February 27 – The sacrifice fly rule is adopted. No time at bat is charged if a run scores after the catch of a fly ball. The rule will be repealed in 1931, then reinstated (or changed) several times before gaining permanent acceptance in 1954.
September 23 – The Chicago Cubs and New York Giants, involved in a tight pennant race, (also involving the Pittsburgh Pirates) were tied in the bottom of the ninth inning at the Polo Grounds. The Giants had runners on first and third and two outs when Al Bridwell hit a single to center field, scoring Moose McCormick from third with the Giants’ apparent winning run, but the runner on first base, rookie Fred Merkle, thinking the game was over, went half way to second and then sprinted to the clubhouse after McCormick touched home plate. As fans swarmed the field, Cub infielder Johnny Evers retrieved the ball and touched second. A forceout was called at second base, nullifying the single, and since there were 2 outs when the play started, the run was also nullified and the inning ended. The game was declared a tie and would be made up at the end of the season if the Cubs and Giants were tied for first place. The incident became known as "Merkle's Boner".
September 26 – Ed Reulbach of the Chicago Cubs pitches two shutouts in the same day, whitewashing the Brooklyn Superbas 5–0 on a five-hitter and 3–0 on a three-hitter. The entire doubleheader is played in less than three hours. Reulbach allows five hits in the a.m. game, and is even stingier in the afternoon, yielding three hits and a walk. Kaiser Wilhelm and Jim Pastorius are the losing pitchers.
In a game involving the Cleveland Naps and the Chicago White Sox, Ed Walsh struck out 15 Naps and walked one batter, pitching a complete game, but it was not enough as Addie Joss pitched a perfect game, as the Naps beat the White Sox, 1-0, during the heat of a pennant race. Cleveland center fielder Joe Birmingham scored the game's only run. Joss' perfect game is the second in the modern era and fourth all time. It is perhaps the finest pitching duel in baseball history.
October 14 – The baseball season of 1908 ends with the lowest runs per game average in major league baseball history at 3.38. This outcome was likely an important factor in the decision to trial a livelier "cork center" ball in both leagues the following season.
January 14 – Sim Bullas, 45, outfielder for the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings.
January 14 – Henry Krug, 41, utility for the 1902 Philadelphia Phillies.
February 20 – Wallace Terry, 57, first baseman/outfielder for the 1875 Washington Nationals.
March 12 – Fred Ketcham, 32, outfielder for the Louisville Colonels (1899) and Philadelphia Athletics (1901).
March 27 – Forrest Crawford, 26, shortstop who played 1906 through 1907 for the St. Louis Cardinals.
March 30 – Charlie Sweasy, 60, second baseman for 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings. Played seven years in the National Association and the National League.
April 6 – Jim Brown, 47, pitcher and outfielder for two seasons, 1884 and 1886.
April 10 – Mike Griffin, 43, center fielder for Baltimore and Brooklyn who batted .300 six times, scored 100 runs ten times; led league in runs and doubles once each.
April 13 – John Kelly, 49, 19th century catcher, manager and umpire.
April 20 – Henry Chadwick, 83, the "Father of Baseball", who through his writings, analysis of statistics and service in developing the sport's rules played a principal role in establishing baseball as the "national pastime"; devised the box score, developed scoring system which enabled recording of every play, authored the first rule book in 1858, and created statistics including batting average and earned run average; worked to revise sport's rules so as to balance offense and defense, and to increase mental demands as well as physical ones.
May 9 – Charlie Nyce, 37, shortstop for the 1895 Boston Beaneaters.
May 24 – Pete Hasney, for the 1890 Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association.
June 16 – Ned Garvin, 34, pitcher who posted a 57-97 record and a 2.72 ERA for five different teams between 1896 and 1904.
June 22 – Everett Mills, 63, first baseman for six seasons, 1871–1876.
June 23 – Bill Traffley, 38, catcher for the 1878 Chicago White Stockings.
July 18 – John Brown, 31, pitcher for the 1897 Brooklyn Bridegrooms.
July 22 – Pete Sommers, 41, catcher who played with six clubs from 1897 to 1890.
August 19 – Doc Bushong, 51, catcher for 13 seasons (1875–1876, 1880–1890), who played on five league championship teams.
