Swanson: This year in baseball, 1904

From Ryan Swanson at The National Pastime Museum on February 5, 2016:

During the year that Theodore Roosevelt cruised to reelection as president of the United States, Peter Pan premiered on the London stage, and St. Louis hosted the Olympic Games (which included baseball exhibitions), pitching dominated the 1904 Major League Baseball season. Cy Young threw the first perfect game in MLB history. More than 50 hurlers had earned run averages below 3 at season’s end. Only one American League team (the hapless Washington Senators), in fact, failed to keep its collective ERA in the 2s. The New York Highlanders’ (soon to become the Yankees) Jack Chesbro led the rubber-armed trend of starting pitchers going the distance. He had 48 complete games for the season.

The inability of hitters to get on base and the difficulty that 1904 baseball clubs had scoring runs was indicative of the broader “Deadball Era” in which they participated. As baseball historians have delineated, a combination of factors—the non-corked baseball and large fields especially—created a defensive game. Teams manufactured runs through sacrifices, stolen bases, and hit-and-runs.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/1904

Originally published: February 5, 2016. Last Updated: February 5, 2016.