1951 August

1st  Congressman Celler denies the accusation that his committee wants a 3rd ML. He states that some changes with regard to territorial rights will have to be made.

The Cubs’ Eddie Miksis lines a ball to Willie Mays in CF, which caroms off his head for a double, as the Cubs nip the Giants, 3–2. Cal McLish wins over Larry Jansen. The Giants come back in game 2 behind the shut out pitching of Al Corwin to top the Cubs, 2–0. Bob Kelly is the losing pitcher, while Al Corwin wins his first ML game.

Pittsburgh, the Dodgers take a 7–2 lead against Murry Dickson, then make 2 hits off 4 relievers and lose, 12–9. The Pirates score 4 in the 4th and 4 more in the 8th, including Ralph Kiner’s 27th homer, to win and snap the Dodgers victory streak at 10 games.

2nd Ray Scarborough and Chuck Stobbs are victorious for the Red Sox as they beat the visiting Browns, 12-1 and 11-6. Boston is tied for 2nd place with Cleveland, a game behind the Yankees.

3rd At Cincinnati, the Dodgers take a 4-3 lead in the 14th, but Hank Edwards ties the game in the bottom of the inning with a RBI double, goes to 3B on a wild pitch and scores on a passed ball for the 5-4 win. Willard Ramsdell goes the 14 innings for the win.

5th  Roy Campanella hits a 6th inning grand slam and the Dodgers outlast the Reds, 9-8. Cincinnati scores 5 runs in the bottom of the 9th to make it close. Starter Johnny Schmitz is the winner. The second game is a low scoring affair, 2-0, with Brooklyn’s Ralph Branca twirling the shutout.

In the first game of a doubleheader in Forbes, Bubba Church (13-6) allows just one hit—a homer by Ralph Kiner—as the Phils beat the Pirates, 5-1. It is the third time the Pirate star has had the only hit in a game for the Bucs. Kiner adds two more homers in game 2 but the Phils launch a 16-hit attack to win, 13-7. Richie Ashburn has 4 hits and leads the NL in that category. Kiner is tied with Hodges with 31 homers.

6th  Lame duck Commissioner Happy Chandler testifies in front of the Senate committee, urging that baseball expand out of its eastern area. He adds that some owners see sport only as big business.

7th  The Phils shut out the Braves 1–0 in 15 innings in the 2nd game of a doubleheader as reliever Ken Heintzelman bests Warren Spahn, also in relief. The Phils capture the opener, 3–1, on Robin Roberts’ 15th win.

In a day-night doubleheader the Dodgers sweep a pair from the Giants, taking the first game 7–2 behind the solid relief of Carl Erskine. Hodges, Snider and Furillo homer. Brooklyn takes the nightcap, 6–5, in 10 innings after jumping on Maglie for a 5–1 lead. Snider and Furillo homer again, while Bobby Thomson goes deep for the Giants. Cox’s RBI single wins it, giving the Dodgers an 11 1/2 game margin, the greatest lead in Brooklyn history.

Senator Edwin C. Johnson backs the reserve clause in his testimony, citing his bill to exempt baseball from antitrust legislation.

Bobby Doerr suffers a severe sacroiliac pain that forces the future Hall of Famer into early retirement. The Red Sox regular 2B for 13 seasons, Doerr will become a Red Sox coach.

9th With possible baseball commissioner Douglas MacArthur looking on, the Dodgers top the Giants again, 6–5, for their 12th win in 15 games between the two rivals. The two teams combine for a NL record 24 walks. Campanella hits two homers, but sustains an injury in the 9th inning when Whitey Lockman crashes into him: “The hardest I’ve ever been hit in a ball game.” Campy will miss four days but the bone chips will hamper him the rest of the season. Clyde King wins his 2nd win in two days and shortstops Pee Wee Reese (19) and Alvin Dark (17) keep their hitting streaks alive. The Dodgers lead by 12 1/2 games.

