1909 May

2nd  On consecutive pitches, Honus Wagner steals his away around the bases in the first inning of the nitecap against Chicago It is the 3rd time he has performed this feat, an NL record. On the swipe of home, the Chicago Tribune says he stole so quickly that he beat the pitch to the plate. The Pirates take both games in Chicago, winning 5–2 and 6–0, swiping 2 bases in the opener and 6 steals in first inning of the nitecap.

In a 6–5 Detroit win over the White Stockings, Ty Cobb is thumbed out of a game for the first time. He tries stretching a double and is called out at 3B. Then he is tossed out by Silk O’Loughlin.

3rd The Pirates top Chicago, 9–2, as Wagner again steals 3 bases, including home. Wagner, who was 5-for-6 yesterday, duplicates that today.

In a 7–1 Boston win over Washington, Tris Speaker hits his first ML homer, off Dolly Gray.

4th The Pirates sweep Chicago, winning their 4th straight by edging Three-Finger Brown, 1–0, in 11 innings. Dots Miller drives in the lone run. It is the 2nd time in three weeks that the Pirates have beaten Brown, 1–0, in extra innings.

Christy Mathewson makes his first appearance of the year, giving up 9 hits, 4 walks and 3 runs in 7 innings against the Phillies. Philadelphia wins, 5–2, to complete a 3-game sweep of the cellar-dwelling Giants.

Red Sox hurler Cy Morgan allows just 2 hits but loses, 1–0, to Washington. Tannehill allows 3 hits for the Nationals.

5th The Pirates move into first place to stay in the NL. The Tigers will lead all the way in the AL, except for one week in May and 2 in mid-August.

In a 5–2 win over the Reds, the Cubs Harry Steinfeldt drives in 3 runs on 3 sac flies.

Highlanders pitcher Lew Brockett records 9 assists in his 2–0 win over the Boston Americans.

9th  The St. Louis Cardinals take out a $50,000 life insurance policy on manager Roger Bresnahan for reasons having to do more with publicity than concerns about his health.

Led by Harry Steinfeldt and Heinie Zimmerman, the Cubs beat the Reds, 5–2 in the 1st of a 4-game series in Chicago. Zim scores 3 runs, each one on a sac fly by Steinfeldt (as noted by Ernie Lanigan). The Cubs will sweep the series.

10th Organized baseball’s longest no-hitter takes place in a Blue Grass League contest between the Lexington Colts and the Winchester Hustlers. Fred Toney, later to pitch in the only double no-hitter, throws a 17-inning no-hitter for Winchester, winning 1–0. He fans 19 opponents and walks only one, in beating Lexington’s Baker, who allows 7 hits. A squeeze play ends the game.

The White Sox edge the Senators 1–0 in 11 innings, handing Walter Johnson his 2nd straight 1–0 loss on his way to a 20thcentury record ten losses by shutouts. For the Nationals, it is their 3rd straight 1–0 loss, tying a mark set by the Browns two weeks ago.

Eddie Plank outpitches Rube Waddell to give the Athletics a 5–1 victory over the Browns. The Browns also lose George Stone, the AL’s leading hitter, when he sprains his ankle sliding into 1B trying to beat out a grounder to Collins. Stone will end up with a .256 average in this, his last, season.

Bob Harmon of Shreveport (Texas League) pitches a near-perfect game shitting out Galveston, 6-0. The only runner to reach first was due to an error.

12th The first use of wireless to transmit baseball results is made by the Columbia University Wireless Club. The proceedings of the game between the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia were relayed from the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia to New York’s Waldorf Astoria, where students took the messages. Penn prevails, 11–0.

13th At the Polo Grounds, New York ace Christy Mathewson tosses a 4-hitter, to beat the Cubs Ruby Kroh, 4–1.

The Red Sox jump on former teammate Cy Young for 17 hits—4 by Harry Hooper—in an 8–1 win over Cleveland. Cleveland 3B Bill Bradley makes 7 put outs, tying his own team mark set in 1901.

16th With two outs in the 9th, Detroit’s George Moriarty tries to steal home but is tagged out by Boston catcher Bill Carrigan to end the game, a 3-2 Boston win. Carrigan then spits tobacco on Moriarty, saying, “don’t try that and pull that on a smart guy.” Moriarty then flattens Carrigan and the two of them will be suspended by the AL for fighting.

NL President John Heydler calls a meeting with the league’s umpires to discuss ways that the new two-umpire system can prevent fighting by the players. A serious incident occurred several days earlier in Boston when Reds catcher Frank Roth attacked umpire Steve Cusack after a play at home. Several other Reds players threatened the umpire with baseball bats.

