No Decision Games
Although they are virtually unheard of today, there have been quite
a few games that have not been played to a win, loss, or tie
decision. Often these were due to games being protested. To make
things even more confusing, at times the players' performances
of these games were included in the official records, but at
other times they were not.
Pete Palmer, an expert in the field of baseball data and records
who has helped improve them in many ways, has generously provided
the following list he has compiled along with many explanations
and references. (Tattersall is John Tattersall, a SABR member who
compiled many records from baseball's early history; Macmillan
refers to the Macmillan Baseball Encyclopedia, which was first
published in 1969 and was the most complete compilation of baseball
records and data at the time of its publication.) Pete was an editor
for the first seven editions of Total Baseball first published in 1989, which is
another encyclopedia that, if anything, goes beyond Macmillan. He is
an editor of the Barnes and Noble Baseball Encyclopedia that has had
two editions so far with the next one due out in 2006. Bob Tiemann also
helped to develop the list.
The list is in chronological order for the most part. Names in
parentheses are the managers of the teams.
- National Association, counted by Michael Stagno:
NA Phi Athletics at Bal 1872 - May 20 - game disallowed (McBride-Craver)
(Bal was ahead 7-4 in the 8th with Ath at bat, there was an argument
over a force out call on a walk by an inexperienced umpire. While the
argument continued, Pike hid the ball and then tagged McGeary out when
play continued. The fans milled around the field and the game was
called. Ath protested and the game was ordered replayed on Aug. 5th)
- In the NL 1876-1890 games were counted by Tattersall and thus Macmillan.
- NL Cin at Buf 1880 - Sept 10 - forfeit to Buf overruled (Clapp-Crane)
(this game counted as a tie with all stats in by Macmillan)
- NL Bos at Det 1887 - July 4 (2nd) - (Kelly-Watkins)
(This was a 4 1/2 inning, 7-7 tie.
Since the game did not go five innings, it should not have counted,
but it was included by Tattersall and Macmillan. It was not protested)
- NL Bos at Chi 1887 - Sept 23 (2nd), Sept 24 (1st and 2nd) (Morrill-Anson)
(postponements replayed without proper consent, these 3 games counted
as no decisions but included in averages by Tattersall and Macmillan)
- NL Phi at Pit 1888 - May 5 - Phi won 4-3 (Wright-Phillips)
(this game counted by Tattersall and Macmillan as a decision,
a win for Phi - but it was protested and replayed, because Gardner
played for Phi - see Sporting Life, July 18th, page 5)
- NL Chi-Phi 1890 - May 23 - This is a protested game not counted in the
standings, per page 47 of the baseball guide (Spalding 1891).
Umpire McQuaid refused to allow Philadelphia to substitute Grey.
However, Tattersall and Mac seem to have counted as a win for Chi.
- These were not counted (by Macmillan) in most cases:
- AA Phi at Bal 1884 - Sept 3 (Knight-Barnie) this was a makeup game which
was not cleared with the league office, it was replayed on 10/10
- NL Bos vs Cle at Akron 1884 - October 4 (not a protested game)
An exhibition, but was carried in Sporting Life as a league game.
- AA Bal vs Phi at Gloucester, N. J. 1888 - June 10 (Barnie-Sharsig)
This was a rescheduled rainout without league approval.
- AA Bal at KC 1888 - July 8 (Barnie-Barkley) this was a game in which the
umpire did not show up so two players umpired. They did a poor job,
Baltimore protested, and then Kansas City agreed to replay the game.
- PL Pit at Bos 1890 - July 10,11,12 (3 games) (Hanlon-Kelly)
Bos used Gil Hatfield, on loan from NY, against league rules.
- AA Bro at StL 1890 - August 11, per Bob Tiemann, as mentioned in the
description of the StL@Bal game of 8/28, this game was thrown out
because if was an illegally transferred game. Counting it would be
21 decisions between StL and Bro, where a maximum of 20 (140 total)
would be allowed. StL won 15-9, Ramsey winner, Daily loser.
