Dead Ball Era Famous Firsts

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.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"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

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
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baseball almanac fast facts

Honus Wagner became the first twentieth century 3,000 Hit Club member during the Dead Ball Era — and the first "un-debateable" member.

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 .

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