In the Braves 5–4 win over the Phillies, catcher Ebba St. Claire participates in 3 double plays to tie the ML record. The record will be topped in the AL, but not till 1999 will another NL backstop be in 3 DPs in a game.

11th  In Philadelphia, the Giants lose to the Phils, as Robin Roberts shuts them out, 4–0, for his 16th win. Putsy Cabellero hits his 1st major league homer, off George Spencer for the 3rd place Phils (57-52), now just 1 1/2 games behind New York.

The Dodgers take the 1st of 2 games against the Braves, winning 8–1 behind Ralph Branca. Brooklyn now leads the NL by 13 1/2 games with 49 games to play. The Braves take the nightcap, 8–4, behind Max Surkont and a home run by Sid Gordon. With Red Barber and Connie Desmond making the calls, the doubleheader is the first ML game to be telecast in color.

Behind the four-hit pitching of Early Wynn, the Indians defeat the White Sox 2–1 in front of a Ladies Night crowd of 70,119. Wynn’s homer in the 7th gives the Tribe (68-39) and negates 2nd-inning homers by Eddie Robinson and Al Rosen. It’s the Tribes 9th straight win to stay deadlocked with the Yankees for first place. Loser Joe Dobson, who has beaten Wynn twice this year, gives up just 6 hits.

Eddie Joost homers in the 9th for the A’s, who tie the Yanks 4–4, but the Yanks win in 11, 7–4. Sloppy fielding and a two-run single by Berra account for the scoring. The win goes to reliever Bob Kuzava, late of the Senators, while Alex Kellner takes the loss.

12th  The Giants (59-51) start the day 13 games behind first place Brooklyn (70-36). On Wes Westrum Day at the Polo Grounds, Sal Maglie wins the first game against the Phillies 3–2, and rookie Al Corwin takes the 2nd game 2–1. Eddie Stanky returns to the lineup after a week’s absence and has 5 walks in the 2 games while leading off. The sweep launches a 16-game win streak and a spurt of 39 wins in 47 games.

Campanella breaks up a pitching duel between Newcombe and Boston’s Johnny Sain with a 3-run homer, his 2nd of the game, and the 3rd time in 9 games he’s collected a pair of homers. Campy’s 5 ribbies give the Dodgers a 7–2 win. Don Newcombe wins his 16th, while Sain goes 4–13.

The Yankees, tied for first place with Cleveland, lose a pair to the A’s. The A’s use 17 hits to win the opener, 9–5. then use Pennsylvania’s Sunday Blue Law at 6:59 (AL Rule is 7:00 with no inning starting after 6:44) to win the nightcap, 7–4. The Yanks start an 8th inning 5-run rally at 6:37 and take a 9–7 lead, but the curfew wipes it out before Pete Suder can hit. Beginning next year, the AL will adopt the 40-year-old suspended game policy of the NL.

13th  Where’s Steve Sax when you need him? At Ebbets Field, the Dodgers offer up one of the odder promotions in “Music Depreciation Night,” and every fan with a musical instrument is admitted free. 2,426 fans take advantage of the offer, including one with a piano. The Dodgers have a motive in countering the local musicians’ union, which wants to silence the non-union Sym-Phoney. The Dodgers outplay the Braves, 7–6, as Gil Hodges belts a 3-run homer in the 8th, following an intentional walk to Campanella, who had earlier homered.

The Giants keep pace with a 5–2 win over the Phils. Larry Jansen, pitching for the first time in 8 days, wins his 15th. Whitey Lockman hits a 3-run homer.

14th   In a night game at the Polo Grounds—the last of 14 night games this year—the Giants righty George Spencer beats the Dodgers, 4–2. Erv Palica takes the loss, as the Giants jump on him early. Al Dark doubles and comes home on Don Mueller’s homer. An out later, Whitey Lockman homers and Palica doesn’t make the 2nd inning. The Dodgers score in the 8th on successive homers by Cox and Snider.

