1897 September

3rd   Willie Keeler, with 4 hits, and “Dirty Jack” Doyle with 6, pace Baltimore’s 22–1 win over visiting St. Louis. Joe Kelley has 5 hits and 5 runs as Keeler also scores 5. The St. Louis pitchers are Frank Donohue and Coleman. One paper gives Keeler 6 hits in this game, prompting St. Louis scribe Frank Housman (quoted by Ernie Lanigan in his Cyclopedia) to object to the scoring method used in Baltimore: “Down in Baltimore one day, Keeler sent two fly balls to Lally, who muffed both of them. Then he hit to Hartman and the latter fumbled and then threw wild. Then Keeler made a good single. The next morning four hits appeared to Keeler’s credit in the Baltimore papers. Talk about Cleveland stuffing Burkett’s average, why, they are not in it with the oyster scribes of Baltimore.”

After losing the opener, 11–1, to Ted Breitenstein and the Reds, the Giants are victorious in game 2, winning 13-3 in 7 innings. Bid McPhee’s single to left in the 7th is the only hit allowed by Amos Rusie (21-8).

4th  Baltimore beats Pittsburgh, 7-2, behind the 6-hit pitching of Jerry Nops. Willie Keeler has 3 hits and Joe Kelley has a 3-run HR over the LF stands.

6th Baltimore sweeps a pair from visiting Pittsburgh, winning 8-7 in the morning game. Batting first again in the p.m. game the Orioles win, 7-2, to stay in first place by percentage points ahead of Boston. For the second time this season, Willie Keeler has 5 hits in a game, doing so in the opener.

At Boston, the Reds and Boston split a morning-afternoon twinbill. Ted Breitenstein is too much for Boston in the a.m., winning, 5-2, before the Reds fall, 10-2.

8th  Louisville unveils a new battery in catcher Ossee Schreckengost and 20-year-old Rube Waddell. Ossee goes 0-for-3 and Waddell loses his ML debut to the first-place Orioles, 5–1. Rube allows 11 hits, walks 4, and strikes out just 2. He will eventually register 2,316 strikeouts.

Boston stays four percentage points behind the Orioles as they crush St. Louis, 17-8. Chick Stahl hits a 1st-inning grand slam for Boston, off Bill Hart.

11th  In the first of two games today at Cincinnati, the Reds build up an insurmountable lead over the Washington Nationals, and the Nats send in 16-year-old pitcher Joe Stanley to throw the 8th inning. The teen retires the side in the 8th, but the Reds hammer him for 5 runs in the 9th to win 19–10. Stanley will resurface in 1902, as an outfielder. In the 2nd game, otherwise undistinguished Washington rookie OF Jake Gettman singles in his first at bat to tie Delahanty’s record of 10 hits in 10 consecutive times at bat. Gettman was 4-for-4 in yesterday’s 9–4 win and 5-for-5, including a 9th-inning grand slam, off Red Ehret, in the first game today. Washington wins the second game, 8-4.

13th  Pittsburgh leads 2-0 going into the 8th inning when Louisville’s first batter is safe at first on a close call. After an argument, Pittsburgh’s Pink Hawley and Steve Brodie are ejected. Before the inning is over Padden is ejected and Hoffmeister is fined $25 for throwing the ball at umpire Kelly’s head. Louisville scores 7 runs in the frame to win, 7–2.

Baltimore takes a pair from Chicago, winning 4-2 and 11-4. With Boston idle, the Orioles move into first place by a half game.

15th  For the third straight game Win Mercer starts for Washington, this time losing 5-4 to Brooklyn, allowing the winning run with two outs in the 9th. Mercer pitched on September 13, but was thumbed out of the game in the 4th inning with the score 0-0. He won yesterday, 10-9, over the Reds in a game ended after 6 innings on account of darkness. Only five pitchers in the 20th Century will start three games in a row.

17th  The Boston Beaneaters help “Kid” Nichols to his 30th win of the season, an easy 17–0 victory over the Giants. Mike Sullivan is the loser.

Baltimore wins its 12th straight game (two ties), 11–6 over the Philadelphia Athletics.

18th  In the first game of a doubleheader in Cleveland, Cy Young shuts out the Reds 6–0 on a no-hitter, the only one in the NL this year and the first in 4 years. Only 4 men reach 1B, all on errors. One of the errors is a hot smash to 3B Bobby Wallace and it is initially credited as a hit. After the 8th inning, Wallace sends a note to the press box saying it should be an error, and the box score is changed. Young will later say he regards this game as a one-hitter as he thought the grounder was “too warm” for Wallace to handle.

