Year In Review : 1925 American League
Off the field...
One of the most sensational court cases in twentieth-century America, the "Scopes Monkey Trial" went infinitely beyond the boundaries of law and the courtroom to question the social, intellectual, and cultural values of America. In 1925, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) announced that it was willing to financially support anyone challenging a recently enacted Tennessee law that prohibited the teaching of Darwinism in the state's schools. John T. Scopes, a twenty-five year-old high-school science teacher in Dayton, Tennessee, who taught evolution in his school biology class, accepted the ACLU offer and agreed to stand as the defendant in a test case to challenge the law. At the conclusion of the hearings, Scopes' attorney asked the jury to return a verdict of guilty in order that the case might be appealed to the Tennessee Supreme Court where, he hoped, the anti-Darwin law would be overturned. The jury, complying with his request, returned a verdict of guilty and fined Scopes $100.
In the American League...
Ty Cobb set another one of his many Major League records on May 5th after going six-for-six, (including three home runs) in a Detroit Tiger win over the St. Louis Browns. Cobb's sixteen total bases topped the American League record previously set by Joe Hauser (fourteen) on August 2nd of 1924.
Boston Red Sox outfielder Ira Flagstead initiated three double plays on May 19th in an 8-2 loss to the St. Louis Browns breaking the record previously set by Tris Speaker in 1918. (All of Speaker's were unassisted).
Rookie Ben Paschal of the New York Yankees hit two inside-the-park home runs, in an 11-6 win over the Chicago White Sox on September 22nd. Paschal totaled seven home runs in the month of September setting a franchise record (for rookies) that stood until 1998.
In the National League...
Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Glenn Wright pulled off the impossible after completing a solo triple play at second base during a 10-9 win over the St. Louis Cardinals on May 7th. Wright ended the game after snagging a Jim Bottomley line drive while simultaneously stepping on the bag before Johnny Cooney could return. Then he tagged Rogers Hornsby who was attempting to retreat after coming down from first base.
Second baseman Milt Stock of the Brooklyn Dodgers set a modern National League record after tallying four hits in four consecutive games.
Marv Goodwin (one of the few remaining "spitball" pitchers) was killed in an accident during an Air Reserve training flight on October 21st. The former right-hander for the St. Louis Cardinals had recently joined the Cincinnati Reds at the end of the season and became the first active-player ever to be killed in a plane crash.
Around the league...
At the annual meeting of American League owners, a plan was adopted to alternate the site of future World Series openers by league rather than deciding it by a coin toss. Games 1, 2, 6, and 7 would be played in one park and 3, 4, and 5 would take place in the other.
On April 5th, New York Yankees icon Babe Ruth collapsed suddenly at a railroad station in Asheville, North Carolina. He later underwent an emergency operation for an ulcer at New York Hospital on April 17th and remained in bed until May 26th.
Baseball legend Christy Mathewson died of tuberculosis on October 7th at Saranac Lake, New York, at the age of forty-five. At the time of his death he was part owner and president of the Boston Braves franchise.