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1901 openers: the war is on: retro sportscenter.

Byron Bancroft Johnson's renegade American League made its raucous official debut just a century ago amid player franchise jumps, illegal money offers, and constant contract turmoil (see Lajoie sidebar). Johnson had renamed his old Western League in 1900, and for 1901, he dropped Indianapolis, Kansas City, Buffalo, and Minneapolis in favor of the Eastern metro money and population centers of Boston, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Washington. That left Chicago and Milwaukee as the westernmost clubs in the revamped eight-team circuit, which he proclaimed a major league. The war was on.

What follows is the exact Chicago Tribune reprint of the first American League contest, with all its colloquial eccentricities of spelling and punctuation, just as Windy City fans in Michigan Avenue diners and North and South Side neighborhoods read it the next day.

SOUTH SIDE Park, Chicago, Wednesday, April 24--Under the fairest skies the weather clerk could select from his varied stock of April goods; with a championship pennant floating high above them from the proudest pine of all Michigan's forests; with 9,000 fans to cheer them from a pent-up enthusiasm that burst forth at every possible opportunity, the White Stockings opened the American league baseball season on the South Side grounds yesterday with a clean-cut victory over the aggregation from Cleveland. The score was 8 runs to 2.

It was the most auspicious beginning imaginable, without a thing to mar the occasion. The only thing the fans could have asked for, to add to their delight, was a bit more warmth in the atmosphere, and even that was supplied by the spectators when the real rooting began. It was a splendid crowd, both in its proportions and in the elements of which it was composed, and it was a magnificent welcome. It gave the players who fought for, won, and hoisted that pennant and the new men who have joined the champions to help them retain that emblem.

There were cheers for everybody, from Hoy, who couldn't hear them, to Patterson, the hero of many a hard-earned victory last year. There was so much enthusiasm on tap that the visitors came in for a generous share of it, especially Bradley and McCarthy, the two ex-Orphans, who, by the way, cut the greatest figure in the game for the losers, and Wood, who helped the champions so much last season. There were flowers for Brain, the youngest of the White Soxs, and a cane and umbrella for McCarthy from the friends he made at the West Side grounds. And at the end there was so much surplus exuberance that the bleacherites indulged in a merry cushion fight all through the concluding inning by way of celebration.

Hoffer's Costly Bases on Balls

It would have been most discourteous for Cleveland to have won in the face of all that good-natured enthusiasm. It would have been cruelty to have put the slightest damper upon it. But the visitors tried hard enough to be discourteous, and if Bill Holler had been able to locate the plate at all in the first two innings it would have been an uncomfortably close rub at the best. It was fast, clean baseball. Nine innings were played in an hour and a half, and each team made a single error, on difficult chances in both cases. Dashing base-running gave the White Stockings so wide a margin of scores in comparison to the slight difference in the batting figures, and it was that base-running that made Hoffer's bases on balls costly to his team in the main.

The crowd began to gather long before three o'clock, and the early arrivals were amused by a concert by the First Regiment Rough Riders band. The visiting team was the first to make its appearance and went through its preliminary practice amid the good-natured guying of the bleacherites, while the champions kept modestly out of sight down by the clubhouse. Fifteen minutes later the White Stockings marched out and across the field in a long line of dazzling white, and the spectators arose as if one man to cheer. There was one preliminary burst and then a hush until the advancing line reached the edge of the diamond, then there was another cheer which might have been heard in South Chicago if the wind had been stronger.

Not since 1886 have Chicago fans had such an opportunity as that, not in fifteen years a chance to applaud and feel proud of a team of champions. In that time a new generation of fans has sprung up, and those who can recall Chicago's last previous pennant are in the veteran class of rooters. But old and young seemed bound to make the most of their opportunities on this occasion--and they did.

Greeting the Champions

There was a cheer when the White Stockings took their positions for practice, another when Manager Griffith went out to drive hot liners and grounders to the infield, still another for big Jack Katoll when he began to push long fungoes to the outfielders, and more cheers for each individual player as he handled the ball; for Jones and Hoy and Mertes when they came in under short pop flies; for Hartman, Shugart, and Brain as they scooped up fast bounders with almost midseason accuracy and shot them over to first; for Isbell when he pulled in the wide throws, and for Billy Sullivan, who stood at the plate and snapped the ball around the different bases with an arm which he says is lame but which showed no signs of it in practice or play.

