1845 -Alexander Cartwright and the Knickerbocker
Base Ball Club codify playing rules; also, first box score of baseball
eight men to a side, is printed in New York Morning News.
1846-At Elysian Fields on June 19 in Hoboken,
New Jersey the N.Y. Knickerbockers lose to New York Club in first match
game under Cartwright’s rules.
1849-Knickerbockers develop first uniforms (colors: blue & white).
1853-First box score of Knick-style game is printed in New York Clipper.
1856-Henry Chadwick becomes the first regular baseball reporter.
1858-First admission (50 cents) charged, for game
between All-Star teams representing New York
and Brooklyn played at Long Island’s Fashion Race Course on July 20.
1859-At Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on July 1,
Amherst defeats Williams College 73-32 in first college
1860-The Excelsiors of Brooklyn make the first
“road trip”.Their first stop:Albany’s Washington
Parade Grounds on July 2.
1862-William Cammeyer’s Union Grounds in Brooklyn
is the first enclosed ballpark; it opens on May
1863-First calling of balls and strike.
1865-Ed Cuthbert of the Keystones steals the first base.
1866-Bob Addy of Rockford employs the first slide
to steal a base; the Brooklyn Atlantics’ Tom
Barlow lays down the first bunt.
1867-First use of curve ball, by W.A. “Candy” Cummings.
1869-The Cincinnati Red Stockings are the first
fully professional team; they are also the first team
to wear knickers.
1870-First listing at bats in bow scores, in the New York Clipper.
1871-First professional league is formed-the National
Association; first game: Cleveland Forest City’s
lose 2-0 at Fort Wayne on May 4; first batting averages printed in The Dime Base Ball
1873-First doubleheader: Resolutes vs. Boston, July 4.
1874-Boston Red Stockings and Philadelphia Athletics conduct first foreign tour.
1875-Philadelphia’s Joe Borden hurls first no-hitter
in pro ranks on
1876-National League’s first game: Boston at Philadelphia on April 22.
1877-International League becomes the first minor
league; Tecumseh’s and Maple Leafs are the first
foreign professional teams; first professional gambling scandal-four Louisville players
expelled from game.
1878-Turnstiles introduced; Paul Hines of Providence
wins first triple Crown and executes first unassisted triple play (May
8); Bud Fowleris first black in pro ball,
for Lynn Live Oaks of International Association.
1879-Reserve clause first used.
1880-First night game-between two department store
teams, at Natasket Beach in Massachusetts’
Worcester’s Lee Richmond throws first perfect game, against Cleveland on June 12.
1882-American Association introduces first salaried
umpiring staff; first postseason playoff; first
professional doubleheader, Providence vs. Worcester, September 25; Paul Hines is first
player to wear sunglasses in field.
1884-First “third major league,” the Union Association;
first blacks in Major League Baseball-Moses
and Weldy Walker of Toledo (AA); hit by pitch allows batter to take first base.
1885-Umpires and catchers use first chest protectors.
1886-Players organize first union, “The Brotherhood
of BAL Players”; first spring training camp
(Chicago White Stockings at Hot Springs, Arkansas).
1887-Charles Zimmer is first catcher to play consistently
behind the batter; Baltimore’s Mike Griffin
of Baltimore and Cincinnati’s George “White Wings” Tebeau are the first to homer in their
first major league at bat; both do it on the same day, April 16.
1888-First round-the-world baseball tour by Chicago
White Stockings and all-star squad; “Casey at
the Bat” makes it first debut in print and on the stage.
1892-National League allows Sunday baseball; first
pinch homer, by Brooklyn’s Tom Daly on May
1894-Boston’s Bobby Lowe is first major league player to smash four homers in one game.
1900-First pinch-hit grand slam, by St. Louis pitcher Mike O’Neill on September 4.
1901-First American League game; Cleveland loses 8-7 at Chicago on April 24.
1903-First modern World Series; Boston defeats Pittsburgh five games to three.
1907-Giants catcher Roger Bresnahan introduces chin guards.