- AA Cin at StL 1891 - Apr 8 - forfeit overruled (Kelly-Comiskey)
This game counted as a tie and is included by Macmillan and Palmer
- StL vs Lou 1891 - at Lou Sept 25 and at StL Oct 2
These games were exhibitions but were counted by Macmillan and
Palmer but should not have been. Meekin beat McGill, 7-4 in
the first one, McGill beat Fitzgerald, 13-8 in the second. They were
labelled exhibitions after the fact so that the Oct 4 doubleheader
by StL at Lou could be counted as championship games.
Palmer took these games out in 2001.
- NL Phi at Bro 1894 - Apr 26 (Irwin-Foutz)
Weyhing allowed to pitch after taken out for PH - Sp Life 7/21 p1
- .. Pit at Chi 1894 - May 23 - (Buckenberger-Anson)
The game was called after 6 innings with Pit ahead 10-9 in order for
them to catch a train. Chi protest was upheld - Sp Life 7/28 p3.
- .. Chi at NY 1894 - Aug 18 (1st g) (Anson-Ward) Chi win, Cin protest
- .. Lou at NY 1894 - Aug 25 (1st g) (Barnie-Ward) NY win, Bos protest
- .. Cin at Phi 1894 - Aug 27 (1st g) (Comiskey-Irwin) Cin win, Cle protest
- .. Cin at Phi 1894 - Sept 6 (1st g) (Comiskey-Irwin) Phi win, Cle protest
These four games transferred without league approval - Sp Life 9/22 p3.
For 1951, rule 4.12 (h) was introduced stating that the first game
was always the regularly scheduled if there was a makeup. Before that,
there was no rule.
- NL Pit at Bro 1895 - June 1 (Mack-Foutz)
After a rain delay in the third, Donovan of Pit was called out after
taking his spot at second because he didn't tag first on the way.
- .. Cle at StL 1895 - July 14 (Tebeau-Quinn)
Sub umpires Staley and Wallace allowed winning run to score on a play
in which a runner was hit by a batted hall, not allowed by the rules.
See Sporting Life 7/20, p7 for a discussion of the play
- .. Was at Bos 1895 - Aug 12 (Schmelz-Selee)
There was a batting out of order mixup involving Hassamaer.
- NL Lou at NY 1897 - June 3 (1st) (Rogers-Joyce)
This was a un-approved makeup for a rainout in Louisville earlier,
see reference in Sporting Life, 7/17 p2.
- .. Lou at StL 1897 - Aug 1 (2nd) (Clarke-Hallman)
This was an overruled forfeit. Cunningham kept rubbing new balls in
the dirt in the 9th, and umpire Donahue forfeited the game to Lou.
This game was umped by players because the ump did not show up.
The umps were Charley Dexter of Lou and Red Donahue of StL.
- NL Lou at Pit 1899 - May 3 (Clarke-Watkins)
Pit scored the winning run when an employee opened a door in the
outfield fence and made off with the ball as it rolled through.
See Sporting Life, 6/10, p4.
- .. Cin at NY 1899 - May 30 (PM) (Ewing-Day)
There was a long argument over the winning run, scored by Gleason,NY.
Umpire Gaffney allowed him to score without touching the plate.
See Sporting Life, 8/19 p2.
- .. Lou at Bro 1899 - Aug 12 (2nd game) - this game was counted by Macmillan,
a 6-2 Bro win, but Joe Wayman found that it was thrown out by the
league during the winter as a rainout made up without league permission.
See Sporting Life, 12/23, p2. Pitchers were McJames and Wilhelm.
For TB7 (2001) we subtracted the win and loss for team and pitchers,
but kept the stats, as well as adding in stats on all nodec games
from 1892 through 1902 as was done by the league
- NL NY at Chi 1902 - May 7, May 8 (Fogel-Selee)
Chicago won both of these games on the field by the scores of 4 - 0 and 10 - 4.