Then the rival teams congregated at the plate and with the band to lead them marched in two long lines down to the tall flagpole in deepest center field. There was the briefest of delays and then the members of last season's team, to whom belonged the honor of hoisting the pennant, grasped the rope, and, tugging lustily, slowly raised it aloft. The big crowd arose and let out a cheer as the silken banner left the ground, the band played "The Star-Spangled Banner," and everybody hoped the "long may it wave" would come true.

Pennant Is Unfurled

Not until the pennant reached the top of the staff did the breeze seem strong enough to straighten it out, but then, as the long silken folds were slowly and lazily unfurled, disclosing the words so unfamiliar to the eyes of local fans, "Chicago, Champions American League, 1900," cheer followed cheer, and while the teams marched back across the park to the strains of "There'll Be a Hot Time," the spectators settled back into their seats ready for the struggle of 1901 to commence. There was a little delay while the Captains and Umpire Connolly fixed the ground rules made necessary by the crowd on the field and the game was on. And if the "hot time" predicted didn't eventuate it wasn't the band's fault. It was all Hoffer's.

When it was discovered that Roy Patterson, no longer a "boy" in fast company, but still a "wonder," was to pitch the game for the champions, and the crowd once more expressed its delight. Pickering was the first to face him and the first ball of the season was a "ball," but it was closely followed by a "strike," an American league strike, and not the National league brand once known as a foul. Then Pickering raised a high fly which gave Hoy the first putout of the season in pretty nearly the same spot that he made the last putout of last season. McCarthy was next, and, after he had blushed his acknowledgments of the present made him, the West-Sider cracked a sharp hit to Hartman. It bounded off the Dutchman's hands and caromed over to Shugart, who grabbed it and shot it to first just a thousandth of a second too late to catch his man and McCarthy had made the first base hit of the season. Genins flied out to the silent man and La Chance sent an easy one to Brain, forcing McCarthy at second.

Hoy led off for Chicago with a grounder to La Chance and was out. Jones waited with becoming patience and earned his base without even swinging his bat. Mertes shot one at his old teammate, Bradley, who fumbled just an instant and missed a possible double play, then retired Sandow at first. Here Hoffer lost his bearings badly and permitted Shugart and Isbell to walk, filling the bases. Hartman was next, and, after making a half dozen National league "strikes," most of which hit the grand stand, the Dutchman caught a straight squarely and lined it sharply over Hallman's head, scoring the first two runs of the season. Brain flied out to McCarthy, and the score was "two-love, Chicago wins."

Bradley hit to his third-base rival and was out in the second inning, but Beck hit safely. Little Sullivan went back close to the visitors' bench and made a brilliant catch of Hallman's foul and Wood hit to Shugart, forcing Beck for the third out.

Sully's catch of the foul made his welcome at bat one of the warmest of all and he responded with a liner straight over second bag. Patterson struck out trying to sacrifice and Hoy sliced a ball to Bradley, trying to "hit and run" with Sullivan, and was thrown out, but it advanced the runner. Jones once more gave a correct imitation of Job, and was rewarded with another walk. Mertes profited by the example and, after watching four wide balls go by, the bases were filled. Shugart made it three walks in succession, and thereby forced in a run.

Isbell started out to repeat, but changed his mind when he saw one of his favorites coming over the base, and smashed it fast to center field, starting one of the weirdest mixups ever seen at South Side Park, from which the White Stockings emerged with their traditional good luck of last year, without a scar.

