Year In Review : 1908 American League
Off the field...
President Theodore Roosevelt held the "White House Conservation Conference", which later led to the establishment of the National Conservation Commission. The main purpose of the Commission was to implement new regulations for conserving the earth's natural resources by protecting its capacity for self-renewal. Particularly complex were the problems of nonrenewable energy resources such as oil and coal and other minerals that are still in great demand today.
In the American League...
On April 14th, Boston played their first game under the new nickname, the "Red Sox" and christened it with a 3-1 win over the Washington Senators at the Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds.
The Detroit Tigers set a unique Major League record on June 7th after turning a triple play against the Boston Red Sox for the second day in a row.
The Washington Senators set an unwanted American League record after losing twenty-nine games by shutouts.
In the National League...
In March, Honus Wagner announced his retirement from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the age of thirty-four. Despite the intention, he went on to play in one-hundred fifty-one games (more than in any of the past ten years) and led the league in hitting (for the sixth time), hits, total bases, doubles, triples, RBIs, and stolen bases.
On May 23rd, New York Giants third baseman Art Devlin tied a Major League record by handling thirteen total chances during a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Around the league...
In 1908, the original sacrifice fly rule was adopted. It stated: No "time at bat" was charged — if a run scored after the catch of a fly ball. The rule was later repealed in 1931 and went through several variations before permanent acceptance in 1954.
Despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary (after a two-year investigation by the Mills Committee) National League president A.G. Mills declared that Abner Doubleday had indeed, invented the sport of baseball at Cooperstown, New York in 1839.
Henry Chadwick, a leading reporter, commentator, scorer, and promoter of the game, died in Brooklyn at the tender age of eighty-five. Chadwick was known as "The Father of Baseball" and is credited with developing the initial scoring and statistical systems for the game.
Singing sensation Billy Murray hit the charts with "Take Me Out to the Ball Game".