The newspaper accounts of the games reveal no controversy or any arguments.
Two days later however, New York manager Horace Fogel decided to protest the
games because he discovered that the Chicago pitching rubber was not plumb and
was too close to the plate. His protest was upheld and the games were declared
as no decisions. - New York Times, 05/08/1902, p 5, -New York Times, 05/09/1902, p 10,
- Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/10/1902, p 6, - Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/11/1902, p 9.
Joe Wayman has determined that these games were included in the official averages.
- These were not counted in the official averages or by Macmillan --
properly as per the rules of the day. They had upheld protests that wiped out the games:
- NL Chi at Pit 30 May 1911 (lst) (Chance-Clarke) (The Pirates won the game 1-0.) Opposite rulings by the two
umpires resulted in a strange and protestable double play. In the top of the eighth Dave
Shean was on first with one out when Jimmy Archer hit a pop up to short that Honus Wagner let fall to the ground
because Archer was not running to first. Archer then began to run and Shean was forced at second with Archer getting
to first in time. 1B ump Jack Doyle ruled that the ball was intentionally missed so Archer was out and Shean could
stay on first. Archer went toward the Cubs bench. Then HP ump Bill Klem ruled that Wagner did not hold the ball momentarily
and that Shean, not Archer, was out. Archer ran back to first, but before he could get there Wagner tagged him out. (Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/31/1911, p. 21). The game was made up on Sept. 14 as part of a double header swept by the Pirates.
- NL Pit at Chi 2 Oct 1912 (Clarke-Chance) (The Cubs won the game 6-5 in the 10th when Dick Cotter batting out of turn
drove in the winning run.) See the Batting Out of Turn page for details.
Both teams agreed to play a possible make up game the next day, an off-day for both, and let NL President Tom Lynch decide
which one counted. However, he said they could not play a make up game until he ruled on the protest, and he could not do
so until he had the official report about it. Since the regular season ended in a few days, the game was never replayed.
(Chicago Daily Tribune, 10/03/1912, p. 11, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/04/1912, p. 12)
- FL Chi at Buf 14 May 1914 (Tinker-Schafly) (Buffalo won the game 5-4.) The Blues had a man on first and one out in
the bottom of the ninth with the game tied 4-4 when the pitcher bunted and popped the ball to the Chi-Fed's pitcher who muffed the ball, apparently not intentionally. The batter thinking the ball would be caught headed to the dugout while the runner on first stayed on the base. The ball was picked up and thrown to the first baseman who tagged the runner and then stepped on the base for a double play, which was in accordance with Federal League rules. However, the umpires ruled only the runner was out, and by that time the batter had come to first. The game continued under protest, and Buffalo scored later in the inning. It was
made up on July 30 as part of a double header that was split by the two teams. (Chicago Daily Tribune, 05/15/1914, p. 15)
- FL Chi at Bal 19 June 1915 (Tinker-Knabe) (Chicago won 8-1.) In the top of the first before any runs had scored, the Whales had the bases loaded with one out. The #5 hitter fanned, and the ball got away from the catcher. The runner on third, Jimmy Smith, mistakenly thinking he was forced broke for the plate. The catcher retrieved the ball who threw it to the pitcher at the plate. Smith thinking he was out went to the bench, and the other two runners moved up a base. During the discussion with the umpires, Smith realizing he wasn't forced came off the bench and tagged home. The HP ump ruled he was safe since no play had been made on him and he was not forced. The Terrapins manager, Otto Knabe, insisted that Smith was out once he left the field of play and protested the game. The next batter singled in the two runners who had moved up when the inning should have been over. The make up game was on August 14 as part of a split double header. (Chicago Daily Tribune, 06/20/1915, p. 21)
- NL Chi at Pit 17 Aug 1915 (1st) Benton pitched for Pit (Bresnahan-Clarke) (Pirates won the game 3-2.) The NL president ruled that Rube Benton, who pitched for Pittsburgh, belonged to the Giants because their option to purchase him from Cincinnati
had not yet expired. The Pirates had sent money to the Reds and claimed that Benton was on their team, but the NL president said he could not pitch for them. The Cubs protested, which was upheld. The make up game was part of a split double header on September 4. (Chicago Daily Tribune, 08/18/1915, p. 9)
