1945 August

1st Mel Ott hits the 500th HR of his career, a total exceeded only by Babe Ruth and Jimmie Foxx. He will hit 10 more this season and one on Opening Day of 1946 to finish with 511. Ott leads the Giants to a 9–2 win over the Braves at the Polo Grounds.

Paced by Johnny Hopp’s grand slam off Hod Lisenbee, the Cardinals score 8 runs in the 2nd inning en route to a 15-3 pasting against the visiting Reds. Hopp’s homer goes over the RF pavilion at Sportsman’s Park.

In Detroit, the first-place Tigers go into the bottom of the 9th on the short end of an 8-5 score, but rally for 4 runs to top the Browns, 9-8. The Browns took a 5-0 lead in the 5th inning when Lou Finney hit a grand slam.

2nd Pat Seerey hits a grand slam in Cleveland’s 8-run 3rd inning as the Indians top the visiting White Sox, 13-7. It is Fat Pat’s 2nd grand slam in three weeks.

3rd The Dodgers recall 17-year-old infielder Tommy Brown from St. Paul. Brown debuted a year ago on this date.

4th Tom McBride of the Boston Red Sox drives in ML-record tying 6 runs in the 4th inning of the 2nd game of a doubleheader against the Senators, as the Sox score 12 runs. He doubles and triples off Santiago Ullrich and Joe Cleary, each time with the bases loaded. The Sox bat around against Cleary, who gives up 7 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks. Cleary, the last major leaguer born in Ireland, gets one out, on a strikeout, but this is his only ML appearance and he’ll finish with a 189. ERA. The Senators then call on Bert Shepard, who remarkably pitches 5 1/3 innings giving up one run on 3 hits. For Shepard, who was wounded in WW2 and lost a leg, this too will be his only major league appearance. The Sox win, 15–4, after losing the opener, 4-0. Rookie reliever Wally Holborow, 32, throws a 2-hitter for his first ML win in his first ML start. He’ll win another pitching for the A’s in 1948.

At Crosley Field, the Reds edge the Cubs, 4-3, behind the pitching of Ed Heusser. It is Cincy’s only victory against Chicago this year as they will go 1-21 against the Cubs. Only the Cubs in 1909 vs. Braves (Pirates vs. Braves 1909. are close with a 1-20 mark), the Yankees (1927 vs. Browns) and the 1937 Pirates (vs. Reds) have matched this. No pre=expansion team has been swept in a season series.

At Pittsburgh, Pirate catcher Bill Salkeld is 5-for-5, including hitting for the cycle, and drives in all 5 runs, but his Bucs lose, 6–5, to the Cardinals reliever Harry Brecheen. Salkeld hits his only triple of the year in the cycle, half his career total. His offensive effort offsets a curious defensive stat: he has no putouts or assists in the game.

5th The Cubs bang out 22 hits in game 1 of a pair to overwhelm the Reds, 12–5. Hack has 3 doubles and a single, and Cavarretta has 5 hits for the second time in a month and 5 RBI. The Cubs take the nitecap, 2–1, behind Claude Passeau’s 6-hitter. Chicago has won 17 of their last 18 games.

The Senators sweep a pair from the Red Sox, winning 5-4 in 14 innings and 5-1 in regulation. George Myatt has 4 hits and 4 runs in game 1. Washington moves just a half game behind the AL leading Tigers.

6th At Comiskey Park, the Tigers and White Sox split two. Detroit wins the opener, 6-2, behind Al Benton. Benton has made 15 consecutive starts (one relief appearance) while allow 2 or fewer runs; it won’t be matched till 2010 when Mat Latos does it. Chicago takes the second game, 7-0, behind Johnny Humphries. Oris Hockett has 4 stolen bases in game 2, the first American Leaguer to do that since 1931. Hockett will swipe 10 this year, while getting caught 9 times.

8th The Tigers split a pair with the Red Sox, winning 5–2 before losing 7–4 in 12 innings. The Tigers tie the game in the bottom of the 9th when pitcher Zeb Eaton belts his second pinch homer of the year, a 2-run shot. It is also Zeb’s second and last ML homer. In the 10thframe of the 2nd game, a line drive off the bat of Detroit’s Hank Greenberg fractures the head of Boston Red Sox rookie pitcher Jim Wilson, necessitating a 2-hour operation. Wilson will return to pitch 11 more years, but won’t win another ML game till 1951.

9th The lowly Boston Braves sell veteran pitcher Jim Tobin (9-14) to the AL-leading Detroit Tigers. Tobin, a good-hitting pitcher will go 4-5, and pitch in the World Series this year before retiring.

10th At Philadelphia, the Pirates and Phils split a doubleheader. The Bucs take the opener, 10-2, as Bob Elliot clubs a grand slam. Oscar Judd tosses a 4-hitter for a 6-1 Phillies victory in the nightcap.

