1920 August

1st In Chicago, sensational fielding and Eddie Cicotte’s pitching stop the Yankees, 3–0. LF Joe Jackson robs Ruth of a double when he catches the ball and tumbles into the stands on top of fans. The Sox contend he dropped the ball and play the game under protest. CF Happy Felsch robs Peckinpaugh of a sure double by snagging his line drive with his bare hand.

2nd At Chicago, a Monday-record crowd of 25,000 cheer Babe Ruth who clouts his 38th homer in the Yankees 7-0 win over the White Sox. Babe adds a run-scoring double to back Jack Quinn’s pitching.

The Red Sox pick up Elmer Myers (2-4) off the waiver list from the Athletics. A canny move, Myers will go 9-1 the rest of the year for the 5th-place Bosox.

Rogers Hornsby drives in all the runs as the Cardinals down the first-place Robins, 4-1.

3rd The Giants whip the listless Reds, 11-1, at the Polo Grounds. The chief target of boos from the fans is Edd Roush, who throws back curves to his infielders rather than a straight ball, and doesn’t run out a ground out. In the 7th, Ross Young hits a liner to left center and Roush makes no move to chase it down, and Young ends up with a homerun.

PCL president W.H. McCarthy announces that former player Hal Chase is barred from every park in the league. Chase had approached Salt Lake City pitcher Charles Baum with an offer to make “some easy money.” Baum refused, and went to the league with the information. The Salt Lake City team also releases veteran outfielder Harl Maggert who is under suspicion of being involved.

5th After losing 3 out of 4 in Chicago, the Yanks drop their first game in Detroit, 7–1, to Howard Ehmke. Babe Ruth supplies the only NY score with a shot in the 7th that clears a wire fence in front of the RF wall and bounced back. The ground rule is it’s a HR.

6th Ruth clouts 2 more homers, giving him 41, to lead the Yanks to a 11–7 victory over the Tigers. Both homers are off Hooks Dauss, who is given the hook in the 8th. Quinn pitches 2 innings for New York before being lifted for Mogridge.

At Sportsman’s Park, the Browns outslug the Senators to win, 14-7, collecting 10 of their runs off starter Elmer Courtney. Ken Williams has a 5th inning grand slam to chase Courtney and finishes with 5 RBI. Joe Judge has a pair of homers off winner Dixie Davis.

8th  Detroit’s Howard Ehmke whitewashes the Yankees 1–0 in just 1 hour, 13 minutes, one of the shortest games in AL history (shortest 1–0 game) With no outs and 2 on in the 5th inning, the Yanks fail to capitalize as Ping Bodie falls for the hidden ball trick applied by 2B Ralph Young.

The Browns sweep a pair from Washington, winning 3–2 and 11–4. Jack Tobin is 4-for-4, with a double and triple in game one, while in the 2ndgame, against Olaf Erickson, the Browns George Sisler hits for the cycle and drives in 6 runs.

Actor John Slavin is found badly beaten in John McGraw’s New York apartment. Both Slavin and McGraw deny that a fight took place, but prohibition agents will obtain a grand jury injunction against the Giants manager charging him with violating the Volstead Act “by unlawfully possessing a bottle of whiskey.” He later admits to the DA that it was four bottles of whiskey he consumed, all purchased at the Lambs’ Club. The two pugilists will settle out of court but the Lamb’s Club, where the drinking took place, will expel McGraw as a member. McGraw will later be acquitted of the charge and the club will welcome him back. He will also be called to testify in Chicago hearings investigating gambling and bribery among players, including Hal Chase and Heinie Zimmerman.

9th  In Cleveland, the Yankees top the Indians 6–3 to cut the Tribe’s lead to 3 ½ games. Ruth, with 41 homers, is walked 3 times and goes hitless twice.

10th  Failure to cover 1B in the 7th costs Bill Doak a no-hitter in the Cards’ 5–1 win over the Phils. Doak, a decent-fielding pitcher, is the inventor of a revolutionary glove with multi-thong web laced into the first finger and thumb. The Rawlings Sporting Goods company began producing a Bill Doak glove in the spring of this year, after field testing it in 1919. They will make a three-finger model in 1925 and the Bill Doak glove will stay in Rawlings line until 1953.

11th  Babe Ruth stretches a 1st inning single into a double, but wrenches his right knee sliding into 2B. Cleveland’s Elmer Smith smashes a 3rdinning grand slam, his 2nd in 11 days, off Carl Mays, but the Yanks tie in regulation, and win it 7–4 in the 10th. The Yanks’ win cuts the Indians lead to 2 ½ games.

