Year In Review : 1911 American League
Off the field...
On March 25th, the worst factory fire in the history of New York City occurred after the Triangle Shirtwaist Company burned down. The horrific incident had an even greater significance as it revealed the inhumane working conditions to which industrial workers were subjected. Employees at the factory consisted mostly of poor Jewish immigrants between the ages of thirteen and twenty-three and to keep the women at their sewing machines, the proprietors locked the doors leading to the exits. After a fire broke out on the eighth floor, many panicking workers rushed to the stairs, the freight elevator, and the fire escape. Dozens on the ninth floor died, unable to force open the locked door to the exit and the rear fire escape collapsed, killing many and eliminating an escape route for others. Although Pump Engine Company 20 and Ladder Company 20 arrived quickly (along with four other companies) the bodies of victims who had jumped hindered them from entering the building. In the end, a total of one-hundred forty-six women died in less than fifteen minutes bringing to the attention of the nation a need for more humane and safe working conditions in America's factories.
In the American League...
On June 18th, the Detroit Tigers staged the biggest comeback in Major League history after overcoming a 13-1 deficit (after 5½ innings) to defeat the Chicago White Sox by a score of 16-15.
On September 28th, several hundred fans witnessed what is considered to be one of the worst contests in American League history as the New York Yankees and St. Louis Browns combined to accumulate twenty-nine hits, twenty walks, twelve errors and fifteen stolen bases en route to an 18-12 (NY) final.
In the National League...
On May 22nd, Boston Braves pitcher Cliff Curtis set a Major League record by recording his twenty-third consecutive loss (beginning on June 13, 1910) with a 3-1 deficit against the St, Louis Cardinals.
By early September, Frank Schulte had hit his twenty-first home run and his one-hundred twenty-first run batted in. He later completed the season leading the National League in both categories and also became the first player to have more than twenty doubles, twenty triples, and twenty home runs in a single season.
Philadelphia Phillies ace Grover Alexander dominated the month of September after tossing complete game shutouts on the 7th, 13th, 17th and 21st.
Around the league...
The idea of selecting a Most Valuable Player was introduced after automobile maker Hugh Chalmers offered a brand new car to the MVP in each league to be chosen by a select committee of baseball writers.
The Pennsylvania Railroad set a speed record on May 29th after transporting the Chicago Cubs one-hundred ninety-one miles from Columbus, Ohio, to Pittsburgh in two-hundred fifteen minutes. After arriving at the game, the Cubs showed some speed of their own and beat the Pirates 4-1.
The Federal Express of the Hartford Railroad (carrying the St. Louis Cardinals to Boston) plunged down an eighteen-foot embankment outside Bridgeport, Connecticut, killing fourteen passengers. Fortunately, no players were injured, and each helped to remove bodies and rescue the injured.