1956 July

1st  Mickey Mantle, who failed to hit a homer in 11 games since June 20, switch-hits HRs in the same game for the 4th time in his career. The Yankees win 8–6 over Washington in the 2nd game for a doubleheader sweep. The 2nd homer, off Bud Byerly, is a 2 run shot in the 9th inning to win it. Pedro Ramos holds the Bombers to 3 hits in the opener, but one is a 2-run HR by Joe Collins in the 8th that wins it for New York, 3–2. The Nats rap Ford for 12 hits, but he picks 2 runners off base and is helped by 4 DPs.

The Cardinals use all 12 pitchers but they still drop a doubleheader to the Reds, 19–15 and 7–1. In the 10-inning first game, which lasts 3 hours: 47 minutes, 43 hits are tallied, including 8 homers. Reds slugger Ted Kluszewski accounts for 3 of the homers, while scoring 4 runs. Frank Robinson has 3 hits including a triple and homer as the Reds collect 20 hits. St. Louis outdoes that with 23 hits as Stan Musial and Don Blasingame each have 4. Wally Moon contributes a grand slam and 2 singles. The Reds win the 2nd game, 7-1, behind Don Gross (1-0). Stan Musial, who had a HR in game 1, hits one in game 2. The Reds and Braves are in a statistical tie for first place in the NL.

Before a PCL game at Lane Field in San Diego, Rocky Colavito takes aim at Don Grate’s throwing record of 443+ feet. Rocky tops out on a throw over the CF fence at 435 feet, 10 inches. Grate will improve his mark to 445 feet 1 inch on Fan Appreciation Night in Minneapolis. He’ll take 6 steps before each throw (as noted by historian Bill O’Neal).

2nd  Ted Williams is 4-for-5 raising his average to .372 as the Red Sox come from behind to beat the Senators, 3–2.

Gillette pays $16.25 million for the TV-radio rights to the All-Star Game and the WS for 5 years; $3,250,000 a year. The players’ pension fund will get 60 percent of the revenues.

5th At Detroit, the Tigers, after losing 14 straight games at home since June 15, explode for a 13–7 win over Cleveland. The Indians start strong with a 1st inning grand slam by Jim Busby, but Frank Lary allows just 4 other hits, including a Rosen 3-run homer in the 6th.

6th  Unlikely slugger Jim Busby of the Indians hits his second grand slam in as many days as the Tribe beats the A’s 4–2. Busby is the first to slam in consecutive games since Jimmie Foxx in 1940 and just the 5th this century.

Ford Frick inaugurates the Cy Young Award, to honor to outstanding pitcher each year. The BBWAA will do the voting. Only one pitcher will be honored each year until 1967, when a pitcher in each league will be selected.

7th At Chicago, the Tigers blast 3 successive homers off Dick Donovan in the 5th as they defeat they Sox, 12–8. Kuenn, Torgeson, and Maxwell connect in the 6-run 6th. Kaline had earlier homered to start the scoring.

8th  The Giants connect for a team-record 7 HRs in a 11–1 home win over the Pirates. Willie Mays, Daryl Spencer, and Wes Westrum each connect for 2. Hank Thompson, Westrum, and Spencer hit consecutive HRs in the 4th inning and Westrum and Spencer repeat the back-to-back homers to tie a ML record.

At Milwaukee, the Cubs score 5 runs in the 9th inning, 4 on Monte Irvin’s grand slam, off Gene Conley, to beat the Braves, 10-6. Hobie Landrith hits a 6th inning 3-run homer for Chicago. Eddie Mathews hits a homer for the Braves, and Joe Adcock hits 2.

Boston’s Ted Williams becomes the 12th player to drive in 1,500 runs when he hits a single in the 2nd game of a doubleheader against the Orioles. The Red Sox sweep, winning, 9–0, and 8–4.

10th  In the All-Star Game, the first-place Reds vote five starters on the team—and three runner-ups—all the result of an enthusiastic get-out-the vote campaign by Cincy radio stations and newspapers. Next year the issue will come to a head. In the game, Ken Boyer of the Cardinals makes 3 sparkling plays at 3B and gets 3 hits as the NL defeats the AL 7–3. Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial all homer. Mays’s pinch-hit 2-run HR off Whitey Ford is his 7th straight hit against the Yankee lefty.

11th  The White Sox purchase Cardinal relief P Ellis Kinder.

