1929 July

1st This game is rigged. Riggs Stephenson drives in 7 runs for the Cubs on two homeruns and a double against the Cardinals in game called after six innings so the Birds can catch a train for Pittsburgh. The game ends in an 11-11 tie and leaves the Cubs still in first place by a half game over Pittsburgh. Rigg’s first homer is a grand slam in the 1st, off Fred Frankhouse. The Cards are in fourth place, five games out.

3rd  The Cubs and Reds turn 9 double plays, tying the Detroit-Washington 1925 mark for a regulation game and setting the NL mark (tied in 1961). The 7–5 Chicago win is their 7th in a row (with one tie in the middle), giving them a half-game lead over the Pirates. The AL mark of 9 DPs will be broken by the Twins-Red Sox in 1990 (10).

Assault & battery. At Forbes Field, the Pirates batter Bill Sherdel for 21 hits as they beat the Cardinals, 13-2. Paul Waner has 4 hits and the battery of Charlie Hargreaves and Burleigh Grimes each have 4 hits and 3 RBIs. The 8 hits by the battery is likely a record, to be topped by Miller & Burgess on August 9, 1953.

Chicago’s Carl Reynolds swipes home in the 10th inning against the Indians as the Sox score 3 to win, 6–3. Wes Ferrell is the losing pitcher against reliever McKain.

Babe Ruth belts a grand slam, off Red Ruffing, in the 7th as the Yanks rally to beat the visiting Red Sox, 6–5. Reliever Lefty Heimach wins his own game with an inside-the-park homer in the 8th inning. Losing pitcher Red Ruffing also hits a home run.

Andy Reese and Bill Terry each have 5 hits as the Giants pepper the Braves with 20 safeties to win, 11-3. Dutch Henry is the winning pitcher.

4th After the Cubs lose the opener, 9-8, when the Reds score in the 9th, Chicago is ready for battle. After singling in the 8th of game 2, the Cubs Hack Wilson jumps into the Reds dugout to fight pitcher Ray Kolp, who has been needling him. Wilson is stopped and ejected before reaching Kolp, and is also tagged out by Chuck Dressen. The Cubs win 10–5, and that evening, when both teams are at Chicago’s Union Station awaiting trains, Wilson floors Reds pitcher Pete Donahue. Wilson will be briefly suspended for the fight. Later in the year, Wilson will go into the stands to floor a heckler. The heckler suffers a cut lip and sues Wilson for $20,000, but the charges are dismissed.

At Ebbets Field, Chuck Klein has 5 hits in game 1 to lead a 22-hit attack as the Phillies outslug the Dodgers, 14-12. Game 2 is relatively sedate as Johnny Morrison (6-0) stops the Phillies, 5-3.

In what will be remembered as “the Fight” begins innocently in the a.m. game at Nicollet Park when St. Paul (American Association) pitcher Huck Betts throws at the head of Hughie McMullen of Minneapolis. Betts ducks and eventually grounds to the first baseman who tosses to Betts covering 1B. McMullen runs hard and deliberately spikes the pitcher as he crosses the bag. Betts then fires the ball at the back of McMullen’s head, but misses. First base coach Sam Boehne rushes Betts and starts punching, a move that empties both dugouts and results in a melee. A dozen policemen eventually break up the fight.

San Francisco (PCL) slugger Babe Pinelli takes advantage of his read on the Seattle rookie catcher, who is tipping the pitches by the way he holds his glove and goes 6-for-6 in a 22-10 slugfest. Pinelli has 3 homeruns including two grand slams and 12 RBIs (as noted by John Spalding).

5th  The Phils edge the Cardinals, 10-9, on Chuck Klein’s solo homer, his 20th circuit clout, in the bottom of the 9th inning. St. Louis has now lost 10 straight.

Cleveland tips the White Sox, 11-10, despite being outhit 20 to 12. The Tribe get 5 runs in the 7th, highlighted by Bibb Falk’s 3-run homer. Pitcher Jimmy Zinn drives in 4 runs for the Indians on a double and triple, but the win goes to Hudlin.

The Giants become the first team to install a public address system. Tomorrow they will host the Dodgers and lose, 4–0. (source: Nemec’s fascinating baseball facts), their 10th loss in 16 games to Da Bums.

