Year In Review : 1923 American League
Off the field...
President Warren G. Harding suddenly fell ill on July 28th while returning from a trip to Alaska and was rushed to a San Francisco hospital where he died of a heart attack on August 2nd. Harding's undeviating Republicanism and vibrant speaking voice led him far in Ohio politics. He originally served in the state Senate and as Lieutenant Governor, but unsuccessfully ran for state Governor later. Harding's career soared after he delivered the nominating address for President Taft at the 1912 Republican Convention and he was eventually elected to the Senate in 1914. Many local supporters began to promote Harding for the 1920 Republican nomination and he went on to win the Presidential election by an unprecedented landslide of sixty percent of the popular vote.
The second Ku Klux Klan movement in U.S. history was initiated stirring widespread controversy and racial violence. Professing itself nonpolitical, the Klan nevertheless controlled politics in many communities and in 1922, 1924, and 1926 elected many state officials and a number of Congressmen. Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana, Oregon, and Maine were particularly under its influence. Its collapse thereafter was largely due to state laws that forbade the wearing masks in public, which eliminated the secret element, and apparently from the declining interest of its members.
In the American League...
Yankee Stadium debuted when "The House That Ruth Built" opened its doors on April 18th to an announced attendance of 74,217. "The Babe" himself provided the "house warming gift" with a three-run home run that beat Howard Ehmke and the Boston Red Sox 4-1.
On May 25th, Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb scored his one-thousand seven-hundred forty-first run to pass another legend, Pittsburgh Pirate Honus Wagner. "The Georgia Peach" went on to hold ninety separate Major League records when he retired in 1928.
The Cleveland Indians set an American League record on July 7th after scoring in every inning against the Boston Red Sox. In eight innings (the home team did not bat in the ninth), "The Tribe" ran up twenty-seven runs, including thirteen in the sixth, for an embarrassing 27-3 win.
In the National League...
On April 7th, the longest National League opener (to date) took place with the Brooklyn Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies battling head-to-head for a grueling, fourteen innings and a 5-5 tie.
A riot broke out in Chicago on September 16th after umpire Charlie Moran made an "out" call at second base on Sparky Adams. Commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis was in attendance and shook his cane at the angry mob as Moran and the other officials were pelted by hundreds of empty bottles. After holding up play for over fifteen minutes, the game resumed with the visiting New York Giants winning 10-6.
Dolf Luque of the Cincinnati Reds finished his season in style after posting an 11-1 finale over the St. Louis Cardinals. Following the game, Luque returned to Havana with a Major League leading win-loss record of 27-8 which is still the best single-season mark ever posted (to date) by a Latin American pitcher.
Around the league...
Pitching legend Christy Mathewson became the president of the Boston Braves franchise after purchasing the club with New York attorney Judge Emil Fuchs and Bostonian James McDonough for a reported sum of $300,000. However, Braves Field remained in the custody of former owner James Gaffney and eighty-five minority stockholders.
The St, Louis Cardinals announced plans for their players to wear numerals on their uniforms, and number them according to the team's batting line-up.
Two members of the infamous "Black Sox Scandal", in which the 1919 World Series was "fixed" in favor of the Cincinnati Reds, attempted to sue their former team, the Chicago White Sox. Swede Risberg and Happy Felsch unsuccessfully sought $400,000 in damages and $6,750 back salary for conspiracy and injury to reputation. Both men, along with all Chicago players involved in the incident, had been banned from baseball due to their undeniable link to gamblers.
No games were played on August 3rd following the death of President Harding in San Francisco. The entire major league schedule was also canceled one week later on the day of his funeral.