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1901 in Baseball
The following are the baseball events of the year 1901 throughout the world.
Major League Baseball
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.
National League final standings
- January 4 - The Baltimore Orioles club incorporates. John McGraw is manager and part-owner.
- January 27 - Hugh Duffy Jumps from the Boston Beaneaters to the Milwaukee Brewers.
- 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 (reconstituted as the Washington Senators (1901-1960), 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 11 - John McGraw, manager of the Baltimore Orioles of the American League, attempts to sign infielder Charlie Grant, a black man, and attempt to pass him off as a Cherokee Indian named Tokohoma. However, Chicago White Sox president Charles Comiskey recognizes Grant and McGraw's attempt to integrate major league baseball falls apart.
- March 19 - Pitcher Cy Young jumps from the NL's St. Louis Cardinals to the AL's Boston Americans.
- 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.
- May 1 - Herm McFarland of the Chicago White Sox hits the first gland slam in American League history as the White Sox rout the Detroit Tigers 19-9. The Tigers commit an AL record 12 errors, 10 in the infield.
- 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 4 - Future politician Fred Brown makes his MLB debut. Brown, who'd later win a seat as a Democrat in New Hampshire, only plays nine games over two years in the major leagues.
- May 8:
- 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 15 - Watty Lee throws the first shutout in American League history when the Washington Senators blank the Boston Americans 4-0 in Boston. The 21 year-old southpaw, who will finish the season with a 16-16 record, will be the author of two of the eight shutouts thrown in the Junior Circuit's inaugural season.
- 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.
- Scoring nine runs in the bottom of the ninth at Cleveland's League Park, the Blues, later to be known as the Indians, stun the Senators, 14-13. The incredible comeback, which consists of six singles, two doubles, a walk, a hit batsman, and a passed ball, comes after two outs.
- 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' Lenny 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 Pittsburgh 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.
- August 5 - In the second inning of the nightcap against the Boston Americans, Jimmy Hart of the Baltimore Orioles punches umpire John Haskell in the face. The rookie first baseman who hits .311 playing in a total of only 58 games in his major league career, serves a ten-day suspension, but quits after going 4-for-4 upon his return because the team refused to pay the $25 he had been fined.
- 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 1 - Days after his contract is sold by the Bridgeport Orators of the Connecticut State League to the Cincinnati Reds, Patsy Dougherty jumps from the NL to the AL's Boston Americans.
- 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 - The Brooklyn Superbas establish a new franchise record for runs scored in a game when they rout the Cincinnati Reds, 25-6. Brooklyn scores 11 runs in the fifth inning.
- 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 Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 4-3, thus clinching the 1901 National League pennant.
- September 28 - the Baltimore Orioles sign outfielder Slats Jordan.
- November 5 - Sportsman Park is lease by the American League. Two weeks later, the league transfers the Milwaukee Brewers to St. Louis and the team is renamed the St. Louis Browns.
- 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.