Chicago's Good Base Running

Two runs scored on the hit, of course, and when Genins threw the ball to Hoffer, Shugart, thinking it was going to the plate, kept on running for third. Hoffer nailed the throw and relayed it over to Bradley, heading off Shugart, who turned back. Isbell had broken for second on the play and the Clevelanders had two runners trapped, with only one base between them. But those two runners kept pretty nearly the whole Cleveland team busy for a minute, and both of them slipped through the visitors' fingers at that. Shugart dodged, doubled and twisted until he slid into second safely, but that left Isbell at their mercy, and the ball went to La Chance, who ran "Liz" down close to second. Shugart had meanwhile set sail for third again, and La Chance turned his attention that way, chasing Shugart down the line. Just before they reached third, La Chance tossed the ball toward where he supposed Bradley was, but Bradley wasn't there. Shugart had squirmed past him on the line, and the only man at third was Manager Griffith, the coacher. So everybody was safe, and it cost two runs.

Once more in that inning the White Stockings got away with their traditionally reckless base running. Hartman hit a sharp one at Hallman, who fumbled, then picked the ball up and threw wide of first. La Chance stretched his lanky frame to its utmost and nearly saved the error, but the ball bounded out of his mitt and a few feet away, letting in two runs, for Isbell scored from second on the play and had such a start that La Chance made no attempt to catch him at the plate. Brain was the third out by the way of Bradley.

Visitors' First Score

The third inning was notable only for a brilliant stop by Shugart off Hoffer's hit and for a fast double play by the visitors, retiring both Sullivan and Patterson on a sharp grounder to Hoffer. The visitors accumulated their first tally in the fourth inning, and it was by virtue of a momentary fumble by Brain. La Chance led off with a clean drive to center. Bradley popped a cinch to Shugart, and then Roy Patterson went to the wrong side of the street for a couple of blocks. He gave both Beck and Hallman bases on balls, filling the circuit as full as it would hold without running over. By this time the crowd was willing to see Cleveland do something to make it interesting, and rooted for Wood to hit it out. The ex-champion hit it sharply to Brain, who had an easy double play in front of him, but was in such a hurry to start it that he had to make two grabs for the ball, and that instant was just enough to let Wood beat the relay to first by a step. La Chance scored from third, and then Mertes smothered Hoffer's fly.

In the sixth the White Stockings gave an exhibition of the opposite of team work at bat just by way of contrast to their previous work, evidently. With two out Hoy pushed out a safe hit. Jones pulled the first ball pitched into right field between La Chance and Beck, but Hoy was not expecting it and failed to get the start that would carry him to third. Then, as if to make amends, the silent man started to steal third on the first ball pitched to Mertes, and neither Jones nor Mertes was expecting it. But Wood made a bad throw, which Bradley stopped only by a miracle, and Hoy landed in safety, slid away over the bag and was touched out.

White Stockings' Only Error

In the next inning the White Stockings made their only error. It was Isbell's muff of a poor throw by Hartman, and it started the inning with a life for Hallman. Wood singled him to second with a jab to left. A faultless double play by Brain, Shugart and Isbell killed Wood and Hoffer on the latter's sharp hit and it looked like another blank, but Pickering bumped one between third and short which Shugart blocked but couldn't stop, and it let in Hallman with Cleveland's last run.

The champions got it back in their half easily enough. It was just a little hit by Mertes into Pickering's preserves, just a little bunt by Shugart toward La Chance, and just a little push by Isbell which sent the ball scurrying past Beck, and Mertes scampered past Bradley to the plate.

Beck opened the ninth with a double--the only one of the day--but he expired on Hallman's grounder to Shugart, who tossed it to third instead of first, and stopped a promising run in its early infancy. A grounder to Hartman and a fly to Mertes did the rest, and the big crowd slowly filed out and faded away with a parting glance over its shoulder at the silken tribute to the prowess of Chicago's White Stockings as it furled itself softly against its support.

The Tribune added its traditional notes, which add color to the already bright-hued story. They follow, with a few explanatory editorial additions. I've also modernized and expanded the original boxscore, and added a bit of information about some of the players.

Notes of the Game

Jones handled himself in great shape in the sun field.

Manager McAleer said, "Our men are hardly in shape to play winning ball. This bad weather at Cleveland for the last week [city-stopping blizzard five days before game] in which we had only one day's practice, set us back considerably. I think with a few more games we will round into form. We have a team capable of winning the pennant and it will take a lot of beating to change my mind."

There were no "hurry up" rules in the American Leagues book, but the game ran off in an hour and a half.

