1938 August

1st  Al Munro Elias, founder of the Elias Sports Bureau and for many years the official statistician of the NL and IL, dies in New York City at age 67.

2nd  Larry MacPhail has official baseballs dyed dandelion yellow, and they are used in the first game of a doubleheader between the Dodgers and Cardinals at Ebbets Field. The Dodgers win 6–2, but Johnny Mize hits one of Freddie Fitzsimmons’ knuckleballs for the first “yellow” homerun. Fat Freddie complains that the dye comes off and the balls are too slick. The Dodgers will use up their yellow balls in 3 more games in 1939 (Cards over Dodgers, 12–0 and 5–2; Dodgers over Cubs, 10–4). In the second game today, a white ball is used and the Dodgers tattoo that for a 9–3 win. Yellow balls were used in an August 1928 game between Milwaukee and Louisville.

Cubs P Clay Bryant, who will lead the NL in walks (125) and strikeouts (135), shuts out the Giants, 7–0, at the Polo Grounds. Hubbell takes the loss.

Two players act as umpires in a game in St. Louis. In a game being worked by only two umpires, Browns’ catcher Billy Sullivan tries to score on Orel Hildebrand’s single in the second inning, and smashes into umpire Harry Geisel, knocking him cold. Geisel is carried from the field, and regains consciousness in the clubhouse, where Dr. R. F. Hyland discovers that the umpire’s left wrist has been fractured. Steve Basil, the other umpire, goes behind the plate while Buck Newsom (Browns) and Oscar Bluege (Nats), both active players, became umpires in the field. Washington wins, 5-3.

3rd Following an 8–3 loss to the Giants, Cubs manager Gabby Hartnett explodes, chastising the team for not playing harder.

At Comiskey Park, the A’s wring the White Sox, winning 14-2 and 13-5. Philadelphia totals 34 hits including a grand slam by Bob Johnson in the 9th.

5th  Forty-one-year-old Browns P Fred “Cactus” Johnson wins his first ML game since 1923, when he won a pair for the Giants. Cactus goes 9 innings and gives up 9 hits in beating the Indians, 9–2. He drives in 2 runs while Buster Mills collects 4 hits. Al Williams (0-7) is the loser. Johnson won 252 minor leagues games in his career, and will win two more this year for the Brownies. The 15 years between decisions with no appearances in the majors is a ML record.

In Detroit, Joe Cronin hits a grand slam in Boston’s 5-run 9th as the Sox tie Detroit, 8 apiece. Boston pushes across a run in the 10th to make Jim Bagby the winner in relief. Bagby will do it again tomorrow.

6th  Ailing Mickey Cochrane is fired as Detroit manager and replaced by Del Baker.

Former AL pitcher George Pipgras joins the league’s umpiring staff.

Cincinnati has only one assist in a game with the Dodgers, tying the ML record held by 4 clubs. Harry Craft assists with a grand slam for Cincy as they win, 11–6, at Brooklyn.

Behind Lou Fette, the Bees edge the Cubs, 1–0. Vance Page is the loser.

7th  New York’s Red Ruffing loses his no-hitter when Cleveland’s Roy Weatherly doubles in the 9th with one out. The Yankees and Ruffing win easily, 7–0.

Didn’t get the calls, Skip. Alex Swails, pitching for Muskogee (Class C–Western Association) walks 32 Ponca City batters in losing, 16-7, setting an all-time Organized Ball record. Ponca City strands 22 base runners in 8 innings.. Ponca City’s pitcher Hub Kittle walks 11 to total 43 free passes in the game. Kittle will go on to be a coach in the majors and minor leagues in a career spanning nine decades.

9th  In Philadelphia, the A’s starter Nels Potter takes a 3-0 lead into the 7thinning only to have the wheels come off as the Red Sox score 16 runs in the last three innings to win, 16-4. Jim Tabor has a grand slam for Boston.

12th  The Giants pitcher Harry Gumbert beats the Phillies 1–0 at Shibe Park. The Phillies abandoned ancient Baker Bowl a month earlier.

The Senators release Wes Ferrell, who despite struggling with shoulder problems, leads the Nats staff with a 13–8 record, despite a 5.92 ERA. Clark Griffith, who has had differences with Ferrell over money, says Wes wasn’t helping the club. The Yankees will sign him in 2 days. Brother Rick stays a Senator.

At Yankee Stadium, the Yanks and A’s split a pair. The A’s take the opener, 5-4, scoring a run in the 9th. The Bombers come back in game 2 to win, 16-3, on 16 hits including a grand slam by George Selkirk.

