1954 July

1st  Joe Cunningham of the Cards hits 2 HRs, both off Milwaukee’s Warren Spahn, giving him 3 for his first 2 days in the ML, a record unequaled since. In his first seven at bats, he has 9 RBI. Cardinal ace Harvey Haddix (13–4) stops a Joe Adcock liner with his knee; Haddix never fully recovers during the season from this injury. The win goes to Gerry Staley with 5+ innings of relief. Stan Musial chips in with two HRs, his 25th and 26th.

The first-place Giants beat the Dodgers, 5–2, to complete a 3-game sweep and move 4 games ahead of the Brooks. Dusty Rhodes, who won the opening game of the series with a pinch hit, drives in 2 today with a pinch single in the 8th. The Dodgers had tied in the 7th on back-to-back HRs by Campanella and Furillo.

Yankee infielder Bobby Brown retires at age 29 to pursue his medical degree. Brown will later be president of the AL.

2nd Robin Roberts makes his first relief appearance of the year to nail down a 7–6 Phils win over the Dodgers. Roberts gives up a triple to Snider but gets Gilliam to pop out and fans Hoak. Curt Simmons starts but is knocked out after giving up a homer to Cox and a triple to Don Zimmer in his first ML at bat. Del Ennis hits a 3-run HR off starter Clem Labine in the 8th for the win.

3rd With Doby hitting a homer in each game to lead the offense, Bob Feller and Early Wynn hurl the Indians to a sweep of the White Sox, 3–2 and 5–4. The Sox pennant hopes receive a jolt when 3B George Kell wrenches his knee and will be for out for 5 weeks.

At the Stadium, Mickey Mantle’s opposite field three-run homer is the game-winner as the Yankees beat Bob Porterfield and the Senators, 3–2. Mantle has a 12-game hitting streak and is hitting .320.

4th  In a near no-hitter, Indians Mike Garcia, Ray Narleski, and Early Wynn, in a rare relief role, shut down the White Sox 2–1, only allowing Minnie Minoso’s 9th-inning single. Minnie’s single off Wynn comes with 2 outs in the 9th, and he is then caught stealing. Red hot Larry Doby drives in both runs.

The Red Sox, behind lefty Leo Kielty, down the A’s, 8-0. The A’s have no putouts in the game.

The Yankees purchase 35-year-old reliever Marlin Stuart from the Orioles.

5th  Indians reserve 1B Billy Glynn hits 3 HRs, including a grand slam, in a row and drives in 8 runs in a 13–6 win over Detroit. In his 4th at bat, with the bases loaded, Glynn hits a sac fly to deep CF. He had 1 homer and 3 RBIs in his first 81 ABs. Boone and Belardi hit back to back HRs for Detroit. Detroit takes the nightcap, 1–0, in 11 innings with George Zuverink allowing 3 hits and going all the way for the victory. Don Mossi goes the distance in the loss, allowing just 3 hits until Harvey Kuenn ends it with a one-out HR.

In the opener at Griffith Stadium, the Red Sox trounce the Senators, 14-0 behind Russ Nixon. Ted Lepcio has a single, triple and grand slam good for 5 RBIs. Jackie Jensen also has 5 RBIs on 3 hits, including a homer. Ted Williams is 2-for-2, both doubles, and three walks. In the nightcap, Lepcio’s homer, off Chuck Stobbs, is the Sox lone score as the Senators win, 7-1. Roy Sievers has a grand slam for the Nats.

After splitting their last 13 doubleheaders, the Yankees sweep the A’s, winning 7–4 and 11–2. The Yanks collect 29 hits, 12 for extra bases. In the opener, Joe Collins and Mickey Mantle hit back-to back homers off Arnie Portocarrero, as Joe Collins has 4 hits, including 2 doubles. Irv Noren has a pair of HRs and 5 RBIs in the nightcap.

Right fielder Stan Musial outpolls all other NL players in the All-Star balloting.

6th Before any batters are retired, the Indians score 8 runs, a ML record, against the Orioles. They’ll tally 3 more in the inning and win, 11–3. Bill Glynn has a lead-off homer and single and Larry Doby a pair of hits in the frame. Early Wynn allows no hits through 7 innings before tiring, but earns his 10th win.