12th Jimmy Piersall puts on a show for a camera crew at Fenway, there to film a few scenes before the game for his biopic “Fear Strikes Out.” When they finished filming, the crew asks Piersall to hit a home run, to which he says he’ll try. With the score tied 1-1 in the 9th, and Dick Gernert on 1B, Jimmy smashes a Jack Harshman pitch into the net in LF to beat Chicago, 3–1. Piersall also robs Lollar of a hit to keep the game tied.

At Yankee Stadium, the first-place Bombers ride Hank Bauer’s pinch grand slam to a 9-5 win over the Indians. Al Smith has a homer and 3 RBIs for Cleveland, but his 22-game hit streak will end here. Johnny Kucks (12-4) is the victor.

13th Joe Adcock raps 2 homers, one with the bases full, to help the Braves sweep a pair from the Dodgers, 8–6 and 6–5. The sweep moves the Braves back into 1st place ahead of Brooklyn.

At Chicago, Ernie Banks plays in his 394th straight game to tie Al Simmons mark for consecutive games after breaking in as a rookie. Banks hits a single to drive in the winning run as the Cubs beat the Pirates, 7–6.

14th  Boston lefty Mel Parnell pitches a no-hitter against the White Sox at Fenway Park, winning 4–0. Parnell makes the last putout unassisted. It is only Parnell’s 3rd win against 2 losses and is the 6th straight loss—it’ll reach 11—for 2nd-place Chicago. The no-hitter is the first for the Red Sox since 1923. Parnell will go 4-4 before a torn muscle in his pitching arm ends his career as the Red Sox’ winningest southpaw.

At the Stadium, New York edges the Indians in 10 innings in Cleveland, 5–4. Mantle deposits a Herb Score fast ball into the Indians bull pen in the 3rd inning.

Playing for Wichita Falls (Big State League) against visiting Beaumont, Danny Ozark hits four consecutive home runs good for six RBIs.

15th  Wally Burnette of Kansas City shuts out Washington 8–0 in his first start. Joe DeMaestri has 4 hits including a homer, and Gus Zernial adds 3 RBIs on 3 hits. DeMaestri has a homer in game 2, but the Senators jump on reliever Bobby Shantz for 6 runs in 2+ innings and win, 7-3.

At Wrigley, Carl Furillo has 2 homers, one a grand slam, and drives in 6 runs to lead the Dodgers to a 10-8, over the Cubs. For Chicago, Gene Baker hits a grand slam and Don Hoak belts a 3-run homer. The 3rd-place Dodgers are now 5 games behind the Braves.

Hank Aaron of the Braves hits in the second game of a doubleheader sweep of the Pirates, the Braves winning 3–2 and 4–1. This is the start of a 25-game hit streak for Aaron, the longest of the season.

Tito Francona has a homer in each game as the Orioles sweep the Tigers, 7-2 and 6-3. His 7th inning homer in game 2 is a grand slam that gives the O’s the lead.

The second-place Reds sweep a pair of extra-inning games from the Giants, winning the first in 10 innings and the nightcap in 11. Herschel Freeman wins both games by 4–3 scores in relief.

16th  A group headed by Fred Knorr and John Fetzer buys the Detroit Tigers and Briggs Stadium for a record $5.5 million.

17th In the 2nd inning in Milwaukee, the Braves Joe Adcock gets hit as Giants Ruben Gomez gets him on the wrist. Adcock takes a few steps towards 1B, shouts at the pitcher, then chases Gomez. The pitcher then fires another ball, hitting the first baseman on the thigh, before taking off for the safety of the Giants dugout. Braves 3B coach Johnny Riddle misses a tackle on Gomez who reaches his teammates, and makes it to the clubhouse where he finds an ice pick. He is finally wrestled to the floor before he can return to the field. Both players are tossed by Bill Jackowski, and the NL fines Adcock $100 and Gomez $250 + a three-game suspension. The last-place Giants eventually win, 8–6, ending the league-leading Braves 7-game win streak.

At Cincinnati, Reds pitcher Brooks Lawrence wins his 13th straight, stopping the Dodgers, 4–3. Lawrence (13–0), who doubles in the 9th and scores the winning run, has not lost as a Red. He’ll sputter now, however, and finish the season at 19–10. Furillo drives in all 3 runs for the Brooks and Frank Robinson hits his 20th HR to tie the Reds rookie mark. Sandy Koufax wears the golden sombrero as he strikes out 4 times. Sandy is still looking for his first hit.

Red Sox pitchers Tom Brewer and Bob Porterfield sweep the KC Athletics 10–0 and 1–0. Ted Williams homer, his 400th, off Tom Gorman, is the only run in the nightcap, a record-setting 4th time he’s hit a HR for the only run in a game. He’ll do it a 5th time. After hitting it, Ted glares up at the press box and makes a motion as if to spit. Three days later in a game against the Tigers, he’ll make the same gesture and follow through. For Brewer (12–4) it extends his scoreless streak against KC to 35 innings.

