» May 10, 1897:
Nap Lajoie slugs two home runs and a double to lead Philadelphia (National League) to a 13–1 rout of St. Louis. Lajoie continues the hit streak he started on May 8th and will not go hitless until May 31st, a string of twenty games.
» May 4, 1898: Nap Lajoie of the Phillies goes 0-for-4 after 22 hits in the first 11 games.
» May 31, 1900: The Phillies’ Nap Lajoie suffers a broken hand in a fist fight with teammate Elmer Flick. Nap is sidelined and suspended without pay for five weeks.
» July 12, 1900: Frank "Noodles" Hahn of Cincinnati twirls a 4–0 no-hitter over Philadelphia. The Reds lefty gives up five walks to the visiting Quakers who are playing without Nap Lajoie. Hahn strikes out 7, including the first two batters in the 9th. The last batter, Roy Thomas, is thrown out on his two-strike bunt. Philadelphia's Bill Bernhard allows seven hits, including a homer by Sam Crawford in the 7th.
» February 8, 1901: News leaks out that Napoleon Lajoie, the Phillies star 2B and leading National League hitter, has jumped to the new Philadelphia American League club, along with pitchers Chick Fraser and Bill Bernhard.
» March 28, 1901: Phillies owner John Rogers files for an injunction prohibiting Nap Lajoie, Bill Bernhard, and Chick Fraser from playing for any other team—the most serious legal test of the reserve clause to date.
» April 26, 1901: Eight days after the Phillies’ opener before 4,593, the Athletics, home opener at Columbus Park draws 16,000 for a 5-1 loss to the Washington Nationals. Chick Fraser is the winner. Nap Lajoie has three hits in the Athletics’ first game, and will have three in the 2nd game and four in the 3rd on the way to an AL-record .422 batting average.
» May 17, 1901: The Philadelphia Common Pleas Court rejects the Phillies’ suit against Nap Lajoie, Chick Fraser, and Bill Bernhard. The decision is appealed to the State Supreme Court, but the trio remains with the Athletics all season. Lajoie will hit .422, while Fraser wins 22 and Bernhard 17 for the 4th-place Athletics.
» May 23, 1901: In Chicago, the A's score two in the 9th to close to an 11-7 deficit with the White Stockings. Sox manager Clark Griffith relieves with the sacks filled and no outs and pays the supreme compliment to Philadelphia’s Nap Lajoie-he issues him an intentional walk. Griff then gets three ground outs and Chicago wins. Not until (possibly) Mel Ott, on the last day in 1929, and Swish Nicholson in 1944, will a batter be passed intentionally with the sacks filled.
» September 13, 1901: The Baltimore Orioles edge the A's, 12-10. In the 9th, the A's have the tying runs on base with two out when Connie Mack sends up pinch hitter Doc Powers to bat for Nap Lajoie, who was sulking and refused to hit. Powers flies out to end the game.
» September 27, 1901:
At Philadelphia, the A's beat the Brewers, 14-5, behind Snake Wiltse. Nap Lajoie has three hits including his AL-leading 14th HR, off Bracken.
» April 21, 1902: The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, reversing a lower court's decision, grants a permanent injunction (effective only in Pennsylvania) barring jumpers Nap Lajoie, Chick Fraser, and Bill Bernhard from playing for the A's, or any team but the Phillies. Not mentioned, but covered by the decision, are: Elmer Flick, Monte Cross, and Bill Duggleby of the A's; Ed Delahanty, Al Orth, Harry Wolverton, and Jack Townsend of Washington; Ed McFarland (White Stockings) and Red Donahue (Browns).
» April 23, 1902:
Let the injunction wars begin: The Supreme Court of the District of Columbia issues a restraining order returnable May three against the National Baseball League stopping that organization from interfering with the four Washington AL ball players. In Chicago, Charles Comiskey comes to the defense of Eddie McFarland saying the White Stockings just won't play him in Pennsylvania. In St. Louis, lawyers for the NL Cardinals initiate proceedings in the circuit court of St. Louis to restrain Harper, Wallace, and Heidrick from playing with the St. Louis American League team. All three have signed contracts with the Cards. In Philadelphia, President Shibe of the AL Athletics says, according to his lawyers, the Supreme Court ruling applies only to Nap Lajoie and has no reference to any other player.
» May 23, 1902: Cleveland financier Charles Somers, who is also the president of the Boston club, meets with Nap Lajoie in Philadelphia and guarantees him a 4-year contract at $7,000 per year no matter what the legal outcome of his case. Lajoie had played one game, then sat in the stands. In 1903, Cleveland fans will vote to rename the club the Naps in honor of Lajoie.
