1954 August

1st  Dodgers Clem Labine beans Joe Adcock in the 4th. His helmet apparently saves him from a serious injury, but he is taken out of the game as a precautionary measure. He will appear in the starting lineup tomorrow. Gene Conley reciprocates by knocking down Jackie Robinson in the 6th and Robinson ends up scrapping with Eddie Mathews. The Braves win 14-6, their 10th win in a row, as Conley runs his record to 10-5. The Braves set a ML mark for extra bases on long hits in 2 consecutive games (44).

2nd Johnny Antonelli (16-2) wins his 11th straight, beating the Reds 9–4 in the first game of a twinbill at the Polo Grounds.

The 55-game hitting streak of Waco (Big State) OF Roman Mejias ends. He batted .435 during the streak (97 for 223) and will the end the year at .354. The streak, the 3rd longest ever in the minors, will earn him a promotion to the Pirates.

3rd  The Dodgers bench Roy Campanella again for his ailing left hand. He plays only sparingly for the rest of the season.

At Forbes Field, Reds manager Birdie Tebbetts starts lefty Bud Podbielan, but Fred Haney counters with an all-lefty Pirate lineup. Birdie then lifts Podbielan after one batter and brings in righty Joe Nuxhall. The ploy works and the Reds, 7–2.

Bubba Church, pitching for Los Angeles (PCL) throws a no-hitter against Portland, winning 3–0.

4th At Comiskey, veteran Phil Cavarretta slugs a 1st inning grand slam and the White Sox take a 5-0 lead over Boston into the 8th. But Billy Pierce tires and the Red Sox score 3 in the 8th on a Ted Williams homer and 2 in the 9th to tie. Matt Batts settles affairs with an RBI single in the bottom of the 10th for a 6-5 win. Chicago is in 3rd place, 6 games in back of Cleveland.

5th In front of a Ladies Day crowd of 49,483 in Cleveland, New York beats the front runners, 5–2 behind Bob Grim. Mantle starts the scoring with a 4th inning solo shot off Early Wynn, then follows an 8th inning homer by Joe Collins by connecting on the next pitch with his 23rd homer of the year. Both are served up by Ray Narleski. Larry Doby’s 2-run homer off Johnny Sain in the 8th is his 24th HR of the year, putting him back in the AL lead. New York trails the Indians by 1 1/2 games.

At Brooklyn, Stan Musial smashes 2 homers and a sac fly to drive in 7 runs and pace the Cards to a 13–4 rout of the 2nd place Dodgers. The Man’s first HR, with 2 on, is off Preacher Roe, who takes his first loss to the Cards at Ebbets in 4 years. Musial now has 101 RBIs, the highest in the ML.

6th The Reds knock Antonelli out of the box in the 4th and hand the ace his first loss after 11 straight wins. The Giants lose, 6–5.

In Baltimore, Ted Williams slugs a 2-run homer in the 10th as the Red Sox prevail, 3-1, over the Orioles.

At Briggs Stadium, Gil McDougald hits an 8th inning grand slam and the Yankees win over the Tigers, 4-2.

8th  The Dodgers score an NL record 13 runs in the 8th ( a record for the 8th: the Reds add one run to tie the 2-team mark set earlier in the year) off Cincinnati in Ebbets Field to win 20–7. Twelve of the runs are unearned and an NL-record 12 are tallied with two outs and no one on. The rally starts when reliever Howie Judson intestinally walks Campanella with the bases empty (was this payback for a bases-empty intentional walk the Dodgers gave to Klu back on May 1?). Gil Hodges gets a triple and a HR in 3 at bats in the inning, while Clem Labine, who has a career .100 BA, walks twice. Jackie Robinson drives in 3 runs with a single as Snider scores from 1B. Campanella, Gilliam, and Don Hoak, with a grand slam, all homer for Brooklyn in the game to pin the loss on Karl Drews.

The Yankees spot the host Tigers a four-run lead, tie it up, then watch as Detroit wins it 10–8 in 10 innings. Mantle has one homer, off Billy Hoeft, and just misses on a titanic opposite field drive that curves foul before leaving the stadium.

10th Boston’s Mel Parnell, who fractured his arm in April, posts his first win of the year, beating the Senators, 4–0.

Bob Grim becomes the first Yankee rookie to win 15 games since Borowy in 1942, hurling a 5–2 win over the A’s. The Bombers pull to 3 games in back of the Indians.

12th  At Boston, Chuck Stobbs beats his former team for the 5th straight time, winning 9–5. Mickey Vernon has 4 hits. But ex-Red Sox Maury McDermott then loses, 5–0, to Frank Sullivan. Eddie Yost of the Senators draws his 100th walk for the 5th year in a row.

