1909 August

1st In Chicago, Three Finger Brown pitches a one-hitter in beating the Phillies 3-0 in the first of two. Kitty Bransfield’s single is the only safety. The Cubs sweep by winning game 2, 7-6.

2nd Harry Pulliam is buried in Louisville. For the first time in history, both NL and AL games are postponed in tribute. After the funeral, a special meeting of the Board of Directors appoints John Heydler to succeed Pulliam.

3rd Despite allowing 15 hits and 6 runs, Christy Mathewson tops the Reds 7–6 in 10 innings. The Giants bail Matty out by hammering Bob Spade and Billy Campbell.

The A’s sweep a pair from the visiting White Sox, winning 2-1 and 10-4, though the scores take a backseat to an incident between umpire Tim Hurst and A’s Eddie Collins. Doc White and the Sox take a 4-1 lead into the 7th, but the A’s score 6 runs for the lead. White is removed for Louis Fiene and the A’s continue to score in the 8th. With runners on, Collins singles and goes to second where he appears to be safe when the throw is dropped. When Hurst calls him out, Collins is furious and follows the up around the infield using words like “yellow”, “crook” and “blind bat.” Hurst then turns and spits in the face of Collins before teammates pull the two apart. After the game, police battle with fans for 20 minutes as Hurst is hit by cushions and bottles. Hurst will be suspended by Ban Johnson tomorrow.

5th The Washington Nationals complete a marathon run of eight straight doubleheaders, a ML record until the National League Braves top it in 1928. The marathon started on July 27th and 28thwith Philadelphia; Chicago on July 29th, 30th, and 31st; and Cleveland for the 3rd, 4th and today’s twinbill with Cleveland. The Nats lose 9–4 and win game 2, 2–0.

The Cubs sweep a pair from the visiting Doves, winning 2–1 and 4–0, and are now 2 ½ games behind the Pirates, losers today. Mordecai Brown wins the opener, as Johnny Evers stakes him to a lead with a first inning steal of home. Jack Pfiester shuts out Boston on 4 hits in the second game.

6th Behind Harry Gaspar, the Reds edge the visiting Giants, 1-0, in 10 innings. Rebel Oakes scores the lone run, bunting for a hit and circling the bases on two New York errors.

7th In St. Louis, the Giants shell Fred Beebe for 6 hits and 4 runs in the first inning, and Christy Mathewson coasts to a 7–1 win.

8th In a 3–0 Giants win at St. Louis, outfielder Bill O’Hara swipes 2B, 3B, and home in the 8th inning.

11th  John McGraw puts 49-year-old Giants coach Arlie Latham at 2B in a 19–3 romp over St. Louis. Latham goes hitless but handles 2 assists. Cy Seymour scores 5 runs.

12th In Chicago, the Giants sweep a doubleheader with the Cubs to inch closer to 2nd place. New York wins the opener, 5–2, then Mathewson sets down the Cubs, 3–0, for his 18th win.

Umpire Tim Hurst is dropped by the American League following an investigation into the spitting incident in the August 3 game between the A’s and White Sox. His replacement is Mike Thompson, a former Georgetown University football player who has been a well-known football ref. Thompson tried to join the NL umping staff last year but the roster was filled.

San Francisco pitcher Frank Browning defeats Los Angeles, 10-2, to run his win streak to a PCL record 16 victories. Buck Newsom, Frank Shellenback and Jim Wilson will come close, with 15 straight, but Browning’s mark will not be matched this century.

13th The Tigers trade Germany Schaefer and Red Killefer to the Senators for Jim Delahanty. Delahanty will be a solid performer down the stretch and star in the WS.

14th  Chicago pitcher’s Ed Reulbach’s 14-game winning streak is stopped by the Giants 5–2. It is Reulbach’s second streak of that length, the only 20th century pitcher to reach that mark (as noted by Cappy Gagnon). During this streak he defeated every NL team, including Brooklyn 5 times. A November 1913 article in Baseball Magazine will judge Reulbach’s streak the most impressive in history; in 14 games he surrendered only 14 runs, giving up three on one occasion, while pitching five shutouts and five one-run games. New York has now won 9 in a row, but Chicago will stop that tomorrow.