In an exhibition game in Olean, New York, the Robins score 6 runs in the 1st on 3 homers off Bump Hadley but Brooklyn fails to score again and loses to Washington, 8-6.

6th  After losing 11 in a row, including a 10–6 loss in the opener, the Cardinals break out in the 2nd game. They score 10 in the first inning and 10 more in the 5th to wallop the host Phils, 28–6, on 28 hits. The run and hit totals are NL records for this century, and the 9 Cards scoring 2+ runs ties the ML mark. The Cardinals (43) and Phillies (30) combine for a ML-tying 73 hits in the doubleheader at cozy Baker Bowl. Jim Bottomley is the major Redbird contributor with a grand slam and 7 RBIs in the game to go with his two homers in the opener. Chick Hafey has 5 hits and also clouts a grand slam for St. Louis. Taylor Douthit adds 5 hits and two walks while winning pitcher Fred Frankhouse contributes another 4 hits. The two teams combine for a NL record 5 players having 4+ hits in a 9-inning game. Claude Willoughby takes the loss. June Greene throws 4+ innings allowing 11 runs in what is the final though not worst outing of his career. In his two-year 6-game career, June racks up an ERA of 18.38 in 15+ innings, to set a franchise record for pitchers with more than 10 IP.

After watching the Tigers belt 8 HRs on July 2nd, 3rd, and 4th, the Browns used the off day yesterday to erect a screen in front of the RF pavilion. The screen stretches 156 feet from the foul pole toward CF, 310 feet down the line from home. This screen will remain in place into the 1950s, the only stadium with extended OF seating where it is impossible to catch a home run ball. The screen has no effect today as the Yankees win, 3–1. Meusel has a double for the only extra-base hit in the game.

A fire destroys the grandstand at Detroit’s Mack Park, ruining a doubleheader between the Negro NL Detroit Stars and the Kansas City Monarchs. There are 103 fans injured, four badly, when gasoline, spread over the wet infield and lit to dry it off, bursts into flame (as noted by Rod Nelson). The ensuing grandstand fire destroys the ball park.

7th Pittsburgh jumps out to an 8-0 lead over Brooklyn and then rolls to a 17-6 win. Two Buc pitchers, Erv Brame and Fred Fussell, hit homers, a first in the 20th century.

In St. Louis, Heinie Manush hits 3 balls off the newly erected screen against the Yankees’ Waite Hoyt, good for a single and 2 doubles, while Ruth hits 2 off it in the series, including one today. The Browns win, 7–2, to snap the Yankees 8-game winning streak. They stay in second place, 8.5 games behind Philadelphia and essentially even with the Browns.

8th Donie Bush, manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, thinks his fast traveling Buccaneers may win the NL pennant if the lively ball does not kill or maim some of his best players. (as noted in today’s Pittsburgh Post-Gazette). “The Pirate pilot was asked if the ball is as closely related to a rabbit as has been alleged by some indignant players. ‘It’s not a ball, it’s a bullet,’ said Donie. ‘Somebody’s going to get killed if they don’t watch out. A pitcher who has to put the ball over hasn’t a chance. All he can do is to pitch and duck.’ However, if the Pirates do not forget to duck, the manager thinks he has a great chance to win another pennant.”

9th  Cardinals OF Chick Hafey, with 8 straight hits in his 2 previous games, gets 2 more before the Phils’ “Fidgety Phil” Collins stops him. His 10-for-10 ties the NL record. The Cards win 7–4 in 10 innings, as Jim Bottomley drives in 5 runs with his fourth 2-homer game of the season. Lefty O’Doul has his second 5-hit day in a month.

10th  The Pirates outslug the Phillies 15–9 at the Baker Bowl. Pittsburgh hits 5 HRs; the Phils, 4, with one HR coming in each inning, a virtually insurmountable ML record.

Cleveland pitcher Wes Ferrell hits the first of his ML 38 home runs, the top mark for pitchers. Washington’s Bump Hadley serves up today’s gopher. Bibb Falk adds a homer as the Indians and Ferrell win, 9–7.

For the 2nd time in 3 days, Marty McManus hits a grand slam, one of his 3 hits, and his homer is the difference in Detroit’s 10–6 win over the visiting Red Sox. Milt Gaston is the loser, giving up 14 hits in 6 innings. Marty hit a 4-run homer on July 8 in the second game win over the Nationals, 16-6.

