1959 July

1st The Reds purchase veteran 3B Willie Jones from the Indians. Jones had been acquired by Cleveland June 6th.

2nd  Gene Freese hits his 2nd grand slam of the season, off the Reds Jim Brosnan, as the Phils win 7–6. Don Newcombe wins the nightcap for the Reds 8–4.

In a 9-7 Tiger victory over the visiting White Sox, Charlie Maxwell clubs an 8th inning grand slam and Chicago’s Al Smith responds with a grand slam in the 9th.

3rd  Boston fires manager Pinky Higgins, replacing him tomorrow with Billy Jurges. Coach Rudy York takes over for today’s game.

After giving up a grand slam to the A’s Bob Cerv, Herb Score settles down and strikes out 14 in Cleveland’s 8–4 win.

Southern Association president Charlie Hurth announces that two Chattanooga Lookout players have been suspended indefinitely for failure to report bribery attempts. The two players are 1B Jesse Levan, 31, a former major leaguer, and Cuban SS Waldo Gonzalez, 24. Levan says an investigation will prove him innocent, but it goes the other way.

4th  Yankee Bob Turley turns in another one-hit masterpiece at Washington. A lazy fly in the 9th by PH Julio Becquer drops in front of LF Norm Siebern for the only Senator safety. SS Tony Kubek goes 8-for-10 in the doubleheader, as the Yanks sweep 10–6 and 7–0.

In Kansas City the White Sox and A’s split a pair with Chicago taking the opener, 7-4 and the A’s winning the nightcap, 8-3. Jim Landis has 5 hits and Jim McAnany has 4 for the Sox in game 1.

5th  In the opener of a twinbill, the Cardinals beat the Giants, 4-2. Bill White accounts for all the Bird scores with a grand slam off Jack Sanford. Danny O’Connell scores 3 runs in the second game as the Giants reverse the score. Willie Mays has a homer.

7th  The NL defeats the AL, 5–4, in the All-Star Game at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. Willie Mays knocks in Henry Aaron with the deciding run. Don Drysdale pitches perfect ball the first 3 innings.

9th  ML baseball announces that the 1960 season will open one week later than this year in hopes of getting better weather.

Ray Herbert and Johnny Kucks of Kansas City sweep the Tigers 5–0 and 4–0 in a doubleheader at Municipal Stadium. Harvey Kuenn manages a single in each game to run his hitting streak to 22 games.

Two 20-year-old Baby Birds—Milt Pappas and Jerry Walker—shut out the Senators 8–0 and 5–0. The Orioles recall young Brooks Robinson from the minors.

In the first game of a doubleheader, Gene Freese blasts his 3rd grand slam of the year as the Phils top the Cards 11–0 at home. Gene Conley allows 7 hits in the shutout. The Cards respond with a 6-2 win in game 2, knocking out Robin Roberts after 4 innings. Larry Jackson is the winning pitcher.

Roger Craig relieves in the 3rd and pitches 11 scoreless innings, throwing just 88 pitches, to give the Dodgers a 4–3 victory over the Braves. The loss drops the Braves from 1st place to 3rd, as Brooklyn takes over 2nd place.

The Red Sox club the Yankees, 14–3, before 30,253, the largest crowd at Fenway so far this year. Frank Sullivan is the winner. Wertz, Williams, and Avila club homers. Williams and Avila drive in 7 runs.

11th  Boston SS Don Buddin cracks a 10th inning grand slam, off reliever Bob Turley, to give the Red Sox an 8–4 win over New York. Turley replaced Bronstad, who took over when Ryne Duren and Yogi Berra are tossed by ump Summers.

New Orleans seeks a franchise in the new Continental League.

12th  NBC uses outfield TV cameras with 80-inch lenses to show the catchers’ signals during a Yankee-Red Sox game. Announcers Phil Rizzuto Mel Allen are invariably correct in calling the signals of Yogi Berra and Sammy White. Commissioner Ford Frick will request that they halt its use during future Game of the Week broadcasts. It doesn’t help New York, which drops their last 4 games to the host Red Sox. Boston wins today, 7–3.

Larry Sherry loses his 2nd start for the Dodgers, as the Reds nip him, 4–3. Sherry will not lose again, winning his next 7 starts.

13th The Red Sox sweep their 5-game series with New York with a 13–3 rout featuring a big 6th inning when they score 9 times. Gene Stephens pinch runs for Ted Williams and, when the Sox bat around, Stephens then hits a grand slam.

14th At Busch, the Cardinals cuff Don Newcombe for 17 hits, but it takes them 11 innings to beat the Reds veteran, 6-5. Joe Cunningham has 4 hits and 2 runs and 2 RBIs off Newk.