1909-First concrete-and-steel-park opens – Philadelphia’s
Shibe Park; Cleveland’s Neal Ball turns
first modern unassisted major league triple play in majors, on July 19; William Howard Taft
is first President to throw out “fist ball”.
1910-First cork-centered ball.
1911-First MVP Awards to the Cubs’ Frank Schulte and the Tigers’ Ty Cobb.
1917-First “knothole gang” organized in St. Louis.
1920-First Japanese pro team, the Nihon Undo Kyokai;
first team to draw one million fans, Yankees
1921-First baseball commissioner, Kenesaw Mountain
Landis; First radio broadcast of a game, by
Harold Arlin of KDKA from Forbes Field on August 5; first World Series broadcast (Yankees
1923-Babe Ruth becomes first player to earn $50, 000 in a season.
1926-First amplifiers used (at Polo Grounds).
1930-First successful night ball in minors.
1933-First All-Star Game, at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on July 9.
1935-First major league night game; Phils at Reds, May 24.
1936-First professional league in Japan; first
players elected to Hall of Fame (Cobb, Ruth, Mathewson, Wagner, Johnson).
1939-First American League night game, at Philadelphia
Shibe Park on May 16; first televised game, from Ebbets Field on
1941-Dodgers are first club to wear batting helmets.
1946-Montreal’s Jackie Robinson is the century’s
first black professional player; first team to draw two million fans, Yankees
1947-Robinson becomes first modern major league
black player; Cleveland’s Larry Doby is first black player in AL; first
BBWAA Rookie-of-the-Year Awards; Hank Greenberg becomes the first $100,000 player.
1951-Emmett Ashford is first black pro umpire
(Southwestern International League); first game televised coast-to-coast
game of NL Playoff); first nationally televised World Series (Yankees vs. Giants); first true baseball encyclopedia, Turkin
& Thompson’s The Official Encyclopedia of Baseball.
1956-Don Larsen hurls first World Series perfect game, on October 8.
1956-Frank Umont and Ed Rommel are first major league umpires to wear eyeglasses on field.
1957-First Golden Glove Awards.
1959-Joe Cronin becomes first player to become league president when he assumes head of American League.
1962-Jackie Robinson becomes the first black elected to the Hall of Fame.
1965-First enclosed stadium, the Astrodome, opens on April 9.
1966- First major league black umpire, Emmett Ashford of AL.
1969First major league game outside U.S. (St.
Louis at Montreal’s Jarry Park on April 14).
1970- First Strike by major league umpires – occurs during playoffs.
1971- First night World Series game, Baltimore
at Pittsburgh on October 13.
1972- First major league player strike; Bernice
Gera is first female professional umpire.
1973- The Yankees’ Ron Blomberg becomes the first
designated hitter, on April 6.
1974- First major league Hispanic umpire – Armando
Rodriguez in AL>
1975- Indians hire Frank Robinson as first black
manager; first players declared free-agents, on December 23, Andy
Messersmith and Dave McNally.
1977- Mike Schmidt earns the first $500,000 salary.
1978- First team to draw three million fans, Los
Angeles Dodgers with 3,347, 945.
1980- Nolan Ryan earns the first $1,000,000 salary.
1982- Joel Youngblood becomes the first major
league player to play for two different teams (Mets & Expos) in two
cities (Chicago & Philadelphia) on same day, August 4.
1985- Mike Schmidt earns the first $2,000,000
1989- Bill White becomes the first black league
president (NL); the Griffeys become the first father/son duo to perform
1990- Robin Yount earns the first $3,000,000 salary.
1991- First modern teams to go from last to first
(Twins and Braves) meet in World Series; first team to draw four million
the Toronto Blue Jays with 4,001,527; Rogers Clemens becomes first player to top five million dollar mark, with $5.38
1992- First non-US world champion, Toronto Blue
1994- First year of three divisions in each league.
1995- First use of “wild cards” in post-season
1996- First major league game scheduled in Mexico, Mets vs. Padres.
1998-The Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa homerun race.McGwire sets the homerun record with 70 homeruns in a season.