The Naps open new League Park, but the Detroit Tigers spoil the day’s celebration as they defeat Cleveland by a 5-0 score.
A club record crowd of 18,832 were in attendance, exceeding any of the other nine opening days by 4,000 fans. They enjoyed the new steel and concrete stands, built at a cost of $300,000 and capable of seating as many as 21,000. Police Chief Kohler was in attendance with 60 policemen, ten detectives, two patrol wagons, and a reserve squad of 26 men at the East 55th Street station. American League president Ban Johnson raised a white “League Park” flag prior to the start of the game before throwing out the first pitch.
After enjoying Addie Joss’s second career no-hitter in Chicago the day before, the Naps returned to Cleveland and could do nothing against Detroit’s Ed Willett. Cy Young was on the mound for the Naps in his 21st season and pitched hard, giving up runs in just two innings and striking out six of the reigning AL champion Tigers, including Ty Cobb twice. Art Kruger lost a ball in the shadows of the new stands, leading to two runs, and Young allowed three more in the seventh.
The Naps managed just one hit through the first six innings off of Willett. They got a single to lead off the seventh from Nap Lajoie, a double in the eighth from Young (who could not make it past third on a single from Bill Bradley), and Nig Clarke’s second hit of the day, a double in the ninth.
Also on this date in Tribe history:
2009 – The Cleveland Indians are double trouble for the Kansas City Royals today, completing double plays in six straight innings on the way to an 8-7 win.