1909 September

1st In Detroit, the Tigers edge the Red Sox, 5-4, in 11 innings. Ty Cobb scores the winning run, his third of the game. He contributes two stolen bases and a 2-run homer.

2nd  Detroit beats Boston, 8–5, and completes a sweep of every series against visiting Eastern teams, winning their 14th in a row. The Tigers regain first place by a half game en route to their 3rdstraight pennant.

Boston’s Cliff Curtis pitches his first ML game and beats the Pirates, 1-0, to give the Doves their only win against Pittsburgh this year. The Pirates win the nightcap and will finish the season 20-1 against Boston.

For the 2nd day in a row, Giants outfielder Bill O’Hara is a pinch runner and swipes two bases. Today’s thefts come in the 9thinning of a 5–2 loss to the Cardinals: yesterday he did it in the 6thof a 9–6 win over the Cards. He is the first to accomplish this ML record, and he is the only one this century to do it twice.

4th Sigh! After tying Cleveland yesterday, the visiting Tigers lose two games today to end their 14-game winning streak. All of the wins were at home. Cy Falkenberg shuts out the Tigers, 4-0, and Cy Young then wins, 4-3. The Bengals will win 3 more back at home to run their home winning streak to 17 games (1 tie).

George Stone hits a leadoff homer, his only roundtripper this year, and the Browns score 2 runs in the 1st off Chicago’s Fred Olmstead. Bill Bailey makes it hold up in a 2-1 win over the Sox.

6th In the holiday doubleheader at the Polo Grounds, the Boston Doves take the opener, 2–0, and New York wins the nitecap, 5–4. Mathewson wins his own game for the Giants with a 10th inning triple to score Admiral Schlei.

The Cubs sweep a pair from the visiting Pirates, winning 3–1 and 6–1. The Bucs get a little solace as Adams strikes out 6 Cubs in a row, one short of the record set by Wiltse in 1906.

7th  Pitcher Addie Joss hits his only career HR, off Detroit’s Ed Summers, in a 6–4 Cleveland loss at Detroit. It is Detroit’s 17thconsecutive win at home, an AL record.

9th  The Pirates beat the Reds, 3–1. Charles “Moon” Gibson of Pittsburgh catches his 112th consecutive game, breaking Chief Zimmer’s 1890 record. His streak will end at 140.

Chicago’s Orval Overall tops the St. Louis Cardinals, 2–1 for his 15th straight win over the Birds. He started the streak on June 6, 1906. It is the second longest Cub winning streak by one pitcher over a single team.

Bill Dinneen, winner of 3 games in the first WS, is released by the St. Louis Browns and becomes an AL umpire, a position he will hold through 1937.

Prior to the game between the Senators and the Red Sox, Boston swaps Doc Gessler to the host Nationals for pitcher Charlie Smith (and $2500) with the proviso that the trade become effective after the game. Gessler comes off the bench and, in his first at bat, drives in the go-ahead run in the 10th inning and then scores a run four batters later as Boston wins, 3-1. Tomorrow’s Boston Globe headline blares: “Thanks for the little loan, Mr. Cantillon.”

11th The Athletics and Red Sox split a doubleheader, each team winning, 1–0. The Red Sox also pick up pitcher Jack Chesbro (0-4) on waivers from the Highlanders. The future Hall of Famer will pitch and lose one game (to New York) for Boston before calling it quits at 199-131.

Christy Mathewson and catcher Chief Meyers are all that the Giants need in the opener against Brooklyn. Matty allows 3 hits in shutting down the Superbas, and the Chief clubs his first major league homer in the 2nd inning, a grand slam to score all the runs. New York wins, 4–0, beating Elmer Knetzer. The Superbas take the nitecap, 10–1, behind Bugs Raymond. Rookie Zack Wheat has his first 2 ML hits in the nitecap, after being collared in the opener by Matty.

13th  Ty Cobb clinches the AL HR title with his 9th round-tripper in a 10–2 Detroit win over the Browns. It is an inside-the-park drive. In fact, all his 9 HRs this season are inside-the-park, including 2 on July 15th. He is the only player in this century to lead in HRs without hitting one out of the park. Only Crawford (12 in 1901) has hit more inside-the-park homers in a year than Cobb.

The last-place Doves host a pair with the Giants, winning the opener, 6-1, as Beals Becker hits a second inning grand slam off Hooks Wiltse. Game 2 ends in a 4-4 tie after 13 innings.

14th Cubs ace Three Fingered Brown shuts out the Reds, 4–0, for his 13th straight win over Cincy. The streak started on August 28, 1906.

John Heydler announces that the NL will use 2 umpires per game in 1910.

In the dimming light of the second game of a doubleheader between the Dayton Veterans and the Grand Rapids Wolverines (Class B Central League) 21-year-old Vets 2B Cupid Pinkney is hit in the head by a pitch thrown by Kurt Hageman. Pinkney is knocked out but will be recover enough to speak in the hospital before going into a coma and dying. Dayton cancels its last two games of the season.

16th  President Taft attends a Cubs-Giants game in Chicago and players are introduced to him before the game. Giants ace Christy Mathewson then outdeals Chicago ace Three Fingered Brown, 2–1, with each allowing 7 hits. Taft downs popcorn and lemonade during the match, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The University of Wisconsin baseball team arrives in Tokyo to begin a series of games against Japanese schools.

17th  In Washington, two rookie starters debut in the same game as Bill McCorry of the Browns faces Dixie Walker, Sr., of the Senators. Dixie fairs better as the Senators score in each of the first 4 innings to win, 10-1. The Yankees will beat up on McCorry on the 29th in his second and last game.