Ted Williams hits 2 HRs to take the AL lead, and the Red Sox pull off a triple play to beat the A’s, 7–4. With his 25th HR, Ted reaches 100 RBIs.

15th  Giants P Jim Hearn defeats the Dodgers 3–1 as Willie Mays makes a miraculous play in the 8th. With the score 1–1 and Billy Cox on 3rd, Mays makes a running catch of a Carl Furillo drive in deep right CF and whirls counterclockwise to throw out the astonished Cox at home. Wes Westrum’s 2-run homer off Ralph Branca in the 8th provides the two-run margin. Hearn allows just six hits, all singles, as the Giants move to 10 1/2 behind Brooklyn.

Al Rosen belts a first inning grand slam to jump start the Indians to a 9–4 win over the Browns, their 13th in a row. For Rosen, it is his 4th slam of the year, tying the ML record, and just the 9th player to accomplish the feat. It was last accomplished by Tommy Henrich in 1948 (since topped). Ned Garver gives up 7 runs in the first inning in losing to Early Wynn.

At Crosley, the Reds Ken Raffensberger tops the Cubs, 1–0, on Ted Kluszewski’s home run in the 4th off Cal McLish.

16th Sal Maglie outpitches Don Newcombe, 2–1, to cut the Dodger lead over the Giants to 9 1/2 games. Maglie allows 4 hits, including Billy Cox’s 300-foot homer, in winning his 17th. The Giants score the winner in the 7th when Bobby Thomson scores on a wild pitch. Reese goes hitless, ending his 22-game streak.

The Browns end the Indians win streak at 13 when Tommy Byrne pitches and bats St. Louis to a 4–0 win. Byrne allows two hits in 7 innings and drives in all the runs before retiring with back spasms. Mike Garcia loses to drop the Indians lead to 1 1/2 games over the Yankees.

The Cards score 6 runs in the 7th inning to defeat the Pirates, 9–6. Murry Dickson, trying for his 17th win, takes the loss. Stan Musial hits a 3-run homer in the 6th to start the scoring for St. Louis. His inside-the-park homer is his first hit in 13 at bats, and his 2nd inside-the-park homer in 4 days.

At Elmira, New York, minor-leaguer Don Zimmer marries Jean Carol Bauerle under a canopy of crossed bats at home plate. Teammate Ed Roebuck is supposed to make it a double wedding, but opts for a church instead.

18th  In Pittsburgh hits a first-inning grand slam for the Cubs as they beat the Pirates, 11-5.

Ewell Blackwell beats the Cardinals, 1-0, to give the Reds their 3rd one-run victory this month. Ken Raffensberger has two of the whitewashes: on the 15th and on the 1st.

At Sportsman’s Park, the Browns break a 9-9 tie in the 7th with an 11-run outburst and beat the Tigers, 20-9. Veteran righthander Hank Borowy walks three batters with the bases loaded and faces 9 batters without recording an out, the first ML pitcher to face 9 batters without recording an out. The last three baserunners score after Fred Hutchinson relieves Borowy and gives up two singles. Hank Arft has a 3-run homer off Borowy and drives in 5 runs, while Matt Batts has 4 hits, scores 4 and knocks in 4. The 20 runs scored is a Browns record [the 11 runs in the 7th falls short of the Al record of14.] The Detroit Free Press reporter predicts Borowy “to be cut adrift soon by the Tigers” but he will make five more appearances.

19th  In his most interesting promotional stunt, Bill Veeck signs a 3’7″ midget, Eddie Gaedel, who goes to bat wearing the Browns uniform of 9-year-old batboy Bill DeWitt, Jr. with the number 1⁄8 in the first inning of the nightcap with the Tigers. Lefty Bob Cain laughingly walks him on 4 pitches, the last 2 thrown underhand. Jim Delsing then pinch runs, but the Tigers win, 6–2, after winning 5-2. Two days from now the ML bars Gaedel from appearing in any more games.