13th  In a brilliant pitcher’s duel, Chicago’s Jack Harshman and Detroit’s Al Aber go head to head for 16 innings before the Sox win it on a one-out run scoring triple by Minnie Minoso. Nellie Fox scores from 1st. Harshman strikes out 12 and has now pitched 28 consecutive scoreless innings. Wayne Belardi, who enters in the 13th inning, bats out of turn in the 15th and bats in his regular turn in the next inning successfully bunting.

The A’s break their 8-game losing streak by edging the Senators, 3-2, on Jim Finigan’s steal of home in the 8th.

14th  Dodgers slugger Duke Snider fans twice in the 6th inning of a game against the Giants, as the Dodgers score 4 in the 6th on Carl Furillo’s grand slam to come back and win, 6–5.

After a two-inning Old-Timer’s game, the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 3–1. The win goes to Ralph Branca, his first and only decision in a Yankee uniform. The Old-Timers match features 18 Hall of Famers, and is won by the AL on Joe DiMaggio’s 3-run homer off Carl Hubbell. Mel Ott has a homer for the NL, which is helped by Ted Williams who goes 1-for-1.

A story issued by the Associated Negro Press and printed in today’s Philadelphia Independent says: “Abe Saperstein of the fabulous Harlem Globetrotters stated this week in a press interview that baseball magnate Bill Veeck had intended to use a baseball trick back in 1942 which would have upset the thinking in the major league, had it materialized. ‘I’ll tell you one thing about Veeck,’ said Saperstein, ‘something that few people know. In 1942 the Phillies were for sale and Veeck attempted to buy them. But Bill Cox raised more money and got the club. Do you know what Veeck planned to do? He was going to take the Phils to spring training in Florida and then—on the day the season opened—dispose of the entire team. Meanwhile, with a team composed entirely of Negroes, who would have trained separately, he could have opened the National League season. I don’t think there was a team in either league, back in 1943, that could have stopped the team he was going to assemble.’”

15th Gene Conley wins his 9th straight game beating the Cubs 2–1 in Milwaukee. The Braves are now 3 1/2 games out of 1st, the closest they will get this year.

At Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle takes Boston’s Hal Brown downtown, hitting his 11th homer against the Red Sox this year, to pace New York to a 14–9 win. Harry Agganis hits his first ML grand slam for Boston.

In the bottom of the 9th, the Reds unload successive home runs by Gus Bell, Ted Kluszewski, and Jim Greengrass, all of Cot Deal. But it’s a case of too little, too late, as the Cardinals win, 14–12.

16th  In a throwing contest between Jimmy Piersall and Willie Mays before a Red Sox-Giants charity game in Boston, Piersall hurts his arm. He starts the game but leaves midway. He wakes up the following morning with a sore arm that stays with him a year, and he will never throw quite as well again.

17th  At Philadelphia, the Yankees break open with 6 runs in the 9th inning to beat the A’s, 11-1. Bill Skowron has a grand slam in the frame as Harry Byrd records the win over his old mates.

The Cubs sweep a pair from the Reds, winning 5-0 and 6-1 behind Howie Pollet and Paul Minner. Ralph Kiner and Hank Sauer hit homers in game 1 while Clyde McCullough belts a grand slam in game 2.

20th  The Cards execute 6 DPs against the Redlegs to tie the NL record, but the Redlegs win 3–2. Alex Grammas participates in 5 of the DPs.

Giants lefty Don Liddle shuts out the Pirates to win, 4–0, with all the New York scoring coming on Don Mueller’s grand slam in the 5th inning. Willie Mays hits safely in his 21st straight game, but he’ll go hitless tomorrow.

21st The rampaging Indians top the Orioles, 4–1, to move to 4 1/2 games in back of the Yankees. Larry Doby paces the Tribe with a bases-loaded triple and has now driven in 100 runs. Pitcher Bob Lemon helps the cause by starting a triple play in the 4th inning after catching a line drive off the bat of Jim Fridley.

At Boston, Footsie Lenhardt’s 2-out single in the 12th gives the Bosox a 10–9 win over the Yankees. The loss drops the Bombers 4 1/2 games in back of Cleveland. Gene Woodling of the Yanks crashes into the wall, breaking a thumb and is lost for the season. Behind Williams 4 ribbies, the Sox will win tomorrow to sweep the 3 game series.

22nd  Rookie Spook Jacobs of the A’s steals 4 bases in a 3–2 triumph over the Senators.

The Yankees pick up relief pitcher Jim Konstanty from the Phillies for cash. The former MVP will be a valuable contributor in 1955.

“Hank Sauer Day” is celebrated at Wrigley Field as the popular slugger receives a hunting dog and a sports car. The game is delayed several minutes when RF bleacher fans shower Hank with packages of chewing tobacco. Hank’s a winner, but the Cubs lose to the Braves, 12–6.