The White Sox ship good-fielding first baseman Jiggs Donahue, Nick Altrock and Gavvy Cravath to the Senators for Bill Burns. Donahue, a starter from 1904-07, appeared in just 2 games this year. He will die of syphilis in four years. The veteran Altrock will become a fan-favorite coach for the Senators. Gavvy will have a cup of coffee with Washington, then reappear as a Phillie in 1912, where he will star. Burns will win 7 games in Chicago before the Sox sell him to the Reds.

17th After giving up a leadoff triple to Dick Egan, Christy Mathewson shuts down the Reds and the Giants paddle Dick Rowan to win, 6–0.

18th The Yankees sell infielder Neal Ball to the Cleveland Naps. Ball led the AL shortstops in errors last season with 81.

20th  In New York, Honus Wagner is given a silver trophy for winning the 1908 NL batting crown. The Giants then edge the Pirates, 2–1.

After 5 losses, Walter Johnson picks up his first win, outdueling Cleveland’s Addie Joss 3–2. Johnson strikes out 10 and drives in the winning run.

21st In Boston, Cubs P Orval Overall (8–2) allows 2 hits and strikes out 8 in beating Boston, 7–0. His batterymate Pat Moran has a triple and a homer off losing P Al Mattern, one of 20 losses he’ll have this year.

23rd The Browns eke out a 1-0 win over Boston’s Frank Arellanes, scoring in the 9th inning on a sacrifice fly. Three Red Sox runners are thrown out at home.

24th Under new manager Roger Bresnahan, the Cardinals finally beat Christy Mathewson after losing to the Giants ace 24 consecutive times. Matty allows just 6 hits to his former battery mate’s squad, but the Giants score once off John Lush to lose, 3–1.

At Brooklyn, the Cubs beat the Dodgers, 4-3, on Solly Hofman’s inside-the-park homer in the 11th inning. Brooklyn CF Tom Catterson attempts a shoestring catch on the liner but misses.

25th  Righthander George Mullin wins his 9th in a row for Detroit 7–4 over Washington, on his way to a league-leading 29–8 record.

Orval Overall, in relief of Jack Pfiester, picks up the win in Chicago’s 4-3 win over Brooklyn. Harry McIntire takes the loss.

The Reds Bob wing fires a 2-hitter in shutting out the Phillies, 1-0. Dick Hoblitzel, 20-year-old first baseman, hits a 5th inning homer, his ML first, off Tully Sparks.

26th At Brooklyn, Cubs ace Orval Overall pitches a complete game and beats George Bell, 2–0, to stretch his winning streak over Brooklyn to 11 straight games. The streak began in 1906.

27th In a game featuring a AL record-setting 44 assists by both teams (as noted by historian Joe Dittmar), the Naps nip the Browns, 5–2. The NL high assist marks of April 23, 1903 and May 15, 1909 (NY vs. Cin) fall short of today’s record. Addie Joss for Cleveland and Barney Pelty for St. Louis are the pitchers as each team records 22 assists.

28th At the Polo Grounds, the Giants and Phils split two. The Phils win the opener, 11–1, then lose to Christy Mathewson 3–0 in a rain-shortened 6 inning affair.

29th At Pittsburgh’s Exposition Field, President William Taft and his half brother Charles, a part owner of the Cubs, are among the overflow crowd of 14,000 on hand for the Chicago-Pirates game. The visitors break open the 3–3 game in the 11th by scoring 5 runs to win for Three-Fingered Brown and move Chicago just percentage points behind the Bucs. Both teams leave immediately to play two games tomorrow in Chicago.

The Yankees prevail, 4-2, over host Washington and the Senators Otis Clymer steals four bases.

The A’s sweep a doubleheader from the visiting Red Sox, 6–2 and 6–4. In game 1 the A’s Frank Baker belts the first homer ever hit over the RF wall at the new Shibe Park. His drive comes off Red Sox hurler Frank Arellanes.

30th  The Pirates come from behind to beat Chicago, 5–4 in the first game of a DH. In the nitecap, Honus Wagner breaks up a 2–2 tie with a 9th inning double off Jack Pfiester and the Pirates prevail, 4–2. Pittsburgh now leads the Cubs by 2 games, and will not lose for another 13 games.

The Cardinals score 11 runs in the first inning against the Reds and win, 12–2.

31st  The Giants sweep an a.m.-p.m. twinbill. Hooks Wiltse wins the morning game, 3–2 and Mathewson thrills the crowd of 35,000 with a 5–4 victory over Lew Moren in the p.m. game. Matty wins the game with an 8th inning HR into the LF bleachers.

Pitchers Otto Burns of Decatur and Ed Clarke of Bloomington (Three I League) both go the distance in a 26-inning game won by Decatur 2–1.