- AL Cle at Chi 3 Sept 1915 (2nd) (Fohl-Rowland) (Game won by Cleveland, 6-5.) In the top of the fourth, the Indians had
a runner on first and one out when the batter swung at a high and wild pitch for the third strike. The ball rolled to the stands, and the runner on first advanced to third while the batter ran and reached second. Apparently, nobody, including HP
ump Billy Evans and the White Sox, realized that the batter was automatically out. After the game, the White Sox issued the protest. The game was made up two days later as part of a double header split by the teams. (Chicago Daily Tribune, 09/04/1915, p. 9)
- NL Bos at Phi 17 Apr 1917 (Stallings-Moran) (The Braves won the game 6-5 in 12 innings.) Jimmy Lavender started the top
of the third by walking. The next batter hit a grounder to third, and the throw to second was wide pulling the second baseman
off the bag. His throw to first was also wild and went over the first sacker's head. Lavender thinking he was out walked toward
the bench, but his manager, Pat Moran, yelled at him, and Lavender went to third without a play being made. The bases umpire called Lavender out for running outside of the base line. Moran protested that since Lavender was not trying to avoid a tag,
he should not have been called out. The protest was upheld and was made up as part of a double header on September 8 when
each team won a game. (Philadelphia Inquirer, 04/18/1917, p. 16)
- AL Was at Det 19 Aug 1917 (Griffith-Jennings) (The Tigers won 2-1.) With the game tied 1-1 in the bottom of the ninth,
George Burns hit safely to center, and the ball got away and rolled to the fence. As he rounded third, the coach, Ty Cobb,
pushed him along. The bases umpire, George Hildebrand, said that since Burns was going to score without being aided, the
run, which ended the game, counted, contrary to the rule. The make up game was played in Washington as part of a double
header on September 24 that was split by the teams. (Washington Post, 04/20/1917, p. 4)
- NL StL at Cin 29 Apr 1918 (Hendricks-Mathewson) (The game was won by the Reds 4-3.) In the top of the eighth with the
game tied 3-3, the Cards loaded the bases with one out. Walton Cruise hit a fly to center fielder Ed Roush who briefly caught
the ball then lost it as he fell, but managed to catch it again before it hit the ground. Bert Niehoff, the runner on third, had tagged up and headed to the plate when Roush first caught the ball. However, Roush then relayed the ball to third and Niehoff was called out for leaving the base too soon. St. Louis protested that Roush "momentarily held" the ball and Niehoff
was entitled to run as soon as he did. The protest was upheld, and the game was made up as part of a double header on August 11
that was split by the teams. (St. Louis Daily Globe-Democrat, 04/30/1928, p. 7)
- NL StL at Bro 3 Jun 1918 (Hendricks-Robinson) (St. Louis won the game 15-12 in 12 innings.) In the top of the sixth,
Doug Baird was on second with none out when Walton Cruise hit a low liner to center. Baird thinking it was a sure hit ran
right away and rounded third when he saw that the ball might be caught. He retreated toward second, and when he was about a
third of the way back, he saw that the attempt at a diving catch had failed. He then ran directly to the third base line missing third by a large distance and then ran to the plate. Cy Rigler, the bases umpire, ruled the run counted since Baird
had already touched third once and was not required to do so again. That was clearly wrong, so the protest was upheld, and
the make up game was played July 27 as part of a double header split by the teams. (Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 06/04/1918, p. 8)
- These were counted by both the official averages and Macmillan:
- NL Chi at NY 23 Sept 1908 (Chance-McGraw)
(this was the famous Merkle game. It was declared a tie, which was upheld,
so it is not a no-decision game. NY protested, claiming they should have
won, while Chi demanded a forfeit the following day since NY refused to
play off the tie. Neither was allowed and the tie was played off Oct. 8th)
- NL Cin at Pit 23 Apr 1909 (Griffith-Clarke)
(Pit won 2-1 in a full game. Cin protested that in the 6th inning, Wagner,
with a 3-0 count, crossed the plate while Gaspar was pitching and was not
called out, contrary to the rules - SpLife 5/1, p5. Acting president
Heydler originally denied the protest, but this was appealed and the board
of directors upheld the protest - SpLife 6/12, p1). The game was replayed
on September 10 and won by Pittsburgh 4-3.
