1909 July

1st Baseball historian John Thorn notes the possible first use of the term grand slam in print, in an article from the Cincinnati Post:
“Wyoming is one of the wealthiest and most exclusive suburbs of
Cincinnati. Ordinarily, bridge whist, ball dresses and all that sort of
thing occupy the pretty heads of the two teams. Now they are poring over
the rules as laid down in the Book of Spalding. By a process of
comparison they have learned that a home run is equal to a no-trump
make. A home run with three men on bases, is fully as valuable as a
‘no-trump’ grand slam on the rubber game.”

2nd  The White Sox steal 12 bases in the course of a 15–3 win over St. Louis. Three are steals of home, including one by P Ed Walsh in the 6th inning, for a modern ML record.

After the Phils take game 1 over Boston, 5-4, Boston pitcher Al Mattern pitches a 2-hit, 4-0 win over the Quakers. Mattern will allow a league-high 322 hits in 316.1 innings this year.

3rd  Seventeen Cardinals errors in a doubleheader loss to the Reds, 10–2 and 13–7, tie a modern ML record. Eleven come in game 2.

At a packed Washington Park, the Giants beat up Brooklyn, winning 5–3 and 2–1 in a total of 23 innings. In the opener, Mathewson relieves Bugs Raymond with the score knotted at 3–3 in the 9th. Matty shuts out the Superbas in the next 6 innings, and the Giants score 2 in the 14th off Harry McIntire for the win.

The Browns Bill Dinneen allows 2 hits in shutting out the White Sox, 4-0.

5th The Giants sweep the Phillies, winning 3–0 and 3–2 in 15 innings. The nitecap is the longest game in the NL this year. Bugs Raymond wins the marathon, relieving Mathewson with the score 2–2 in the 9th.

In a twinbill in Boston, the Nationals win the a.m. game with the Red Sox, 7-7, before a crowd of 9,926, while the Red Sox bounce back in the afternoon to win, 8-1 before 14,600. In game 1, hard-luck Nats pitcher Bob Groom relieves in the 3rd inning and allows just 3 hits as Washington rallies with a winning run in the 6th off reliever Smoky Joe Wood. Groom strikes out 6 including the side in the 8th. Clyde Milan has 2 hits and 3 runs as the Nats take advantage of 4 errors by SS Heinie Wagner. In the afternoon contest, the Nats make just three hits off Fred Burchell while the Sox jump on Walter Johnson.

6th Red Sox rookie Larry Pape makes his debut with a 2–0 win over the Nationals.

7th In the Giants 3–1 win over the Phils, New York collects 6 straight walks in 6th. This is a ML record since tied in the NL, but will be broken in the AL next month.

Inventor George Cahill brings his portable lights to Grand Rapids, Michigan for a night game with the Zanesville Infants (Central L). The host team wins 11–10 in 7 innings, with the only complaints coming from the outfielders, who had trouble seeing balls hit above the lights.

12th The Pirates split with the Giants, dropping the opener 3–0 when Christy Mathewson limits the Bucs to 4 hits. Mathewson (13–2) has won 11 straight. Pittsburgh wins the nitecap 9–0.

13th At Nicollet Park in Minneapolis, Irv Young puts on “the greatest single-day mound performance in the history of the Millers” (historian Stew Thornley). In the first game of a doubleheader with the Milwaukee Brewers (AA), Young holds the Brewers to 4 hits to win, 1-0. Young homers in the fifth for the game’s only run. So impressive is Young that he pitches the nightcap, holding the Brewers hitless until the 9th and finishing with a one-hit, 5-0 victory. The double shutout puts the Millers two games in front of Milwaukee. The 2 teams will fight for the AA lead for the next 2 months, before fading in the final week, allowing Louisville to sneak into first.

15th Ty Cobb has 2 inside-the-park homers to lead the Tigers to a sweep of the Nationals. Detroit wins, 9–5 and 7–0.

The Phillies sweep a pair from the Cardinals, winning 6–4 and 7-6 in 14 innings. Game 2 heroics are provided by Eddie Grant, who has a game-ending steal of home in the 14th with Fred Beebe on the mound (as noted by Jan Larson). It comes on the front end of a double steal with Magee. Both teams scored in the 10th and 13thinnings.

16th  At Bennett Field, Detroit and Washington play the longest scoreless game in AL history—18 innings. Ed Summers pitches the complete game, holding the Nationals to 7 hits, two walks (one intentional), while fanning 10. The Nationals’ 30-year-old rookie, Dolly Gray, allows only one hit before leaving with an injury after 8 innings. He is replaced by Bob Groom. Dolly, named after the Spanish American War ballad “Goodbye, Dolly Gray”, will put another entry in the record books next month when he walks 7 straight batters. Detroit’s two stars Cobb and Crawford each go 0-for-7.

With the Nationals on the road, their home field is host to the first Congressional baseball game. The Democrats beat the Republicans, 26-16 in 7 innings.

The Giants sweep the Reds, winning the last game, 2–1, behind Mathewson. Jack Rowan takes the loss for Cincy.

