicago, 8–3 and 5–3.