In Boston, the Braves score 5 in the 6th and roll over the Dodgers, 13–4. Warren Spahn picks up his 15th win and his 21st complete game. A 2nd-inning homer by Willard Marshall, off Ralph Branca, starts the scoring.

In Philadelphia, the Giants overcome a 4-run deficit to win, 5–4, and cut Brooklyn’s lead to 8 games. Al Corwin wins in relief, after Bobby Thomson’s 2-run homer gets the Giants on the board. The Giants have won 9 in a row, with tomorrow a day off.

21st Baseball owners elect General “Rosey” O’Donnell as the new baseball commissioner, but President Truman overrules the decision. Truman says that O’Donnell is needed in his present job—not a talk show host, but Air Force commanding general of bombing in Korea.

The Giants manage just one runs in 7 innings off Reds knuckleballer Willard Ramsdell, but the wheels come off “The Knuck” in the 8th: Eddie Stanky belts a leadoff homer, Lockman adds a 2-run shot, and Westrum finishes with a 3-run roundtripper off reliever Frank Smith. Spencer (9-4) wins in relief, 7–4. With their 10th straight win, the Giants move to 7 1/2 behind the rained-out Brooks.

Bob Feller wins his 20th, stopping the Senators, 4–0, and keeping the Indians a game ahead of the Yankees. Feller is the AL’s first 20-game winner.

22nd  The Dodgers sweep a pair of 10-inning games from St. Louis, with Clyde King picking up both come-from-behind victories. King goes 3 innings in game 1 and one inning in game 2. Jackie Robinson is 5-for-6 in the nightcap including a 2-out single in the 10th off Al Brazle. Andy Pafko has a homer in the nightcap, while Stan Musial hits his 29th in game 1. Furillo has 3 hits on the afternoon and a pair of assists in game 1, bringing his season total to 21. The Dodgers have now won 14 straight from the Cards.

At the Polo Grounds, the Giants win their 11th straight, again coming from behind to top the Reds, 4–3. Irvin homers in the 2nd off Ewell Blackwell, but it is Whitey Lockman’s double in the 8th that wins it for reliever Sheldon Jones.

Tommy Byrne keeps walking them and the Red Sox keep stranding them as St. Louis and Boston battle for 13 innings before the Sox win, 3–1. Making 248 pitches, Brownie Byrne walks 16 Sox batters, tying the AL walk record set by Bruno Haas in 1915 (Haas walked 16 in a loss to the Yanks, his only ML decision) and setting the ML mark for an extra-inning game. Boston strands 22 runners: the AL record for stranded runners is 24, set by the Indians in 18 innings on July 10, 1932. Byrne breaks his personal record of 13 walks in a game he set in 1949. The Brownies don’t help him much, stranding 14.

23rd At Ebbets Field, the Cards finally beat the Dodgers, 4–2. Max Lanier allows 7 hits, including Campanella’s 27th homer, in beating Don Newcombe. Newk won’t lose again to the Birds till 1957, winning 12 straight.

24th  In another of Bill Veeck’s legendary PR stunts, “Fans Managers’ Night,” the Browns defeat the Athletics 5–3. The Browns coaches hold up placards for 1115 fans, who vote “yes” or “no” on the options given them. Manager Zack Taylor sits in a box behind the dugout with 2 fans who monitor the voting. Adding to the festivities is Max Patkin, the clown prince of baseball, who coaches at 1B for several innings. Sherm Lollar voted in behind the plate instead of Matt Batts, has three hits including a homer, and Hank Arft, also voted in, knocks home two. Gus Zernial’s 28th HR, off Garver, accounts for all the A’s runs. When the stunt was announced on August 15th, A’s GM Art Ehlers bitterly denounced it as “farcical.”

