1945 July

1st The first of the superstars returns from the war. Hank Greenberg, gone for 4 years, homers in his first game following his release from the Army before 47,700 in a Sunday game at Briggs Stadium. Rudy York adds a 3-run homer as the Tigers win the opener over the A’s, 9–5. Without Greenberg, Detroit takes the nitecap, 5–3, to lead the Yankees by 3 1⁄2 games with Chicago and Boston following.

Led by Tommy Holmes, the Braves win twice to sweep the three-game set with the 2nd place Cards, 6–3 and 8–7. Holmes is 7 for 10 in the series, including 4 homers and a triple, and stretches his hit streak to 28 games.

2nd Mike Kreevich is the batting star as the Browns sweep a pair from the Red Sox, winning 7-1 and 3-2. Kreevich has a 3rd inning grand slam in the opener and winning pitcher Jakucki adds a solo blast. In game 2 the Browns rally for a pair of runs in the 9th on Kreevich’s double off Randy Heflin. Heflin, making his pitching debut after two years in the Navy, allows just 3 hits going into the 9th.

Before 15,000 Marines at Cherry Point, NC, the league-leading Brooklyn Dodgers beat the Flying Leathernecks, 8-3. Mouse Halsell hits a leadoff homer but the Marines are no match for the clowning Dodgers.

Former major leaguer and NFL player Frank Grube dies after being shot on the steps of his Manhattan brownstone yesterday. Grube last played in 1941.

3rd At Braves Field, the Cubs tie a ML record when Phil Cavarretta, Don Johnson, and Stan Hack each score 5 times as Chicago pummels the Braves 24–2. For Chicago, it is the most runs scored this century. Johnson has 5 hits, as does Cavarretta, who adds 5 ribbies: it is the first time in ML history that two teammates have collected 5 hits in 7 at bats in a 9-inning game. Starter Claude Passeau is the beneficiary of all the infield (16 runs scored) support. Tommy Holmes, hitting in his 30th straight game, is 3-for-4 to raise his average to .402. On his second hit, Holmes splits the bat he has been using, a 1932 one that had been used by Johnny Fredericks. Holmes switches to his own bat for hit #3 (BRJ 1972). The Cubs will sweep the next three games from Boston, and Holmes will go 5-for-14.

4th The Cards total 36 hits and sweep two from the Giants at the Polo Grounds, winning 8–4 and 19–2. The losses drop the Giants from 2ndplace to 4th, with the Cards moving into third place. Augie Bergamo leads the way with 9 RBI, 8 of the RBIs coming in the 2nd game. Augie has 3 hits, including a triple, in the opener, then tops it with 5 hits in game 2. Two of the hits are homers, including a grand slam.

In the first game against Cleveland, the Indians tie a ML record with no assists, a first ever for a 9-inning game, in beating the Yankees, 4–2. Sidearmer Steve Gromek allows just 5 hits, including a Russ Derry homer, in winning, as the outfield pulls down 15 fly balls. Two years ago, the Browns went 8 innings without an assist: the Mets will be the next team to pull it off, on June 25, 1989. New York takes the nitecap, 3–2, as Al Gettel beats Allie Reynolds. Frankie Hayes sits out the nitecap after getting hit by a pitch in the head during game 1. The catcher ends his consecutive games played streak at 225.

At Chicago, Harlond Clift leads a Senators sweep by hitting 3 homers and driving in 9 runs. One of his homers come in 9th inning of the opener, a 5-4, 12-inning win with Marino Pieretti (9-4) going the distance. In the 11-2 nitecap win, Clift belts 2 homers, one a grand slam, and drives in 7. These are the final 3 homers of his career.

The A’s snap a 14-game losing streak, beating the Browns, 3–2, in the lid lifter. They almost win the nitecap, but the Browns rally in the 9thto win, 6–5. Pete Gray’s bases-loaded single drives in the tying and winning runs.

At Boston, the Cubs move into 2nd place by sweeping two from the Braves, winning 5-3 and 7-5. Bob Logan loses both games, dropping the opener as a starter and losing game 2 in relief. Bill Nicholson has 2 homers in game 2, good for 3 RBI, and Andy Pafko homers and drives in 3.

5th At the Polo Grounds, Giants Whitey Lockman, 19, homers in his first ML at bat, off George Dockins, but the Cards prevail, 7–5.

Cleveland beats New York, 3–2, in 11 innings as Jeff Heath homers to break up a pitching duel between Tiny Bonham and Babe Klieman. Klieman has 3 assists and an AL record 6 putouts in the win. New York drops to 3rd with the loss.

6th Despite homers by Pete Coscarart and Jim Russell to lead off the game against Don Hendrickson, the Braves sweep the Pirates 13–5 and 14–8. For the winners, Butch Nieman connects for a pinch grand slam in the opener. In the 2nd game, Tommy Holmes has two first-pitch doubles to hit in his 34th consecutive game to pass Rogers Hornsby’s NL record of 33 set in 1922.