The Phillies pound out 17 hits but manage to score just 3 runs as they beat the visiting Pirates, 3-0, behind Curt Simmons. They leave 13 runners on base. Not till 2013, when they score 3 runs on 16 hits, will they approach this team record.

7th At New York, the Yankees outslug the Red Sox, 17–9. Mantle has three hits, including his 12th homer, off Tom Brewer.

8th  Behind Willie Mays’ 29th and 30th HRs, good for 5 RBIs, the Giants win, 11–2, complete a 3-game sweep of the Dodgers in Ebbets Field to up their lead in the NL to 61⁄2 games. Preston Gomez allows 2 unearned runs.

9th  In St. Louis, Gene Baker has 4 hits, including a double and homer, and drives in 4 runs to lead the Cubs to a 6-4 win over the Cards in 11 innings. Jim Davis gets the win in relief. Red Schoendienst has a pair of hits to run his hitting streak to 28 games.

10th  Bob Rush of the Cubs stops Cardinal 2B Red Schoendienst’s hitting streak at 28 games, the longest batting streak in 1954. But the Cards win, 2–1, scoring 2 in the 9th.

At the Polo Grounds, Alvin Dark hits a grand slam in the Giants’ 7-run 3rd inning, but that is all their scoring as they lose to the Pirates, 10-7. Rookie George O’Donnell pitches 5 scoreless innings of relief for the win, and completes the Pittsburgh scoring with a 2-run homer in the 6th. It is O’Donnell’s only ML homer and RBIs. Hoyt Wilhelm (8-3), the third of seven Giant pitchers, takes the loss, while former football All-American and now bonus baby Paul Giel makes his ML debut by striking out the side in the 9th. His third strikeout is another football All-American Vic Janowicz. He is the first to debut with a 3 K inning since 1918.

11th  In the opener of a doubleheader, Giants OF Don Mueller hits for the cycle, getting his hits off 4 different pitchers in a 13–7 rout of the Pirates. His last hit, off Paul LaPalme, is his first homer of the year. Five other HRs are added, 3 in the 3rd as Monte Irvin, Whitey Lockman, and Alvin Dark connect. The two teams combine for 9 homers with Bob Skinner leading the Buc shots with a homer and triple good for 5 RBIs. Nine players hit the homers, tying an NL mark. The Bucs win the second game, 4-1, as Dick Littlefield allows no earned runs in 9 innings.

The Red Sox whip the lowly Athletics, 18–0, for one of the worst shutouts in AL history. Frank Sullivan, the victor over Bob Trice, is the beneficiary of the 22-hit attack. Jackie Jensen and Grady Hatton each drive home 4 runs and Ted Williams adds a 3-run homer and scores 4 times. In the nightcap, the Sox lighten up to win, 11–1. Not a good day as A’s slugger Gus Zernial breaks his collarbone diving for a ball and is out of the lineup until late August.

Despite Jim Command collecting his first ML hit—a grand slam off Carl Erskine—the Phils drop the opener to the Dodgers, 8–7. It is Command’s only ML HR. Brooklyn counters with 2 homers by Gil Hodges and one by Carl Furillo. Herm Wehmeier, with help from Robin Roberts, wins the nightcap, 3–1.

12th In Cleveland, representatives of all 16 teams meet to form the Major League Baseball Players Association. The Association hires Norman Lewis to negotiate with the owners and to seek increases in the pension plan.

The Giants release former ace Larry Jansen, who won 120 games for New York. He’ll win a pair for the Reds in 1956.

13th  In the All-Star Game, the AL breaks the NL’s 4-game winning streak with an 11–9 win. Larry Doby’s pinch HR in the 8th, followed by Nellie Fox’s 2-run single, ends the highest scoring All-Star Game in history. The 2 teams combine for 31 hits, with the AL amassing 17. The Indians Al Rosen has 2 HRs and 5 RBIs; a homer by Ray Boone follows his 3rd inning homer. Cincy stars Ted Kluszewski and Gus Bell also hit homers for the NL. Dean Stone is the winner, despite throwing just 2 pitches and retiring no batters. He relieves Bob Keegan in the 8th, with Red Schoendienst on third and Alvin Dark on first. With a one-and-one count on Snider, Schoendienst tries to steal home and Dean’s throw is in time to get Red. Schoendienst argues it’s a balk. The AL scores 3 runs in the bottom of the inning and Virgil Trucks throws a scoreless 9th to make Stone a cold winner. Gene Conley is the loser.

