Parks are rebuilt and walls are closed in as admission to baseball games becomes as normal as the game itself. Ten thousand dollars a year is paid to a player and U.S. Presidents will do more than attend games when they start throwing pitches and begin a tradition.
The Opening Day pitch, the birth of the "World Series" and countless other historic occassions mark this, the Dead Ball Era of famous baseball firsts.
"There ain't much to being a ballplayer if you're a ballplayer." - Hall of Famer (and the first 20 th Century player to reach the 3,000 hit plateau) Honus Wagner
The Dead Ball Era
1901 - 1919
|Date||Famous Firsts in the Dead Ball Era Event Description|
|04-17-1901||First American League game is played: White Sox 8 versus Broncos 2.|
|05-25-1901||The Detroit Tigers , in defeating the first Milwaukee Brewers franchise 14-13, became the first team in Major League history to score 9 or more runs in the last inning of a walk-off win.|
|06-03-1902||Mike O'Neill of the St. Louis Cardinals hits the Major League's (and National League's) first pinch-hit grand slam in history — which was also the first grand slam hit in the 20 th century.|
|1903||First "moving-picture" of a baseball game is made.|
|1903||First World Series between the American League ( Boston Americans ) and National League ( Pittsburgh Pirates ) is played.|
|10-01-1903||First World Series game is played and Pittsburgh defeats the mighty Americans 7-3 making the Pirates the first team to win a single Fall Classic game.|
|10-13-1903||The Pirates & Americans go to a deciding Game 8 during the 1903 World Series and the American League Boston Americans win the game 3-0 to become the first champions of a modern World Series match-up (taking five games & losing three).|
|1905||Roger Bresnahan is the first to wear a helmet in a game.|
|07-01-1905||Frank Owen is the first American League pitcher to throw two complete game wins in the same day.|
|09-26-1908||Ed Reulbach is the first pitcher to throw two shutouts in one day .|
|04-12-1909||Shibe Park in Philadelphia opens and it is the first ballpark made from concrete and steel.|
|04-12-1909||Doc Powers is the first baseball related death when he crashes into the wall trying to catch a popup fly. He finishes the game, has surgery when it's over, two more after that, then passes away on 04-26-1909.|
|07-19-1909||Neal Ball is the first American League player to turn an unassisted triple play .|
|04-14-1910||President Taft is the first president to throw "the" first pitch .|
|07-19-1910||Cy Young wins his five-hundredth game and is the first and only pitcher to achieve five-hundred plus wins .|
|1911||First cork-n-rubber center ball appears in a Major League game.|
|06-09-1914||Honus Wagner is the first twentieth century player to get three-thousand hits .|
|1915||New York Yankees wear pinstriped uniforms for the first time.|
|1915||Eddie Plank is first southpaw to win three-hundred games .|
|1916||Sam Crawford is first and only player with three-hundred plus triples .|
|09-24-1916||Marty Kavanagh of the Cleveland Indians hits the American League's first pinch-hit grand slam in history and helps his team defeat the Red Sox 5-3.|
|06-27-1917||Hank Gowdy is the first player to enter World War I.|
|1918||First shortened Major League season occurs due to World War I.|
|1919||The first World Series fix and baseball tragedy — 1919 World Series & 1919 Chicago White Sox .|
|Famous Firsts in the Dead Ball Era|
What else happened during this era? Two shutouts by one pitcher in the same day and the first player makes to receive a ten thousand dollar a year salary.
The first Presidential pitch took place on April 14, 1910, and a baseball tradition was born. Visit our U.S. Presidents section to see every instance where a sitting President visited a Major League ballgame and read more presidential firsts .