Year In Review : 1878 National League
Off the Field…
Yellow Fever struck many cities in the south including Memphis, New Orleans and Mobile. Many citizens of infected areas were prevented from fleeing by strict quarantines adopted by nearby towns and cities. Despite the best efforts from doctors, nurses and volunteers, the number of infected persons rose dramatically from day to day. During the worst part of the epidemic, special health regulations were issued by the federal government to help prevent the spread of the disease. Unfortunately, over 13,000 people died in the lower Mississippi Valley alone before a proven vaccination was developed.
In the National League…
Against the Boston Red Caps, Paul Hines of the Providence Grays, made a shoestring catch in centerfield, then ran to touch third base for the first unassisted triple play in baseball history.
In July, John Montgomery Ward of the Providence Grays lost against the Indianapolis Hoosiers for his first Major League start then continued to pitch every game all season long. Impressive, until 1879 when he won "only" forty-seven games on the mound.
Cincinnati pitcher Will White and catcher James White became the first pitcher-to-catcher brother set to play together in the Major Leagues on the same team at the same time. Will went on to go 30-21 on the mound and James batted .314 at the plate.