» June 25, 1902: A federal court judge rules that Brooklyn has no claim on C Deacon McGuire, who jumped to Detroit. Two weeks later, another U.S. judge denies jurisdiction to stop Nap Lajoie from playing for Cleveland, thus ending the Phillies' chances of regaining him legally.
» June 30, 1902:
Cleveland is the first AL team to hit three consecutive HRs in one inning as Nap Lajoie, Piano Legs Hickman, and Bill Bradley connect in the sixth off St. Louis, with all the hits ending in the LF bleachers at St. Louis. The last two come on the first pitch thrown. Jack Harper tees up the gopher balls in the 17-2 loss. It was last done on May 10, 1894.
» June 21, 1903: In a Sunday match in Canton, Ohio, Boston outslugs Cleveland to win 12-7. Buck Freeman is 5-for-6, including the cycle, with six RBIs, while Nap Lajoie is 3-for-5 for Cleveland.
» August 8, 1903:
Furious when an old black ball is put into play when Cleveland is at bat in the last of the 11th and his objections are ignored by umpire Tommy Connolly, Blues manager Nap Lajoie hurls the ball over the grandstand, suffering the loss of the game to Detroit by forfeit. Detroit was leading 6-5.
» July 13, 1904: With Napoleon Lajoie lining a major-league record three triples, Cleveland rolls past the Highlanders, 16–3.
» October 28, 1904: After a 4th-place finish, the Cleveland Blues release Bill Armour and name Nap Lajoie manager. Armour takes over the Tigers, where Ed Barrow and Bobby Lowe split the season, as Detroit falls to 7th.
» June 19, 1905:
Cleveland clubs the Highlanders, 12–3, behind Nap Lajoie's 5-for-6 hitting.
» June 30, 1905: Nap Lajoie is sidelined by blood poisoning from neglect of a spike wound. He will play in only 65 games, losing a chance to lead the American League in batting for the 5th straight year.
» September 4, 1907: For his 32nd birthday tomorrow, Cleveland fans give manager Nap Lajoie a wagon load of gifts, including a live black sheep. Addie Joss pitches a one-hitter against Detroit.
» September 23, 1908:
Cleveland wins its 10th straight game, defeating the Yankees and Jack Chesbro, 9-3. The Naps score five runs in the 7th, while Rhoades pitches strong ball until the 9th, when he allows two runs. Nap Lajoie has no official at bats, getting hit by pitched balls three times, tying a AL record, and walking his other time up.
» August 17, 1909: Nap Lajoie resigns as Cleveland manager with the team in 6th place, but he remains as a player.
» August 22, 1909: Deacon McGuire is named as Cleveland's manager, replacing Nap Lajoie. The Deacon has previously managed Boston and Washington.
» May 14, 1910: Cleveland edges Washington 1–0, beating Walter Johnson. Nap Lajoie is 2-for-4 with a double for the winners. Johnson will win his next four outings against Cleveland.
» September 15, 1910: Cleveland tops Washington, 3–0, with Walter Johnson losing to the Naps after four straight wins against them. The victory goes to Fred Blanding in his major league debut. Nap Lajoie scores a run but is 0-for-3.
» October 9, 1910: The battle for the AL batting title is decided on the final day, when Detroit's Ty Cobb edges Cleveland's Nap Lajoie .3850687 to .3840947. Neither man covers himself with glory. Lajoie goes 8-for-8 in a doubleheader with the Browns, accepting six "gift" hits on bunt singles on which Browns rookie 3B Red Corriden is apparently purposely stationed at the edge of the OF grass. The prejudiced St. Louis scorer also credits popular Nap with a "hit" on the Brownie SS Bobby Wallace's wild throw to 1B. In Lajoie's last at bat, he is safe at first on an error call, but is credited with a sac bunt since a man was on. The St. Louis Post is just one of the papers to be openly critical of the move against Cobb. "All St. Louis is up in arms over the deplorable spectacle, conceived in stupidity and executed in jealousy." The Browns win the opener, 5–4, and Cleveland takes the nitecap, 3–0 with both managers, Jack O'Connor and Deacon McGuire catching. O'Connor is behind the plate for just an inning, but Maguire goes all the way.
» October 9, 1910:
Cobb, meanwhile, rather than risk his average, sits out the last two games, the Tigers beating the White Sox in the finale, 2–1. Ban Johnson investigates and clears everyone concerned, enabling Ty Cobb to win the 3rd of nine straight batting crowns. The embarrassed Chalmers Auto Company awards cars to both Ty and Nap. In 1981 The Sporting News uncovers an error—crediting a 2-for-3 game twice to Cobb—that, if corrected, would give the championship to Nap Lajoie. But the commissioner's committee votes unanimously to leave history unchanged.
