Year In Review : 1898 National League
Off the Field…
The Spanish-American War began after the U.S. Battleship Maine was sunk in Havana Harbor. The loss of the vessel was tremendous shock to the United States since it represented the state of the art of naval shipbuilding in the United States. "Remember the Maine" became the battle cry of the United States Military Forces in 1898 and on April 25th, the U.S. formally declared war against Spain. Marines and other troops, including Teddy Roosevelt and the Rough Riders, helped defeat Spanish forces in the Americas and a treaty was signed in December that gave claims of Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guam and the Philippines to the U.S.
In the National League…
On April 16th, a crowd of approximately one-hundred people (out of four-thousand) was injured after a fire broke out (from a lit cigar) in the grandstands of Sportsman Park in St. Louis during a game between the Browns and visiting Chicago Orphans. In a half-hours time, the entire bleachers and left field stands were completely destroyed.
Pitcher Bill Duggleby of the Philadelphia Phillies, came to bat for the first time in his Major League career and hit a grand slam off the New York Giants. Although Bobby Bonds matched the feat during his first game in 1968, Duggleby still remains as the only player ever to accomplish it with a first at-bat.
On July 5th, Lizzie Arlington became the first woman ever to play in an organized baseball game after pitching a single inning for Reading in the Eastern League. Atlantic League president Ed Barrow later hired her to participate in exhibition games around the country.