Bill “Adonis” Kelly, 14-year NL veteran now pitching for Milwaukee (Western League) allows St. Paul only one hit, a single by Jack Glasscock, in a 5–1 win.

19th  In a 5-2 win over lowly Louisville, Cap Anson lines a second-inning single for his 3,000th hit. There is still some confusion over the actual date of his 3,000th hit, but this was derived by working backwards from his career total of 3,012 hits and today is generally conceded to be his 3,000th hit game.

20th  Former heavyweight champion James J. Corbett plays 1B for Milwaukee (WL) in a 7–6 win at Minneapolis. Batting cleanup, “Gentleman Jim” singles twice, scores once, and is middle man in a 6-3-2 double play. It is his 29th appearance in a scheduled minor league game.

At the Polo Grounds, Baltimore’s Joe Corbett, brother of James J., faces off against the Giants Amos Rusie in an important game. Neither pitcher is sharp and in the 8th when Baltimore ties it up at 9 each. With two outs, the Giants load the bases and Rusie lines his third hit of the game to drive in his 4th run. With the Giants up 10-9, the game is called on account of darkness. The Orioles are essentially tied for first place with the idle Boston Beaneaters.

21st  Second place Boston plays two against visiting Brooklyn and “the difference between the first and second was as that between hunks of Ashland coke and the diamonds on Harry Von der Horst’s shirt front” (Boston Globe). Things start poorly for Kid Nichols when batterymate Charlie Ganzel drops two foul flies hit by leadoff batter Fielder Jones. Jones walks to start a 12-run first inning against Nichols, a total for the frame that won’t be matched by any pitcher. Luke Hudson, on August 13, 2006, will give up 11 runs in first inning, getting just one out, the closest to Nichols’s total. Brooklyn racks up another 5 runs in the 4th inning to knock out the Kid as they go on to win, 22–5. Boston reverses things in game 2, winning, 9–1.

22nd  The Beaneaters defeat Brooklyn 12–0 in their last home game for a 52-13 record at South End grounds. They trail the Orioles by .001 point: .707 to .706.

24th  The biggest series of the season starts at Baltimore as 13,000 fans see Boston beat the Orioles, 6–4. Boston’s record is now 90-37 while Baltimore’s is 87-37.

25th  Baltimore strikes back by beating Boston, 6–3, and moving back into first place. Bill Hoffer outpitches Fred Klobedanz before 18,000.

In Pittsburgh, in the 7th inning with the score tied at 1-1, pitcher Jim Gardner is giving Bill Lange of Chicago an intentional base on balls when Lange steps across the plate and hits a two-run double. Chicago scores five more runs and wins, 8–1, in a game called after 8 innings because of darkness.

26th  In Chicago, 8000 fans attend Fred Pfeffer Day raising a purse of $3000 for the retired second baseman. The old-timers game sees such famous stars as “Cherokee” Fisher, Ross Barnes and Joe Quest.

At New Sportsman’s Park in St. Louis, Reds slugger Jake Beckley hits three homeruns, including a pair of splash homers, as the Reds clip the Browns, 10-4. Beckley’s three drives are all over the fence and two of them land in the pond at the end of the water chute slide. As noted by historian John Snyder, the chute, the pond and the race track installed by owner Chris Van der Ahe will all be removed in the offseason. The Browns also lose game 2 today, 8-6, their 18th loss in a row, which gives them a record of 27-100. They will win tomorrow.

27th  A crowd of 25,390 witness the final game of the series between Baltimore and Boston, as the Beaneaters overwhelm the Orioles 19–10. Grandstand overflow puts fans within 20 feet of home plate, while 15 ground-rule doubles fall among OF standees. The Beaneaters put the game away with 9 runs on 11 hits in the 7thinning. Kid Nichols goes the distance for Boston.

After 23 straight defeats by Cincinnati, dating from September 25, 1895, St. Louis wins the team’s 12th and last game of the season series, 5–4.

28th Chicago scores 11 runs in the 5th inning against Pittsburgh, and they need it as Chicago wins, 15–14 in 7 innings as darkness cuts the match short. Dale Wright allows 17 Pittsburgh hits but wins his only ML decision, finishing with a career 18.00 ERA. Jimmy Ryan and Barry McCormick each collect 4 hits.

30th  Boston clinches the 1897 NL pennant—Frank Selee’s 4th—with a 12–3 victory over Brooklyn, as Baltimore loses 9–3 to Washington. Their winning percentage of .705 is the highest in Boston history.