The Phillies send righthanded pitchers Buster Brown and Lew Richie and 2B Dave Shean to the Boston Nationals for OF Johnny Bates and INF Charlie Starr.

17th Red Sox reliever Smoky Joe Wood fans 10 Cleveland batters in just 4 innings, as visiting Boston wins, 6–4.

Brooklyn and Chicago swap shutouts, with George Bell topping Chicago’s Orval Overall, 1–0, in the opener. Ed Reulbach comes back in the 2nd game to beat Kaiser Wilhelm, 4–0. Bill Bergen’s hitless streak of 45 at bats (Elias has always had this record 45 at bats. Although SABR’s Joe Dittmar originally had it at 46, first researched in 1998, with subsequent research, he has revised tis to conform with Elias’ 45 at bats ) finally ends. Bergen’s hitless streak started after he singled in his first at bat against the Giants on June 29, 1909. It ends in the second game today when, after sitting out the first game, he had a fourth inning infield single against Ed Reulbach. The catcher will hit just .139 this season, not a yearly low.

18th  Harry Krause of the A’s loses, 5–4, in 11 innings to the Browns, ending his 10-game winning streak.

19th  Cleveland SS Neal Ball executes the 20th century’s first unassisted triple play in the top of the 2nd against the Red Sox. With Heinie Wagner on 2B and Jake Stahl on 1B, Amby McConnell hits a line drive to Ball, who steps on 2B and tags Stahl coming down from 1B. In the last of the 2nd, Ball hits his first AL homer, an inside-the-park shot, and adds a double. Cleveland wins 6–1 behind Cy Young, but Boston wins the nitecap, 3–2.

20th New York suffers two losses against the Cards. The first is a line drive in the 7th off the bat of Joe Delahanty that breaks a finger on the left hand of Christy Mathewson. Matty leaves the game and the Cards win, 4–3, in 11 innings. The Giants load the bases in the 11th with no outs but fail to score. Matty’s broken finger turns out to be “mashed.”

22nd   Ty Cobb steals 2B, 3B, and home in the 7th inning, doing it against Red Sox pitcher Harry Wolter. The Tigers beat Boston 6–0, as Ty has 3 hits and 4 steals. Killian is the winning pitcher.

Pitching for Portland, Alex Carson pitches a 10-inning no-hitter against LA, winning 1–0. It is the first extra-inning no-hitter in PCL history. He allows one walk and another runner, who reaches in the 8th on an error. Two balls are hit to the outfield. National Baseball Commission head Garry Herrmann is in attendance.

23rd Three days after pitching a 1–0 shutout, Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Galesburg (IL) Boosters, tosses a no-hitter against Pekin. He strikes out 10 and walks one. On the 26th he will beat Macon, 1–0, in 18 innings, not allowing a hit until the 10thinning.

24th Brooklyn ace Nap Rucker strikes out 16 Cardinals in a 1–0 win. In the first game of a doubleheader. Rucker will fan 201 batters this year, just 4 behind Orval Overall, the NL leader. Brooklyn teammate George Bell then follows with another 1-0 win.

26th The Red Sox acquire pitchers Ed Karger and Charley “Sea Lion” Hall from St. Paul for pitchers Charley Chech and Jack Ryan.

27th At Boston the 3rd place Giants split with the Doves, losing the opener, 7–4, then taking the nitecap, 6–2. In the 2nd contest, Mathewson wins for the 13th straight time, beating Forrest More.

The Phillies sweep a pair from Brooklyn, winning 7–0 and 3–2. Light hitting Eddie Grant collects his first ML homer, off Deacon Phillippe.

Star minor league pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander is hit in the forehead with a ball while running the bases and is knocked unconscious. Alexander will recover but his vision will be affected for months and he will not pitch again for Galesburg. The Indianapolis Indians purchase his contract.

28th Brooklyn’s Jim Pastorius no-hits the Phillies until pinch hitter Marty Martel, pinch-hitting for John Titus, laces a one-out triple in the 9th inning. Pastorius wins, 4–0.

29th  NL president Harry Pulliam, despondent over his inability to handle the problems and controversies of the league, dies after shooting himself in his room at the New York Athletic Club yesterday. Pulliam had been suffering from a nervous breakdown.

30th  After winning 13 in a row, Christy Mathewson loses to Pittsburgh 3–1, giving up 4 hits and 3 runs in the first inning. Red Ames relieves in the 2nd. Mathewson’s record is now 15–3.

31st  For the 2nd time in 2 years—the first was on May 25, 1908—Bill Burns has a no-hitter broken up with two outs in the 9th, when Washington’s Otis Clymer singles. But Burns and the White Sox win 1–0, besting Walter Johnson in the first of two games. Burns is the only pitcher to suffer this fate twice, until Dave Stieb of Toronto does on September 24 and 30, 1988. For poor Walter Johnson, it is his 5th loss by a shutout this month. In game 2, it is Frank Smith’s turn to shut out the Senators as he wins, 4-0.