24th  Robin Roberts is lifted in the 7th as the Braves finally knock out the Phillies ace, winning 5–1. Roberts had pitched 13 straight complete games against the Braves over 3 years, with a 12–1 record. His only loss came when Jim Wilson threw his June 12, 1954 no-hitter.

25th  The Dodgers hit 9 HRs in a 2-day sweep of the host Redlegs, winning 12–4 yesterday and 13–2 today. They have hit 38 in 18 games with Cincy. Gil Hodges of the Dodgers has 2 homers today, as does Rube Walker, to knock in 100 runs for the 6th consecutive season. Furillo, with a homer, drives in 5 runs, and Walker 4. Billy Loes wins his 8th straight as the Dodgers move to 3 1/2 games behind New York.

27th  In an 11–0 White Sox win, Chicago 3B Cass Michaels has his skull fractured by a pitch from A’s Marion Fricano. Michaels is sidelined the rest of the year, and the injury will effectively end his 12-year ML career.

The Reds pull off a triple play in the 6th to stop a Pirate threat, and Ted Kluszewski hits a HR in the 9th for the game winner, as the Reds win, 3–2. Kluszewski’s homer comes off Max Surkont, the 6th time this year that Klu has left the park against him: this ties the ML record set by George Kelly, off Vic Aldridge, in 1923 and tied by Ted Williams, off Johnny Rigney, in 1941. No one else this century will match the mark. Big Klu starts a streak of 17 straight games in which he scores a run. Jack Shepard’s 2nd ML homer in two games accounts for the Bucs scoring.

In the championship game of the Little League WS, Schenectady, NY, defeats Colton, CA, 7–5. Future NL Rookie of the Year, Cub 2B Ken Hubbs leads Colton, while future major leaguers Jim Barbieri and Billy Connors starred for the New Yorkers. This team later becomes the subject of a best-selling book by Martin Ralbovsky, Destiny’s Darlings.

28th  At Fenway, the Red Sox edge the Orioles, 3-2, when Sam Mele drives in a 11th inning run with his 3rd hit of the game. Mele homered in the 1st inning off Don Larsen. For the third time in a month Ted Williams is walked 4 times in a game. Williams will lead the AL with 136 walks, all in 117 games. It is the 5th time that Williams will receive more walks than games played. Of the 7 players to accomplish that feat so far, only Babe Ruth and Williams have done it multiple times.

At Yankee Stadium, Allie Reynolds pitches 3 scoreless innings in relief of Harry Byrd (9-7) as the Yankees trip the Tigers, 4-2. Al Aber takes the loss and is the last pitcher this century to throw a complete game and not record a strikeout or walk. With Cleveland beating Washington, the Yankees stay 3.5 games in back.

29th  Giants Dusty Rhodes ties a record with 6 extra base hits—2 doubles, 2 triples, and 2 HRs—in a doubleheader, as the Giants split with the Cardinals, winning 5–4 in 11 innings, and losing 7–4. Rhodes hits his triples in two at-bats in the opener. The split leaves the Giants just 1 1/2 games ahead of Brooklyn.

Tiger catcher Red Wilson has a double and two homers, one a grand slam, as he drives in 6 runs in a 14-3 win over the A’s. The Tigers score 9 runs in the 3rd inning to make it easy for Steve Gromek (15-14). A Wilson homers in game 2—Bill Wilson for the A’s—as Detroit sweeps with a 2-1 win. Billy Hoeft is the winning pitcher.

Orioles bespectacled C Clint Courtney goes 5-for-5, as Baltimore defeats the Senators 5–0.

A disappointed crowd of 45,922 at Milwaukee’s County Stadium sees the Dodgers take 2 from the Braves, 12–4 and 11–4. In game one, the Dodgers break a tie with a ML record 8 runs in the 11th. The Braves establish a new NL attendance mark of 1,841,666 on their way to a season total of 2,131,388.

30th  In beating St. Louis 4–1 on 4 hits, Johnny Antonelli becomes the first lefty to win 20 games for the Giants since Carl Hubbell and Cliff Melton in 1937.

Hank Majeski hits a pinch 3-run homer in the 7th off Ellis Kinder and the Indians edge the Red Sox, 5-4. The Tribe will go 20-2 against the Sox, winning all 11 games at Fenway, the first such road sweep since the Yankees blanked St. Louis Browns in 1927.

31st  The Indians beat the Yanks, 6–1, to record their 26th win of the month, tying the 1931 A’s for most wins in a month. The Tribe is 5.5 games ahead of the Yankees. Dave Philley has a 3-run homer in the 8th off starter Bob Grim, and Early Wynn records his 19th win of the year.

At Crosley Field, Redlegs Ted Kluszewski hits 2 HRs to break his own club mark of 40 HRs. He will wind up with 49 for the season. Despite the Klu clouts, Cincinnati loses to Philadelphia’s Herm Wehmeier, 9–3.