This day in baseball: The first Ladies’ Day

The first ‘Ladies’ Day’ in major league history took place on June 16, 1893 when the New York Gothams (later known as the Giants) offered free admission to all women, both escorted and un-escorted, at the Polo Grounds. The lucky ladies had the opportunity to watch their Gothams defeat the Cleveland Spiders, 5-2.

Polo Grounds, View from Behind Home Plate

Polo Grounds (ballparksofbaseball.com)


This day in baseball: The almost-no-hitter

On June 11, 1904, Bob Wicker of the Cubs pitched 9 1/3 innings of no-hit baseball before Giants’ outfielder Sam Mertes managed New York’s only hit in the 10th. Wicker had to settle for a 1-0, twelve-inning one-hit victory.

Bob_Wicker

Wikipedia


This day in baseball: The first pinch hit

On June 7, 1892, the Spiders’ Jack Doyle became the first player to collect a pinch hit with a single, coming off the bench to bat for Cleveland hurler George Davies. The Spiders lost 2-1 that day to the Grooms at Brooklyn’s Eastern Park.  Doyle, a utility player, would finish his 17-year career going 3-for-5 (.600) as a pinch-hitter.

John Joseph

Jack Doyle (Wikipedia)


This day in baseball: Gehrig’s streak begins

Lou Gehrig made the only pinch-hit appearance of his career on June 1, 1925 when he came off the bench to hit for infielder Pee-Wee Wanninger.  While the common tale told is that Gehrig’s 2,130-game streak started when he replaced Wally Pipp at first base (held out of the line-up due to the aftereffects of a concussion), the first game of Gehrig’s streak actually came the day before, with this pinch-hit appearance.

gehrig

The ALS Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter


This day in baseball: Introduction of the spitball

According to legend, the spitball made its debut on May 29, 1905, introduced by Dodger hurler Elmer Stricklett in a game against the New York Giants. Stricklett managed to defeat the Giants, 4-3.

While it is widely accepted that Stricklett was one of the early pioneers of the spitball, Stricklett himself denied that he actually invented the pitch. Stricklett did, however, claim to be the first pitcher to master the pitch and to feature it as the key pitch in his arsenal.

ElmerStricklettLOC

Elmer Stricklett (Wikipedia)


This day in baseball: Coveleski’s long start

On May 24, 1918, right-hander Stan Coveleski pitched 19 innings in the Indians’ 3-2 victory over the Yankees at the Polo Grounds.  Smoky Joe Wood hit a home run in the top of the 19th for the Tribe that proved to be the difference.  Coveleski gave up 12 hits and 6 walks with 4 strikeouts over the course of the game.

Stan_Coveleski_npcc_13989

Coveleski (Wikipedia)


This day in baseball: The first Scot

On May 20, 1878, Jim McCormick became the first player born in Scotland to appear in a major league game.  In his debut, right-handed pitcher McCormick and the Indianapolis Blues lost to the Chicago White Stockings, 3-1.  The following season, the Scot would become the team’s manager as the team made its move to Cleveland.  At the age of 23, this made McCormick the youngest skipper in the game.

Jim_McCormick_baseball_card

Wikimedia Commons