The Cardinals jump on Vic Lombardi for 7 runs in the 2nd inning en route to a 15-3 win over the first-place Dodgers. Ray Sanders leads a 19-hit attack with 4 hits and 6 RBIs.

The Cubs move a game behind the Dodgers with an 11-3, 5-1 sweep of the Phillies. In the first game, the Cubs spoil Don Grate’s ML debut scoring 5 runs in his inning and a third. Grate, a basketball all-American at OSU, skipped the minor leagues, but that is where he will spend most of his career as an outfielder. In 1952, he will set a long-throw mark of 434 feet, one inch. Veteran Ray Prim wins the first game in relief and goes 3-for-3. Chicago manages 15 hits in game 2.

Pitcher Phil Marchildon rejoins the Athletics. In the Canadian Air Force, he was shot down and held in a German prison camp for 9 months.

Mobile (Southern Association) catcher Harry Chozen, with a 33-game hitting streak, is in the on deck circle when he is hit by an errant bat and knocked unconscious. Chozen, who had walked his only time at bat, leaves the game but league Prexy Billy Evans rules that Chozen’s hit streak is still intact. It will eventually reach 49 games, breaking the Southern League record of 46 set by Johnny Bates in 1925. In the last 4 games of the streak, Chozen will pinch hit, getting a hit each time.

7th White Sox outfielder Wally Moses leads off the 1st inning with a walk, moves to 3B, and swipes home when A’s pitcher Luther Knerr goes into a slow windup. That’s all the scoring Chicago pitcher Bill Dietrich needs for the 1–0 win.

8th The Dodgers lose a pair to the visiting Cardinals by 6-4 scores. Brooklyn’s scoring in game 2 is a grand slam by Dixie Walker. Filling wartime rosters requires going deeper into the bag and the Dodgers bring back Babe Herman from California. He pinch-hits twice against the Cardinals, tripping over 1B on a hit. Guy Bush, Clay Touchstone, and Hod Lisenbee, contemporaries of Babe Herman in the 1920s, will get their chances on the mound. The Babe will go 9-for-34, mostly as a pinch-hitter, sock one HR, and be a popular gate attraction in Brooklyn.

The Cubs maintain the NL lead by winning 2 from the Phillies, 12–6 and 9–2. Phil Cavarretta has 4 hits and 4 RBIs in the opener, as Ray Prim beats Whit Wyatt. Led by Vance Dinge’s 4 hits, The Phils outhit the Cubs in the opener, 17–12. The Cubs never relinquish first place, despite losing 16 of 22 games to the Cards. They lead at the mid-term break by a game over the Dodgers, with the 7th place Cincinnati Reds just 9 back.

9th With tomorrow’s All-Star Game at Fenway Park canceled because of travel restrictions, seven inter-league games are played on July 9 and 10 for war charity during the schedule break. All the games are arranged geographically. Plans for a USO-sponsored all-star game in Europe do not materialize, although the war in Germany is over and fighting in the Pacific will be over in 6 weeks.

At Comiskey Park, the White Sox edge the Cubs, 5-4, in ten innings, before Chicago’s biggest crowd (47,144) since 1941. At Cleveland, the Reds blanked the Indians, 6-0. At New York’s Polo Grounds, Hershel Martin’s grand slam helped the Yankees trounce the Giants, 7-1, in a rain-shortened game. At Philadelphia, slugger Jimmie Foxx is the starting pitcher for the Phillies (or Blue Jays) as they defeat the Athletics, 7-6.

At St. Louis, the Browns avenge their 1944 World Series loss to the Cardinals with a 3-0 triumph. The Browns use nine different pitchers with each hurling one inning, while the Cards have four pitchers work two innings apiece. Despite the 11 pitching changes, the game took only one hour, 31 minutes to play!

At Fenway Park, the Red Sox topped the Braves, 8-1, in the only day-game of the series. Boo Ferriss, discards plans to pitch both right- and left-handed in the game, stays with his right in subduing the Braves. The Sox’ Jack Tobin singles off his brother, Jim, while Tommy Holmes has a hit for the Braves. Holmes reaches the All-Star break with a .401 average and a NL-record 37-game hitting streak, but the skein will be snapped the day the regular schedule resumes.

At Washington, the Senators defeat the Brooklyn Dodgers, 4-3, in a game marred by the career-ending knee injury suffered by Brooklyn’s rookie pitcher, Lee Pfund. Ironically, the game’s winning pitcher is Bert Shepard, who had lost a leg in military service. Shepard pitches 4 innings and gives up two runs.

The games played today raise a total of $244,778 for charity. The Boston game, though it has the third-lowest attendance of the games, contributes the most: $73,000. The reason: 44 box seats were sold at the price of $1,000 each. The New York and Chicago games each net $50,000+.