At Detroit, the Red Sox snap a scoreless tie with the first-place Tigers by scoring 7 runs in the 6th to knock out Al Benton. Only one of the runs is earned but the splurge is the first start this season that Benton has allowed more than 2 runs. The 15 starts since the start of the season with 2 runs or fewer allowed is a major league record. Dodger starter Ryu in 2019 will notch 13 straight to come the closest. The final today is 9-0 Boston, with the shutout pitched by Randy Hefflin for his first ML win.

Richard Muckerman buys out Don Barnes’ interest in the Browns and now controls 50 percent of the club.

11th Chicago’s Claude Passeau limits the Braves to two hits—both coming with 2 out in the 8th—as the Cubs win, 8–0. The Cubs score 6 in the 9th after starter Logan is lifted.

12th Mel Ott leads the Giants to a pair of wins over the Reds, 3–2 and 6–5. Ott hits a pinch 3-run homer in the 8th of the nitecap after his homer and another by Danny Gardella leads the way in opener. The Reds Bill McKechnie, desperate for hitting, selects P Joe Bowman to pinch-hit for Vern Kennedy in game 1. Bowman is 0-for-42. He will hit .088 for the season.

Phils baserunner Fred Daniels collides with Cubs 1B Phil Cavarretta, sidelining the Cubs star for 25 of the next 27 games. The Cubs manage to win two from the Phils, 4–3 and 12–6. Stan Hack has hits in each game to extend his consecutive-game hitting streak to 25 matches.

In the lid lifter at Briggs Stadium, pitcher Jim Tobin, acquired on waivers, pitches 3 scoreless innings against New York and clubs a 3-run game-ending homer in the bottom of the 11th to win, 9–6. Another former Brave, Jim Turner, serves up the homer. The Tigers win the nitecap, 8–2, behind Hal Newhouser’s 18th win.

13th  At Ebbets Field, the Dodgers score 3 runs in the 8th and one in the 9th to tie the visiting Cardinals, at 10 apiece. But the Cardinals push across a run in the 15th on Ken O’Dea’s RBI double to win, 11-10. With the Cubs winning, 4-1, the Cards stay 6 games behind.

Branch Rickey becomes the principal stockholder of the Dodgers. He and associates Walter O’Malley and John Smith acquire the 50 percent interest of the Ebbets estate for a reported price of $750,000.

14th Cleveland’s Lou Boudreau suffers a broken right ankle in a collision at 2B with Dolph Camilli, but the Tribe beats the Red Sox, 3–0 behind Jim Bagby’s 3-hitter.

At Boston, the Pirates sweep a pair from the Braves, winning 7-5 in 10 innings, and 6-2. The Pirates score 3 times in the 10th in game 1. Johnny Barrett has a 1st inning grand slam in game 2.

Giants rookie Sal Maglie makes his first ML start, beating the Reds, 5–2. It is Cincy’s 11th straight loss. They’ll lose a pair tomorrow before winning.

15th The Cubs rack up 19 hits, including 2 homers by Paul Gillespie, one with the bases full in the 2nd inning off Art Herring, to swamp the Dodgers, 20–6. Gillespie drives in 6. Chicago scores 8 in the 4thinning with the first 8 batters reaching base before an out is recorded. Hank Borowy coasts to the win.

Commissioner Happy Chandler sells WS radio rights for $150,000 to Gillette. Ford had been the WS sponsor since 1934, paying $100,000 annually.

Umpire Ernie Stewart is canned by AL President Will Harridge for “disloyalty.” Stewart had complained about the pay and taken his case to Chandler. Bill McGowan is the top-paid umpire in the league at $9,000.

18th Scheduled demonstrations at the Polo Grounds and Ebbets Field to end segregation in organized baseball are called off.

19th In game 2 of a doubleheader against the Reds, 37-year-old slugger Jimmie Foxx makes his first ML start, pitching, the first 7 innings for the Philadelphia Blue Jays. He leaves with a 4–1 lead, and Andy Karl saves Foxx’s only ML decision, a 6–2 final. Double X’s ERA in 10 ML appearances is 1.52. Foxx’s opponent is Howie Fox, who started yesterday’s game as well. The lidlifter goes the Phils as well, 5–0, though they are mathematically eliminated from a 1st place finish.

The Yankees win the first of 2 with the White Sox, 4–2, to break their 9-game losing streak, the longest under McCarthy. Chicago takes the nitecap, 20, as Lefty Grove gives up just 5 hits, 3 by Metheny.

20th At the age of 17, SS Tommy Brown of the Brooklyn Dodgers is the youngest player to hit a ML homer. Brown belts his homer off Pirates southpaw Preacher Roe into the upper LF section at Ebbets Field. Seven Dodger errors make it easy for Pittsburgh to win, 11-1.

