Year In Review : 1928 American League
Off the field...
On June 18th, Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean during a historic flight that lasted twenty-four hours and forty-nine minutes. The first woman to obtain pilot's certification from the National Aeronautic Association, Earhart flew as a passenger aboard a Fokker F.VIIb-3m flown by Wilmer Stultz and Slim Gordon. She later made the first solo flight by a woman from Hawaii to California in 1935, but her plane was later lost somewhere in the Pacific in 1937 as she was attempting to circumnavigate the globe. The exact circumstances of her (presumed) crash are still unknown today.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact was developed as an international effort to outlaw war. The declaration originally started as a bilateral French-American accord, but fourteen nations registered immediately, and sixty-two nations eventually signed. Although unsuccessful, the treaty marked the high point of idealism in the pursuit of peace. The proclamation stated "Whereas a Treaty between the President of the United States Of America, the President of the German Reich, His Majesty the King of the Belgians, the President of the French Republic, His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas, Emperor of India, His Majesty the King of Italy, His Majesty the Emperor of Japan, the President of the Republic of Poland, and the President of the Czechoslovak Republic, providing for the renunciation of war as an instrument of national policy."
In the American League...
On May 1st, the Cleveland Indians outfield tied a Major League record with five assists in a game against the St. Louis Browns. Rookie Sam Langford also tied another Major League mark after posting four of them himself. It was the tenth time (once in extra innings) that the record was equaled in the major leagues, and the last time the century. Although the "Tribe" was out-hit 12-10, they managed to hold on for the 4-3 victory.
Forty-one year-old Detroit Tiger veteran Ty Cobb stole home on June 15th against the Cleveland Indians for the fiftieth (and final time) in his twenty-four year career to extend another one of his ninety Major League records.
Washington Senators pitcher Milt Gaston set another unusual American League record after surrendering fourteen hits en route to a 9-0 shutout over the Cleveland Indians on July 10th.
In the National League...
The Philadelphia Phillies and St. Louis Cardinals combined on June 2nd to set a Major League record with a 2-1 effort that was the result of three pinch-hit home runs.
Following a Labor Day doubleheader rainout, the Boston Braves went on to play a record nine consecutive doubleheaders between September 4th and the 15th: First, the Brooklyn Dodgers on the 4th and 5th; then Philadelphia Phillies on the 7th and 8th; followed by the New York Giants on the 10th, 11th, 13th, and 14th; and finally the Chicago Cubs on the 15th. Starting with Philadelphia, the Braves also went on to set an unwanted record by dropping five consecutive games including all four against the Giants.
On September 18th, the Boston Braves and Chicago Cubs combined to set a National League record with eight double plays between them.
Around the league...
After voters in Massachusetts finally approved Sunday baseball in Boston (provided that the ballpark is more than 1,000 feet from a church), Pennsylvania was left as the only state in the major leagues with no Sunday baseball.
Alfred J. Reach, founder of A.J. Reach Sporting Goods, died on January 14th at the tender age of eighty-seven. Reach had become the first ballplayer ever to receive a regular salary after signing as a catcher with the Philadelphia Athletics at $25 a week (for expenses) in 1865.
On December 11th, National League President John Heydler first proposed the concept of a designated hitter (also known as the tenth regular). Heydler contended that the fans were tired of seeing weak hitting pitchers come up to bat and the incorporation of a designated hitter would improve the quality of play and speed up the game.