1st In today’s split with the Phillies, Tinker, Evers, and Chance appear together in the Chicago Cubs lineup for the first time, but not in the positions that will earn them immortality. Johnny Evers, a New York State League rookie, starts at SS, with Joe Tinker at 3B, Frank Chance at 1B, and veteran Bobby Lowe at 2B. Philadelphia takes the opener, 11–3 behind White, while Chicago is victorious in the nitecap, 6–1, behind Jack Taylor’s pitching.
Earl Moore and Bill Bernhard throw back-to-back shutouts as Cleveland downs Washington, 10-0 and 8-0.
At the Polo Grounds, the last-place Giants follow a successful road trip (7–4) by dropping two games to the Cards. St. Louis wins, 6–4 in game 1 as 5 of the first 6 batters in the 2nd inning lay down bunts. 3 runs score. The Cards then pummel Mathewson for 12 hits in the nitecap to win, 8–2.
2nd With Harry Bay and Bill Bradley scoring 5 runs each, Cleveland pounds the Orioles, 23–7, collecting 23 hits off Bird pitcher Jack Katoll, a 10-game winner with the White Sox last season. Katoll goes the route.
3rd In New York, Reds rookie pitcher Henry Thielman, who started the year with the Giants, beats them, 2-1, allowing 3 hits, 2 to Bowerman. Cy Seymour scores both runs for the Reds.
Mal Eason walks 13 and hits one batter as Boston loses, 12-5, to Pittsburgh. The Pirates score 5 runs in the 7th on one hit. Eason’s teammates don’t help much, making 8 errors, 4 by Herman Long.
4th Dave Fultz steals 2B, 3B, and home in the 2nd inning against Detroit, as the A’s romp 13–3. Fultz adds one more steal, the second time in a month that he’s stolen 4 bases in a game.
Only one run is scored in a doubleheader between Boston and Pittsburgh, as Togie Pittinger wins, 1-0, beating Pirate hurler Jack Chesbro. Boston’s Jack Malarkey and Pitt’s Sam Leever then battle to a 0-0 tie.
5th The St. Louis Browns roll by visiting Boston, 12-3, helped by John Anderson. The veteran, known as the “Terrible Swede” (he was born in Norway) hits a grand slam in the 8th.
6th The New York Giants borrow catcher Jack Robinson from Bridgeport and he makes his debut catching Christy Mathewson. As noted by Cliff Blau, Robinson, in just 7 innings, lets 5 pitches get by him resulting in runner advancement. Blau notes that the Evening Telegram and the Times, disagree on the scoring, one giving Robinson 4 passed balls, while the other blamed only 2. He also allows 4 stolen bases in as many tries. The last place Giants tie the champion Pirates with a run in the 5th, but Mathewson gives up 13 hits and allows 8 runs in the last 4 innings, for a 9-3 finale. The game is enlivened a bit when in the 4th inning a small fire starts behind the Giants bench but it is quickly extinguished by buckets of water handed to the fans by the players.
Boston defeats St. Louis 6–5 as Cy Young wins his 30th of the year.
10th In Philadelphia, 17,291 see the Athletics beat Baltimore twice, 9–5 and 5–4, while 172 watch the Phils play Pittsburgh. With the A’s 1902 attendance almost 4 times that of the Phillies, and the AL planning to oppose the weak Giants in New York, pressure mounts among NL directors for peace talks. The A’s bring Rube Waddell in for 8 innings of relief in the opening win. Rube comes back to pitch another two innings of relief in the nitecap to pick up his 2nd win for the day. It won’t happen again until 1915.
Herm McFarland starts the Orioles scoring with a 2nd inning grand slam but Baltimore falls to the A’s, 9-5. The host A’s win the second game, 5-4.
Billy Wolfe, half brother of the Reds Bill Phillips, makes his only ML appearance pitching for the Phillies. He loses to Pittsburgh and Jesse Tannehill, 5-1.
11th And that’s no malarkey. At Boston, Boston Nationals pitcher John Malarkey hits a game-ending homerun, off the Cardinals Mike O’Neill in the 11th inning, to win, 4–3. It’s Malarkey’s only ML homer. Game 2 ends in a 2–2 tie.
13th Tinker, Evers, and Chance play their first game as a SS-2B-1B combo for Chicago. Germany Schaefer is at 3B as Chicago clips St. Louis, 12–0. Tinker starts a DP, but it goes to Evers and then to P Jock Menefee covering 1B.
