Year In Review : 1909 American League
Off the field...
The United States military intervened to aid in the removal of President Jose Santos Zelaya from Nicaragua. Since 1893, Zelaya had been trying to create a union of Central American countries by intervening actively in their affairs. After he began executing those who opposed him (including two Americans) the U.S. took over the rebel faction and ousted him promptly.
In the American League...
On April 27th, the Chicago White Sox won their third 1-0 game over the St. Louis Browns in three days, setting an early American League record for consecutive 1-0 wins. Hits in all three games (by both teams combined) totaled a meager eighteen.
The Chicago White Sox also set a modern Major League record on July 2nd after stealing twelve bases (three of home) during a 15-3 massacre over the St. Louis Browns at South Side Park III.
Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb clinched the American League home run title after hitting nine, inside-the-park round-trippers. In doing so, he became the only player of the century to lead a league in home runs without ever actually hitting one "out of the park".
In the National League...
The National League deprived umpires the ability to levy fines and declared that all relief pitchers must retire at least one batter before being relieved themselves.
Pittsburgh Pirate Honus Wagner stole his way around the bases in the first inning of a May 2nd nightcap against the Chicago Cubs. In doing so, Wagner set a National League record as the first player ever to pull off the feat three times. Amazingly, he would duplicate the effort again the following day.
On July 3rd, the St. Louis Cardinals tied an unwanted Major League mark after committing seventeen individual errors during a doubleheader loss to the Cincinnati Reds, (10-2 and 13-7).
Around the league...
Play-By-Play, broadcasting came one step closer as the first use of wireless technology to transmit baseball results was conducted at the Columbia University Wireless Club. The proceedings of the game between the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia were relayed from the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia to New York's Waldorf Astoria, where Columbia students received the messages.
National League President John Heydler called an emergency meeting with the league's officials to propose a new two-umpire system for preventing fights with the players.
In June, Benjamin Shibe, of Bala, Pennsylvania, obtained a patent for a new cork-centered baseball. Spalding Sporting Goods later licensed the idea and began manufacturing it for distribution in both the major and minor leagues.