1st Rip Sewell of the Pirates throws his dew-drop ball in a 5–4 win against the Braves. Sewell loops the ball 18 to 20 feet high on its way to the strike zone. Later it is called a blooper or eephus ball. The pitch is more than a gag, and Sewell is on his way to a 20-win season. Huck Geary wins it for the Bucs with a 14th-inning steal of home with the bases loaded and one out (as noted by Jan Larson).
The Phillies trade 28-year-old Danny Litwhiler, their best player, and pitcher/OF Earl Naylor to the Cardinals for Buster Adams, Coaker Triplett and Dain Clay. Litwhiler hit .271 with a team-high 9 homers last year, while making no errors in the outfield in 151 games, tying a ML record.
2nd The Red Sox and the Browns play their 4th consecutive extra-inning game, working 45 innings in 2 games May 31 and another pair today. Sixth-place Boston splits today, losing 7–4 and winning 3–2 to take 3 out of 4 from last-place St. Louis. The four extra-inning games in a row against the same team matches a mark set by the White Sox and Tigers in September 1908. Both leagues will set records for extra-inning activity, 91 games in the AL, 80 in the NL. Brownie P Denny Galehouse doesn’t help in the game 2 loss, getting nabbed by 2B Bobby Doerr in the 8th on a hidden ball trick.
4th Mort Cooper of the St. Louis Cardinals tosses the second of back-to-back one-hitters, beating the Philadelphia Phillies, 5–0. Hits by Brooklyn’s Billy Herman on May 31 and by the Phils Jimmy Wasdell today deprive him of no-hitters. Cooper has 6 wins and 3 shutouts on the way to his 2nd 20-win year.
At Forbes Field, the Pirates hold an 8–7 lead when Vince DiMaggio singles off Giants P Bill Sayles in the bottom of the 8th. With Pete Coscarart at bat, the first pitch skips by C Ernie Lombardi, who lumbers after the ball as DiMaggio heads for 2B. When Vince sees that Lombardi has yet to reach the ball he continues on to 3B, while Sayles shakes his head at how slow his backstop is. With home plated unguarded, DiMaggio continues running and scores—from first—on a passed ball. The Bucs win, 9–8.
5th Carl Hubbell snaps the Giants loss streak of 7 games by pitching a one-hitter against the Pirates to win 5–1. The only hit for Pittsburgh is a solo HR by 1B Elbie Fletcher. The win is King Carl’s 250th. Giants C Ernie Lombardi, who left yesterday’s game after being cut on the forehead by the spikes of Pirate Jim Russell, is married today to Berice Ayres.
Babe Ruth’s Baseball Quiz debuts on NBC. It will be heard on and off this year, then air again next year.
With the Phillies losing to the Cardinals, 1-0, in the 8th in St. Louis, the game is suspended. As historian Frank Vaccaro points out, this is the first “suspended” game in the modern sense of the word. “No night games” during WWII may have been the impetus for the new suspended game rule, but this first incident occurs because the grounds crew is slow to roll out the tarp. The game will be completed on July 29 with the Phillies winning 2-1 with a pair of runs in the 9th.
6th The Reds Elmer Riddle allows 3 runs in the first inning but pitches a 14-inning 4-3 victory over the Braves. Mike McCormick ties the score with a 9th inning homerun and the Reds push across the winner in the bottom of the 14th when Gee Walker triples and Eddie Miller singles him home.
At Forbes Field, the Pirates knock off the Giants twice, winning 18-1 and 7-0. New York manages just 9 hits in the 2 games, as Bob Klinger is the easy winner in game 1 and Jack Hallett pitches the shutout in game 2. For Hallett, it is his first win in two years and his only victory this season. The Bucs Huck Geary hits his one and only ML homer, a grand slam off Bobby Coombs in the 8-run 8th of game 1. Bob Elliot has a triple and 5 RBIs, and Tommy O’Brien has 5 hits and one RBI.
12th In a 14–5 New York win over the A’s, Roy Weatherly of the Yankees, who caught 10 ﬂy balls in a game April 28, does it again. He is the first OF to have 10 putouts in a game twice in one season. He also records 5 hits for the second time this year.
The Cardinals finally break a week-long first-place tie with the Dodgers by beating the Pirates, 1-0. Howie Pollet tosses the shutout. St. Louis now leads the NL by a game.