14th  In Milwaukee, the Dodgers beat Lew Burdette and the Braves, 2-1, but it takes them 12 innings to do it. Jim Hughes pitches 4 hitless innings for the win. Duke Snider drives in both runs with sac flies, but he fails to reach base, ending his consecutive game streak of reaching base at 58. The only players with longer streaks are Ted Williams (twice) and Joe DiMaggio in the 20th century and Bill Joyce, Fielder Jones and George Van Haltran in the 19th. Orlando Cabrera, in 2006, will reach base in 63 straight games, and Barry Bonds will tie Duke in 2003.

15th  At Crosley Field, Phillie CF Richie Ashburn walks 5 times in a 2–1 loss to the Redlegs.

A day after the temperature in St. Louis hit a city record 115 degrees, the Cardinals lose, 4-0, to the visiting Giants. Wes Westrum has 3 RBI and hits a 2-run homer off losing pitcher Harvey Haddix. Don Liddle tosses the shutout.

16th Gus Bell drives in 6 runs to give the Reds a 9–6 win over the Phils.

17th For the first time in ML history, a majority of a team’s starting lineup are black players. Against Milwaukee, the Dodgers start Don Newcombe with Campanella catching, Junior Gilliam at 2B, Jackie Robinson at 3B, and Cuban-born Sandy Amoros in the OF. The Braves win, 6–1.

18th  In St. Louis, Phils rookie Bob Greenwood has a 8–1 lead over the Cardinals going into the 5th inning in a game stopped several times because of rain. St. Louis manager Eddie Stanky then starts stalling, twice changing pitchers. With the rules prohibiting turning on lights in the middle of a game, umpire Babe Pinelli reacts to Stanky’s call for a 3rd pitcher by calling a forfeit. Greenwood loses his first ML win and will not notch his first victory—his only one—till July 31. The NL awards a forfeit victory over the Cards to the Phils for a stall that follows a brawl featuring Phils manager Terry Moore and 1B Earl Torgeson, and Cards C Sal Yvars. The Cardinals are under the impression that local ordinances prevent lights being turned on to continue a game. Down 8–1 in the 5th inning of game 2, St. Louis begins stalling. Ump Babe Pinelli calls the forfeit. Cards manager Stanky gets slapped with a five-day suspension and a fine, while Yvars and Torgeson each get a two days suspension. Game 1 is a 10 inning Phillies victory, 11–10.

After winning 13 in a row, the Yankees lose the 2nd game of a doubleheader to Detroit 8–6. They now trail Cleveland by a 1⁄2 game. After winning the opener, 6–0, behind Byrd, the Yankees were in first place.

In his first ML start after 5 relief appearances, Red Sox hurler Russ Kemmerer fires a one-hitter at the visiting Orioles to win 4-0. The only hit is Sam Mele’s drive in the 7th that just misses being a HR. The Birds bounce back in the nightcap to win, 4–1, behind Duane Pillette.

At Wrigley Field, Walker Cooper hits a grand slam for the Cubs, and Ernie Banks adds a homer, but the Dodgers win, 12-6. Campanella, Furillo and Snider belts homers for Da Bums.

At Washington, the Indians lose the opener to the Senators, 8–3, to drop out of first place. But they win the nightcap, 7–4, to regain the AL lead. In game 1, Eddie Yost raps a double, triple, and homer.

19th The Red Sox defeat the Orioles, 9–7, on Mickey Owen’s 9th inning walkoff grand slam, his only homer of the year. Owens entered the game in the 8th inning as a pinch runner. The Sox score 6 runs in the 9th, two on Piersall’s double, to come back. In the second game, Piersall has another 4 RBIs and Ted Williams adds a homer to go with his first-game shot. Frank Bolling homers and Jackie Jensen adds two, all 3 off Don Larsen (2-11).

Hobie Landrith’s 12th inning homer off Al Corwin at Crosley Field gives the Reds a dramatic 1–0 win over the New York Giants. Harry Perkowski goes all the way for Cincinnati, allowing just 3 hits. Landrith will have 5 extra base hits this year, all homers.

