YEAR IN REVIEW : 1915 American League

Off the field...

The Superior Court in Fulton County, Georgia accepted the charter for the establishment of the new Ku Klux Klan on December 4 th . The first Ku Klux Klan was an organization that thrived in the South during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Subsequent groups calling themselves by the same name sprang up in much of the South after both World War I and II and in response to civil-rights activity during the 1960s. In spite of its efforts, the new Klan was not strong, and by the end of the 1960's its nationwide power and membership had declined into a small, underground movement.

Ford rolled its one-millionth automobile off the Michigan assembly line, which was responsible for manufacturing half of all cars in America. To meet the growing demands of his "Model T" automobiles, Henry Ford had opened a large factory at Highland Park, in 1910. There, the industrial visionary invented precision building, interchangeable parts and a continuous moving assembly line that revolutionized automobile production by significantly reducing assembly time per vehicle as well as labor costs.

In the American League...

On May 6 th , an "up-and-coming" pitcher for the Boston Red Sox nicknamed "The Babe" hit his first major league homerun off the Yankees Jack Warhop at New York's Polo Grounds.

A back-up catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics named Wally Schang set an American League record after nailing six would-be St. Louis base stealers during a 3-0 loss to the Browns.

On June 23 rd , Detroit's Ty Cobb stole home (again) for the fifth time in the month en route to a 4-2 Tiger victory over the St. Louis Browns. "The Georgia Peach" would finish the season with ninety-six.

In the National League...

Making his National League debut, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lee Meadows became the first player to wear glasses regularly on the field. Later that season, Carmen Hill of the Pittsburgh Pirates became the second.

The Pittsburgh Pirates became the first team since 1894 to lose game one of a doubleheader (against Baltimore 6-0), then comeback to score in every inning of the nightcap (to win, 13-5).

On August 18 th , Wilbur Good became the only Chicago Cub ever to steal second, third, and home — all in the same inning. His teammates followed his "good" example and went on to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 9-0.

In the Federal League...

After a lengthy contract dispute instigated by the Federal League's high salary structures, "Home Run" Baker announced his early retirement from the Philadelphia Athletics at the tender age of twenty-eight. Manager Connie Mack also experienced salary problems with several other players including Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, and Jack Coombs. Refusing to compete with the rival league's higher pay scale, Mack decided to release the stars and sell Baker to the Yankees after the 1915 season.

In December, organized baseball agreed to a formal "peace treaty" with the Federal League ending a two-year political war. The Federals agreed to disband after the American and National Leagues both agreed to pay an enormous sum of $600,000 for distribution to owners, absorb two franchises (one American League and one National League) and recognize all former players as eligible picks at a Fed-controlled auction.

Around the League...

The Federal League sued organized baseball, claiming it to be an illegal trust and demanding that it be dissolved with all contracts voided. The case was formally filed in the U.S. court in Chicago, before Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the future baseball commissioner intentionally stalled his decision while waiting for peace to be declared at the end of the year.

The American League officially banned the emery ball, a pitch introduced by Russ Ford in 1910. Ford had accidentally discovered that a scuffed baseball could be made to break sharply while a semi-pro pitcher. He began intentionally doctoring the ball using emery paper, and disguised his pitches as spitballs, which at the time were legal.

On "Suffrage Day", 4,100 women bought tickets to see the Giants take on the Chicago Cubs in New York. As a publicity stunt, the suffragettes announced that they would pay five dollars to each player who scored a run. Unfortunately, "Wildfire" Frank Schulte emerged as the only recipient after leading a Chicago "double-steal" in the first inning.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"The longest home run ever witnessed at the local American League park." - The Sporting Life (1915)

1915 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Chicago
119
Detroit
.369
Detroit
40
Detroit
208
Chicago
7
Cleveland
Detroit
.486
Detroit
112
Detroit
144
Chicago
.491
Detroit
96
Detroit
274
Detroit
19

1915 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Washington
35
Boston
1.49
Detroit
50
Chicago
Boston
7
Washington
7
Chicago
Washington
203
Boston
.750
Washington
27

1915 American League

Team Standings

Boston Red Sox 101 50 .669 0
Detroit Tigers 100 54 .649
Chicago White Sox 93 61 .604
Washington Senators 85 68 .556 17
New York Yankees 69 83 .454 32½
St. Louis Browns 63 91 .409 39½
Cleveland Indians 57 95 .375 44½
Philadelphia Athletics 43 109 .283 58½

1915 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Detroit
681
Detroit
.268
Detroit
207
Detroit
1,372
New York
31
Detroit
.357
Detroit
778
Detroit
.358
Detroit
241
Chicago
102
Detroit

1915 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

New York
101
Washington
2.31
Fewest Hits Allowed
Washington
1,161
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Washington
12
Fewest Walks Allowed
Chicago
350
Detroit
19
Washington
21
Washington
715
baseball almanac flat baseball

baseball almanac fast facts

Babe Ruth smashed his first career home run on May 6, 1915, but the quotation at the top of the page is in reference to a shot hit on July 21 in Sportsman's Park where Ruth's ball cleared the rightfield stands, crossed Grand Avenue, and broke the window of a car dealer.

On August 21, 1915, the Chicago White Sox acquired Shoeless Joe Jackson from Cleveland in exchange for Larry Chappell , Ed Klepfer , Braggo Roth , and $31,500.

In 1980, Rickey Henderson became the first American League player to steal one-hundred bases during a single season. The record Henderson broke that season was previously set by Ty Cobb who stole ninety-six bases during the 1915 season (the final steal was on October 5, 1915).

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