Year In Review : 1923 American League

O ff the field...

President Warren G. Harding suddenly fell ill on July 28 th while returning from a trip to Alaska and was rushed to a San Francisco hospital where he died of a heart attack on August 2 nd . Harding's undeviating Republicanism and vibrant speaking voice led him far in Ohio politics. He originally served in the state Senate and as Lieutenant Governor, but unsuccessfully ran for state Governor later. Harding's career soared after he delivered the nominating address for President Taft at the 1912 Republican Convention and he was eventually elected to the Senate in 1914. Many local supporters began to promote Harding for the 1920 Republican nomination and he went on to win the Presidential election by an unprecedented landslide of sixty percent of the popular vote.

The second Ku Klux Klan movement in U.S. history was initiated stirring widespread controversy and racial violence. Professing itself nonpolitical, the Klan nevertheless controlled politics in many communities and in 1922, 1924, and 1926 elected many state officials and a number of Congressmen. Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Oregon, and Maine were particularly under its influence. Its collapse thereafter was largely due to state laws that forbade the wearing masks in public, which eliminated the secret element, and apparently from the declining interest of its members.

I n the American League...

Yankee Stadium debuted when "The House That Ruth Built" opened its doors on April 18 th to an announced attendance of 74,217. "The Babe" himself provided the "house warming gift" with a three-run home run that beat Howard Ehmke and the Boston Red Sox 4-1.

On May 25 th , Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb scored his one-thousand seven-hundred forty-first run to pass another legend, Pittsburgh Pirate Honus Wagner. "The Georgia Peach" went on to hold ninety separate Major League records when he retired in 1928.

The Cleveland Indians set an American League record on July 7 th after scoring in every inning against the Boston Red Sox. In eight innings (the home team did not bat in the ninth), "The Tribe" ran up twenty-seven runs, including thirteen in the sixth, for an embarrassing 27-3 win.

I n the National League...

On April 7 th , the longest National League opener (to date) took place with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies battling head-to-head for a grueling, fourteen innings and a 5-5 tie.

A riot broke out in Chicago on September 16 th after umpire Charlie Moran made an "out" call at second base on Sparky Adams. Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was in attendance and shook his cane at the angry mob as Moran and the other officials were pelted by hundreds of empty bottles. After holding up play for over fifteen minutes, the game resumed with the visiting New York Giants winning 10-6.

Dolf Luque of the Cincinnati Reds finished his season in style after posting an 11-1 finale over the St. Louis Cardinals. Following the game, Luque returned to Havana with a Major League leading win-loss record of 27-8 which is still the best single-season mark ever posted (to date) by a Latin American pitcher.

A round the league...

Pitching legend Christy Mathewson became the president of the Boston Braves franchise after purchasing the club with New York attorney Judge Emil Fuchs and Bostonian James McDonough for a reported sum of $300,000. However, Braves Field remained in the custody of former owner James Gaffney and eighty-five minority stockholders.

The St, Louis Cardinals announced plans for their players to wear numerals on their uniforms, and number them according to the team's batting line-up.

Two members of the infamous "Black Sox Scandal", in which the 1919 World Series was "fixed" in favor of the Cincinnati Reds, attempted to sue their former team, the Chicago White Sox. Swede Risberg and Happy Felsch unsuccessfully sought $400,000 in damages and $6,750 back salary for conspiracy and injury to reputation. Both men, along with all Chicago players involved in the incident, had been banned from baseball due to their undeniable link to gamblers.

No games were played on August 3 rd following the death of President Harding in San Francisco. The entire major league schedule was also canceled one week later on the day of his funeral.

"I'm going to break it up (September 4, 1923 Sam Jones no-hitter) if I can." - Chick Galloway (who bunted and was thrown out with two outs during the ninth inning)
1923 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

170

Batting Average

Detroit

.403

Doubles

Cleveland

59

Hits

Cleveland

222

Home Runs

New York

41

On Base Percentage

New York

.545

RBI

New York

131

Runs

New York

151

Slugging Average

New York

.764

Stolen Bases

Chicago

48

Total Bases

New York

399

Triples

Washington

18

Washington

1923 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Cleveland

29

ERA

Cleveland

2.76

Games

Philadelphia

56

Saves

Washington

9

Shutouts

Cleveland

5

Strikeouts

Washington

130

Winning Percentage

New York

.760

Wins

Cleveland

26

1923 American League

Team Standings

New York Yankees

98 54 .610 0

Detroit Tigers

83 71 .539 16

Cleveland Indians

82 71 .536

Washington Senators

75 78 .490 23½

St. Louis Browns

74 78 .487 24

Philadelphia Athletics

69 83 .454 29

Chicago White Sox

69 85 .448 30

Boston Red Sox

61 91 .401 37

1923 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Cleveland

633

Batting Average

Cleveland

.301

Doubles

Cleveland

301

Hits

Cleveland

1,594

Home Runs

New York

105

On Base Percentage

Cleveland

.381

Runs

Cleveland

888

Slugging Average

New York

.422

Stolen Bases

Chicago

191

Triples

Washington

93

1923 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

New York

101

ERA

New York

3.63

Fewest Hits Allowed

New York

1,365

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Cleveland

36

Fewest Walks Allowed

Detroit

449

Saves

Washington

16

Shutouts

Cleveland

10

St. Louis

Strikeouts

New York

506



On April 18, 1923, Yankee Stadium opened its doors for the first time and 74,200 fans packed The House That Ruth Built. Babe Ruth himself commented, "I'd give a year of my life if I can hit a home run in this first game in this new park." During the third inning, Ruth gave up a year of his own life when he launched a Howard Ehmke curve over the right field fence for his 199th career home run.

On May 2, 1923, Walter Johnson of the Washington Senators pitched a 3-0 shutout versus the New York Yankees. The shutout was the 100th of Johnson's career and it made him the first (and only) pitcher with 100 career shutouts - yet the event when virtually unnoticed.

Other notable dates during the 1923 season included: July 22 - Walter Johnson becoming the first to join the 3,000 Strikeouts Club ; September 4 - Sam Jones no-hitter (the second by a Yankee) over the Athletics; September 7 - Howard Ehmke no-hitter over the Athletics (again!); and September 14 - George Burns unassisted triple play .

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