» October 13, 1910:
In Ban Johnson's hearing on the October 9th doubleheader in which Nap Lajoie had eight hits, Browns 3B Red Corriden staunchly defends playing back: "I wasn't going to get killed playing in on Lajoie."
» April 4, 1911: The idea of selecting a Most Valuable Player is introduced. Hugh Chalmers, the automobile maker, offers a new car to the player in each league chosen MVP by a committee of baseball writers. This is in response to last year's controversy where Chalmers ended up presenting cars to both Nap Lajoie and Ty Cobb, the AL batting leaders.
» May 24, 1911: An abdominal ailment sidelines Nap Lajoie. He will get into only 90 games for the year and bat .365.
» June 9, 1914: At Baker Bowl, Honus Wagner joins Cap Anson as the only members of the 3,000 hit club when collects a 9th-inning double off the Phillies' Erskine Mayer, and scores the Bucs lone run. It comes in Wagner's 2,332nd game. Nap Lajoie will join the club in September. (Later calculations put the date at June 30th or July 4th). Wagner also shows his skills by tricking Hans Lobert to try and take 3B and then tagging him out at 2B; With the Phils up 3–0, in the 8th he nabs Beals Becker at 2B with a hidden ball trick.
» September 15, 1914: Cleveland's Nap Lajoie strokes his 3,000th hit, a single off Detroit's Pug Cavet, joining Honus Wagner and Cap Anson as the only players to reach that mark.
» September 27, 1914:
In the opener of a doubleheader in Cleveland, Nap Lajoie collects his 3,000th hit as his Cleveland team defeats the Yankees, 5–3. Lajoie is 2-for-2 with two doubles. He is given the ball after his double. The
star is not expected to play the rest of the year and he does not play in game 2, which the Yankees win, 5-2.
» January 5, 1915:
Thirteen years after a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision effectively banned him from playing for the Athletics, Nap Lajoie (.258 last year) rejoins them. With Lajoie leaving Cleveland, the owner will ask several newspapermen for nickname suggestions to replace the Naps. He'll pick the name "Indians". A popular myth will be that a newspaper contest resulted in the winning nickname, after the late Lou Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian who was a popular Cleveland player in the late 1890s. The team doesn't correct the myth until 2000.
» April 22, 1915: A's newly acquired 2B Nap Lajoie makes five errors in a 7–6 loss to the Boston Red Sox. He is the last of six second baseman to boot that many in one game.
» May 9, 1915: It is Nap Lajoie Day as the long-time hero returns to Cleveland in an A's uniform. But Nap is hitless as Guy Morton tosses a 6–0 shutout against Philadelphia.
» July 24, 1915: In the 9th inning of game two of a twinbill with Cleveland, the A's Nap Lajoie lines into a triple play against Sam Jones to end the game (as noted by Jim Smith and Herm Krabbenhoft).
» August 26, 1916: After being knocked out of the box in three innings yesterday against Cleveland, the A's Joe Bush gets revenge by no-hitting Cleveland 5–0 in Philadelphia. It is Nap Lajoie's last ML game. He goes 1-for-3 with a triple, and hits just .280 for the year; his last at bat is a fly to RF. Stan Coveleski takes the loss.
» September 20, 1925: In Cleveland, the Chicago Cubs and Cleveland old-timers play a 6–6, 8-inning tie. The lineups include Three Finger Brown, Jimmy Archer Artie Hofman, Mort Scanlan and Dutch Meier for Chicago; For Cleveland, Larry Nap Lajoie, Dode Paskert, Chief Zimmer, Cy Berger, Cy Young, and Joe Delahanty. The game benefits the Amateur and Old-timer's Baseball Association of Cleveland: "This association employs a doctor to look after the injuries of any boy hurt in baseball in that district." Before boarding the train for Cleveland, Brown throws batting practice for the Cubs at Chicago.
» December 9, 1925:
Nap Lajoie is named commissioner of the Ohio-Pennsylvania League.
» January 19, 1937: Nap Lajoie, Tris Speaker, and Cy Young are voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the BBWAA.
» June 12, 1939:
The greatest gathering of members and future inductees of the Baseball Hall of Fame assembles in Cooperstown, NY, for the dedication of the museum. A six-inning game at Doubleday Field presents lineups studded with players who will be elected in the future, as Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson, Grover Alexander, Nap Lajoie, George Sisler, Eddie Collins, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, and Connie Mack accept their plaques.