11th Down 6–4 to Detroit after 5 innings, the Red Sox plate 10 runs in the 6th inning to win 15–8. The Tigers stanch the scoring in the 7th with a triple play. Hot-hitting Marty McManus has 5 hits, including 2 homers, for Detroit.

In a PCL game at Oaks Park, Oakland’s Roy Carlisle takes SF’s Curt Davis downtown with a homerun that lands on top of a house 618 feet away, one of the longest documented homers ever.

12th The Tigers score 4 runs in the 9th to defeat the Red Sox, 13–12. Gehringer is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Bob Johnson has 4 hits, including his 2nd homer in 3 days. The two teams combine to use 8 pitchers, and the game is the longest this year in the majors: 2 hours: 54 minutes.

At Brooklyn, the Cards score 5 in the 9th but the Dodgers come back to plate 6 runs and win, 8–7. They are helped by Cards starter Syl Johnson who walks 10 men before exiting in the 9th. But the loss goes to Hal Held, who walks two with the bases loaded as the Cards make three errors in the frame. Johnny Frederick, who made the only out in the 9th leading off, drives in the winning run with a single. The Dodgers leave 13 on base today and 14 in their last game. The Cards score the only runs of the first 7 innings with 2 in the 5th, and as reported in the New York Evening World, it appears that a dead batch of balls was used. “An examination of one of the new spheres revealed its cover was not at all glossy. The rough finish of the balls enabled pitchers Vance and Johnson to grip them more tightly and thus increase their effectiveness. The members of the two teams hit several pitched balls solidly, but the balls did not travel with their customary speed. The first safe hit of the game was not made until Frederick of the Dodgers singled to right in the third inning. Infielders had more chances than usual. The new balls were quickly recognized by the players when carried onto the playing field by Umpire McLaughlin. They were eagerly examined by members of the St. Louis and Brooklyn teams before being put into play.” (as noted by Retrosheet).

13th  After the lead changes four times at Ebbets Field, the Dodgers score 9 runs in the 8th inning to whip the faltering Cardinals, 15-8. Babe Herman has a grand slam in the 8th.

14th  Led by Curt Walker, who hits a 3rd inning grand slam off Clise Dudley, the Reds down the Dodgers, 12-3, at Ebbets Field.

Pitching for the Birmingham Black Barons, Satchel Paige strikes out 17 in beating the Detroit Black Stars, 5-1. Paige allows two hits, one a homer by John Jones (as noted by Christopher Hauser).

15th  In Philadelphia, the Cubs take a pair from the Phillies, winning 9-6 and 7-6. Chuck Klein hits an 8th inning rand slam in game 2 for the Phils to make it close. The Cubs are 2 ½ games behind the Pirates.

17th  In Philadelphia, Rogers Hornsby hits a three-run homer in the 4thinning and the Cubs roll to a 16-3 win over the Phils.

18th  Trying to curb the hitters, NL president Heydler orders umpires to rub up new balls before each game to remove the gloss and slightly discolor them.

The Cardinals rally for 5 runs in the 8th against the Braves, to help Pete Alexander win his 6th, 6–4.

The Cubs move within a game of 1st place by beating the Robins, 11–7, scoring 7 runs in the 1st inning. Carlson is the winner for Chicago with relief help from Nehf. The Cubs blow a chance to pad their run total in the 9th when Riggs Stephenson is nabbed on a hidden ball trick by 2B Billy Rhiel to Dave Bancroft (as noted by Bill Deane).

20th The Cubs sweep two from the Robins, 6–5 in 10 innings and 4–1 and take over first place from the Pirates. Guy Bush (13-1) wins the opener over Watty Clark and Sheriff Blake bests Johnny Morrison. Hack Wilson has safeties in each game to run his consecutive game batting streak to 27 games.

The first-place A’s hand the Tigers their 3rd loss in a row, beating Detroit, 6–2. Lefty Grove strikes out 8 to pick up the win.

Ted Lyons and the White Sox beat the visiting Indians, 13–4. Willie Kamm homers for the Sox and applies the hidden ball trick to Charley Jamieson in the 7th.