Cleveland beats the St. Louis Browns twice, 4–1 and 2–1. In game 2, Nap Lajoie strikes out against Willie Sudhoff, just the 6th time this year that he’s K’ed.
The Superbas top the Giants’ Christy Mathewson, 7–2, with the help of 5 New York errors, three by 3B Bill Lauder.
14th As noted by Gil Bogan, Tinker, Evers, and Chance pull off their first DP in a 7–4 win over the Reds. Alex Hardy beats Bill Phillips. This date is one day earlier than that generally used for the trio’s first DP.
15th Chicago’s infield combo of Tinker, Evers, and Chance pull off another double play to back up Carl Lundgren’s 6–3 win over the Reds.
Christy Mathewson signs a $4,000 contract with the Giants for the 1903 season, making him one of the highest paid pitchers in the NL. Matty had taken a $500 advance to sign with the St. Louis Browns for 1903, but on the orders of McGraw will return the advance.
20th In the first of two games, OF-P James “Nixey” Callahan of the White Stockings pitches a no-hitter against Detroit, winning 3–0. The Sox plate 3 in the first for the win. Game 2 is called after 7 innings with the score tied at 3 apiece. John Joseph O’Connell plays in his final game for Detroit (4-for-22). O’Connell played 8 games for Detroit and played 8 games in 1891 for the Baltimore Orioles—the only man to play ML ball in both the American Association and the American League without ever playing in the National League (as noted by David Nemec). He played SS in his debut for Baltimore, was John McGraw’s (then a second baseman) first keystone partner in the majors, and finished his career with the Tigers at first base.
21st The Browns and Cleveland Broncos split a pair with St. Louis taking the opener, 2-1, before losing 4-1 in 10 innings. Bill Bernhard wins his 10th straight for Cleveland and finishes at 18-5; one of the wins was for the A’s.
23rd Boston beats the Giants, 2–1, with both runs scoring on wild pitches by Christy Mathewson.
Cy Young eases to his 32nd win as Boston pounds the A’s, 14–1.
27th At Baltimore, Boston sweeps a pair, winning, 9-8 and 4-2. Ike Butler starts game 2 and finishes the year with a 1-9 record for Baltimore. Pitching for Portland (PCL) next year, Butler will set a league record with 31 losses, then come back the following year and match it.
At soggy Washington Park, the New York Giants split a doubleheader with Brooklyn, winning the opener, 4-0, behind Joe McGinnity’s three-hitter. Brooklyn takes game 2, 12-4, behind Jim Hughes. Big Jim is supported by Sheckard’s homer and Keeler’s 4 hits. For Hughes (15-10) this is his final ML victory after 4 seasons in which he racks up an 83-40 record. He will return to the PCL and his wife who refuses to leave California for the rainy East coast. In 1903, playing for the Rainiers (PCL) Hughes will tie for the league lead in wins with 34, including 12 in a row from September 8 through November 4.
28th The Browns and White Sox split a season-ending doubleheader with St. Louis winning the opener, 10-9, by scoring a run in the 9th. The Brownies overcome an 8-run 4th by the Sox. Chicago takes game 2 by a 10-4 score as Chicago OF Sam Mertes starts behind the plate with first baseman Frank Isbell on the mound. Isbell gives up 2 runs in the 1st, but goes 4 innings and then switches positions with Mertes, who goes 4+ innings. He is the recipient of the Sox rally and earns the win in his only pitching appearance. The loser is St. Louis OF Jesse Burkett who gives up 4 runs in his one inning. He last started a game in 1890 in the NL before today. There won’t be two position players getting decisions in the same game the rest of this century: it will occur again in 2012.
In a 3-2 loss to the Reds, Pittsburgh’s Honus Wagner cracks a homer and scores his 100th run, the first player to hit the century mark. Wagner will lead the NL in runs with 105, followed by three Pirate teammates: Fred Clarke (103); Ginger Beaumont (100); Tommy Leach (97). The four tops in runs is a record that the Pirates will match in 1909.
29th In the final game played in Baltimore’s Oriole Park, Boston wins, 9–5.
Brooklyn edges the Giants, 5–2, pushing the last place New Yorkers 52 games behind Pittsburgh. Frank Bowerman scores one New York run when his routine ground ball is fielded by SS Bill Dahlen and thrown into the stands behind 1B. The rules state the ball is still in play and Bowerman circles the bases.
The AL season ends with the Athletics five games in front of St. Louis Browns. Philadelphia’s Socks Seybold hits 16 HRs for the highest total to lead the AL until Babe Ruth’s 29 in 1919.