15th Gus Bell collects 2 doubles and 3 singles in the Reds’ 11–5 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis.

16th After beating the Indians yesterday, the Yanks sweep a doubleheader today to knock the Tribe out of first. New York wins the opener when Berra ties the game in the 9th with a homer, and Mantle wins it, 7–5, in the 10th with a 2-run shot off Gary Bell. Bobby Shantz wins the nightcap, 4–0. New York is 5 1/2 games out of first.

17th  In a dispute with the umpires, Cleveland manager Joe Gordon is ejected. Cleveland OF Minnie Minoso refuses to stand in the batter’s box until the argument is over. Umpire Frank Umont calls him out on strikes. The enraged Minoso charges Umont and gets the thumb also. The Indians win 8–7 to stay on the heels of Chicago.

Chicago’s Early Wynn and the Yankees Ralph Terry match zeros for 8 innings at Yankee Stadium, before Chicago’s Jim McAnany collects the first Sox hit in the 9th. Jim Landis adds a 2nd hit to drive home two runs to give the Sox the 2–0 win. Wynn matched Terry by also allowing just two hits.

18th The Tigers drop game 1 to the Orioles, 5–2, their 13th loss in 15 games, then win the nightcap, 2–0, despite getting just 2 hits off Wilhelm. Hoyt allows 2 singles, but his knuckler proves elusive to Myron Ginsberg, who allows 4 passed balls to tie the AL record held by Gus Triandos and 2 others. O’s catchers Ginsberg & Triandos will set the modern ML record for passed balls this season with 49.

19th Before 57,000 at the Stadium, the Yankees sweep a pair from the visiting White Sox, winning the nightcap 6–4 on Mantle’s homer off Turk Lown. In game 1, Yankee veteran Enos Slaughter belts a pair of homers: at age 43, he is the oldest player this century to accomplish the feat. Carlton Fisk, a few months older, will top Slaughter in 1991.

Shades of Shoeless Joe! In Detroit, the Orioles shade the Tigers, 2-1, in a game delayed briefly by a rain shower with two outs in the 9th inning. The O’s Willie Tasby resumes his place in center field, but then, fearing that lightning might hit a puddle in CF, hands his cleats to RF Albie Pearson and finishes the game without shoes. Lou Berberet accommodates by quickly fouling out (as noted by Wayne McElreavy from TSN of July 29, 1959). Tasby’s fear of lightning will come up again on June 2, 1961.

21st  In a 2–1 loss to the White Sox, Pumpsie Green pinch runs for the Red Sox, who become the last ML team to play a black player. Tomorrow, Green goes 0-for-3 against Early Wynn in a 5–4 Sox win that propels them into 1st place.

22nd Veteran Bobby Avila, in his first game with Milwaukee, hits a 2-run 9th inning HR, off the Reds’ Jim O’Toole, to help give the Braves a 5–4 win.

In Los Angeles, the Cubs score 7 runs in the 2nd inning to beat the Dodgers, 7-2, behind Bob Anderson’s pitching. Earl Averill clouts his second grand slam of the year.

In the PCL, Portland’s George Brunet allows 5 singles to stop Phoenix’s string of 42 straight home games with a home run.

23rd With Ty Cobb in the stands, the Tigers make 15 hits to beat the Senators, 11–2. Harvey Kuenn, the AL’s leading hitter, is 4-for-4 and scores 4 runs. Jim Bunning allows 4 hits to win.

Minnie Minoso’s grand slam off Eli Grba is the high point of Cleveland’s 7-run 6th inning as they top the visiting Yankees, 8-5.

Riding a Willie Jones grand slam in the 7th, the Reds come from behind to beat the host Braves, 6-2.

24th As a prelude to the IL game between the Havana Sugar Kings and visiting Rochester Red Wings, Fidel Castro pitches two innings for his pickup team Los Barbudos against a Military Police squad. Castro pitches both innings, strikes out two batters with the aid of some friendly calls, and ground outs to short. This well-photographed event is El Jefe’s only mound appearance, according to Cuban expert Pete Bjarkman.

25th  Against Detroit, Yankee first baseman Moose Skowron reaching for a wide throw collides with Tiger runner Coot Veale. Skowron’s arm is broken in two places and he is out for the rest of the season. Marv Throneberry will fill in at 1B. The Yanks win, 9–8, when Berra hits a HR in the 9th with Mantle on. Prior to the Yogi HR, Richardson and Brickell hit their first ML homers for NY. Berra’s HR erases 5 Yankee errors, 3 by 3B Lopez.