August 20 – Marty Honan, 39, catcher for the 1891 Chicago Colts of the National League.
August 24 – George Meister, 44, German third baseman who hit .194 in 34 games for the 1884 Toledo Blue Stockings.
September 7 – Bill Morgan, 52, outfielder and shortstop who played with the Pittsburgh Alleghenys (1883) and Washington Nationals (1884).
September 14 – Ike Van Zandt, 32, outfielder and pitcher who played for the New York Giants (1901), Chicago Cubs (1904) and St. Louis Browns (1905).
September 18 – Dickey Pearce, 72, shortstop (in the sport's earliest era) whose career spanned the years 1856 to 1877; introduced the bunt and pioneered defensive play at his position, later became an umpire.
September 28 – Tom Pratt, 64, played at first base for one game with the 1871 Philadelphia Athletics.
November 5 – Pat Hannivan, 42, outfielder and second baseman for the 1897 Brooklyn Bridegrooms.
December 8 – Frank Griffith, 36, pitcher for the Chicago Cubs (1892) and Cleveland Spiders (1894).
December 10 – Wild Bill Widner, 41, pitcher who posted a 22-36 record and a 4.36 ERA with the Red Stockings, Nationals, Solons and Kelly's Killers from 1887 to 1891.
December 19 – Reddy Foster, 44, pinch hitter for the 1896 New York Giants.
December 26 – Charlie Householder, 52, third baseman/left fielder/shortstop who hit .239 in 83 games for the 1884 Chicago/Pittsburgh team of the Union Association.
December 26 – Shadow Pyle, 47, pitcher for the Philadelphia Quakers (1884) and Chicago White Stockings (1887).
Fleming, G.H. (2006). The Unforgettable Season. Bison Books. ISBN 0-8032-6922-6.
Murphy, Cait (2007). Crazy '08: How a Cast of Cranks, Rogues, Boneheads, and Magnates Created the Greatest Year in Baseball History. Collins. ISBN 0-06-088937-3.
The 1908 Nashville vs. New Orleans baseball game dubbed by Grantland Rice "The Greatest Game Ever Played in Dixie" was a 1–0 pitching duel to decide the Southern Association championship in the dead-ball era, on the last day of the season. The Nashville Vols won the game and thus the pennant by .002 percentage points, after finishing the prior season in last place. Both teams had the same number of losses (56), but the New Orleans Pelicans were in first place with 76 wins to the Vols' second-place 74. Carl Sitton used his spitball to out-pitch Ted Breitenstein for a complete-game, nine-strikeout, four-hit, shutout. According to one account, "By one run, by one point, Nashville has won the Southern League pennant, nosing New Orleans out literally by an eyelash. Saturday's game, which was the deciding one, between Nashville and New Orleans was the greatest exhibition of the national game ever seen in the south and the finish in the league race probably sets a record in baseball history".Nashville scored in the seventh inning with the bases loaded. With two outs, catcher Ed Hurlburt hit a single. Then Sitton did too. Harry "Deerfoot" Bay bunted perfectly down the third base line, Bay's fondest memory in his long baseball career. Julius Augustus "Doc" Wiseman then drove in the winning run. Sitton was thrown out at home after Hurlburt scored. The time of the game was one hour and forty-two minutes.
The 1998 National League wild-card tie-breaker game was a one-game extension to Major League Baseball's (MLB) 1998 regular season, played between the Chicago Cubs and San Francisco Giants to determine the winner of the National League (NL) wild card. The game took place at Wrigley Field in Chicago, on September 28, 1998. The Cubs won the game 5–3, holding the Giants scoreless for the majority of the game until the Giants threatened heavily in the ninth inning and scored all three of their runs. As a result of the game, the Cubs qualified for the postseason and the Giants did not.
The game was necessary after both teams finished the season with identical win–loss records of 89–73. The Cubs won a coin flip late in the season which, by rule at the time, awarded them home field for the game. This victory advanced the Cubs to the 1998 NL Division Series (NLDS) where they were swept by the Atlanta Braves, ending the Cubs' season. Michael Jordan, a popular Chicago sportsman then ending his career with the Chicago Bulls, threw the game's ceremonial first pitch. In baseball statistics, the tie-breaker counted as the 163rd regular season game for both teams, with all events in the game added to regular season statistics.
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