11th Aaron Robinson, Yankees catcher, returns from the military. Red Ruffing is back too, and so are Hugh Mulcahy and Buddy Lewis. Charlie Keller will follow, and a couple of dozen former ML players will be in uniform before the season is over.

12th The Chicago Cubs stop Tommy Holmes’ modern-day NL hitting streak at 37 games, beating the Boston Braves 6–1 behind Hank Wyse for their 11th victory in a row. The Braves take game two 3–1, as Claude Passeau loses his first after 9 straight wins. Holmes hits .433 during the streak and will finish at .352, 2nd in the NL. His 9 strikeouts coupled with 28 HRs and 47 doubles is unparalleled for making contact and hitting for average and power.

A’s pitchers Bobo Newsom and Jesse Flores toss back to back shutouts over the Browns, winning 4–0 and 11–0.

13th At Yankee Stadium, Cleveland outfielder Pat Seerey slugs three HRs, the 2nd a grand slam, and a triple for a 15 base total as the Indians go on a batting spree to win, 16–4. Seerey hits his homers off starter Atley Donald, Monk Dubiel, and Steve Roser. Fat Pat will top his total in 1948, the only player to ever have two games with 15 or more total bases. Heath adds a pair of homers and pitcher Steve Gromek collects 4 hits to win his 10th game and 4th straight over New York. The Yanks’ Donald is going in the other direction, and this will be his last career start. His hex over the Indians is broken as well; after going 13-1 against Cleveland, he’s lost to them twice in 10 days.

The Philadelphia Phillies are skippered by two managers as they beat the Pirates, 11–9. With Fat Freddie Fitzsimmons managing, the game was started on June 3, but suspended after 6 innings because of Pennsylvania’s Blue Law. The Phils were in the lead, 11–9. Under the leadership of Ben Chapman, who took over for Fitzsimmons on June 29, Andy Karl shuts out the Pirates today for the last 3 innings and the Phils win, 11–9. For Karl it is one of his 15 saves on the year, high in the NL. In later years, most record books will credit the win to manager Fitzsimmons, though Neft & Cohen will give it Chapman.

15th Before 43,803 fans at Wrigley, the Cubs sweep the Giants, 5–3 and 7–2 to extend their lead to 4 games. Hy Vandenberg allows 3 hits in winning the opener, and Hank Wyse takes the nitecap. The Cubs will take 3 out of 4 from the Giants.

Detroit manager Steve O’Neill sends in pitcher Zeb Eaton to hit with the bases loaded in the 4th against the Yankees Hank Borowy. Eaton rewards his confidence with his first ML homer, a pinch grand slam, but the Yanks win, 5–4, when rookie Walter Wilson walks a batter with the sacks full in the 6th.

In the first-game loss to the Reds, the Phils Charley Schanz hits 4 batters to tie the NL record. Bucky Walters wins, 6–1. It is the 3rdtime in 8 seasons that Reds batters have tied the record of 4 hit batsmen in a game. The Reds take the nitecap, 3–1, as vet Vern Kennedy beats his old teammates.

The Pirates skewer the visiting Dodgers, beating them 9–1 and 15–3. Rip Sewell and Ken Gables are the winning pitchers over Vic Lombardi and Hal Gregg. In game 2 Bob Elliot hits for the cycle and Pete Coscarart scores 5 runs. The one bright spot for the Brooks is an 8th inning pinch homer in game 2 by Babe Herman in his first ML at bat since 1937. The former turkey farmer has not played any baseball this year but was signed by the Dodgers a week ago.

19th Secretary of the Navy Forrestal and Admiral Nimitz asked baseball commissioner Happy Chandler today to make arrangements to send the World Series winner “on a tour (90 days) of the Pacific Ocean to play Army and Navy teams at advance bases.” Mr. Forrestal is so enthusiastic that he adds in a letter to Chandler: “It may persuade more Japs to surrender because the one thing they all want to know is: ‘who’s leading the leagues?’ Connie Mack voices approval saying, “It will do the boys in service a world of good to see the 1945 world champions in person on the diamond.” But the war will end in less than a month and the tour never takes place.

Cubs pitcher Hank Wyse wins his 7th straight, and 13th of the season, setting down the Dodgers, 3–1 on five hits. The league leaders have now won 20 games against 5 defeats since June 27th.

The Reds win the opener against the Braves, 4–3 in the ninth on a single by Woody Williams, Boston wins the nitecap in 10 innings, 6–5. Butch Nieman’s three run homer ties the game in the 7th and he scores the winning run in the 10th on Carden Gillenwater’s single. After the nitecap, umpire George Magerkurth gets into a fight with a fan, but players break up the fisticuffs.