Bob Wood received a nasty crack on the end of his little finger yesterday from a foul tip and last night his hand was swollen, but he will take his turn behind the bat on Saturday.

President Kilfoyl of Cleveland watched the game from the press stand for a while, but after a few innings he saw little chance for his team and went down to the ticket office to the pleasant task of counting his share of the receipts.

Mayor Harrison did not attend. He had promised President Comiskey to be present but was kidnapped by William J[ennings]. Bryan, who slipped into town unperceived. Commy's plans for having the Chief Executive start the opening game were shattered.

Bobby Burke occupied a box directly back of the home plate in the midst of a little group of Aldermen. The Mayor's right hand man is extremely fond of baseball and watched the game with interest.

President Ban Johnson was not present to preside at the pennant raising, as is customary. He went East to attend the opening at Philadelphia and it's a 1,000 to 1 shot he was sorry when he found Comiskey was the only magnate who had squared himself with the weather man.

James J. Hart, President of the Chicago National League team, was present, and witnessed the game from a box at the south end of the grand stand. He chatted with President Comiskey for some time and seemed to like the work of the players, but he did not voice his sentiments.

Tom Connolly, the new man on Ban Johnson's staff, is a little fellow, but ran the game without an audible kick from either team. Connolly has had National League experience and resigned because the players were allowed to run the game as they pleased, and his authority was overruled by the magnates several times.

Billy Sullivan nearly upset the ubiquitous photographer when chasing a foul fly in the first inning. For a minute it looked as if either the ball or the photographer's plates would be put out of the business permanently.
Cleveland Bluebirds, manager Jimmy McAleer (55-82, seventh place)

Player              Pos  AB  R  H  RBI  PO  A   E

Ollie Pickering     RF    4  0  1    1   0   0  0
Jack McCarthy       LF    4  0  2    0   4   0  0
Frank Genins        CF    4  0  0    0   1   0  0
Candy La Chance     1B    4  1  1    0  12   0  0
Bill Bradley        3B    4  0  0    0   2   5  0
Erve "Dutch" Beck   2B    3  0  2    0   1   2  0
Bill W. Hallman     SS    3  1  0    0   1   2  1
Bob Wood            C     4  0  1    1   2   1  0
Wizard Bill Hoffer  P     4  0  0    0   1   1  0

                         34  2  7    2  24  11  1

Player              1901  Yrs. Teams

Ollie Pickering     .309    8    6
Jack McCarthy       .321   12    5
Frank Genins        .228    3    4
Candy La Chance     .303   12    4
Bill Bradley        .293   14    4
Erve "Dutch" Beck   .289    3    4
Bill W. Hallman     .185   14    5
Bob Wood            .292    7    3
Wizard Bill Hoffer  .136    6    3


Hoffer was 31-6 and 25-7 for Baltimore in 1895 and 1896, the National League's best percentage. He was 3-8 for Cleveland in his final major league season in 1901.

Righty-swinging Beck hit the American League's first home run (over the low right field fence) the next day off 7 to 3 Chicago winner, John "Buckshot" Skopec (6-3). Beck was 1900 Interstate League batting champion with the Toledo Mud Hens (.360 on 207 hits).

In 1900, first batter Pickering led the still-minor circuit with 194 hits and 117 runs.

Eleven-year veteran Hallman was dealt to the Philadelphia Phillies after only five games with Cleveland (.211).

McCarthy's career batting high was .321.

In 1901, Genins played the last 26 games of the 149 in his major league career.
Chicago White Stockings, manager Clark Griffith (83-53, first place)

Player             Pos  AB  R  H  RBI  PO  A   E

Bill Dummy Hoy     CF    5  0  1    0   3   0  0
Fielder Jones      RF    2  2  1    0   4   0  0
Sam Mertes         LF    3  2  1    0   4   0  0
Frank Shugart      SS    1  2  0    1   4   4  0
Frank Isbell       1B    3  1  2    3   8   0  1
Fred Hartman       3B    4  0  1    2   0   7  0
Dave Brain         2B    4  0  0    0   1   4  0
Billy Sullivan     C     4  1  2    0   2   0  0
Roy Pat Patterson  P     4  0  0    0   1   1  0

                        30  8  8    6  27  16  1

Player             1901  Yrs. Teams

Bill Dummy Hoy     .294   14    7
Fielder Jones      .311   13    2
Sam Mertes         .277   10    5
Frank Shugart      .251    8    6
Frank Isbell       .257   10    2
Fred Hartman       .309    6    4
Dave Brain         .350    7    6
Billy Sullivan     .245   14    2
Roy Pat Patterson  .222    7    1


Patterson, 20-16 in 1901, was 17-6 in 1900 for Charles Comiskey's champion Chicago club--the best winning percentage in the new (but still considered minor) American League.

