Year In Review : 1926 National League
Off the field...
U.S. troops were deployed to Nicaragua in May to help restore civil order after a revolt broke out against the new president Emiliano Chamorro. The resulting "Bryan-Chamorro Treaty" (terminated in 1970) granted the United States an option for a canal route through the country as well as the installation naval bases. For the majority of the century, Nicaragua's politics had been dominated by the competition for power between the Liberals, who were centered in the city of León, and the Conservatives who were centered in Granada.
Controversial radio host Father Coughlin began broadcasting his right-wing addresses in which he criticized such diverse groups as U.S. bankers, trade unionists, and Communists. Later, he organized the National Union for Social Justice, which denounced President Roosevelt's "New Deal" policies and advocated such measures as silver inflation as well as the nationalizing of banks, utilities, and many natural resources. Coughlin also published a magazine titled "Social Justice" in which he made increasingly anti-Semitic remarks directed especially at Jewish members of Wall Street.
In the American League...
After eleven seasons (ten-and-a-half years), New York Yankees first baseman Wally Pipp was replaced by an "up-and-coming" rookie from Columbia University named Lou Gehrig who would hold the position for 2,130 consecutive games.
Despite losing 11-7 to the Chicago White Sox at Sportsman's Park III on April 22nd, the St. Louis Browns managed to tie an American League record with five double plays.
On April 13th, Washington Senators ace Walter Johnson and Philadelphia Athletics knuckleballer Eddie Rommel met for what is still considered to be the greatest opening-day pitchers' duel in baseball history. After going head-to-head for fifteen grueling innings, Johnson emerged the 1-0 victor after fanning twelve batters.
In the National League...
The Cincinnati Reds used a Major League record-tying eight sacrifices on May 6th, in a 14-1 triumph over the visiting Philadelphia Phillies at Crosley Field.
The city of St. Louis declared May 22nd as "Rogers Hornsby Day" to honor the longtime player / manager. The Cardinals presented Hornsby with $1,000 in gold and a medal as the National League MVP for his performance in the 1925 season.
During a September 3rd outing against the Boston Braves, the New York Giants set a National League record after recording an astounding twelve runs in the fifth inning. The mid-game rally devastated the Braves who were unable to recover en route to an embarrassing 17-3 disaster.
Around the league...
The Major League Baseball Rules Committee finally agreed to allow the use of a resin bag by pitchers. The Committee also discussed the elimination of the intentional walk (forcing the pitcher to throw to the batter), as calling a "catcher balk" had not eliminated the practice as originally intended.
A ninteen year-old pitching phenomenon named Satchel Paige made his debut on May 1st in the Negro Southern League leading Chattanooga to a 5-4 triumph over Birmingham.
On May 8th, the bleachers along the left field line at Fenway Park were partially destroyed by a fire. Surprisingly, the Red Sox management opted not to replace the seats.