Dutch Leonard stops the visiting Red Sox, 13-1, in Washington. The Nats score 7 runs in the 5th, four on a grand slam by Buddy Myer.

14th  In game 1 in St. Louis, Browns ace Bobo Newsom fires a one-hitter, stopping Detroit, 7-1. Birdie Tebbetts has the lone hit as Bobo strikes out 12. Birdie has a 9th inning pinch single in game 2 to drive in the tying run as the two teams end in a 3-3 tie.

15th  A bad day for Chicago as the Cards Lon Warneke stops his old teammates, 8–4. Clay Bryant is the loser. Worse than their 2nd loss in a row is losing player-manager Hartnett, who fractures his thumb when struck by a Joe Medwick foul tip. Gabby will be sidelined for three weeks.

At Griffith Stadium, the Yankees sweep a pair from the Senators, winning 16-1 and 6-2. The Bombers hand Lefty Gomez a 9-run 4th in the opener. Lou Gehrig leads the way with two singles, a double, 3-run homer, 5 RBIs and 4 runs. The fireworks in the second game are provided by Jake Powell, making his first appearance since his 10-day suspension last month for racist comments he made on the radio. In answer to Bob Elson’s question, “How do you keep in trim during the winter months?’ Powell, an off season policeman, replied he kept in shape by “cracking niggers over the head with my blackjack.” Powell is greeted by a barrage of bottles so intense that the “game had to be halted several minutes while five Negro ground attendants gathered the glassware in baskets” (The New York Times). Powell goes hitless as the Yankees win, 6-2, behind Red Ruffing (16-4). Joe DiMaggio has a single, double and homer to drive in 3 runs.

18th  Carl Hubbell is forced to leave the mound in a 5–3 loss to the Dodgers when he experiences sharp elbow pains in his pitching arm. He will have surgery to remove bone chips in a few days ending his season at 13-10.

Pitching against the team that released him, new Yankee Wes Ferrell (14-8) whips the Senators, 5–4, in 11 innings. Ferrell will go 2-2 for New York, with an 8.10 ERA. The Senators gave Ferrell a 10-day severance package. Harry Kelley wins the second game, 6-3, as the Nats salvage a win in the series.

19th  When Detroit’s Billy Rogell walks his first time up, it is his 7thconsecutive base on balls, a new AL record. Jose Canseco, Mel Ott and Eddie Stanky will tie Rogell’s patience in this century. Rogell is 0-for-3 in game 1, an 8–7 win over the Browns, then goes 0-for-5 in game 2, a 7–4 Tiger win. Hank Greenberg hits 3 homers, including a grand slam, in the doubleheader.

In preparation for 1940 Olympic tournament in Tokyo, the U.S. Olympic Baseball team loses 5–3 to England in a rain-shortened 6-inning match in Leeds. The England side, consisting mostly of Canadians and other Commonwealth players, has now beaten the Americans in four of the five games, and the International Baseball Federation will crown the Brits as the Inaugural World Amateur Champions. The outbreak of the War will cancel the 1940 Olympic Games.

20th  Lou Gehrig hits a first-inning grand slam, the 23rd and last of his career for a still-standing record. It comes off Buck Ross in an 11–3 victory over the A’s. Larrupin’ Lou ends the day with 6 RBIs.

The Cubs commit 6 errors in losing to the league-leading Pirates, 5–2, at Wrigley Field.

The East-West Negro League all-star game at Comiskey Park draws 30,000 fans. The East scores 3 in the first off Willie Cornelius, but Hilton Smith and Double Duty Radcliffe hold the East sluggers to one run after that. Neil Robinson hits a 3-run inside-the-park homer for the West as they win, 5-4.

Cleveland Indian catchers Frank Pytlak and Hank Helf break the all-time altitude mark by catching baseballs dropped from the 706-foot Cleveland Terminal Tower. In the afternoon game, Cleveland beats Chicago, 8-2, behind Mel Harder. Monty Stratton takes the loss as Jeff Heath scores 5 runs.

Detroit beats St. Louis 6-4 behind 2 homers by Rudy York. Don Heffner and George McQuillan homer for the Browns as McQuillan’s hit streak reaches 30 games.

21st Before 40,402 at Wrigley, the Cubs sweep the Pirates, winning 6–4 and 6–1, to cut the Bucs lead to 7 games. Bill Lee is the winner over Cy Blanton in the opener, while Tex Carleton tops Russ Bauers in the nitecap.

