Here’s a delightful little documentary about the Polo Grounds. I’ve always loved the metaphor of a baseball stadium as a church or cathedral. I feel the same way about Kauffman Stadium every time I attend a Royals game.
It’s always a shame when stadiums like this get torn down. I understand that progress sometimes dictates the need for such things, but so much history gets lost in the process, too.
On May 24, 1902, Cleveland third baseman Bill Bradley became the American League’s first player to hit a home run in each of four consecutive games. This record would not be matched until Babe Ruth accomplished the same in June of 1918.
For the first time in history, on May 13, 1929, a major league game featured both teams wearing numbers on the backs of their jerseys. The Indians played host to the Yankees at League Park in Cleveland, winning by a score of 4-3. The digits would become a permanent fixture on each club’s ensemble.
While this is far from a comprehensive collection of “lost” teams in baseball history, this short clip provides an interesting look at the St. Louis Browns, Boston Braves, and Philadelphia Athletics. Being the number two team in your own city is never an easy position to overcome.
On May 9, 1888, while pitching against the Kansas City Cowboys, Elton “Icebox” Chamberlain of the Louisville Colonels pitched right-handed for the first seven innings of the game and left-handed for the last two innings. Louisville won the game by a score of 18–6, and the performance made Chamberlain the third major league pitcher to throw with both his left and right hands during the same game. The feat would not be repeated in the major leagues until Greg Harris switched arms for the ninth inning of a game in 1995.
The newspaper story covering the game was printed the next day in The Courier-Journal:
The New York Giants hit four inside-the-park home runs at Braves Field on April 29, 1922, en route to a 15-4 victory over Boston. George Kelly collected a pair of inside-the-parkers, and Ross Youngs and Dave Bancroft contributed the other two scoring dashes around the bases. You can find the box score and play-by-play recap of the game here.
Luis Castro made his major league debut on April 23, 1902, making him the first player from Colombia to play in the big leagues. Castro took the field at second base for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia’s A’s in an 8-1 victory over the Orioles at Oriole Park that day. The 25-year-old Medellin native would play in 42 games that year and would also prove to be the last player from Colombia to appear in major league baseball until Orlando Ramirez broke in with the Angels in 1974.