15th  Los Angles pitcher Walter Nagle beats San Francisco, 2-1, and stops the PCL record win streak of Frank Browning. Browning won 16 straight, beating Nagle on August 12th.

16th New York and Pittsburgh play to a 2–2 tie, stopped after 8 innings because of a drenching downpour. Off Christy Mathewson, Ham Hyatt hits his 3rd pinch triple of the year, a record that won’t be matched till 1970. Outfielder Red Murray prevents a loss for Matty with one of the greatest catches ever seen at Forbes Field. With two outs and two on, Dots Miller belts a long line drive off Matty into the growing darkness. With everyone straining to follow the ball, a bolt of lightning flashes and Murray is seen making a bare-handed grab on the dead run to end the inning. Bill Klem then calls the game.

The A’s jump on Walter Johnson, scoring 6 runs in 5 innings, before relief comes in. The A’s win, 6–1 over Johnson, but he’ll come back tomorrow to beat them. Before exiting, Johnson hits his first ML homer, off Harry Krause, who will lead the A.L. in ERA with a sparkling 1.39. The homer, just the 3rd hit over Washington’s LF fence, goes through a window of an adjoining building.

The Browns-Indians game is rained out in Cleveland, but St. Louis pitcher Rube Waddell still sees some action. While walking around he hears a gas explosion, part of a warehouse fire that injures eight people, and hurries to the fire. Forcing his way through the barrier ropes, Rube spots some firemen attempting to secure a rope around a wall. He shouts that they are using the wrong knot, then climbs up and knots the rope himself. Several spectators recognize the pitcher and cheer him on.

17th  Nap Lajoie resigns as Cleveland manager with the team in 6th place, but he remains as a player.

Walter Johnson gives up 4 hits in topping the A’s Chief Bender in 12 innings. Red Killefer’s RBI-single drives in the run as the Nats win 1–0. The overwork will take its toll on the young Walter Johnson. He will develop a sore arm and in his next two outing he will give up 27 hits.

18th  Giants player-coach Arlie Latham steals 2B in the Giants’ 14–1 laugher over the Phillies. At 49, he is the oldest player to swipe a base.

Cubs P Ed Reulbach wins his 16th consecutive game from one opponent, beating the Reds, 1–0. Chicago scores a run in the bottom of the 9th off Bob Ewing, who allows just 3 hits. It is the 3rd shutout in a row for Chicago hurlers. Reulbach’s streak against Cincinnati (according to historian Ed Hartig) started on April 15, 1906.

19th  The Phils end a series of rainouts with a split with the Giants. Doc Crandall slices the Phillies, 6–4, but the Quakers come back to beat Mathewson, 1–0. Sherry Magee scores the only run in the bottom of the 9th to tag Matty with the loss.

The St. Louis Cardinals trade Bobby Byrne to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jap Barbeau and Alan Storke. The light-hitting Byrne will up his game in Pittsburgh and finish tied for 3rd in runs in the NL.

20th  The Browns and Tigers trade first baseman: Tom Jones goes to Detroit for Claude Rossman. Jones will hit .281 for the defending champs.

21st The Giants edge the Reds, with Mathewson winning this one, 1–0. Jack Rowan takes the loss when Larry Doyle walks in the 1st, goes to 3B on a ground out and scores on another grounder.

Jack Taylor, former iron man pitcher in the NL, hurls two complete games in the Central League. On the mound for Dayton, he shuts out Terra Haute on 2 hits to win 4–0 in game one, then wins 1–0 in 11 innings in game 2. On June 4th, pitching for Grand Rapids in the same league, Taylor threw a 1–0 no-hitter over Fort Wayne.

In a Texas League game at San Antonio, William Mitchell strikes out 20 Galveston batters. Mitchell gives up 4 hits in the 8-0 shutout.

22nd Deacon Maguire is named as Cleveland’s manager, replacing Nap Lajoie. The Deacon has previously managed Boston and Washington.

23rd  With lefthander Jim Pastorius pitching, Brooklyn C Bill Bergen throws out 6 (erroneously listed as 7) of 8 base-stealing Cardinals in a 9–1 St. Louis victory. Bergen’s mark is a 20thcentury high, tied twice in 1915 by Schang and again by 3 A’s catchers on June 18. In the first game of the doubleheader today, it was Brooklyn’s turn as they swiped 6 bases in a 7–0 win. The Cards steal 2 bases.