The Pirates win 4–0 over the Giants, as Bill Salkeld climaxes the scoring with a three-run homer in the 8th. Rip Sewell wins his 11th of the year, while Harry Feldman is the loser. Salkeld hits his homer off Ace Adams, who relieves Feldman in the 8th.

21st The Detroit Tigers and the Philadelphia Athletics battle to a 1–1 tie in 24 innings. with the A’s pulling off a DP with the sacks full to finish the contest. Les Mueller hurls the first 19 2⁄3 innings, scattering 13 hits and walking 5 for the Tigers. Dizzy Trout pitches the rest. Mueller’s outing is the longest since George Uhle and Ted Lyons went head-to-head in 1929, and no hurler has matched Mueller’s endurance feat since; Mueller later estimated he threw 370 pitches against 74 batters. He is helped by Jimmy Outlaw, who throws a runner out at home in the 10th after the A’s make 3 singles. The A’s use just two hurlers: Russ Christopher (13) and Joe Berry, the final 11. This is the last time that two pitching teammates will each throw more than 9 innings in a game. The top hitter is Bobby Estalella who goes 5-for-10. The match last an AL-record 4 hours and 48 minutes before umpire Bill Summers calls it at 7:48 p.m. because “he couldn’t see the ball.” (an AL rule prevents the lights being turned on during a scheduled day game). The AL’s longest previous match was 4 hours: 47 minutes on Sept. 1, 1906.

The Yankees bomb the White Sox into 6th place, 12–3, with the help of three homers. Nick Etten connects with the bases full, and Herschel Martin and Bud Metheny connect as well. Ernie Bonham wins his 2nd of the year as the Yankees chase Earl Caldwell in the 1stinning.

Chief Specialist Bob Feller hurls a perfect no-hitter as his Great Lakes Naval Training team trims the visiting Ford All-Stars, 13–0, before 10,000 sailors. Feller’s catcher Walker Cooper belts a two-run homer to key a five-run 4th inning.

Assault charges against umpire George Magerkurth are dismissed. The ump and a fan got into a fight three days ago after a doubleheader in Cincinnati. The ump complained that the fan, Tom Longo, had been riding him all season, but Longo contended that Magerkurth had confused him with the real heckler. The two shook hands.

22nd Red Sox rookie star Boo Ferris picks up his 17th win in beating the Browns 3–2. Skeeter Newsome is 3-for-3. 34,810 fans jam Fenway Park, and thousands are turned away.

Making his first start since the 1942 WS, New York’s Red Ruffing beats the Athletics, 13–4, despite tiring in the 7th and being relieved by Gettel. Red gives up no runs and just 2 hits until the 7th.

25th Harry Chozen of Mobile (Southern) goes hitless ending his batting streak of 49 games. Chozen had pinch hits in his last 4 games to keep his streak alive.

27th Hal Newhouser shuts out the White Sox as first-place Detroit, wins, 1-0. Eddie Mayo hits a 9th inning walk-off homer off Johnny Humphries for the victory; it is the 2nd time in two years Humphries as served up a 9th inning homer to lose a shutout.

The Cubs purchase P Hank Borowy, 27, from the New York Yankees in an unexpected waiver deal, confounding fans and the other AL teams. Borowy, 10-5 with the Yankees, was put on waivers, apparently to solve a roster problem, and was passed over by all 7 AL teams who assumed the Yanks would pull him back if claimed. The Cubs snatch him for $97,500, and he will help the Cubs win the pennant with an 11-2 record, including 3 wins over the Cardinals down the stretch. Yanks owner Larry MacPhail had a simple explanation, according to Lyle Spatz in Yankees Coming, Yankees Going. MacPhail had been in the park on June 15 when Borowy had yielded the longest home run of the season at Yankee Stadium to Detroit pitcher Zeb Eaton, a pinch grand slam. It was the fourth of five consecutive starts that Borowy had failed to complete. The possessor of an even more mercurial personality than later Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, MacPhail supposedly decided right then that Borowy was finished as a Yankee.

29th Needing 2 hits to reach 2,000, Boston’s Bob Johnson collects 4 to lead the Red Sox to an 8–4 win over the Senators.

The Cardinals largest home crowd of the year, 24,782, sees a dandy as Red Munger and the Phillies Bill Lee hook up. The veteran Lee goes 10 innings for the 1-0 win.

The first-place Cubs sweep a pair from the visiting Reds, winning 4-1 and 3-2, to complete a four-game sweep. It is the fourth 4-game sweep for the Cubs this season, something they won’t do again until 2015. Hank Wyse wins his 15th in the opener and Hank Borowy chalks up his first Cubs win in game 2.

31st The Reds split a pair with the Cards, losing 4-3 in game one, then shutting out the Birds, 2-0, in the second game. However, winning pitcher Bucky Walters hurts his arm and will appear in just two games the rest of the season.