Hoy led the American League with 86 walks. He returned to the National League and played for Cincinnati in 1902, his final season.

Hartman's best season was 1901. He ended his career with St. Louis of the National League in 1902.

After his 0-for-4, Brain was 7-for-16 for Chicago in the next four games but didn't play major league ball again until 1903, with St. Louis of the National League. His three errors in one game and a crucial bobble in another contest lost two games for Chicago the first week. Dave had been a poor third baseman for Western League Des Moines in 1900, despite hitting .305. He was shipped back down the minors and Mertes took over second base.

Isbell led the American League with 52 steals. It was his first major league action since he appeared for Chicago's National League club in 1898.

Jones became White Sox manager in 1904.
Runs by innings:
Clev  000  100  100  --  2
Chi   250  000  10x  --  8

Hits by innings:
Clev  111  100  201  --  7
Chi   121  002  20x  --  8


Two-base hit Beck. Total bases: Chicago 8, Cleveland 8. Sacrifice hit: Shugart. Struck out: Patterson. Bases on balls off Hoffer, 6; off Patterson, 2.

Double plays: Hoffer-Hallman-La Chance; Brain-Shugart-Isbell.

Left on base: Chicago 5, Cleveland, 5. Passed ball: Wood.

Time: 1:30. Umpire: Tom Connolly. Attendance: 9,000.

There were, of course, other openers in 1901. The National League got a six-day head start on the upstart circuit. Rain postponed three openers on Thursday, April 18, but defending 1900 champion Brooklyn got in its game against Philadelphia.

BAKER BOWL--About 5,000 fans braved a cold, raw wind to see baseball's inaugural game of the twentieth century. Brooklyn pasted Phils starter "Handyman" Jack Dunn (0-1, soon traded) for six first-frame runs and hung on to post a 12-7 win. Dunn, who won 56 games for Brooklyn in the late 1890s (and later owned and managed the Baltimore Orioles minor league powerhouse--see Tom Pendleton's article in this issue), got leadoff batter, rookie right fielder Al "Lefty" Davis (.209, traded in May), but then left fielder Willie Keeler (.355, two runs today) doubled and the rout commenced. Superbas rookie Wild Bill Donovan (25-15), who had a three-year, 3-10 mark coming into 1901, allowed the hosts to close the gap to 7-6 in the fourth, but reliever "Frosty Bill" Duggleby (20-12) could not hold Brooklyn's bats at bay. Jimmy Sheckard (.353, 19 triples), playing only his second game at third base, stroked three triples and scored four runs. Brooklyn first baseman Joe Kelley (.309) also got three hits, as did Frosty Bill (.171). Ned Hanlon's Superbas were said to be in better shape for the opener because of their recent southern exhibition trip. Bill Shettsline's Phillies practiced at home.
Brooklyn      12  16  2
Philadelphia   7  14  2


ROBISON FIELD (April 19)--Crisp, clear weather made for good hitting on the west bank of the Mississippi as the Chicago Orphans defeated Patsy Donovan's St. Louis Cardinals, 8-7, behind veteran first baseman Dirty Jack Doyle's (.232) four singles and two runs, and left fielder Topsy Hartsel's (.335) two triples. Winner "Brakeman" Jack Taylor (13-19, a year away from stardom) and loser Jack Powell (19-19) allowed 32 hits as all eighteen starters got safeties except Taylor. Card center fielder Emmett "Snags" Heidrick (.339) smashed out four hits, including a double and two triples, and scored two runs. Host left fielder Jesse "the Crab" Burkett (.382) added three hits and two runs scored, while right fielder Pat "Cozy" Dolan (.263) had three hits for Tom Loftus's Orphs. About 5,000 witnessed the two hour, seven minute battle. Heidrick whacked a home run and a single in the next day's game, giving him a two-day cycle, the first player to get all four types of hits in the century.
Chicago    8  17  2
St. Louis  7  15  1