Fidel Castro supporters, enjoying a raucous July 26th Celebration in La Gran Stadium in downtown Havana, bring a halt to the IL contest between the Red Wings and the Sugar Kings with random gunshots from the grandstand. Red Wings 3B coach Frank Verdi and Havana SS Leo Cardenas both suffer minor flesh wounds, which causes manager Cot Deal to pull his players from the field and retreat to their hotel. League officials cancel the remainder of the Havana team’s homestand, and, with pressure on Ford Frick from U.S. Secretary of State Christian Herter, eventually relocate the franchise to Newark for the 1960 season.

27th  Organizational committee chairman William Shea announces that the Continental League has definite franchises planned for New York City, Houston, Toronto, Denver, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, with interest in 11 other cities. It envisions beginning play in 1961. New York City says it will build a stadium at the Flushing Meadow Park site.

The Dodgers move into first place on Roger Craig’s 2–0 win. Joe Pignatano and Don Zimmer hit solo HRs. A year ago on this date the Dodgers were in last place.

At Municipal Stadium, Roger Maris of the A’s and Faye Throneberry of the Senators match grand slams. Ned Garver serves up the slam, the 9th grand slam hit off him, a ML record. Harry Chiti and Harmon Killebrew also match solo homers as Kansas City emerges with an 8-7 victory. Killebrew’s homer in the 4th is also off Garver, who later relates, “I threw one spitball [in my career] and Harmon Killebrew hit it over the light tower in Kansas City. I had two strikes on him and I thought it would be a good time to throw it.”

At Detroit, Baltimore’s Gene Woodling drives in 5 runs, 4 on a grand slam off Bunning, in the O’s 5–2 win. Woodling drove in all 4 runs in yesterday’s 4–0 win against Chicago. Baltimore native Barry Shetrone is 2-for-4 with a triple for the O’s. Shetrone is the first home-grown player to play for the Birds.

28th The White Sox take over first place for good by toppling the Yankees 4–3 behind pitcher Billy Pierce. Al Smith, with a 2-run HR in the 8th, provides the winning margin. The Sox will go 13–9 against the Yankees this year, the first time since 1925 that Chicago is over .500 for the season against the Bombers.

29th Chattanooga (SA) 1B Jesse Levan, who was suspended on July 3 for not reporting a bribe attempt, is placed on the permanent ineligible list of the minor leagues by Minor League prexy George Troutman. According to teammate James Heiss, Levan approached him twice about throwing games that he was pitching, but he refused. Heiss is reprimanded for not reported Levan, as is fellow pitcher Tom McAvoy, SS Sammy Meeks and Birmingham player Andy Frazier. Lookout Shortstop Waldo Gonzalez, also suspended on July 3, is given a one-year suspension. Meeks who was approached by Levan when he played for Birmingham, was traded to the Lookouts in mid-season and promptly told player-coach Ray Holton about Levan. Holton told manager Red Marion and the story surfaced. Meeks said that he did not take any money from Levan, but said he was just trying to help his team win, Frazier got involved when he came upon the meeting and he agreed to take signs from Gonzalez about pitches. After twice getting wrong signals, Frazier ignored Gonzalez. Meeks is only reprimanded because he refused money and later reported the bribe attempt.

30th  In his ML debut, Willie McCovey goes 4-for-4 with 2 triples off Robin Roberts to lead the Giants to a 7–2 win over the Phils. McCovey was hitting .372 with 29 HRs at Phoenix when promoted.

Behind Don Mossi’s 3-hitter, the Tigers dispose of Kansas City, 4-0. Mossi scores twice and hits his first ML homer in the 9th inning off Tom Sturdivant. Eddie Yost is 1-for-1 plus 4 walks en route to a league leading 135 walks and an AL-high OBP of .435. He will hit .278 for the year and score 115 runs, also high in the AL.

The Southern Association suspends Chattanooga 1B Jesse Levan for life because of his involvement as a go-between for gamblers seeking to fix games. His teammate, Waldo Gonzales, receives a one-year suspension.

The PCL’s Portland club sues ML baseball for $1.8 million, citing unfair practices through television that could bring the downfall of the minor leagues. They warn the ML not to start a 3rd league or expand.

31st  Earl Wilson, the Red Sox’ first black pitcher, makes his first start. He gives up no hits against Detroit in 3 2⁄3 innings and leaves with a 4–0 lead after walking 9. The Sox beat Detroit, 6–5, despite issuing 15 walks. Mike Fornieles is the winner.

Pedro Ramos holds Chicago to one hit in 7 innings but leaves with a sore elbow, and the Sox score 2 in the 9th to beat the Senators, 2–1. It is Washington’s 14th loss in a row. The Sox lead Cleveland by 2 games.