This day in baseball: Walter Johnson’s 36-win season

Washington Senators pitcher Walter Johnson defeated the Philadelphia Athletics, 1-0, on September 29, 1913 to record his final decision of the season. Johnson would appear in only one more game in 1913 and finished the season with an impressive 36-7 record and a mind-boggling 346.1 innings pitched. Over the course of the season, Johnson also notched two saves, 243 strikeouts, and only gave up 9 home runs and 40 walks. He concluded 1913 with an ERA of 1.14.

Walter Johnson (Library of Congress)

This day in baseball: Walter Johnson pitches three consecutive shutouts

On September 7, 1908, Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators pitched the third of three consecutive shutouts against the New York Highlanders at Hilltop Park. Johnson threw a six-hit shutout on Friday, September 4th, followed by a four-hitter with no runs on Saturday, then concluded with a two-hitter in the first game of a doubleheader on Labor Day.

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Walter Johnson, 1910 (Charles Conlon/public domain)

This day in baseball: Sisler drives home 7 in two innings

On July 11, 1925, St. Louis Browns first basemen George Sisler hit a triple with the bases loaded in the third inning and then followed it up with a grand slam in the fourth. Sisler’s phenomenal offensive performance led the Browns to a 10-5 victory over the Washington Senators in front of 15,000 fans at Sportsman’s Park.

The full box score from the game can be found here.

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George Sisler, 1924 (Library of Congress)

This day in baseball: The first American League shutout

On May 15, 1901, Washington Senators pitcher Watty Lee threw the first shutout in American League history, blanking the Boston Americans, 4-0. Lee, a 21-year-old southpaw, would finish the season with a 16-16 record and would be responsible for two of the eight shutouts to occur in the AL’s opening season.

The game’s complete box score can be found here.

Watty Lee with Newark Indians in 1911
Watty Lee with Newark Indians, 1911 (Library of Congress)

This day in baseball: Sam Rice signs with the Indians

On February 14, 1934, Edgar Charles “Sam” Rice signed with the Cleveland Indians. Rice had played 19 seasons with the Washington Senators prior to this year, and would go on to retire at the conclusion of the 1934 season. Rice batted .293 in 335 at-bats for the Indians in his final season, but fell 13 hits shy of the 3,000 career hit mark before calling it quits. Rice would be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1963.

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Sam Rice in 1924 (Library of Congress)

This day in baseball: Buddy Lewis awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross

Senators third baseman Buddy Lewis was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on December 28, 1944 for his service in the China Burma India Theater. During World War II, Lewis flew more than 500 missions for the U.S. Army Air Forces as a transport pilot. Lewis was released by the Army on July 20, 1945 and would return to baseball a week later.

Buddy_Lewis_1939 - Wikipedia
Buddy Lewis, 1939 (Wikipedia)

This day in baseball: Philadelphia A’s debut in the AL

On April 26, 1901 at Philadelphia’s Columbia Park, 10,547 fans witnessed Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics making their American League debut, losing to the Senators, 5-1. The Western League had been renamed the American League in 1900 by league president Ban Johnson and declared itself the second major league in 1901. Philadelphia’s new franchise, led by Mack, had been created to compete with the National League’s Philadelphia Phillies.

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National Baseball Hall of Fame Library/Major League Baseball/Getty Images