At Ebbets Field, the Dodgers Ralph Branca outduels Cubs pitcher Paul Minner to win 1–0. Branca strikes out 10 Cubs, walks none, and gives up 3 hits. Brooklyn scores a run in the 1st when Cubs 1B Chuck Connor charges and misses Jackie Robinson’s sac bunt which rolls into RF for a double.

At Detroit, light-hitting veteran Mike McCormick hits his only AL homer, a 3rd inning grand slam, as the Senators down the Tigers, 10-7.

At the Polo Grounds, the Giants tie the Cards in the 9th on 3 singles, and with the bases loaded, Bobby Thomson scores the winner on a fielder’s choice play at the plate. New York wins, 6–5, its 12th in a row and 4th in a row in coming from behind.

Against Cleveland’s Early Wynn, Gene Woodling cracks his 3rd homer off the Tribe ace this year, as the Yanks win, 2–0, to move 2 games behind the Tribe. Woodling went deep on Wynn on June 24th, July 24th and today. Mickey Mantle makes his first appearance since his recall from the minors.

Gus Bell’s grand slam, off Jocko Thompson, is all the scoring Murry Dickson needs as the Pirates beat the Phils, 4-1. In games that Dickson starts this year, Bell will ring up ten homers, according to Tom Ruane of Retrosheet.

25th Before 66,110 at Cleveland, Mantle belts an opposite field 2-run homer off Mike Garcia to help the Yankees win, 7–3. New York (77-46) moves to a game in back of the Tribe.

In a rain-shortened contest, the Dodgers come out on the short end of a 5–1 decision with the Cubs. Rookie Bob Kelly is the winner in 8 innings as Cavarretta drives in 4 runs. Chicago might have scored more except for Furillo’s 2 assists, bringing his total to 25. Brooklyn leads by 7 games.

Stan Musial homers to give the Cards a 3–1 lead over the Giants, but rain washes out the game after Thomson hits his 24th, in the 3rd.

26th  Rookie hurler Niles Jordan of the Phillies blanks the Reds 2–0 in his first ML start. Jordan gives up three hits, the same number allowed by loser Willard Ramsdell. The Reds win the opener, 4–2, as Ewell Blackwell bests Robin Roberts.

In the 2nd game against the Yanks, veteran infielder Bert Haas hits a pinch homer in the 6th for the White Sox, his last ML at bat. The Sox will release the 37-year-old tomorrow. The Yanks win 8–6, to remain a game behind the Indians. The Sox take the opener, 3–2, behind Saul Rogovin. Eddie Robinson homers in both games, while Joe DiMaggio hits a four bagger in the opener, and Yogi Berra does the same in game 2.

At the Polo Grounds, Chuck “The Rifleman” Connors clubs his 2nd and last ML homer, a three-run shot off Sal Maglie in the 9th to give the visiting Cubs a temporary 4–4 tie. Wes Westrum then answers with his 2nd homer of the game, off reliever Walt Dubiel, and New York wins, 5–4. New York takes the nightcap, 5–1, to run their victory streak to 14 games. Jim Hearn tops Cal McLish. Mays electrifies the crowd in the 6th by singling, advancing on a balk and a short fly, and stealing home. The Giants trail by six games.

The Pirates club the Dodgers, 12–11 to win the opener of two with the league leaders. Brooklyn chases Howie Pollet and takes a 9–2 lead but the Bucs roar back with 8 runs in the 7th inning. Light-hitting Pete Castiglione does the early damage with a 2-run homer and solo shot before the 8-run 7th. Clyde King, unscored on in his last 8 games, is the loser. The Dodgers load the bases in the 9th, and Murry Dickson walks PH Cal Abrams to force in a run and make the score 12–11. But Furillo and Reese fail to deliver. Brooklyn wins the second game, 4–3, when Jackie Robinson homers in the 10th, off Ted Wilks. Andy Pafko homers in the 8th, off Bob Friend, and Preacher Roe (17-2) goes all the way.

