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Hilltop Park from the Chronology
Oct 5, 1912 - The Yankees also play their last game at their field Hilltop Park beating the Senators 8-6 on the strength of Hal Chase's 3-run HR in the 8th and another homer by Jack Lelivelt. The win is the first in 10 games for last-place New York (50-102). Next year the team will play at the Polo Grounds. Homer Thompson in his only game in the majors is behind the plate for New York though he does not make a plate appearance; the last of 4 hurlers is his brother Tommy making them the first brother battery in AL history. Coach Nick Altrock in his first appearance in 3 years is the losing pitcher.
Apr 12, 1912 - At Hilltop Park the Red Sox send Buck O'Brien 5-1 last year after leading the Western League in strikeouts against the Yankees Russ Ford and the Sox prevail 5-2 Buck allows 6 hits as he heads towards 20 victories.
Apr 11, 1912 - Playing the Red Sox in the opener at New York's Hilltop Park the Yankees wear pinstripes for the first time. Boston scores a run in the 1st against Ray Caldwell and the Yankees respond with two runs in the bottom against Joe Wood. That is all the scoring until the ninth inning when the Sox score four runs including two on a Smoky Joe single. Boston wins 5-3 on Smoky Joe Wood's seven hitter.
Jun 28, 1911 - Just two and a half months after a fire destroyed the old Polo Grounds the new grounds open for business. The old bleachers seating 10000 were untouched but the new double-decker seats another 16000. Only 6000 fans show up for the inauguration as Mathewson shuts out the Rustlers 3-0 on 9 hits. While guests at the Highlanders Hilltop Park the Giants won 21 of 29 games.
May 13, 1911 - At Hilltop Park Fred Merkle has 6 RBIs in one inning-on a double and an inside-the-park home run-as the Giants tee off on three St. Louis pitchers for 13 runs in the first inning including 7 before an out is recorded. Merkle adds a 3-run double in the inning and then scores the last run on the front end of a successful double steal. The spree ties a first inning ML record enjoyed by the Boston Beaneaters against the St. Louis Cardinals in 1900 and it remains a Giants club record through the 20th century. John McGraw decides to save starter Mathewson for another day and lifts him after one inning but the official scorer credits Matty with the win. McGraw wants to give Marquard some experience in pitching without pressure and brings in Rube to finish. He works the last 8 innings and strikes out 14 setting a 20th century NL record and a since broken ML record for strikeouts by a reliever: Walter Johnson will K 15 batters in 1913 and Randy Johnson will match it in 2001 while Denny McLain will rack up 14 in 1965. The Giants roll 19-5 pinning the loss on Harry Sallee.
Apr 13, 1911 - Phillies P Jack Rowan allows just 3 hits while his teammates pepper Christy Mathewson for 14 hits in 18 innings. The Quakers beat the Giants 6-1. Hours later the Polo Grounds grandstand and LF bleachers ignite in a mysterious fire lighting up the night sky with flames. President Frank Farrell of the Highlanders invites the Giants to use the AL grounds Hilltop Park; the offer is accepted paving the way for the Giants' invitation for the AL team to use the Polo Grounds when the Hilltop Park lease expires after the 1912 season. A $500000 steel-and-concrete structure will replace the wooden stands of the Polo Grounds.
Apr 14, 1910 - In the season opener before 25‚000 at New York's Hilltop Park‚ the Red Sox‚ sport laced collars‚ the last major league team to wear a collar. Boston sends the Yankees into extra innings before the game is called at the end of 14 innings with the score‚ 4-4. Ed Cicotte starts for Boston‚ with Joe Wood relieving in the 8th inning. Jumbo Jim Vaughn goes all the way for New York‚ retiring Boston batters in the 4th and 12 innings on four pitches. He needs just three pitches in the 10th.
Apr 14, 1908 - At Hilltop Park Slow Joe Doyle scatters four hits in edging the A's 1-0 in 12 innings. The first hit is by A's left fielder Topsy Hartsell who has his nose broken by an errant pitch during pre-game warmups. Nick Carter making his major-league debut matches Doyle for 11 innings but in the 12th a ground rule double into the crowd and a single put runners at the corners. A line drive to RF Jack Coombs then scores Red Kleinow with the winner.
Sep 12, 1907 - In a 2-0 win against the Yankees at Hilltop Park Washington's Walter Johnson strikes out 5 batters though it'll be recorded as 4 K's. Researcher John Schwartz in the 1990s will find the extra K resulting in Johnson's lifetime total of 3509. The issue crops up again on Opening Day 2001 when Clemens ties (or beats) the mark.
Apr 14, 1906 - At Hilltop Park former player John Montgomery Ward throws out the first ball before the start of the Highlanders-Boston Americans opener. Veterans Jack Chesbro and Cy Young struggle to a 1-1 standoff through eleven innings before New York pushes across an unearned run in the 12th.
Aug 8, 1904 - In Cleveland with the Blues ahead of New York 7-1 in the 4th Dave Fultz and manager Griffith argue a strike call with umpire Silk O'Loughlin. When the refuse to go the bench Silk orders a policeman to escort them off the field. Tomorrow Silk will throw out pitcher Jack Powell and have the police escort Jimmy Williams off the field. Griffith and Williams will receive suspensions from the AL and (according to The Year They Called Off the WS) Highlander owner Frank Farrell vows O'Loughlin will not be allowed to enter Hilltop Park. He will however.
Apr 14, 1904 - At chilly Hilltop Park each spectator is given a small American flag as he enters the park for the Highlanders-Boston game. Ex-Judge Olcott tosses out the first ball and then Jack Chesbro pitches and bats New York to an 8-2 victory. He scatters six hits and scores two runs on two hits including a homer. Both Boston runs come on inside the park homers by Buck Freeman in the 7th and in the 9th by Freddie Parent. New York scores 5 in the first inning off Cy Young to put the game away.