1901 in baseball
Major League Baseball
World Series: Not played due to AL-NL war over player contracts.
- Minor leagues
- California League: San Francisco Wasps
- Connecticut State League: Bristol Woodchoppers
- Eastern League: Rochester Bronchos or Hustlers
- Inter-Mountain League: Ogden
- Interstate League or Western Association: champion unknown
- New England League: Portland (ME)
- New York State League: champion unknown
- Pacific Northwest League: Portland Webfoots (OR)
- Southern Association: Nashville Vols
1Modern (post-1900) single season batting average record
- Nap Lajoie of the Philadelphia Athletics hits .426, an AL batting average record that still stands today. This record is also the modern or post-1900 batting average record and is often cited as the highest batting average of all time. However, the all-time batting average leader is Hugh Duffy, who hit .440 in 1894.
- Cy Young of the Boston Americans leads the AL in ERA at 1.62 and wins 33 games, 41.8% of the Pilgrims' total.
Major league baseball final standings
American League final standings
Note: The Baltimore Orioles of 1901 became the New York Highlanders in 1903. The Milwaukee Brewers of 1901 became the St. Louis Browns in 1902. The Washington Senators of 1901 became the Minnesota Twins in 1961.
|Chicago White Stockings||83||53||0.610||—||49–21||34–32|
National League final standings
|St. Louis Cardinals||76||64||0.543||14½||40–31||36–33|
|New York Giants||52||85||0.380||37||30–38||22–47|
- January 4 – The Baltimore Orioles club incorporates. John McGraw is manager and part-owner.
- January 28 – The American League formally organizes. The eight original clubs were the Chicago White Stockings, Milwaukee Brewers, Indianapolis Hoosiers, Detroit Tigers, Kansas City Blues, Cleveland Lake Shores, Buffalo Bisons, and Minneapolis Millers. The Hoosiers, Bisons, and Millers are contracted; the Boston Americans, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia Athletics are admitted. Teams are limited to 14 players and will play 140 games per season.
- February 8 – Philadelphia Phillies second baseman Nap Lajoie, along with pitchers Chick Fraser and Bill Bernhard, jump to the new American League Philadelphia club, the Athletics.
- February 27 – The National League Rules Committee decrees that all foul balls are to count as strike balls, except after two strikes. To cut the cost of lost foul balls, the committee urges that batters who foul off good strikes are to be disciplined. The American League will not adopt this rule for several years. Other new rules: catchers must play within 10 feet of the batter; a ball will be called if the pitcher does not throw to a ready and waiting batter within 20 seconds, and players using indecent or improper language will be banished by the umpire. A ball will be called when a batter is hit by a pitch, but, in a mail vote, the owners will rescind this in April, and a HBP will earn a batter first base.
- March 2 – Jimmy Collins, Hugh Duffy, and Billy Sullivan jump the NL for the new AL. Collins will manage the Boston Americans, Duffy will manage the Milwaukee Brewers, and Sullivan will catch for the Chicago White Stockings.
- March 28 – Philadelphia Phillies owner John Rogers files an injunction to stop Nap Lajoie, Bill Bernhard and Chick Fraser from playing for the Phillies' AL rival, the Philadelphia Athletics.
- April 3 – Connie Mack, famed Philadelphia Athletics manager, accuses Christy Mathewson of breaking a contract he had signed with the Athletics in January. Mathewson had in fact accepted money from the Athletics before rejoining the Giants in March.
- April 18 – With a six-run first-inning, the Brooklyn Superbas beat the Philadelphia Phillies 12-7 to open the National League's 1901 season.
- April 24 – The American League begins play as a new major league. The Chicago White Stockings defeat the Cleveland Blues 8-2 as Roy Patterson collects his first of 20 wins.
- April 25 – History is made in just the second day of play in the new American League. The Milwaukee Brewers are leading the Detroit Tigers 13-4 going into the ninth inning, when the Tigers rally and score 10 runs to win, 14-13.
- April 26 – Christy Mathewson records his first major league victory in the New York Giants' opener, beating the Brooklyn Superbas 5-3.