27th  At Shibe Park, light-hitting reserve C Del Wilber of the Phillies hits 3 HRs in 3 at bats to provide Ken Johnson with all the support he needs, as the Phils win, 3-0. The 3 solo homers, all off the Reds Ken Raffensberger, in a shutout is a league record (since tied) for a team. Wilber is the only player to have done this. Jocko Thompson shuts out Cincinnati 2–0 in the first game. Wilber went back to the minors in 1949 to manage in the Texas League.

“The two fine Italian arms of Branca and Furillo had a no-hitter running for eight innings” writes columnist Dick Young; in the 3rd inning Ralph Branca’s no-hitter seems broken by a one-hop shot to RF by pitcher Mel Queen, but Carl Furillo guns him out at first. Branca, pitching on 2 days rest, finally gives up 2 Pirate hits in the 9th before winning, 5–0. In the nightcap the Pirates jump on Erv Palica for 3 runs in the first inning and hold on for a 5–3 win behind Bill Werle and Vern Law. Clyde McCullough is the “Big Un” with a two-run double and a two-run homer. The Pirates continue to be the only team with a season edge on the Dodgers.

The Giants win two more from the Cubs, including a 5–4, twelve-inning complete game victory for Larry Jansen. It is his 17th win. The Cubs score in the top of the 12th, but the Giants score two off Dutch Leonard to win. Behind Al Corwin’s pitching and homers by Stanky and Irwin, the Giants take the nightcap, 6–3.

28th  At the Polo Grounds, the Pirates Howie Pollet (5-14) shuts out the Giants 2–0 on 6 hits—3 by Thomson—to end New York’s 16-game winning streak, best in the NL since 1935. Errors in the 8th by Stanky and Mueller do in Sheldon Jones.

The Dodgers edge the visiting Reds, 3–1, behind rookie Clem Labine. Duke Snider provides the offense off Howie Fox with a single and two-run homer, the latter breaking a tie in the 8th.

The Indians triumph over the A’s, 1–0, on Bob Kennedy’s homer off Sam Zoldak. It is Sam’s 2nd 1–0 loss to the Tribe. Early Wynn wins his 15th to keep the Indians a game ahead of New York, 7–5 winners in 10 innings at St. Louis.

The Braves sell P Johnny Sain to the Yankees for $50,000 and a young pitcher named Lew Burdette. It is another late-season insurance measure for the New Yorkers.

29th The Yankees pick on the lowly Browns for a 15–2 win at Sportsman’s Park. Mantle has four RBIs including a three-run homer in the 9th off Satchel Paige. Ned Garver (15-9) is the loser.

Pitching on 2-days rest, the Giants Jim Hearn tops 17-game winner Murry Dickson, 3–1. It is Hearn’s 8th straight over Pittsburgh stretching back to 1949. The Giants gear up by recalling Hank Thompson from Minneapolis.

At Ebbets Field, the Dodgers roll to a 13–1 win over the Reds behind Don Newcombe. Gil Hodges drives in 7 runs and hits his 35th and 36th homers to tie Ralph Kiner for the homer lead. He also sets a Dodger club record. Reese has 3 RBIs to run his total to 77.

30th The Giants move to an 8–1 lead after 5 inning over the Pirates behind two homers by Willie Mays. But George Spencer wilts in the heat and gives up homers to Frank Thomas—his first in the majors—and pinch hitter Gus Bell. After Pete Castiglione and Bill Rigney match homers, Ralph Kiner powers one in the 9th inning to give Pittsburgh a 10–9 victory. For Kiner, it is his 37th.

Brooklyn’s Preacher Roe, with relief help from Clyde King, stops the Reds, 3–1, for his 18th win.

The A’s topple the Indians, 6–2, beating Bob Feller and knocking the Tribe into 2nd place, a half game behind the idle Yankees. Morrie Martin and Carl Scheib combine for the win.