SOUTH END GROUNDS (April 19)--Three hundred-plus game winner Charlie "Kid" Nichols (19-16) five-hit the visitors from New York, 7-0, as six Boston batters drilled starter Luther "Dummy" Taylor (18-27) for multiple hits. In his twelfth (and last) season for Boston's National League Beaneaters, Nichols seemed to be recovered from his worst campaign (1900), blanking George Davis's Giants crew. Second baseman Bobby Lowe (.255, his final year with Boston) got three hits and scored twice. New York fifteen-year vet, center fielder George Van Haltren (.342), saved his club from further embarrassment by making two fine running catches in the eighth, turning one into a double play. NY manager Davis (.309) had two safeties as did pitcher Nichols (.282). A crowd of 6,500 was delighted that the hour and half game went to Frank Selee's men.
New York  0   5  2
Boston    7  15  2


LEAGUE PARK [Crosley Field location] April 20)--Five thousand fans braved frigid weather to watch the visiting (eventual pennant-winning) Pirates rally to beat the Reds, 4-2. Cincinnati's Frank "Noodles" Hahn (22-19, 315 innings, 239 Ks) battled Sam "the Goshen Schoolmaster" Leever (14-5) for a 2-0 lead after five frames. Then manager-left fielder Fred Clarke (.324), right fielder Honus Wagner (.353, 126 RBIs) and rookie first baseman William "Kitty" Bransfield (.295) all tripled and scored in a four-run outburst aided by two miscues. Bransfield had a near triple crown (.371/17 HRs/115 runs) for the Eastern League's Worcester Farmers in 1900. Host first baseman Jake Beckley (.307) matched Kitty's two hits with a double and triple of his own. Right fielder Sam Crawford (.330, 16 HRs) also had two hits for the losers. Hahn's triple and run scored came in the fifth. Frozen fans were thankful for a quick 100 minute contest in near wintry conditions. Retired Queen City legend, Bid McPhee, managed his first game.
Pittsburgh  4  6  2
Cincinnati  2  9  4


When the rest of the American League finally got going, it started off with a real bang.

BENNETT PARK, Corktown Neighborhood (April 25)--A record Detroit overflow crowd of 9,000 people not only saw one of the great comeback victories (the city's first official American League game) in history, but had an important part in it. As the final inning began, hordes of Tiger fans spilled onto the left field area and soon made it impossible for rookie left fielder Bill Hallman (.211) to catch would-be fly outs. Detroit scored ten runs for a wild 14-13 finish. The last blow by George Stallings' men was first baseman Frank "Pop" Dillon's (.288) fourth double (five RBIs, three runs)of the game. The home cranks then carried the hero off the diamond. Starting Milwaukee pitcher, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin's native son, Emerson "Pink" Hawley (7-14) had a nice 7-3 lead when he (in his final season of ten) was replaced in the seventh inning. The score mounted to 13-4 as Detroit's last at-bat came due. Reliever Pete Dowling (12-26, mostly with Cleveland) could not hold the margin and neither could rookie finisher Bert Husting (10-15) as ten runners scampered across home plate. Host twirler Roscoe "Roxy" Miller (2313) was pounded soundly, as was eventual victor Emil Frisk (5-4) but to a lesser degree. Usually positioned in the outfield, Frisk (.313) helped his own cause with three hits and a run, which equaled the output of his veteran second baseman Bill "Kid" Gleason (.274). Rookie shortstop Wid Conroy (.256) was the Brewers' swat star with four singles and four runs. He was backed by three hits each by two rookies: second baseman Billy Gilbert (.270) and third baseman Jimmy Burke (.225). It is a wonder that any of the crowd stayed for the ninth after watching Hugh Duffy's (.308) Brewers get sixteen hits with the Tigers compounding that attack with seven errors. (A little more than a year before, Buffalo slapped Detroit, 8-0, in the first game played at Bennett Park in the Western League. Bison lefty Morris "Doc" Amole threw a no-nitter.) It was Detroit's return to the major leagues after being absent since the close of the National League's 1888 season.
Milwaukee  13  16  4
Detroit    14  19  7