18th  Before 35,409, the largest paid baseball attendance ever, Chief Bender beats Bill Donovan and the Tigers 2–0 at Philadelphia to keep the A’s in the pennant race. The A’s are 14–8 against Detroit this year, setting an AL record for most wins against the pennant winner. Ty Cobb is the Triple Crown winner with a .377 BA, 9 home runs (all inside the park), and 107 RBI. He also will lead the AL with 216 hits, 116 runs, and 296 total bases. His 76 stolen bases make him the only player ever to win a quadruple crown.

In Pittsburgh, Vic Willis stops Brooklyn on just one hit, a topped roller in the 3rd inning by Zack Wheat. It will be the closest ever to a no-hitter by any pitcher at Forbes Field. Pittsburgh wins, 6–0.

20th  The A’s beat the Tigers, 4-3, and take three out of four games with the league leaders. Philadelphia is just two games behind Detroit with 14 to play.

21st Rest seems to have cured Walter Johnson’s sore arm, as the Nats’ ace shuts out Detroit, 2–0, his first appearance since August 29th. He will finish the season at 13–25, 10 of the losses coming in shutouts. Five of the shutout losses were to the White Sox. Detroit takes the first game, 3-1, behind Ed Willett’s 21st victory. The Nationals manage just 2 hits. With the A’s losing, Detroit now leads the AL by 2.5 games.

The first-place Pirates are inhospitable to Boston as they shut them out in a doubleheader, winning 2-0 and 5-0. Babe Adams and Howie Camnitz are the winners.

22nd  Jimmy McAleer, one of the AL’s original managers, resigns from the Browns after 8 years, switching to Washington.

At Robison Field, the Cardinals collect 12 hits off Christy Mathewson, but still lose to the Giants, 4–3. Fred Beebe takes the loss. It is Beebe’s 14th straight loss to the Giants, establishing a ML record that’ll be tied in the 20th century by 7 pitchers.

25th  The White Sox sweep a pair from the Nationals, 2–1 and 2–0. In game one, Washington rookie Bob Groom loses his 15thconsecutive game, an AL record that will be surpassed by Jack Nabors (1916) and Mike Parrott (1980) He will lead the AL with 26 losses. Walter Johnson is the loser in game 2 as Bill Burns shuts out the Senators, handing Washington its AL-record 30th shutout. The Cards were shut out last year 33 times, a record.

At Philadelphia, the A’s tally two shutouts over Cleveland, winning 5-0 behind Chief Bender and 3–0 behind veteran Cy Morgan. The A’s stay 2.5 games behind Detroit and will get no closer.

The Yankees’ eight-game winning streak comes to a halt against the visiting Tigers pitcher Ed Summers, 2–1, in game 1. They also lose game 2, 10-4. The Yanks hit Summers freely in the first 3 innings with the help of a sign-stealing scheme. A hat advertisement in CF has the crossbar in “H” cut and painted white on one side and black on the other. Using a telescope, a man spotted the catcher’s signal and used a handle to flip the crossbar to indicate fastball or curve. Detroit trainer Tuthill, sent by a suspicious manager Hughey Jennings to investigate, discovers the scam and destroys the crossbar. Jennings was possibly tipped off to the scam; Chicago White Sox manager Billy Sullivan, whose team lost in New York, was quoted [later] as saying he had his suspicions, but couldn’t prove anything. Joe Cantillon, manager of the Senators, said later he knew of the scam, but didn’t complain because his team was out of the race. He identified the man in CF as former pitcher Gene McCann. Later, at the winter meetings the AL Board of directors will issue a statement saying that “after their investigation, they found no evidence of a signal tipping plan had been in effect.” (as noted by Kevin Kerr). They went on to say that “if such a plan was discovered from any team in the league the manager or player responsible would be banned from the league for all time.” A rule prohibiting signal tipping will be implemented the following year.

At Chicago, Cubs P Jack Pfiester beats Boston, 7–4, for his 11thstraight win over them stretching back to August 26, 1907.

27th  The first-place Pirates set an NL record with their 16thvictory in a row, winning, 6-1, before the Giants stop them, 8–7, in the 2nd game of a doubleheader.

28th Before the start of the game in Pittsburgh, Fred Clarke is feted by the fans. He is awarded more than $600 in gold and receives a watch from Pittsburgh mayor William Magee. Against the Giants, Clark walks twice before removing himself, and Wagner collects two doubles and a single. But the Giants outslug the Pirates to win, 13–9.

29th At Chicago, the Cubs take a pair from the Phillies, 5–4 and 6–3. Phils rookie Fred Luderas debuts and goes 4-for-4 with a HR and double in the nitecap.

At Boston, pitcher Ed Killian (11-9) pitches both games for Detroit against the Red Sox, and nails down the pennant with two wins. He takes a no-hitter into the 8th inning of game 1, winning 5-0, and then captures the second game, 8-3.

30th At Pittsburgh, the Giants agree to move up tomorrow’s game and New York and the and Pirates split a twinbill; New York takes the opener, 6–2, then loses 9–1. In the game 2 laugher, 49-year-old coach Arlie Latham makes his last ML appearance, and his 4ththis year. Latham first played ML ball in 1880, for Buffalo. George Gibson catches both games for the Bucs and establishes a ML record for consecutive games caught at 133. The old record was held by McGuire of Cleveland.

The White Sox finish off any hopes that the Athletics have for the pennant, beating them 8-5 and 6-4. Detroit loses in Boston, but wins his third straight pennant.