- May 2 – This was the date of the American League's first forfeit, with the Detroit Tigers playing the Chicago White Stockings. The Tigers scored five runs in the top of the ninth to put them on top, 7-5, and the White Stockings began stalling for a rainout. However, the umpire forfeited the game to the Tigers.
- May 8:
- Amos Rusie, pitching for the Cincinnati Reds, makes his first start in more than two years. He loses, 14-3, and retires after two more appearances.
- With the New York Giants leading the Philadelphia Phillies 9-8 with two out in the ninth, John Ganzel of the Giants pulls the hidden ball trick on Harry Wolverton of the Phillies. This trick ends the game and preserves the Giants' win.
- May 9 – Earl Moore of the Cleveland Blues pitched nine hitless innings against the Chicago White Stockings before giving up two hits in the 10th inning to lose 4-2.
- May 17 – The Philadelphia Athletics are beating the Washington Senators 7-6 in the bottom of the ninth when Senators player Bill Coughlin hits an apparent game-ending home run. However, under the rules of the time, Coughlin is credited with just a single, as that is all that it would have taken for the Senators to beat the Athletics.
- May 21 – Andrew Freedman, owner of the New York Giants, refuses to allow umpire Billy Nash inside the Polo Grounds, accusing him of incompetence.
- May 23 – Nap Lajoie, on his way to hitting a record .426 for the Philadelphia Athletics, is considered such a dangerous hitter by the Chicago White Stockings that he is intentionally walked with the bases loaded.
- May 27 – Third baseman Jimmy Burke of the Milwaukee Brewers sets an American League record by committing four errors in an inning. This record will be tied in 1914 by the Cleveland Naps' Ray Chapman, and in 1942 by the Chicago Cubs' Len Merullo.
- May 30 – In the afternoon game of a holiday doubleheader, the St. Louis Cardinals defeat the New York Giants 6-5 in 10 innings. An NL record 28,500 fans attend the game.
- June 9–17,000 fans attend the Reds–Giants game. The Giants are up, 15-4, after six innings, when the fans begin to overflow the field. Over the next two and a half innings, 19 runs score as ground-rule doubles multiply. As the crowd enters the infield, with the Giants leading 25-13, umpire Bob Emslie forfeits the game to the Giants. The game ends with a record 31 hits and 13 doubles.
- June 20 – Honus Wagner of the Pittsburg Pirates steals home twice in one game as the Pirates beat the Giants 7-0.
- June 24 – Mike Donlin of the Baltimore Orioles goes 6-6 with 2 singles, 2 doubles and 2 triples as the Orioles defeat the Detroit Tigers 17-8.
- July 1 – With the Chicago Orphans playing the New York Giants at the Polo Grounds, Jack Doyle, first baseman of the Orphans who was formerly of the Giants, gets into a fight with a fan. Though the police arrive, Doyle does not get in trouble, though he has to take himself out of the game in the seventh as his hand is hurting.
- July 10 – Harry Davis of the Philadelphia Athletics becomes the first player in American League history to hit for the cycle in a 13-6 victory over the Boston Americans.
- July 15 – New York Giants rookie pitcher Christy Mathewson pitches a no-hitter as the Giants beat the St. Louis Cardinals 5-0.
- July 23 – Fred Clarke of the Pittsburg Pirates hits for the cycle in a 9-2 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
- July 30 – Philadelphia Athletics second-baseman Nap Lajoie hits for the cycle against the Cleveland Blues. Philadelphia defeats Cleveland, 11-5.
- August 10 – Dale Gear of the Washington Senators sets an American League record by giving up 41 total bases as he loses 13-0 to the Philadelphia Athletics. The Athletics pitcher Snake Wiltse has two doubles and two triples, only the third time a pitcher has collected four extra base hits in a game.
- September 3 – Joe McGinnity of the Baltimore Orioles collects two complete games in one day, beating the Milwaukee Brewers 10-0 and losing to them, 6-1.
- September 5 – The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, which would later become known as Minor League Baseball, was formed at a meeting of minor league executives at the Leland Hotel in Chicago. Patrick T. Powers, president of the Eastern League, became the first president of the NAPBL.
