1901 – Foul Balls Now Become Strikes


The Cardinals are now in their 10th season in the National League and have been in St. Louis for the 20th year. Finally, the Cardinal finished in the top half of the standings as they win 74 games and lose 64.

During the regular season, the 1901 St. Louis Cardinals scored the most runs (20) on August 5, 1901, versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. The most runs scored against them (16) was played on May 2, 1901, versus the Cincinnati Reds.

Patsy Donovan Becomes Manager

The Cardinals hire Patsy Donovan as the new manager to begin the 1901 season. He directs the team to 792 runs scored and the Cardinals allow 689 runs to the opponents. The attendance at League Park is the best in the National League as they draw 379,988 fans. Jesse Burkett has the highest salary of the team with $3,200.00 and Bobby Wallace raking in $2,800.00.

Jesse Burkett Batting Champion

Jesse Burkett hammered the league with a .382 batting average which was followed by Emmet Heidrick at .339 for the season. Pitcher Jack Harper won 23 games and lost 13 and Jack Powell was 19-19 with Willie Sudhoff had 17 win and 11 losses. All three of these pitchers leave for the new American League in the next season.

Mathewson Has Cardinals Number

Christy Mathewson pitched a no-hitter on July 15th against the Cardinals as a rookie for the Giants.  Mathewson recorded 2,507 career strikeouts against only 848 walks. He is famous for his 25 pitching duels with Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown, who won 13 of the duels against Mathewson’s 11, with one no-decision. President William McKinley was assassinated and all major league baseball games were canceled of respect.

Fans Toss Bottles and Try to Get to Umpire

Early in the season, the fans were livid by the calls from umpire Hank O’Dowd as he clearly missed two calls on the same play. Beer bottles were tossed and fans ran onto the field trying to get to him. Finally, the order was restored, and he was escorted from the field.

The starting lineup -1901 St. Louis Cardinals

Catcher- Jack Ryan 1B- Dan McGann 2B- Dick Padden 3B- Otto Krueger
SS- Bobby Wallace OF- Jesse Burkett OF- Emmet Heidrick OF- Patsy Donovan
SP- Jack Harper SP- Ed Murphy SP- Willie Sudhoff CL- Jack Powell

New Rules

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 an HBP will earn a batter first base.