Johnny Kucks wins his 4th game in 10 days—2 starts and 2 relieves—beating the Tigers, 4–0. It extends the Yanks win streak to 11 games and gives Kucks his 14th win—high in the majors. The Yanks will lose a pair tomorrow.

18th  Detroit sweeps a doubleheader against the Yankees at the Stadium, winning 8–4 and 4–3. Kaline saves the nightcap game with a leaping catch of a Mantle drive in the 9th inning. Mantle had homered in the first game, off Paul Foytack. Norm Siebern records an unusual triple in the opener when his drive hits the right-CF bleacher screen and drops dead on the ledge above the auxiliary scoreboard. The ground rules state the ball is still in play.

In what Gabe Paul calls a “deliberate act of vandalism” before the Dodgers-Reds game, Brooklyn pitcher Sal Maglie breaks the scoreboard clock by throwing balls at it until it stops ticking. The Dodgers then clock the Reds, 6-3.

19th  Hot-hitting Joe Adcock is 4-for-4 with two homers—one a 3-run shot and the other and grand slam—as he drives in 8 runs for the Braves. That is enough for Warren Spahn (9-7) as he tops the Giants, 13-3. Starter Jim Hearn is the loser, giving up 5 runs without recording an out. This is the start of a record 8 straight games with 2 or more homers for the Braves.

20th In a 6–2 Yankees win over the Athletics, Whitey Ford ties the AL record by striking out 6 successive batters.

21st  Junior Gilliam of the Brooklyn Dodgers makes 12 assists at 2B to tie the ML record of Monte Ward, set in 1891. Dodger captain Pee Wee Reese gets his 2,000th ML hit, one of 5 active major leaguers to reach the mark. But St. Louis wins, 13–6, launching a 20-hit attack led by Ken Boyer, who is 4-for-4. The Cards plate 5 runs in the 8th inning, when Hank Sauer, Stan Musial and Hal Smith hits homers off Ken Lehman. Pitcher Herm Wehmeier snaps his 0-for-28 hitless streak with a pair of singles. He’ll have a homer and single in his next outing. Dodger pitcher Roger Craig goes hitless in two at bats to extend his streak to 0-for-39. He’ll get a single in August and end the year at .016.

Eddie Yost has a single, double and grand slam, off Dick Donovan, to lead the Senators to a 6-5 victory over the White Sox. Yost had two homers in his last game and will hit another tomorrow. Pedro Ramos wins with 5 innings of relief.

Brooks Lawrence has his 13-game winning streak snapped when Roberto Clemente hits a 3-run homer in the top of the 9th. The Pirates edge the Reds, 4–3, with Elroy Face winning in relief.

22nd  In the second game in KC, against the “Mantle Shift”, Mickey beats out a bunt in the 6th, then clouts a 2-run homer in the 7th. But Kansas City tops New York, 7–4.

The Braves take a pair from the Phillies, winning 8-7 and then 16-5. Eddie Mathews and Joe Adcock have homers in each game, while Bobby Thomson and Stan Lopata each hit a pair in game 2. Thomson adds a triple. The Phils finally turn to SS Granny Hamner to pitch in the 9th and he responds by getting a fly ball out and striking out two. Danny O’Connell says that, “he had a knuckleball and a slider. Not bad ones either, when he got them over.”

The Hall of Fame announces special rules governing elections. Writers should vote every 2 years, alternating with the veterans committee; because of criticism, this will revert back in 1962. To be eligible players must have been retired as a player for 5 years.

23rd  Joe Cronin and Hank Greenberg are officially inducted into the Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY.

24th  New York City Mayor Robert Wagner appoints Charles J. Mylod as chairman and R. E. Blum and C. A. Allen as members of the newly created Brooklyn Sports Center Authority. He reveals plans for a 50,000-seat stadium bounded by Warren Street and Fourth, Flatbush and Fifth Avenues. Robert Moses prefers a different Brooklyn site.

At Ebbets Field, the 3rd-place Dodgers gain on the Reds with a 10-5 win over Cincinnati. Sandy Amoros has a single and 2 triples to drive in 5 runs, and Duke Snider adds a pair of homers to back Sal Maglie (3-3).

