Today, May 2, is quite a day in baseball history.
1876 In Cincinnati against the Redlegs, Chicago's Ross Barnes hits the first home run in the history of National League. The former National Association superstar also has, in addition to his inside-the-park homer, a single, a triple, two stolen bases and scores four runs.
1901 After the Tigers take the lead in the top of the inning at Chicago's South Side Park, the White Sox slow down the pace of the game in hopes the contest will be rained out. Umpire Tom Connolly is not impressed and forefits the game, the first in American league history, giving Detroit a 7-5 victory.
1920 The first game of National Negro Baseball League is played in Indianapolis when the hometown ABC's beat the Chicago Giants at Washington Park, 4-2. Schorling's Park, the home field of the Giants, will be unavailable for another month due to the occupation of the National Guard, stationed there as a result of the The Chicago Race Riot of 1919, prompting the delay of the inaugural season in the Windy City, a huge disappointment for the newly-formed league.
1930 In Des Moines, Iowa, a Western League contest against Wichita becomes the first night baseball game to be played under permanent lights. The unique event, which draws 12,000 fans instead of the usual 600 patrons, is the beginning of a concept which will spread quickly through the minors and spare many organizations from the on-slaught of the Great Depression.
1930 Due to 102 degree fever, Joe Sewell’s consecutive streak ends at 1,103 games when he doesn't appear in a game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. The Indian shortstop, who hasn't missed a game since 1922, is only 204 games shy of the all-time record of 1,307 games set in 1925 by Yankee shortstop Everett Scott.
Nine years later:
1939 Prior to a game with the Tigers in Detroit, Lou Gehrig tells his manager, Joe McCarthy, that he is benching himself "for the good of the team". The Yankee legend's record streak, which began in 1925, ends at 2,130 consecutive games.
1954 In a twin bill at Sportsman's Park, eight-year old Nate Colbert watches Cardinals Stan Musial become the first major leaguer to hit five home runs in a doubleheader. In 1972, as a 26-year old Padres first baseman, he will become the only other major leaguer to repeat this feat.
1984 Don Mattingly's seventh inning single breaks up LaMarr Hoyt's perfect game bid. The lone hit, an opposite field blooper, is followed up by a double play and the White Sox hurler faces the minimum 27 batters defeating the Yankees, 3-0.
2008 Jose Reyes is thrown out at home plate in an unusual attempt to complete the cycle with an inside-the-park homer. The shortstop’s four hits pace the Mets 7-2 win over Diamondbacks, the club’s 14th victory in the last 15 games played against Arizona at Chase Field.
Read these and 28 0ther interesting facts at one of my favorite web sites: Today In Baseball History