21st Wes Ferrell outpitches Waite Hoyt to give Cleveland a 6–4 win over the Yankees. Babe Ruth, still nursing a leg injury, contributes a pinch single. Gehrig is tossed in the 4th inning for protesting a strike 3 call, and Miller Huggins quickly follows.

The A’s beat Detroit again, winning 10–7, in 11 innings.

The Robins beat the Cubs, 3–1, dropping Chicago out of first place. It is Brooklyn’s first win in 10 starts against the Cubs. Dazzy Vance is the winner, striking out 10 including Hack Wilson 4 times. His only mistake is a solo homer to Hornsby. Pat Malone takes the loss.

Baltimore Black Sox outfielder Rap Dixon goes 3-for-3 in both games of a doubleheader against the Homestead Grays, to start a streak of 14-for-14. Dixon will go 5-for-5 in the first game against Hilldale on July 28, and 3-for-3 in the second game. On August 1 the string will stop when the Grays Daltie Cooper gets him out. Dixon is walked twice in his streak.

22nd After losing 7–3 to Rube Walberg, the Yankees capture a hair-raising 14-inning win, 4–3. George Pipgras matches the vet Jack Quinn, allowing just 4 hits the whole game. His wildness allows the Athletics to score 3 in the 1st, when Al Simmons belts a homer. For the 14 innings, the A’s set a record by leaving no runners on base.

23rd  The Athletics split with the visiting Indians, winning 4–1 before losing 9–3. Rube Walberg wins his 13th in the opener, beating Willis Hudlin. Mickey Cochrane (#22) and Al Simmons bang homers. In the nitecap, Wes Ferrell in the winner over ancient Jack Quinn. The high point for the A’s comes when Jimmie Foxx clouts a drive over the double-deck roof in LF, one of the longest homers hit at Shibe Park.

Pete Alexander pitches the Cards to a 5–2 win over the Phillies, allowing 10 hits and fanning 7. The Cardinals decide they made a mistake when they sent manager Bill McKechnie to Rochester and brought up Billy Southworth; they swap them back again.

The Robins outslug the Pirates to win 10–7 over Pittsburgh. In the 7th, Carmen Hill intentionally passes Del Bissonette to pitch to Billy Rhiel, who promptly belts a grand slam. Paul Waner lines an inside the park homer, while Babe Herman is 2-for-5 to keep his average at .395. Doug McWeeny is the winning pitcher.

24th  The Cubs regain the NL lead by beating the Giants in Chicago, 8–7; a 9-game winning streak gives them a 4 1⁄2 game lead. Today’s win goes to Mike Cvengros, who tops Fred Fitzsimmons. The Cubs offense is lead by Hack Wilson’s two home runs.

Wally Roettger’s grand slam, hit off Les Sweetland in the 6th, propels the Cardinals to a 6-4 win over the visiting Phillies. The Cards are now 45-45 and in 4th place.

The Yanks edge the Tigers, 7–5, behind the hitting of Bill Dickey. Dickey has 4 hits, including a homer, to back Herb Pennock’s pitching.

25th The Athletics blast the Indians, 21–3, lacing 25 hits against starter Johnny Miljus and Jimmy Zinn. Jimmie Foxx belts two homers, giving him 4 in three games, while Lefty Grove, the winning pitcher, also chips in with a round tripper. Miljus was picked up on waiver from Pittsburgh on July 10, but a week-long dispute which the Commissioner finally settled, prevented the big Serb from pitching.

Evar Swanson has 5 hits and pitcher Red Lucas has 4 as every hitter in the Reds lineup contributes to the 21-hit attack against Boston. The Reds prevail, 14-2.

26th In a slugfest at Wrigley Field, the first-place Cubs come back from a 7 run deficit after two innings to beat the Phillies, 13-10. The two teams total 35 hits. Chuck Klein has the biggest blow, a second inning grand slam, while Cliff Heathcote has 5 hits.

At Pittsburgh, George Grantham hits a grand slam in the 6th to give the Bucs a 6-2 lead, but they need three runs in the bottom of the 9th to pull out a 9-8 win over Boston. Pittsburgh remains one game behind the NL-leading Cubs.

