March 13 – Boston Braves owner, Lou Perini, announced he was moving the team to Milwaukee, where the Braves had their top farm club, in time for the 1953 season.
March 28 – Jim Thorpe, famed American Indian athlete considered by many as the greatest athlete in recorded history, died in Lomita, California at the age of 64. A native of Prague, Oklahoma, Thorpe played six seasons of Major League Baseball between 1913 and 1919, mostly for the New York Giants, in addition to his Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon competition, while playing and coaching for a long time in the National Football League.
April 11 – Kid Nichols, Hall of Famepitcher who posted 361 victories for the seventh most wins in Major League Baseball history, died in Kansas City, Missouri at the age of 79. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, Nichols anchored the pitching staff of the Boston Beaneaters between 1890 and 1901, guiding Boston to five National League championships in his first nine seasons with the club. He surpassed the 30-victory plateau seven times from 1891–1894 and 1896–1898, as his career record shows that he hurled 20 or more wins in ten consecutive seasons from 1891–1994 and in 1904. In addition, he remains as the youngest pitcher to reach the illustrious 300-win milestone, getting there months before his 31st birthday. His most productive season came in 1892, when he had a 35-16 record and won two games in the league's Championship Series as the Beaneaters defeated Cy Young and the Cleveland Spiders. Nichols remained with Boston through 1901, when the team let him go in an effort to save money. After a two-year lapse, he returned to the majors as manager and pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals from 1904 to 1905 and ended his career with the Philadelphia Phillies in 1905. Overall, Nichols posted a 2.96 ERA, led the National league in wins for three straight years from 1896 to 1898, pitched more than 300 innings in every season but three and more than 400 five times while pitching 532 complete games and 48 shutouts in 562 starts, and was never removed from a game for a relief hurler. Besides, his record of seven seasons with 30 or more victories is a mark that is likely to stand forever, since the implementation of five-man rotations, pitch count and inning limits in modern baseball.
April 13 – In Cincinnati over 30,000 see the Milwaukee Braves win their first game, 2-0, behind the pitching of Max Surkont
May 27 – Jesse Burkett, Hall of Fame left fielder and three-time batting champion, died in Worcester, Massachusetts at the age of 84. Born on December 4, 1868 in Wheeling, West Virginia, Burkett made his professional baseball debut in 1888 as a pitcher, winning 27 games for a minor league team in Pennsylvania. The next year, he posted a 39-6 record for a team in his native Worcester before surfacing in the Major Leagues in 1890 with the New York Giants. Afterwards, he was turned into an outfielder and won three National League batting titles from 1895 to 1901 before finishing his 16-year-career in the American League. Burkett then joined the Cleveland Spiders before the 1891 season, to become just the second big leaguer to reach the .400 mark twice, hitting for them .405 and .410 in 1895 and 1896, respectively. becoming the first to do it in consecutive seasons. In 1899, Burkett finished second in the batting race with what was believed to be another .400 season, but subsequent research downgraded his batting mark to .396. He later played with the St. Louis Perfectos and Cardinals teams of the National League from 1899–1901, and for the St. Louis Browns of the American League from 1902–1904. In 1901, Burkett captured his third batting title with a .376 mark for the Cardinals. He finished his career with the 1905 Boston Americans, who later became the Red Sox. Overall, Burkett compiled a lifetime batting average of .338 on the strength of 2,850 hits in 2,607 games, including a .415 on-base percentage, 320 doubles and 1,720 runs scored. He also earned a 1916 World Series ring as a coach for the New York Giants.
June 3 – Congress cites the research of New York City librarian Robert Henderson in proving that Alexander Cartwright "founded" baseball and not Abner Doubleday. His 1947 book Bat, Ball and Bishop documents Cartwright's contributions to the origins of the game of the baseball.
June 18 – In a 23–3 thrashing of the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park, the Boston Red Sox set a still-standing Major League record by scoring 17 runs in one inning. After scoring twice in the sixth to break a 3-3 tie, the Red Sox go on their record-breaking run-scoring output in the seventh. Eleven Boston players score in the inning, with Sammy White scoring three times and Gene Stephens –who also collects three hits in the inning, becoming the first Major Leaguer in modern history to do so–, Tom Umphlett, Dick Gernert and winning pitcher Ellis Kinder scoring twice.
August 30 – In game one of a doubleheader, Jim Pendleton hit three home runs, as the Milwaukee Braves beat the Pittsburgh Pirates at Forbes Field, 19–4, while tying a major league record for the most home runs in a single game with eight, held by the New York Yankees since 1939. Besides, Pendleton became only the second rookie in history to hit three home runs in one game, joining his teammate Eddie Mathews, who dit it just a year earlier. In the second of the twin bill, the Braves hit four more long balls and crushed again Pittsburgh, 11–5. Moreover, the 12 homers in a doubleheader shattered the previous mark of nine. This time, Mathews belted four dingers for the day, which gave him a National League-leading 43. Matthews would finish the season with 47 home runs, 30 of them on the road, setting also a major league record. Previously, only the New York Yankees had ever hit more home runs in consecutive games, or in a doubleheader. The Yankees hit eight home runs in a 23–2 victory in the first game of a doubleheader, and five homers in a 10–0 win in the second game, played on June 28, 1939 against the Philadelphia Athletics at Shibe Park.
September 14 – The New York Yankees clinch their 5th straight pennant with an 8-5 win over the Cleveland Indians. Second baseman Billy Martin has 4 RBIs.
October 5 – The New York Yankees defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-3, in Game 6 of the World Series, to win their record-setting fifth consecutive World Championship and sixteenth overall, four games to two. Billy Martin was the star of the Series with a record-setting 12 hits, including the game-winning single in the bottom of the 9th of Game 6 to clinch the title.
October 7 – Bill Veeck, facing dwindling attendance and revenue, is forced to sell the St. Louis Browns to a Baltimore-based group led by attorney Clarence Miles and brewer Jerry Hoffberger. The Browns would move to Baltimore and be known as the Baltimore Orioles starting in the 1954 season.
November 9 – Reaffirming its earlier position, the United States Supreme Court rules, 7-2, that baseball is a sport and not a business and therefore not subject to antitrust laws. The ruling is made in a case involving New York Yankees minor league player George Toolson, who refused to move from Triple-A to Double-A.
November 10 – The New York Giants end their tour of Japan. It is reported that each Giants player received just $331 of the $3,000 they were promised.
November 24 – The Brooklyn Dodgers sign Walter Alston to a one-year pact as their manager for 1954. Alston will manage the Brooklyn/Los Angeles Dodgers over the next 23 seasons, winning 2,040 games and four World Championships.
December 1 – The Boston Red Sox trade for slugger Jackie Jensen, sending P Mickey McDermott and OF Tom Umphlett to the Washington Senators. Jensen will average 25 home runs a year for his seven seasons for Boston, lead the American League in RBI three times, and win the Most Valuable Player Award in 1958. A fear of flying will end his career prematurely.
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