13th  Bad luck. In a Friday game at Cleveland, the Yankees complete a 4-game sweep of the leading Indians by beating them 4–3. Shawkey is the winner with relief help from Carl Mays. The Indians leave for their final Eastern swing with a 70–40 record, with New York and Chicago both at 72–42.

At the Polo Grounds, Fred Toney makes 3 wild pitches, all of which figure in the scoring, as he loses to Brooklyn, 4–2. Two of the heaves come in the 4th with the bases loaded and all 3 runs score. The last comes in the 8thand puts Myers in a position to score.

14th  The Phillies take game 1 in Boston, 4-3, then in game 2 move ahead by an odd homerun in the 7th inning when Johnny Rawlings lines a ball into CF that finds a hole in the scoreboard where the numbers are posted. The same thing happened here last year. The Braves overcome the 3-2 lead and win, 4-3, in 10 innings.

15th  Cleveland rookie submariner Bob Clark tosses a 4-hit shutout over the Browns for a 5–0 win his first major-league start. His win moves the Tribe into first place and gives Cleveland’s top 3 starters a needed rest for the upcoming series with the Yankees in New York. This will prove to be Clark’s only win.

The Senators top New York, 6–4, while the White Sox beat the Tigers 10–3. The Sox are now in 2nd place.

16th  At the Polo Grounds Cleveland SS Ray Chapman, 29, is beaned by a Carl Mays pitch. A righthanded batter who crowds the plate, Chapman freezes and fails to get out of the way of the submarine delivery. He is carried from the field and dies the next day from a fractured skull. Mays, a surly, unpopular pitcher, will be the target of fans’ and players’ outrage. Chapman, a Cleveland favorite since his debut in 1912, had been married the previous year. In October his wife will receive a full World Series share, $3,986.34. The incident has no effect on Mays’s pitching. One week later he will blank Detroit 10–0, and go on to win 26 and lose 11. Joe Sewell will be called up to take Chapman’s place, and for 14 years he will be the hardest man in baseball to strike out. The Indians, ahead 3–0 at the time of the beaning, edge the Yanks, 4–3, to open a half-game lead on the idle White Sox.

17th  In memory of Ray Chapman, the Yankees postpone today’s game with the Indians.

At a meeting between the Red Sox and Tigers in Boston, the players threaten to boycott playing against Carl Mays. Tiger SS Donie Bush announces to the press that he is willing to leave the Tigers and play SS for Cleveland in Chapman’s place. In Washington, the Browns unanimously agree that Mays “must be removed from baseball,” though they don’t accuse Mays of deliberately throwing at Chapman. The Senators are less strident. Ban Johnson receives a telegram informing him of the threatened boycotts around the AL. Mays charges that if there is any blame it should go to umpire Tommy Connolly because he allowed a ball with a rough spot to be kept in play. From Boston, umpires Billy Evans and Will Dinneen blast Mays stating “no pitcher in the American League resorted to trickery more than Carl Mays in attempting to rough a ball to get a break on it. . . .”

18th  Wally Pipp hits a 2-run inside-the-park homer in the 9th inning, off Jim Bagby, to give the Yankees a 4–3 over the first-place Indians at the Polo Grounds. Both teams wear black arm bands in memory of Ray Chapman; Mays is conspicuous in not wearing the arm band.

19th  Despite Ruth’s 43rd HR of the year, the Indians Slim Caldwell allows just 4 other hits to top the Yanks, 3–2. The Indians answer with homers by Elmer Smith and two hits from new shortstop Harry Lunte. The Indian players leave immediately for Cleveland and Chapman’s funeral with a half-game lead over Chicago and 1 1⁄2 over the Yankees,. It will be the tightest race since 1908.

Ban Johnson states diplomatically that Carl Mays “is greatly affected [by the fatal beaning] and may never be capable temperamentally of pitching again.”

In Cincinnati, the Reds strengthen their hold on 1st place, beating their nearest rivals the Dodgers, 3–2, in 13 innings. Leon Cadore, who takes over for Grimes after 10 innings, loses to reliever Jimmy Ring.

20th  The Friday Red Sox–Indians game in Boston is postponed because of Chapman’s funeral in Cleveland. It will be part of a Monday doubleheader.

After two minutes of silence at the start of the 5th inning, the White Sox sweep a pair from the A’s in Philadelphia. The Sox win the opener, 7–4 and take the nitecap on a forfeit when the crowd surges on the field thinking a foul grounder had ended the game. Chicago is leading 5–2 at the time. The double win moves Chicago into a virtual tie with the Indians.

21st  In Boston, the Red Sox sweep a Saturday doubleheader from the shell-shocked Indians, who play without Speaker, still in Cleveland dealing with matters relating to Chapman’s death. Pitchers Waite Hoyt and Herb Pennock each allow just 3 hits in throwing shutouts, winning 12–0 and 4–0. The 2 losses drop the Indians into 2nd place behind the first place White Sox, double winners in Washington. The Sox have won 10 of their last 12 games.

