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1903 Baseball Season

1903 Baseball Season Highlights
Frank Chance stole 67 bases in 1903.See more baseball seasons pictures.

The National League and American League agreed to peace in the 1903 baseball season, and the modern two major league format was born. At the end of the first season, the two first-place clubs played a best-of-nine, postseason world championship series -- a practice that would soon become known as the World Series. Below, you will find highlights from the 1903 baseball season:

  • The Baltimore team is transferred to New York, the last franchise move until 1953.
  • Boston wins the American League flag.
  • The Pirates win their third straight National League pennant.
  • Boston wins the first modern World Series.
  • Deacon Phillippe wins three Series games for the losing Pirates.
  • The Cubs' Frank Chance steals 67 bases, a record for first basemen.
  • Honus Wagner wins his second National League batting crown at .355.
  • Nap Lajoie leads the American League in BA (.344) and SA (.518).
  • Rube Waddell fans 302, a post-1893 record.
  • Giants post two 30-game winners -- Joe McGinnity (31) and Christy Mathewson (30).
  • Foul balls are counted as strikes by both leagues for the first time.
  • Pirate Ginger Beaumont leads National League in hits (209) and total bases (272).
  • Washington's Ed Delahanty falls from a railway trestle to his death.
  • Boston's Buck Freeman leads American League in homers (13), total bases (281), and RBIs (104).
  • First moving picture of game is made, featuring Cleveland's Nap Lajoie and Harry Bay.
  • Cleveland shortstop John Gochnauer makes a 20th-century record 98 errors and hits .185.
  • When part of the Phillies' park, Baker Bowl, collapses, 12 fans are killed.
  • Pirate utility man Honus Wagner is installed at shortstop and plays there the rest of his career.
  • White Sox tie the American League record with 12 errors on May 6; in the same game, the Tigers make six errors.
  • Gambler Frank Ferrell and Bill Devery, reputedly a crooked cop, become owners of New York American League team.
  • Pirates blank foes for a record 57 consecutive innings.
  • Joe McGinnity pitches and wins two doubleheaders in an eight-day period and three in a month.
  • Cubs get Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown and Jack O'Neill from Cards for Jack Taylor and Larry McLean.
  • The Phillies' Chick Fraser no-hits the Cubs on Sept. 18.
  • Cincinnati shortstop Tommy Corcoran makes a record 14 assists in a game on August 7.
  • Jack Doscher becomes the first son of an ex-major leaguer to play in the majors.
  • The pitcher's mound is restricted in height to no more than 15 inches.
  • Pittsburgh's Sam Leever leads the National League in ERA (2.06) and shutouts (seven).
  • Christy Mathewson tops the National League in strikeouts with 267.
  • The Giants' jump from the cellar to second in 1903 is one of the biggest gains by a team in the century.
  • Bill Keister hits .320 and leads the Phillies in homers and RBIs, but is cut by the team after the season.
  • Joe McGinnity pitches a National League record 434 innings.
  • Boston ties the American League record with 112 triples.
  • Togie Pittinger of Boston's National League surrenders a post-1901 record 196 runs.
  • Pirates commit a National League record six errors in one inning on August 20.
  • Pat Moran of Boston's National League makes 214 assists, a record for catchers.
  • The Tigers' newly appointed player/manager Win Mercer commits suicide in the preseason.
  • Rube Waddell pitches a four-hitter vs. New York on August 1 -- Kid Elberfeld collects all four hits.

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