- September 19 – All games are cancelled due to the recent death of President William McKinley.
- September 21 – Though the Chicago White Stockings lose to the Philadelphia Athletics 10-4, they clinch the first pennant of the American League as the Detroit Tigers beat the Boston Americans 3-1.
- September 23 and 24 – Jimmy Sheckard hits grand slams in two consecutive games, as the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Cincinnati Reds 25-6 on 23rd and 16-2 on 24th.
- September 26 – The Pittsburg Pirates beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3, thus clinching the 1901 National League pennant.
- January 5 – Luke Sewell
- January 8 – Joe Benes
- January 11 – George McNamara
- January 13 – Fred Schulte
- January 24 – John Freeman
- January 24 – Grant Gillis
- January 24 – Curly Ogden
- January 24 – Flint Rhem
- January 27 – Fred Heimach
- January 24 – Flint Rhem
- January 28 – Ray Knode
- February 2 – Otto Miller
- February 3 – Ernie Maun
- February 6 – Glenn Wright
- February 11 – Jimmy O'Connell
- February 12 – Virgil Cheeves
- February 13 – Herman Layne
- February 17 – Eddie Phillips
- February 22 – Saul Davis
- February 22 – Dan Jessee
- March 2 – Butch Weis
- March 7 – Dick Loftus
- March 18 – Johnny Cooney
- March 25 – Denver Grigsby
- March 26 – Jim Battle
- April 8 – Carr Smith
- April 9 – Vic Sorrell
- April 19 – Bernie DeViveiros
- April 22 – Frank Wilson
- April 22 – Taylor Douthit
- April 22 – Jim Mahady
- April 22 – Juanelo Mirabal
- April 27 – Johnny Stuart
- May 6 – Earle Brucker
- May 10 – Ted Blankenship
- May 13 – Pat Burke
- May 13 – John Jones
- May 13 – Leo Taylor
- May 14 – Drew Rader
- May 18 – John Happenny
- May 19 – Newt Allen
- May 22 – Babe Ganzel
- May 24 – Mule Shirley
- May 25 – Bud Connolly
- May 25 – Doc Ozmer
- May 28 – Norm Lehr
- May 29 – Jim Stroner
- June 1 – Lou Legett
- June 1 – Fred Stiely
- June 7 – Jerry Conway
- June 8 – Leo Tankersley
- June 20 – Pryor McBee
- July 8 – Tex Wilson
- July 9 – Lou Polli
- July 20 – Heinie Manush
- July 23 – Mack Hillis
- July 24 – Bob Adams
- July 26 – Freddie Fitzsimmons
- July 26 – Doc Gautreau
- August 2 – Charlie Caldwell
- August 9 – Phil Todt
- August 14 – Oscar Siemer
- August 15 – Les Sweetland
- August 16 – Mahlon Higbee
- August 17 – Slim Embrey
- August 21 – Wes Schulmerich
- August 23 – Guy Bush
- August 27 – Johnny Berger
- August 27 – Phil Collins
- September 2 – Marty Griffin
- September 4 – Al Grabowski
- September 11 – George Loepp
- September 11 – Monroe Mitchell
- September 16 – Ken Ash
- September 18 – Tige Stone
- September 29 – Rabbit Benton
- September 29 – Tony Rensa
- October 1 – Jimmie Reese
- October 5 – Scottie Slayback
- October 6 – Carlisle Littlejohn
- October 12 – Erv Brame
- October 13 – Phil Hensiek
- October 16 – Al Yeargin
- October 25 – Ray Gardner
- October 27 – George Smith
- October 30 – Al Kellett
- October 31 – Ray Flaskamper
- November 2 – Jerry Standaert
- November 4 – Bill Henderson
- November 8 – Beauty McGowan
- November 13 – Moose Clabaugh
- November 14 – Bill Owens
- November 15 – John Dobb
- November 15 – Bunny Roser
- November 17 – Ed Taylor
- November 21 – Johnson Fry
- November 22 – Harry Rice
- November 22 – Walt Tauscher
- November 29 – Buddy Crump
- November 30 – Sid Graves
- November 30 – Clyde Sukeforth
- December 1 – Ed Coleman
- December 3 – Bennie Tate
- December 5 – Ray Moss
- December 5 – Carey Selph
- December 7 – Ralph Judd
- December 11 – Elbert Andrews
- December 12 – Bill Moore
- December 14 – Les Bell
- December 16 – Hugh McMullen
- December 23 – Ox Eckhardt
- December 25 – Buster Chatham
- December 26 – Doc Farrell
- December 28 – Wattie Holm
- December 30 – Dick Porter
- February 3 – Tom O'Brien, 27, outfielder for the Baltimore Orioles, Pittsburgh Pirates and New York Giants National League clubs between 1897 and 1900.