- NL NY at Chi 15 Jul 1924 (McGraw-Killefer)
(The Giants won the game 9-4 to complete a 3 game series sweep. However the Cubs protested the game because of a
call made in the 2nd inning. The Cubs had runners on first and second with
nobody out. There was a full count on the batter, Denver Grigsby. With the
runners on the move, the next pitch was low. Grigsby started to swing but
stopped. Umpire Bill Klem called the pitch a ball and the batter started toward
first. The catcher, thinking the batter had swung at the ball, threw the ball to
the third baseman, who then tagged the runner coming from second. The Giants
argued that the batter swung at the ball for strike 3 and the runner at third
was out. Klem finally appealed to his partner Frank Wilson, the second base
umpire. Wilson agreed with the Giants and Klem reversed his decision. Instead of
the Cubs having the bases loaded and nobody out, they had a runner on second and
two outs. After the game, the Cubs protested the game claiming that the runner
going to third was compelled to do so because of the first ruling and could not
be put out. The National League President upheld the protest and declared the
game a no contest. -- The Chicago Daily Tribune, 07/16/1924, p18, - TSN 8/14, p3)
- AL Bos at StL 28 Jul 1924 (Fohl-Sisler)
(Bos won 10-5 in a 10-inning game. The umpire refused to allow McMillan of
StL to bat in his proper position in 9th. McMillan had pinch run for the
catcher, and then gone to short, but the umpire insisted the substitute
catcher bat in his spot. TSN 7/31, p7, reflected in standing TSN 8/28, p7.
Individual data was counted, but team data was not counted.
Macmillan originally took out the individual records. Later editions
have added back in the batting records, but not the pitching records)
- AL NY at Det 1 Aug 1932 (McCarthy-Harris)
(all data counted including pitcher w/l, except in games played column
in official records, games played added by Macmillan for some players,
and took away w/l. Palmer added games for all players. Details:
The Yankees won the game 6-3
behind the hitting of Lou Gehrig. Detroit Manager, Bucky Harris informed umpire
Dick Nallin in the 2nd inning that if the Tigers lost he would protest the game.
The batting order given to the home team before the game had Chapman batting
ahead of Lazzeri. It did not match the correct order that was given to the
umpire. When Lazzeri singled in the 2nd, Harris brought the situation to the
attention of the umpire. However, the umpire refused to call the batter out. The
protest was latter upheld and the game was declared a no contest. -- New York
Times, 08/02/1932, p15). A make up game was played, and later the Yankees win was restored. Consequently,
the two teams have 23 decisions against each other and a total of 155 wins and losses.
The official records do not show pitching decisions.
[Still looking for documentation and an explanation of why the win was restored.]
- AL Cle at NY 6 Aug 1937 (McCarthy-O'Neill)
Joe DiMaggio hit a long ball first ruled foul by Johnston, and overruled
by Moriarity to be fair, a double, on which the winning run scored in
the 10th. Steve O'Neill protested saying Solters could have
cut off the winning run at the plate if the umpire had not signaled foul.