22nd  Carl Hubbell has an arm operation for bone chips in his elbow and is finished for the season. He tells writers that for several years his elbow has hurt from throwing his screwball.

23rd At Fenway, the Red Sox roll over the Indians, 13–3 in the first of 2. Pinky Higgins leads the 21-hit attack with 5 hits to back Ostermueller’s pitching. In game 2, Jimmie Foxx has 6 RBIs, and connects for a 9th inning grand slam off Willis Hudlin to lead Boston to a 14–12 win. Foxx will homer 9 times against the Tribe this year, an AL record for homers against one club.

In St. Louis, Terry Moore belts a 4th-inning homer, off Vito Tamulis, as the Cardinals hold on to whip the Dodgers, 9-7. Tamulis was picked up on waivers from the Browns on May 20th.

24th  Virgil Trucks strikes out his 420th batter (some accounts have this at 418)—the highest season total in organized ball—for Andalusia in an Alabama-Florida League game. On May 18th and June 4th, Trucks threw no-hitters, and struck out 19 in the first no-hitter. He will finish at 25-6, with a 1.25 ERA. News at the time will credit Trucks with breaking Old Hoss Radbourn’s record set in 1884, but subsequent research will establish that Matt Kilroy struck out 513 for Baltimore in 1886..

In a Florida State League game, Blix Donnelly of Daytona Beach strikes out 19 Gainesville G-Men in a 6-0 win. As a rookie, Donnelly will win a WS game for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1944.

25th  St. Louis Browns’ George McQuinn’s 34-game hitting string is stopped 7 short of George Sisler’s AL record. McQuinn has a single in the first game 8–5 win over the A’s, then is collared in the 4–1 nitecap loss. No one but Sisler and Cobb, both twice, have had longer hit streaks in 20thcentury so far.

Thanks, Skip. In a weird-ending Coastal Plain League game at Goldsboro, William Flora of Goldsboro strikes out 20 Eagle batters in 9 innings and 25 batters in 12 innings against Kinston. In the 13th inning, umpire Chewning forfeits the game to Kinston because the Goldsboro manager ignores his requests for new balls.

26th At Yankee Stadium, Bob Feller endures the worst outing of his career, giving up 15 runs, all earned, in 7 innings. He gives up 15 hits and walks 9 in the 15-9 loss. Joe DiMaggio drives in 7 runs on 4 hits, including a homer and 2 doubles. Tommy Henrich drives in 4. The Indians rebound in game 2 to win, 8-5, as Frank Pytak drives in 5 runs on a single, triple and homer.

The last-place Phils take their 3rd straight game from the front-running Pirates, winning 6–4 at Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh now leads the Giants by 4 ½ games.

27th  With 40,959 fans at Yankee Stadium, Joe DiMaggio has 3 triples in the first game of a doubleheader with Cleveland, an 8–7 Yankee win. New York scores 4 in the 9th, the last 2 coming around on DiMaggio’s 3rdsuccessive triple, to win it. In the 2nd game, Yankee Monte Pearson tosses a no-hitter—the first at Yankee Stadium—winning his 10th straight game, 13–0. He faces just 27 batters, striking out 7. The Yankees, playing their 6th successive doubleheader, increase their AL lead to 12 games.

Washington outhits the visiting Tigers, 19 to 15, but Detroit edges the Nats, 12-11. Zeke Bonura hits his second grand slam of the year for Washington in the 4th. It is the 8th grand slam for the Senators this year, the same number they’ve hit in the last 12 years combined and more than they’ll total in the next 12 years.

28th  On Connie Mack Day at Shibe Park, the A’s win a doubleheader, 5–4 and 7–2, from the White Sox, setting a AL record by playing their 7thsuccessive twin bill in 8 days.

Playing for Hickory (Carolina League) against visiting Kannapolis, Vince Barton hits five consecutive homeruns, good for 9 RBIs. He grounds out in the first inning, then connects in the 3rd, 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th innings. His longest is estimated at 500 feet. Barton, a former Chicago Cub, led the International League in homers in 1934.

30th Red Sox center fielder Doc Cramer pitches 4 innings in relief against the Browns, giving up two runs in a 5–0 Boston loss. It is Doc’s only pitching appearance.

Pittsburgh’s Jim Tobin tops the Giants 7–1 to pad the Bucs lead over New York to 6 ½ games. For pennant insurance, the Bucs purchase Heine Manush from Toronto (IL).

Dick Ward of San Diego (PCL) pitches a no-hitter for 12 2/3 innings against Los Angeles before allowing a hit in the 13th. Ward allows one more hit as he wins in 16 innings, 1–0.