1939 April

2nd At Los Angeles, the Angels split a pair with Hollywood, losing 10–6 and winning 7–2. The second game win starts a PCL record 19-game winning streak for the Angels.

6th A howling windstorm of 50 mph does not deter the Red Sox and Reds from playing an exhibition game in Florence, SC but the weather and the rock-hard infield results in the game being called in the 9th inning when all 54 baseballs have disappeared. “Grounders were actually blown off the ground and over the outfield fences,” observed Lou Smith in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The score is 18-18 when the game ends with both teams covered with grime.

9th In New Orleans, Cy Blanton of the Pirates pitches a Grapefruit League no-hitter against the Indians. The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers will note that Blanton ruined his arm pitching a no-hitter early in spring training, 1938 (sic). Blanton will pitch just 42 innings this year. He will die in 1945 of a liver ailment at the age of 36.

16th Los Angeles wins its 15th straight PCL game, sweeping a pair from Portland. The second game, a 16–7 slugfest, is shortened to 5 innings to allow a ring to be set up for a heavyweight championship fight between Joe Louis and Jack Roper. Louis knocks Roper out in the 1st round. LA’s win streak will reach 19, tying a PCL record set in 1903, before a loss to San Diego on April 22.

17th The Reds drop their 7th Opener in a row, as the Pirates score 4 runs in the 8th for a 7-5 win. Frank McCormick homers for the Reds.

18th Announcer Red Barber calls the first-ever Dodger game to be broadcast, a losing effort to the Giants, 7–3. New York totals 13 hits in the game.

19th Near freezing weather in Columbus keeps the attendance down to a record low in the AA of 39 fans, who watch the Redbirds lose to Kansas City, 5–3.

20th  A minor league attendance record is set at Jersey City as 45,112 see the Giants farm team play Newark (International League).

The Red Sox show off their prize rookie Ted Williams before 30,278 in the opener in New York, delayed two days because of rain. After striking out twice, Williams collects a double off Red Ruffing, who wins 2–0. Gehrig makes an error, goes hitless, and lines into two double plays in the only game featuring the two great sluggers. Other notables in what will become a historic box score include Joe DiMaggio, Bill Dickey, Jimmie Foxx, Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Red Rolfe, and losing pitcher Lefty Grove. The Yanks score their first run on a homer by Dickey and their 2nd tally on an error by Jimmie Foxx. Boston has baserunners in each inning, but Ruffing tosses just the 2nd opening day shut out in Yankee history. Four umpires work the game including 3B ump George Pipgras, the starting pitcher for the Yankees in the 1929 Opener; his opponent for the Red Sox that day was Red Ruffing.

21st Ted Williams plays his first game at Fenway, scoring the first run for Boston against the A’s on a Frankie Hayes passed ball. The Sox roll to a 9–2 win.

At St. Louis, the Cubs beat the Cardinals, 4-2 in the season opener. Bill Lee allows 11 hits but just 2 runs. Charting every pitch and where each ball is hit and on what pitch count is the Cubs new statistician C.L. Snyder. He took over the spot of Jack Sterrett, who last year filmed 10,000 feet of film on Cubs batters. Subject to a lot of ribbing, Sterrett quit before the year’s end.

22nd Los Angeles (PCL) has 13 hits off San Diego’s Howard Craghead, but loses, 13–6, ending their 19-game winning streak. The win matches the PCL record set by Seattle in 1903 (one tie).

23rd  Chicago’s Marv Owen equals a ML record with 4 doubles, as the White Sox trounce the Browns 17–4.

Against the A’s Bud Thomas, Ted Williams connects for his first ML home run while going 4-for-5. The A’s win 12–8, but Thomas will be waived to the Senators in a week.

27th The Reds snap a 3–3 tie with 8 runs in the 8th to beat the Cubs, 11–3.

Ben Chapman hits a grand slam to pace the Indians to a 7–4 win over St. Louis.

28th At Crosley Field, the Reds skin the Cubs again, as Ival Goodman hits a 3-run homer in the 9th, good for a 7–6 win.

29th  In the 7th game of the season, Joe DiMaggio makes a sharp turn while fielding a liner against the Senators, and tears muscles in his right foot. The Yankees lose the game, 7–3, and DiMaggio will miss the next 35 games.

30th Gehrig goes hitless in four at-bats against the Senators Joe Krakauskas and is now hitting just .143. This will be the last game in his remarkable streak, though the Iron Horse makes the trip to Detroit with the team. Krakauskas wins, 3–2.

Tommy Bridges scatters six hits and the Tigers rack up 19 as they beat the Indians, 14-1. Charley Gehringer has a grand slam for the Bengals.