This Day In Baseball May 8
Debuts, Milestones, No Hitters, Rule Changes, Events, Birthdays, Deaths, and more on This Day In Baseball.
Events for May 8
Providence Grays centerfielder Paul Hines catches a fly by Jack Burdock and starts a triple play, racing in to touch third base before Jack Manning can return, then throwing to second to nab Ezra Sutton. Some eyewitnesses contend that Sutton had passed third and was out when Hines touched the base, making it the only unassisted triple play by an outfielder. This contradicts the version by Manning, Jim O’Rourke and others present, which has been accepted generally as the correct account.
On May 8, 1878, Paul Hines of Providence caught a line drive hit by Jack Burdock of Boston. With runners on second and third he sprinted forward and tagged third base, which was clear of baserunners. To make sure he got the out, he threw the ball to Charlie Sweasy at second base. The play was recorded, unrecorded, and still debated as the first ever unassisted triple play.
5/8/1894: The Boston Beaneaters (Braves) were in New York playing the Giants. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Giants had two runners on base with no one out when the game was called by darkness. Boston had scored twice in the top of the frame on a single by Jimmy Bannon and a home run by Charlie Ganzel. The score reverted to the end of the seventh inning and Ganzel lost his four-bagger. Those runs did not matter since the home team won, 16-5.
Amos Rusie, the “Hoosier Thunderbolt”, makes his first start for the Cincinnati Reds after a two-year layoff and is bombed, 14 – 3, by the Cards. Emmet Heidrick snags five singles off Rusie. After two more appearances, he goes back to digging ditches, having won 245 games, mostly for the New York Giants, in nine years.
In their long-delayed American League home opener, Boston defeats Philadelphia’s Bill Bernhard, 12 – 4, behind Cy Young, who has jumped from the St. Louis Cardinals. Boston is led by Buck Freeman, who has a single, triple and homer. Young complains that he does not like the rule against pitchers warming up, but he will still lead the AL with his 1.62 ERA. His 33 wins are 41.8 percent of his team’s 79 victories; a post-1900 record, it will stand until Steve Carlton wins 45.8 percent of the Phils’ 59 wins in 1972. Young also complains about catchers: “I do not like the league rule compelling the catcher to stand behind the bat all the time. It handicaps a pitcher. I cannot extend myself as I would like.”
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