Detroit’s Hal Newhouser shuts out the A’s, 4–0, for his 20th win of the year. Greenberg has his 15 game hitting-streak stopped, but Roy Cullenbine and Doc Cramer add HRs.

Washington double bagels the host Cleveland Indians as Marino Pieretti wins 7–0 and Alex Carrasquel follows with a 6–0 shutout. George Binks contributes a grand slam off Pete Center.

21st At Ebbets Field, the Pirates score 7 times in the 1st inning against the faltering Dodgers, and win, 12-1. Pete Coscarart has a grand slam in the opening frame, off Hal Gregg.

24th Cleveland ace Bob Feller returns from the Navy and attracts a home crowd of 46,477, who watch him strike out 12 and yield only 4 hits in a 4–2 win over Detroit’s Hal Newhouser. He will get 9 starts during the remainder of the year, and his 5 wins will include a one-hitter and two 4-hitters. With the war now over, fans are clamoring for entertainment and it is clear Feller is still baseball’s number one ticket seller.

25th The Tigers Joe Hoover will swipe only 19 bases in his career, but the most valuable one comes today. On the front end of a 3rd inning double steal, Hoover steals home against the Browns for the game’s only run.

At Ebbets Field the Dodgers sweep two from the Giants, winning, 8-6 and 13-3. Ed Stevens has a homer and double to drive in 5 runs in game 1, and Dixie Walker leads Da Bums in game 2 with 6 RBIs.

26th Red Sox pitcher Boo Ferriss wins his 20th game, beating the A’s 4–3 and doubling home the game winner in the 10th inning. The Sox take the nitecap, 4–3, on an 8th inning RBI by Boston native Byron La Forest. The rookie has 5 hits for the day, including two homers and a double.

Before a standing-room only crowd of 42,998 at Wrigley, the Cardinals down the Cubs, 5–1 behind Red Barrett’s 5 hitter, and cut Chicago’s lead to 2 ½ games. A week ago the Cubs lead the Cards by 7 ½.

In St. Louis, the 3rd-place Browns sweep a pair from the White Sox, winning 3-2 and 4-1. In game 1 Gene Moore legs out a run-off inside-the-park homer in the 9th inning.

In the first of two at Forbes Field, the Pirates plate 7 in the 2nd inning and hold on the beat the Reds, 10-7. Jim Russell has a 3-run homer in the big frame. The Bucs complete the sweep with a 2-1 win in the second game. Rookie Ken Gables (10-4) goes the distance. After 3 hits in game 1, Reds OF Ken Libke goes hitless ending his consecutive-game hitting streak at 20.

27th The Browns overcome a 6-run 7th by the White Sox to edge to Sox, 8-7. Oris Hockett has a grand slam for Chicago.

28th Against the Phillies, Brooklyn’s teenage SS Tommy Brown hits a triple and then steals home sliding under a high pitch by Rene Monteagudo. At 17, he is the youngest to pull off a home steal. The Dodgers win, 7–1, for their 13th win in 14 games.

29th At Sportsman’s Park, the Browns edge the 1st-place Tigers, 5-4, to tighten the AL race. The Senators are a game in back of Detroit while Cleveland and New York are tied for 4th place, 6 games back.

30th Stan Hack of the Cubs becomes No. 82 in the 2,000-hit club when he collects a first inning single off Pirate pitcher Preacher Roe. Earlier in the season the Senators’ Joe Kuhel and Red Sox OF Bob Johnson made the list. Hack scores after his safety, but the Pirates win, 6–4 over the first-place Cubs.

Yankees rookie Floyd Bevans, 28, retires the first 18 Red Sox batters before giving up a walk and a double to Bob Johnson, the only hit for the Sox. Bevans wins, 7–1, defeating Boo Ferriss who was trying for his 21st win. Johnson had the lone hit for his team twice in June 1937.

At Raleigh, Charles Timm sets a Carolina League record by striking out 20 batters as his Raleigh Capitals beats Martinsville, 7-3.

31st The Senators again muff a chance to go into first place, dropping a pair to the Yankees, 3–2 and 3–1. In between games, Nats pitcher Bert Shepard receives the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service in WW2. Shepard lost his leg in battle.

Browns pitcher Sig Jacucki, who was hammered out of the box in the win over Detroit two days ago, arrives hammered at Union Station in St. Louis for the 8 a.m. train to Chicago (as noted in Bill Mead’s Only The Browns). According to trainer Bob Bauman, manager Sewell tells Sig, “You’re not getting on that train. You’re through.” “No I’m not,” Sig retorts and starts drunkenly swinging. Somehow, Jacucki boards the train but the police take him off at suburban Delmar station. Undaunted, Jacucki hops a freight train and reaches the team hotel in Chicago around midnight, and ends up sleeping in the lobby. It is all for naught as owner Bill Dewitt tells the pitcher he is finished. Sig, 12-10 this year, ends his career at 25-22.