27th The first-place Cubs sweep at Wrigley, beating the Phillies, 6-1 and 10-7. Rogers Hornsby has a homer and 3 RBIs to back Pat Malone in the opener. In game 2, Charlie Root (11-3) pitches and bats the Cubs to the win. Root has 3 hits and 4 RBIs. Chuck Klein has a hit and 2 RBIs for the Phils in game 2, extending his consecutive game hit streak to 25 contests.

28th At Wrigley, the Cubs down the Phillies, 7-3, behind Guy Bush (14-1). It is Bush’s 12th straight win in a row. Riggs Stephenson helps the cause with a 3-run homer, off Les Sweetland, in the 6-run 3rd. Chuck Klein goes hitless to stop his 25-game hitting streak.

At Yankee Stadium, Babe Ruth’s homer in the 12th gives the Yankees a 7-6 victory over the Browns. His homer leaves him one behind Gehrig who hits his 25th earlier. Len Dondero hits his only ML homer for the Browns, a 3-run shot and Wildfire Shulte has 4 hits for St. Louis.

29th In another slugfest at Wrigley, the Cubs outlast the Phillies to win, 12-10. Don Hurst’s grand slam for the Phils in the 6th briefly knots it at 9 apiece. The win gives Chicago a 3 ½ game lead over Pittsburgh, losers to the Braves.

At Forbes Field, the Braves plate 3 runs in the 9th to edge the Pirates, 10-9. Rabbit Maranville is 5-for-5 for Boston.

The lively ball is threatening the popularity of the National pastime in the opinion of the majority of major and minor league baseball managers and officials polled by the United News (as noted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette). Ten major league managers favor a return to the dead ball, four like the present ball, one doesn’t care what kind of ball is used, and another failed to express an opinion. John P. McGraw and Wilbert Robinson are the leaders of the group who would return to the dead ball. Miller Huggins steadfastly sticks by the lively ball, but admits it might aid the game to help the pitcher. “We’ve got to play this game the ways the fans want it played,” Huggins said. “They build the stadiums and they pay the Ruths and Gehrigs. And they like the home runs. “President E.B. Barnard of the American League thinks the lively ball is being exaggerated as a menace to baseball, while President John Heydler of the National League maintains that there is no difference in the baseballs used in the senior circuit during the past 10 years.

Time magazine weighs in on the topic in the issue today with the following: “Lively Ball. Greatest topic of discussion in baseball this year has been the “lively” or “rabbit” official ball. Experts at playing, watching and writing about the game have become convinced it is the cause of a rise of 50 points in batting averages during recent years, the cause of multifarious homeruns, of double-figure scores. A. G. Spalding & Bros., official ball manufacturers, maintained that the “lively” ball is a myth, that no change had been made since 1909, when the cork centre was introduced. When the New York Telegram, crusading against the “lively” ball, last week produced cross-sections of a 1919 ball and of a 1929 ball to show that the 1929 ball contains a layer of rubber not found in its 1919 ancestor, Julian W. Curtiss, Spalding president, wrote to the Telegram: “Let me assure you that the life of the ball has not been changed since 1920.” He left the inference, satisfying to sticklers, that it had been changed between 1919 and 1920.”

30th For the 4th straight time this season, Fred Fitzsimmons shuts out the Reds, beating Jakie May, 3–0. Fitz’s mark against the Reds is a Giants club record.

Every batter contributes as the Phillies lash the Pirates, 13-5. Pinky Whitney belts a double, 2 triples and a homer.

31st  At Yankee Stadium Babe Ruth hits a fungo 447 feet in an unofficial test, beating all trial competition records. The old mark was held by Ed Walsh, who hit a ball 419 feet 6 inches in 1911. In the game today the Yanks crush the White Sox, 16–2, as Gehrig has a HR and reaches base 5 times.

The Athletics keep their AL lead at 9 ½ games by beating up on the Tigers 10–1, scoring 9 times in the 4th inning. Alexander has a HR for the Bengals only tally off Rube Walberg.

Braves OF Lance Richbourg leads Boston to a 1st game win over the Cubs, 7–1, when he lines a record-tying three triples against Charlie Root. Veteran outfielder/pitcher Socks Seibold, out of the majors for 10 years, picks up the win on his way to a team-high 12 victories. Pat Malone takes the nitecap for Chicago, 6–3.