Yanks had runners on 2nd and 3rd and 2 out, trailing 6-5 at the time.
See Sporting News 8/12 p5. The decision was made 8/31 per TSN 9/9 p1.
Harridge ruled that the umpire should have sent the winning run back to
3rd and allow Gehrig to come up with 2 outs and the score tied. What
happened was Odell Hale deflected the ball into foul territory, but
Johnston did not see it, so he called it foul. After conferring with
Moriarty, he reversed himself, so it actually was a bad umpiring call.
Dan Daniel, the column writer, stated that Solters could not have thrown
out DiMaggio who stopped at 2nd, much less Saltzgaver, the winning run.
- NL Cin at StL 14 May 1938 (7-6, this game later declared a tie
and the official score was changed to 7-7) (Frisch-McKechnie) Details:
The Cardinals scored 4 runs in the 9th inning to tie the game
at 5. The Reds went ahead by a run in the 10th only to have Enos Slaughter hit a
two-run homer with no one out in the bottom of the inning. After the 9th inning,
Cincinnati skipper Bill McKechnie announced that he was protesting the game. In
the 6th inning, a ball hit off the edge of the pavilion roof by Redsí Dusty
Cooke was ruled a triple. The Reds claimed that it should have been a home run.
The protest was later upheld and the game was declared a no decision. -- New York
Times, 05/15/1938, p76
- AL Chi at Was 12 Sep 1939 (Dykes-Harris) Details:
The White Sox won the game
3--2. However, after the game Senators owner Clark Griffith protested a decision
made in the 6th inning to AL president Will Harridge. With a runner on first a
fly ball was hit to White Sox left fielder Gee Walker. He caught the ball,
immediately dropped it and threw to the shortstop who then tagged the runner.
Umpire Lou Kolls ruled that the Walker had held the ball long enough for an out
and the runner was tagged out for a double play. Griffith claimed that the
umpire misinterpreted a new rule concerning purposely dropped balls. Harridge
agreed with the owner and declared the game a no decision. He ordered the game
to be replayed the next day as part of a doubleheader. -- Chicago Daily Tribune,
- AL NY at Chi 20 June 1940 (Dykes-McCarthy) Details:
Bob Kennedy doubled in Mike
Tresh for the only run of the game in the 11th inning with one out to give the
White Sox an apparent victory. However, earlier in the game the Yankees
complained about a call made by umpire John Quinn. He ruled that a foul fly by
Bill Dickey in the 2nd inning was caught by the Chicago left fielder and held
long enough for an out. The Yankees disagreed and protested the game. The
protest was upheld by AL president Will Harridge on 7/2 and the game was
declared a no decision. -- Washington Post, 06/21/1940, p 21 (Yanks) -- Chicago
Daily Tribune, 07/03/1940, p 20
- NL StL at Bro 20 Jul 1947 (3-2, this game later declared a tie).
Resumed Protested Games has
more information about this game although it was not resumed and thus qualifies as
a no decison game.
- Three forfeits that were counted, although not official games due to
not enough innings being played. Technically, they are not no decision games,
but we list them as one topic on this page is which games are counted in the
official records. More information on these games can be found on the
- 1907 StL N vs Chi - Oct 5 (1st g) - no game (Chi refused to continue)
(this was not a regulation game but was included in the official stats,
the game was called in last of the fourth with Chicago ahead 2-0,
so no win or loss should be awarded even if stats were counted,
pitchers Karger and Overall)
- 1909 NY N vs Phi - Oct 4 (2nd g) - no game, scored tied 1-1 in 4th inning
(this was not a regulation game but was included in the official stats,
the score was 1-1 in the last of the fourth, pitchers Ames and Moren)
- 1913 StL N at Chi - July 6 (2nd g) - no game (Chi tried to stall for curfew)
(this was not a regulation game but was included in the official stats,
the score was 5-1 StL in the top of the fourth, pitchers Sallee and
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