What is fascinating about the game is the fact that it was also the first opening day in baseball history where a US President would throw out the first pitch of the game. That President was William Howard Taft, who threw out the first pitch of the game between the Washington Senators and Philadelphia Athletics. Of course, the game was in Washington which was right near our nation's capital.
Johnson was matched up against Philadelphia's Eddie Plank, a dominating LHP who was, like Johnson, headed to the Hall of Fame. Johnson caught the pitch prior to the game from Taft. Either the pitch inspired Johnson, or his stuff was just that filthy. He mowed through the Athletics batting order striking out several (the exact amount was not officially recorded; baseball reference only has box scores from games 1912 and later) and had only one blemish on his pitching card. Athletics 3B Frank HomeRun Baker hit a ball down the right field line with Senators RF Doc Gessler in strong pursuit.
The way the stadium seating was set up allowed for many fans to stand on the field. There was no fences so ropes were used to separate the fans from the playing field. Gessler reportedly tripped over a fan who was trying to get out of the way from the ball. The fan spilled out to the field and Gessler tripped over him, allowing the ball to land fair and Baker to get a double.
Should there have been an interference call? Lets forget the fact that a fan would even be on the field today. There has been many occasions where a player has been called out because of fan interference. According to those who report the information from back then, this was completely inadvertent and fans were in a tough spot trying to react to the batted balls. However, if it wasn't for the play in question, Johnson would have tossed the first ever opening day no hitter. In addition, one the same day, Chicago White Sox RHP Frank Smith pitched a one-hitter against the St Louis Browns. For the season, there would be a total of 13 one-hitters in the American League, a league record.