Year In Review : 1921 American League
Off the field...
The first burial of an unidentified soldier who had been killed in France during WWI was held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier on November 11th. On Memorial Day, 1958, the bodies of two other unknown soldiers; one of whom had died in World War II, the other during the Korean War, were also buried in the tomb, which was later renamed the Tomb of the Unknowns.
The United States, Britain, Japan, France and Italy met for the Washington Naval Convention and agreed on a treaty limiting worldwide naval powers. The treaty called for a ratio of naval ships of five to five to three to 1.7 to 1.7. As a result, for every five large ships in the U.S. British fleets, Japan could have three, and France and Italy, 1.7. The United States also agreed to scuttle thirty of it's own war ships as a result of the treaty.
In the American League...
The New York Yankees purchased a twenty-acre plot of land in the Bronx as the future site for Yankee Stadium.
During an August 19th doubleheader between the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox, Ty Cobb became the youngest player (thirty-four) ever to reach three-thousand hits.
Jimmy Dykes handled an American League record seventeen chances at second base for the Philadelphia Athletics, as they took on the St. Louis Browns at Sportsman's Park III on August 28th. Dykes averaged one-hundred twenty-five games in thirteen full seasons with the A's, but only once played the same position all year — second base in 1921.
In the National League...
On July 8th, an order was issued that allowed fans to keep any balls hit into the stands at Pittsburgh's Forbes Field. Up until that point, all foul and homerun balls were still considered property of the league and were expected to be returned.
The first radio broadcast of a major league game was heard on August 5th over the country's first established radio station, KDKA in Pittsburgh. Harold Arlin, who also announced the first football game between Pittsburgh and West Virginia, called the 8-5 Philadelphia Phillies win over the hometown Pirates.
Around the league...
Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was officially named as baseball's commissioner with a contract for seven years at $50,000 per year. Landis was a judge in an Illinois federal district court when he came to the attention of baseball's establishment during the Federal League's antitrust suit, which was heard in his court.
Major League umpires began the practice of rubbing dirt into the balls before each game, using special clay supplied by Philadelphia Athletics' coach Lena Blackburne from his New Jersey farm.
On August 2nd, a Chicago jury rendered a "not guilty" verdict against the infamous "Black Sox" who had been accused of throwing the 1919 World Series in favor of the Cincinnati Reds. Ignoring the verdict, Judge Landis banned all eight defendants from major league baseball for life. "Regardless of the verdict of juries," the commissioner said in a statement, "no player that throws a ball game, no player that entertains proposals or promises to throw a game, no player that sits in a conference with a bunch of crooked players and gamblers where the ways and means of throwing games are discussed, and does not promptly tell his club about it, will ever again play professional baseball." To this day participants in the "Black Sox" conspiracy have been denied entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.