25th  At Roosevelt Field in Jersey City, the Dodgers clip the Reds, 2–1 when Duke Snider hits a homer to dead CF in the 9th inning. Snider’s HR, his 3rd in 2 days, pins the loss on Brooks Lawrence. Newcombe wins and is even with Lawrence in victories (14). Frank Robinson also homers, while Furillo hits safely in his 18th straight game.

At the Polo Grounds, Bob Buhl (13-4) stops the Giants, 7-4, for the first-place Braves. He’s backed by Bobby Thomson’s grand slam and Eddie Mathews, who has 4 hits and 2 runs and 2 RBIs.

At Comiskey, Whitey Ford scatters 4 hits and the Yankees blast the White Sox, 10-1. After the game Bill Skowron is feted by friends at the Old Heidelberg in Chicago, where he is presented with a wrench from plumbers local 130. Skowron had worked for several off-seasons as a plumber, but reveals that he has taken a job next winter with a meat-packing firm in Austin, Minnesota.

At Pittsburgh, the Cubs score 7 runs off Bob Friend and Roy Face in the 8th inning to take a 7–4 lead. But after Turk Lown loads the bases, Roberto Clemente belts Jim Brosnan’s first pitch off the LF light tower and, with the ball still in play, circles the bases for an inside-the-park game-ending homer to win, 8–7. It is the 2nd ultimate grand slam for Pittsburgh this year. Dale Long also homers, his 20th, the most ever by a Buc left hander.

26th The Braves win their 9th straight at the Polo Grounds, defeating the Giants, 11–0, and increasing their NL leads to 5 1/2 games. Elongated righty Gene Conley is the winner. Aaron, and Thomson hit homers, the 8th straight game the Braves have had 2 or more homers.

At Connie Mack Stadium, the Cards amass 15 hits, including 4 homers, to beat the Phillies, 14-9. Reliever Herm Wehmeier allows 5 walks and is cuffed around for 4 runs in 4 innings, but gets the win. The Cards break a 7-7 tie when Wehmeier hits a leadoff homer in the 7th. He also singles in the 6-run frame, the second time (1948) he has had 2 hits in an inning. He is the first pitcher to accomplish the feat (as noted by Mike Emeigh) with Juan Marichal being the next pitcher to match him.

27th  3B Hector Lopez and 1B Vic Power of the Athletics each have 5 hits in a 14-inning 10–9 loss to New York. Kansas City collects 26 hits in the loss. For Power, it is his second 5-hit game this year.

Gil Hodges scores from 2B on a bunt by Campanella to clip the Cubs 4–3 in 10 innings, as the Dodgers move to 5 games behind the Braves. Campy’s bunt is trapped by 3B Hoak, who throws him out at 1B. The Cubs then get Amoros, who had been on 1B in a rundown, and Hodges scores. The Cubs had worked the play successfully in the 9th.

28th Paul Foytack sets a Tiger club record with 15 strikeouts, but Washington wins, 6–5. Foytack allows 7 hits and walks 6.

White Sox lose the 17th in their last 20 games as the Red Sox clobber them, 13–1. Boston has 19 hits, with everyone in the lineup garnering at least one. Russ Nixon is the easy winner, losing his shutout in the 9th. Boston is now a game and a half behind the 2nd-place Chicagoans.

29th  Herb Score and Hank Aguirre of the Indians sweep Baltimore 3–0 and 4–0.

Larry Doby drives in 8 runs in a doubleheader sweep of the White Sox over Boston, 11-2 and 6–3. Billy Pierce wins his ML-high 16th in the lidlifter, when Doby drives in 5 runs with a pair of homers. Walt Dropo also drives in 5 runs. Reliever Paul LaPalme wins the nightcap.

The Dodgers purchase veteran Dale Mitchell from the Indians.

30th  Facing Bob Lemon, Mantle socks his 1st grand slam of the year, and drives in 6 runs, to lead New York to a 13–6 drubbing of the Indians in Cleveland. Mantle follows by hitting his only career homer against reliever Bob Feller. The Yankees now lead the AL by ten games.

The Tigers beat Boston’s Frank Sullivan, 4–1, after 11 straight losses to him stretching back to May 16, 1954. Virgil Trucks is the winner, firing a 3-hitter.

31st  In front of 26,141 fans, including 1,000 standees, at Jersey City, Jackie Robinson drives in all the Dodger runs in a 3–2 win over the Braves. Robinson plays 3B, his third infield position since joining the Dodgers. The Braves scoring comes on a home run, the 22nd game in a row that Milwaukee batters have homered. The Braves have hit 39 homers in the stretch, a ML record for the most homers in that number of consecutive games. The Dodgers hold the NL record of 24 straight games, in 1953, a stretch that saw them hit 39 dingers.