The National League welcomes the American League
January 28th, 1901 marks the begrudging formation of the American League into a professional baseball league. With the entry of this new league, eight new teams were added, few of which still exist in their modern form.
A series of new rules were adopted before the season, some of which would be hard not to imagine as part of the game. First, foul balls are now to count as strikes, except after two strikes are called. Second, catchers must play within ten feet of the batter thereby creating what would look more like the current batters’ box. Third, a pitcher had to throw the ball within 20 seconds otherwise a ball will be called (pace of game rule anyone?). Fourth, players could be thrown out of the game for having a potty mouth at the discretion of the umpire.
Highlights & Records
Nap Lajoie of the Philadelphia Athletics hits .426, which is still the modern record for batting. Cy Young was the best pitch of the 1901 season with 33 wins and an ERA of just 1.62.
|St. Louis Cardinals||76||64||.543||14.5|
|New York Giants||52||85||.380||37.0|
|Chicago White Sox||83||53||.610||—|