20th It’s the Giants turn today as they trip the Reds, 2–1, in 13 innings, pushing their lead over the Dodgers to 7 games. Two errors let in the winning run. Johnny Antonelli goes all the way for New York. The Giants use 5 players at second base, a record and the Reds use two for a two-team mark.

It’s like kissing your sister, as the Red Sox and Indians play a 17-inning 5–5 tie at Fenway. Don Mossi pitches the last 7 shutout innings for the Tribe and he’s matched by Sid Hudson and Ellis Kinder. Bobby Avila has 2 homers for Cleveland, both off starter Russ Nixon.

Alex Kellner records one out but the Tigers score 9 runs in the 1st inning and whip the A’s, 12-0. Harvey Kuenn has a double and grand slam in the inning. Steve Gromek goes 9 innings for the win and is almost matched by Ted Gray, who pitches 8 2/3 innings of relief.

21st Coming in to relieve in the 1st, Oriole pitcher, Don Larsen has 2 triples and a single off Camilo Pascual, but still loses to Washington, 6–5. An error by Jim Bridewiser in the 9th allows an unearned run to score.

22nd  In today’s doubleheader with the White Sox, Stengel switches players in an effort to get more power in the Yankee lineup as they chase the first-place Indians. After 4 pinch hitters, Phil Rizzuto plays 2B and Mickey Mantle comes in to play SS. Mantle ties the opener 3–3 in the 8th, then solos in the 10th with his 20th homer. The Yankees easily win the nightcap, 11–1, behind Harry Byrd’s 5-hitter. Chicago falls 6 1/2 games in back of the Indians, who sweep 2 from Boston, while New York is just a half game back of the Tribe.

The Yankee sign free agent Ralph Branca. He’ll appear in 5 games this year.

24th  After Casey Stengel pulls Phil Rizzuto in the 8th for a pinch hitter, he brings in Mickey Mantle again at SS. Mantle plays short with Willie Miranda at 2B against lefthanded hitters. Against righties, Miranda and Mantle switch positions. But Cleveland wins 5–4 on Larry Doby’s 2-run homer in the 10th, his 3rd homer in 2 days at Yankee Stadium. Sam Dente fills in at SS for George Strickland, sidelined with a broken jaw. The Tribe go 21⁄2 games up on New York.

In St. Louis, Wally Moon connects for a grand slam for the Cardinals, but the Dodgers plate 2 runs in the 9th inning to win, 7-6.

25th  White Sox P Jack Harshman sets a team record by striking out 16 in a 5–2 win over Boston. The Pale Hose sweep by taking the nightcap, 4–2.

26th  Brooklyn defeats Giant stalwart Sal Maglie in Ebbets Field, roughing him up for 6 runs on 11 hits. Since coming into the NL in 1945, the “Barber” had recorded 10 straight victories in the Brooklyn ball park.

28th  Giants OF Dusty Rhodes hits 3 consecutive HRs at the Polo Grounds to back Johnny Antonelli’s 10–0 whipping of St. Louis. It is Antonelli’s 10th consecutive win. Willie Mays smacks his 36th HR, a 447 foot clout to LF.

29th  After George Zuverink tames the A’s, 4-2, Detroit completes the sweep with a 7-3 win in game 2. Harvey Kuenn has 2 runs on 4 hits and Bob Nieman connects for a grand slam.

30th  Against Allie Reynolds, 3B Bob Kennedy hits the first grand slam for the new Baltimore Orioles, as they blast the Yankees, 10–0, behind Don Larsen. The loss is the Chief’s first after 10 wins. The Orioles surpass the top season attendance the Browns had in their 52 years, as they draw 27,385 for the game, giving them 7,000 more than the 712,918 St. Louis drew in 1922.

31st  Using a borrowed bat, Dodger killer Joe Adcock hits 4 HRs, off 4 different pitchers, and a double for 18 total bases in the Braves’ 15–7 victory at Ebbets Field. The 18 total bases is a ML mark (topped by Shawn Green in 2002) and, combined with the 7 total bases from the day before, gives him a 2-day tally of 25. The 2-game total ties him with Ty Cobb. Adcock scores 5 runs. Joining in on the fun is Eddie Mathews who adds two homers which, for those keeping score, is a HR record for an infield. Another ML mark is set for extra bases on long hits (40), with the Braves contributing 27.