13th Aided by a 11 walks from former teammate Ken Chase, the Senators add 18 hits to beat the Red Sox, 16–5. The Nats are helped by another two walks to total 13.
15th The Phillies host the first single admission a.m.-p.m. doubleheader, known as the “swing shift” doubleheader, taking a pair from Boston, 6-4 and 2-1. Ron Northey has a 1st-inning homer in each game.
16th Behind the fine pitching of Carl Fischer, lately of Jersey City, the Giants nip Bobo Newsom and the Dodgers, 3–2. Sid Gordon guns down two base runners from LF, Mel Ott has two hits, including a homer, and walks his last time up. The base on balls is the first of 7 straight that he will receive over the next two games, a new NL mark.
17th Player-manager Joe Cronin of the Red Sox hits two 3-run pinch HRs, going deep off Russ Christopher and then Don Black in each game of a doubleheader, as Boston beats the St. Louis Browns, 5–4, and loses, 8–7. He had hit a 3-run pinch HR two nights before against the A’s for three HRs in his last four ABs. He flied out in the 2nd game on the 15th. Cronin will pinch-hit 43 times this year with 18 hits, including an AL record 5 pinch-hit HRs. His 25 RBIs is also a record, subsequently tied.
Mel Ott, the Giants’ player-manager, walks 5 times in an 8–5 win over the Kirby Higbe and the Dodgers. Ott also received 5 free passes in games in 1929 and 1933. With a base on balls in his last trip to the plate yesterday and again on his first at bat tomorrow, Ott garners 7 consecutive walks, a NL mark that Eddie Stanky will match in 1950.
18th In a 3–2 loss to Cleveland, not a single putout comes the way of Detroit 1B Rudy York, tying the AL mark set in 1930 by Bud Clancy. It will be matched next by another Tiger 1B Norm Cash, in 1963.
At Forbes Field, the Reds Ray Starr hurls a 14-inning shutout, allowing just 5 hits in the 1-0 victory over the Pirates. Cincinnati pushes across a run in the 14th when Lonny Frey triples and Gee Walker’s single brings him home.
Braves manager Casey Stengel, still recuperating from being hit by a car on April 19th in Kenmore Square, returns to the team. Coach Bob Coleman managed the team in Casey’s absence, skippering them to a 21-25 mark. Casey is on crutches and will trade them for canes in September. Chet Ross celebrates Casey’s return with a 3-run pinch homer off Johnnie Wittig in the 9th as the Braves beat the Giants, 8-6.
19th Rotisserie League? Dixie Walker is 4-for-4 and 2 homers as the Dodgers top the visiting Phillies, 7-5. Dixie’s heroics costs his War Bond sponsor, the Brooklyn Club, $27,500, while winning pitcher Fred Fitzsimmons costs Borough president John Cashmore to add $25,000 to the $3,000,000 he bid for the 42-year-old pitcher at the recent auction. Dixie’s double in the 5th comes off 18-year-old George Eyrich, who debuted earlier this week.
20th In St. Louis, the Cubs and first-place Cards split a pair. Max Lanier is the victor in the 10–9 opener, with a little help from Cubs 2B Eddie Stanky, who makes 3 errors in the 8th inning. The 3 errors ties the NL mark. Hi Bithorn gives the Cubs a 2–1 win in game 2.
23rd Because of racial unrest in Detroit, 350 armed guards are on hand for the Cleveland–Detroit game. Hal Newhouser wins the opener 3–1, but Cleveland wins the nitecap 9–6 on Jeff Heath’s 11th-inning HR.
27th Howie Krist picks up two victories as the Cardinals sweep the Cubs. 3–2 and 4–3. Krist tosses 1 1/3 inning of the opening game win, then comes back with 5 2/3 innings in the nitecap to whip Claude Passeau and Hank Wyse. Danny Litwhiler does all the damage in game 1, hitting a solo homer in the 7th and, with the score 2-1, a two-run homer.
30th In between games of a doubleheader, Cardinal utilityman Debs Garms, 36, and 26-year-old Johnny Rucker of the Giants race each other in a 60-yard dash. Garms, a former college sprinter, beats the speedy Rucker by a couple of feet. The yardage is remeasured at 55 yards. The Giants win the opener, 4-3, in 10 innings, but Howie Pollet stops them in the nitecap, 5-0. It is the first of three straight shutouts for Pollet.