It’s a day for thievery as the Cubs steal home 3 times in a game at Boston, tying a ML mark. They waste no time, as Johnny Evers and Del Howard do it in the first inning, and Solly Hofman in the 9-run 2nd. All three are on the front end of double steals. Chicago wins, 11–6.

The first place Giants outslug the visiting Reds, 12-9, using a 7-run 4th to do it. Seymour, McCormick and O’Hara each have two hits in the 4th.

24th The Giants split with the Pirates, taking the first game 4–3 behind Hooks Wiltse, then losing the 2nd. Bug Raymond toils the whole 9 innings for the Giants and gets clobbered 11–3. McGraw leaves the high-living pitcher in the runaway to teach him a lesson.

At Detroit, A’s catcher Paddy Livingston throws out Ty Cobb trying to steal 3B during an intentional walk to Sam Crawford. Cobb intentional spikes 3B Frank Baker on his bare hand during the play, prompting howls of protest from the Athletics. The Tigers win, 7–6, and A’s manager Connie Mack will complain to Ban Johnson about Cobb’s dirty play. Cobb gets a warning from the AL president.

25th Christy Mathewson stops the Pirates, 3–2, on five hits to notch his 20th victory of the season. It is the 7th season in a row that Matty’s hit 20 wins. Nick Maddox takes the loss for the leading Bucs.

Led by a grand slam from Joe Delahanty off Lew Richie, the visiting Cardinals jump to a 5-0 lead in the first inning at Boston, but Boston claws back to win, 9-8. Joe is the last of the four Delahanty brothers to hit a grand slam.

27th  Still pitching doubleheaders, Joe “Iron Man” McGinnity wins a pair for Newark over Buffalo in the Eastern League.

28th  In the first of two games at South Side Park, Dolly Gray of Washington enters the record book by walking 8 White Sox in the 2nd inning, with 7 of the walks in a row (both ML records). The Washington Post describes the inning “it looked like a military drill. Each batsman went to the plate. . . and then sedately marched to first.” (as noted by James Kaufman in his book). The 6 runs scored are enough for a 6–4 Chicago win, although they manage only one hit against Dolly. Leading off the 2nd, Patsy Dougherty logs the only hit, and when he bats again in the inning, manager Billy Sullivan suggests he go to the plate without a bat. For Dougherty, this is the 3rd of 4 times he’ll have the only hit in a game. Washington cops the second game, 2–1.

In New York, the matchup between Three Fingered Brown and Christy Mathewson fizzles when the Cubs score 4 runs in the first two innings. Matty is lifted and Brown wins the game, 6–1.

The first six New York batters reach base safely, and though two cross the plate, only one counts as the Yankees lose, 2–1, to Detroit. Engel hits a leadoff single and stays on 1B when Chase chops a ball in the air and Engel thinks it is a pop up. Engle is tagged out. Four more singles plate one run and the Knight is called back to 3B when a hit ball touches an umpire. Cobb has a single, double and triple for the Bengals.

The Milwaukee White Sox and the Leland Giants square off at Auburn Park with the Sox winning, 1–0, in 11 innings. Pederson hits a 2-out single that scores Matt, who was on with a double. Till then, Dougherty had given up 2 hits. Ernie Groth is the winner.

29th The Pirates trade 3B Jap Barbeau, 2B Allen Storke, and cash to the Cardinals for 3B Bobby Byrne.

30th The Cubs and Giants swap shutouts in this Monday doubleheader. Chicago wins the opener, 2–0, in 11 innings, and Mathewson outpitches Ed Reulbach in the nitecap to win, 5–0, on 5 hits.

In a 5–0 shutout, A’s pitcher Eddie Plank swipes home on the front end of a double steal against the White Sox in the 2nd inning. Plank allows 3 hits and strikes out the side in the 8th.

31st  The A. J. Reach Company is granted a patent for its cork-centered baseball, which will replace the hard rubber-cored one. This change will be particularly apparent in the NL in 1910–11. Less than three months ago, Shibe was granted a patent for his version of a cork-centered ball.