Year In Review : 1916 American League
Off the field...
Montana voters elected thirty-six year-old Republican Jeannette Rankin as the first woman in the United States to serve in Congress. A strong proponent of peace, Rankin voted against the declaration of war on Germany in 1917 and in 1941, she cast the only vote in the House against entering WWII. A member of various antiwar organizations over the years, she led the "Jeannette Rankin Brigade", a peace group, to Washington to protest the Vietnam War in 1968.
Congress officially established The National Park Service as a bureau in the Department of the Interior. The system included not only the most extraordinary and spectacular scenic exhibits in the United States, but also a large number of sites distinguished either for their historic or prehistoric importance or scientific interest, or for their superior recreational assets. Today, the National Park System is made up of over three-hundred seventy-five areas covering more than eighty-three million acres in every state except Delaware.
In the American League...
On April 11th, the World Champion Boston Red Sox suffered an embarrassing 1-0 loss during an exhibition game against the young men from Boston College.
Cleveland Indians catcher Steve O'Neill completed an amazing thirty-six double plays for a Major League season record for catchers that still stands to date.
On May 9th, the Philadelphia Athletics and Detroit Tigers combined to set a Major League record with thirty walks during a 16-2, "Motor City" win. Eighteen were issued by the A's, (who went on to finish the season with 715). Detroit added eleven more the following day for a two-game Major League record of twenty-nine.
In the National League...
The National League, which was celebrating its fortieth anniversary, voted down a proposal by the New York Giants, Boston Braves, and Chicago Cubs to increase their player limit from twenty-one to twenty-two.
On June 22nd, the Boston Braves pulled off the only National League extra-inning triple steal to beat the New York Giants 3-1 in the eleventh. In 1941, the American League would match the feat with their only recorded triple swipe.
Chicago Cubs catcher Bill Fischer set a Major League record by catching all twenty-seven innings in a doubleheader loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates on June 28th.
Around the league...
In January, the National Association released a list of one-hundred twenty-three Federal League players with free-agent status under the terms of the new leagues "peace agreement". The following month, the Federal League's year-old suit charging antitrust violations by organized baseball was dismissed by mutual consent in the U.S. District Court by Judge Kenesaw M. Landis.
Chicago Cubs owner Charles Weeghman became the first to officially allow fans to keep any and all balls hit into the stands. His decision followed an incident in which a fan fought with park attendants after catching a foul ball during the St. Louis Cardinals' series.