- February 21 – Dennis Driscoll, 38, second baseman for the 1885 Buffalo Bisons.
- February 22 – Tom Kinslow, 35, distinguished catcher during the Dead Ball Era, a career .266 hitter who posted a .923 fielding average for eight teams from 1886 to 1892.
- March 3 – Charles Snyder, 28, catcher/outfielder who hit .273 for the 1890 Philadelphia Athletics.
- March 24 – Mike Trost, 35[?], backup catcher/centerfielder/first baseman for the 1890 St. Louis Browns and 1895 Louisville Colonels.
- March 31 – George Popplein, 60, utility player who appeared in one game for the Baltimore Marylands during the 1873 season.
- April 10 – John Hiland, 40, backup infielder for the 1885 Philadelphia Quakers.
- April 14 – Pat Sullivan, 38, third baseman/centerfielder for the 1884 Kansas City Cowboys.
- April 20 – Bill Yeatman, 62, outfielder who played one game with the 1872 Washington Nationals.
- April 30 – Dude Esterbrook, 43, infielder who batted .314 for the pennant-winning 1884 New York Metropolitans
- June 17 – Bill Craver, 57, catcher and manager who later was expelled from organized baseball for gambling.
- July 9 – Sy Studley, 60, center fielder for the 1872 Washington Nationals of the National Association.
- July 11 – Dave McKeough, 37, catcher who hit .231 in part of two seasons for the Rochester Broncos (1890) and Philadelphia Athletics (1891).
- July 24 – Joe Simmons, 56, player in National Association for three seasons, them managed the 1884 Wilmington Quicksteps of the Union Association.
- August 15 – Gene Bagley, 40, catcher/outfielder for the 1886 New York Giants.
- August 15 – Milt Whitehead, 39[?], Canadian shortstop who played in 1884 with the St. Louis Maroons and Kansas City Cowboys.
- August 22 – Pete Sweeney, 37, infielder/outfielder who played from 1888 through 1890 for the Nationals, Browns, Athletics and Colonels.
- September 23 – Doc McJames, 27, pitcher who posted a 79-80 record with 593 strikeouts and a 3.43 ERA in six seasons, and led the National League with 156 strikeouts in 1897.
- October 9 – Chappy Lane, [?], who hit .203 with four home runs in 114 games for the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1882) and Toledo Blue Stockings (1884), and led American Association first basemen in fielding percentage (1882).
- October 16 – Jim Duncan, 28, catcher/first baseman for the Cleveland Spiders and Washington Senators during the 1899 season.
- October 31 – John Cahill, 36, outfielder/infielder/pitcher for the Columbus Buckeyes (1884), St. Louis Maroons (1886) and Indianapolis Hoosiers (1887).
- November 2 – John Corcoran, 28[?], infielder for the 1895 Pittsburgh Pirates.
- November 7 – Tub Welch, 35, catcher/first baseman who hit .261 in 82 games for the Toledo Maumees (1890) and Louisville Colonels (1895).
- November 29 – Jim Sullivan, 34, who posted a career pitching record of a 26-28 and was a member of the 1897 National League Champions Boston Beaneaters.
- December 19 – Jim Gifford, 56, manager for two American Association teams from 1884 to 1886.
- December 28 – George Flynn, 30, outfielder for the 1896 Chicago Cubs.