Pittsburgh pitcher Wilbur Cooper starts his 2nd triple play of the year, a ML record, but the Pirates lose 3–1 to the Phils.

A car that president Shibe of the A’s is driving is struck by another and he is severely injured. His health will not be the same afterwards and he will die in less than two years.

22nd  Ty Cobb has 5 hits, scores 2 runs and knocks in 2 to lead Detroit to an 11–9 victory over the Yankees.

23rd  Cleveland splits a doubleheader in Boston, winning the opener 2–1 behind Slim Caldwell. Boston takes the nitecap 4–3 in 13 innings.

In New York, Carl Mays waits to make his first appearance since the beaning of Chapman, when a clubhouse boy delivers a note from Ty Cobb. It reads: “If it was within my power, I would have inscribed on Ray Chapman’s tombstone these words: ‘Here lies a victim of arrogance, viciousness and greed.’” Though nervous in the early innings, Mays shuts out the Tigers to win 10–0. He then issues a statement against his critics on the Tigers and Red Sox: “Both those clubs have pitchers who have hit more men this year than I have.” Mays has hit six, but Boston’s Joe Bush (10) and Howard Ehmke (9) have more.

This evening the Indians draft a “round robin” letter to circulate throughout the league (excluding the Yankees). The letter asks the players “to refuse to participate in any games where Mays is assigned to pitch.” All the Indians sign the letter except for Speaker. The Browns and Senators will support the Indians, while the Tigers and Red Sox are waiting to see how effective the boycott is before joining. The A’s and the White Sox take the position that it was an accident.

24th  The Indians lose 7–2 in Boston as the Sox sink rookie submariner Bob Clark for 13 hits.

25th  At the Polo Grounds, the Yankees edge the Indians 4–3 on Wally Pipp’s 2-run inside-the-park home run.

26th  In Philadelphia, the A’s top the Indians 3–2 behind Three-Finger Keefe, sending the Tribe to its 7th loss in 9 games. Ban Johnson, in Philadelphia for a league meeting, meets with the Indians, who announce that Tris Speaker has nothing to do with the boycott petition. Johnson deflates the boycott movement by sending word out that any team will be fined $1,000 and face forfeit for not playing against Carl Mays.

The first place White Sox open their series in New York with a 16–4 pounding of the Yankees. New York scores 3 runs in the first off Dickie Kerr, led by Ruth’s 44th homer, but do little after that. Swede Risberg and Happy Felsch each drive in 4 runs and Shano Collins has 3 RBI on two doubles and a bases-loaded triple in the 8th. The Sox pile on with a triple steal in the 8th when they score 5 runs. Eddie Collins swipes home as Weaver and Jackson steal. For Collins it is his second bases-loaded triple this year and a ML record 8th of his career. Musial will total 7 in the NL.

27th  The first place White Sox lose to the Yankees 6–5 in 12 innings but still lead the AL. Ruth is out of the Yank’s lineup with a swollen arm from chigger bites incurred while working off days as a star in the filming of Safe At Home.

The Indians break out of their slump by scalping the A’s 15–3 on 21 hits.

At Chicago, the Cubs scratch out a 1–0 win over Brooklyn, with Pete Alexander beating Burleigh Grimes.

The Giants knock the Reds out of 1st place, winning the first game of a doubleheader in 17 innings, 6–4. Doyle’s double scores Young and Kelly. The score is tied at 4 each at the end of the 6th and starters Art Nehf and Ray Fisher match zeros until the 17th. The 2nd game ends in a five-inning tie.

28th Giants pitcher Rube Benton bends but doesn’t break, as he allows 12 Cincinnati hits, but shuts out the Reds, 4–0.

29th  In St. Louis, Yankee P Jack Quinn loses his spitter and in the 6thwhen a drizzle starts, and Carl Mays relieves for New York with the score 2–2 Despite 2 runners thrown out at home by OF Duffy Lewis, the Browns take a 3–2 lead. But New York plates 2 more runs to win 4–3 and give Carl Mays his 20th victory.

The Senators top the Indians, 3–2, to drop Cleveland to 3rd place.

31st  In Chicago, the Phils beat the Cubs, 3–0, as Lee Meadows tops Pete Alexander. This game later draws some suspicion because of heavy betting reportedly placed on the outcome, which shifted the odds from the Cubs to the Phils. Bill Veeck pulls his scheduled pitcher Claude Hendrix for Alex, who is above suspicion, and offers the ace $500 if he wins. Hendrix, who made 23 starts this year, makes none the rest of the campaign and will be released after the season.