COLUMBIA AVENUE PARK (April 26)--(This is the game that Rober Glenn Weaver details in the next article.) Philadelphia Mayor Ashbridge threw out the ceremonial first ball as 10,547 watched Jimmy Manning's visiting Washington club beat the Athletics, 5-1, in just under two hours. Senator second baseman "Old Reliable" Joe Quinn (.252) in his seventeenth and last season, starred with three hits and two runs behind the twirls of Bill Carrick (14-23) who fooled all Philadelphia batters except second baseman Nap Lajoie (.422, 14 HR, 125 RBIs), who cracked three hits, the only extra-base hit of the game (a double), and scored the A's lone run on a single, steal, an errant throw and a groundout. Hurler Chick Fraser (22-16) was not helped by his team's seven errors. Lajoie seemed unmoved by the legal battles surrounding his playing for Connie Mack's Athletics. Rookie third baseman Bill Coughlin (.278) and first baseman Mike Grady (.285) scored the other Senator runs. Veteran catcher Bill "Boileryard" Clarke (.280) knocked home three with two singles while winner Carrick punched in an insurance tally. SABR retro rookie of the year pick, A's left fielder Ralph "Socks" Seybold, was 1-for-4 and made an error.
Washington    5  8  1
Philadelphia  1  7  7


AMERICAN LEAGUE PARK at York Road (April 26)--Two days of rainouts could not dampen Baltimore's support for its league-switching Orioles, the new American League, and a new ball yard. Manager-third baseman John McGraw's (.349) hard players defeated 1890s National League city rival Boston, 10-6, in bright sun and mild spring air. The teams were led to the park by a parade through Baltimore's streets. Some 10,370 of the finest fans then saw Boston rookie lefty Win Kellum (2-3) give up three runs in the first inning. Oriole sticks were hot and built a 6-1 margin after seven innings. League-jumper Joe McGinnity (26-20), the National League's top winner in 1899 (Orioles) and 1900 (Brooklyn), coasted the last two innings, as Baltimore made four more runs to Boston's five. In his third stint with a Baltimore team, city native and Oriole shortstop "Wagon Tongue" Bill Keister (.328) smacked a single, a double and the first of his 21 1901 triples, and scored twice to lead the attack. Left fielder Mike Donlin (.347) added two triples and two runs scored, and McGraw and rookie center fielder Jimmy Jackson (.250) each had two doubles and a run. For manager-third baseman Jimmy Collins' (.332) Bostons, catcher Lou Criger (.231) had a single, a double and two runs scored. Collins, also with a double and a single, had a single run scored. Rookie pinch-hitter Larry McLean (.211/9 g) swatted a double and had an RBI and a run scored in the ninth inning rally. Fast play allowed fans to head for home in 1 hour and 45 minutes. A delighted American League president Ban Johnson and vice president Charles W. Somers attended the game after arriving from Philadelphia.
Boston      6   9  1
Baltimore  10  11  3


For the two leagues' combined eight games, the home and road clubs each won four. The Chicago entries took both. Philly lost in each circuit. Boston split. An inning summary of 1901's runs:
NL  9  1  4  10  6  10  2  4   1  --47
AL  5  7  6   5  1   4  7  5  13  --59


Dixie Tourangeau says this piece is much more about well-timed entertainment than hardcore research. New SABR member Marilyn Miller helped out with the typing of the 1901 Chicago Tribune Opening Day article as well as many other computer adjustments to make this story entertaining.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:transcript of report by the Chicago Tribune on first American League game; includes short reports on other opening games in 1901
Author:Tourangeau, Dixie
Publication:The National Pastime
Article Type:Statistical Data Included
Date:Jan 1, 2001
Words:5449
Previous Article:Another look: reassessing the status of the American League in 1990.
Next Article:The American League opens in Philadelphia: a celebration, a game, and a definite feeling that this was the start of something big.
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