The two-time defending National League and World Series champion New York Giants
opened the season on the road as their neighbors in The Bronx were set to open their new
stadium the next day. But the hubbub over the "House That Ruth Built" took a back seat
to the Opening Day festivities at Braves Field in Boston as 20,000 fans packed in to see
John McGraw's team battle the Braves, who were now run by former Giant hero Christy
Mathewson, although illness kept "Big Six" from ever having much of an active role in
the management of the club. And the hero on the day was Giants starter Hugh McQuillan
who pitched a four-hitter in a 4-1 Giants win.
Commissioner Kenesaw Landis caught the ceremonial first pitch of the game, tossed by
Massachusetts governor Channing Cox. Boston mayor James Curley stood at the plate
and took a playful swing at the ball.
The Giants struck early when the second batter of the game, third baseman Heinie Groh,
slapped a triple to right center. Second baseman Frankie Frisch singled home Groh to
give the Giants a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Ross Youngs drew a walk and scored on a long double by George Kelly.
Kelly tried to advance on a grounder by Jimmy O'Connell, but Boston first baseman
Stuffy McInnis made a good play and Kelly was retired in a 3-5-6-5-3 rundown at third
base. The Braves got a run in the third on two Giants errors and it was 2-1 New York after
In the seventh, McQuillan singled and Groh slammed a 2-run home run to right center to
put the Giants up 4-1. McQuillan went the final three innings to pick up the complete
The Giants lineup featured four future Hall of Famers in the first six positions: Davey
Bancroft, Frisch, Youngs, and Kelly. Boston countered with just one Hall of Famer that
day, 36-year old Rube Marquard, who pitched in relief in the ninth.
1923 would be a good year for McGraw's men. They would win their third straight NL
pennant with a 95-58 record. The Braves would finish in seventh at 54-100. But in the
World Series, the team from the Bronx with the rotund slugger would prevail and the
game would be much different from then on.