1951 June

1st  The Reds score 3 runs in the 9th to beat the host Dodgers, 6–5. Joe Adcock drives home 2 of the runs in the final frame with a single.

The Pirates waive 1B Dale Long to the Browns, who ship him to San Francisco (PCL). Long will be back in Pittsburgh for the 1955 season.

2nd  The 7th place A’s hand the White Sox a 5–1 defeat, Chicago’s first since May 13th. The first-place Sox had won 14 straight. Bob Hooper tops Joe Dobson, who made the mistake of serving up a grand slam to Gus Zernial.

At the Polo Grounds, the Giants roar back from a 3-2 deficit by scoring 6 runs in both the 7th and 8th innings to defeat the Pirates, 14-3. Jim Hearn, who goes the distance for the win, has 3 hits including a 2-run homer in the 7th. Mays, batting 8th, and Alvin Dark have 2-run triples in the 8th. Eddie Stanky has 4 walks for New York.

The Red Sox send 1950 AL Rookie of the Year Walt Dropo to San Diego (PCL) to regain his form.

In an Alabama-Florida League (Class D) game, Dothan OF Ottis Johnson, 24, is struck in the head by a fastball thrown by Jack Clifton of Headland. Johnson dies on June 10 of the skull fracture.

3rd  The Phillies take a pair from the visiting Pirates, winning 11-3 and 8-2. Granny Hamner has a grand slam for the hosts.

4th  In Philadelphia, Pirates OF Gus Bell hits for the cycle in a 12–4 win over the Phillies.

In Cleveland, in an effort to defeat their Yankee nemesis, the Indians distribute 15,000 lucky rabbits feet for Beat Eddie Lopat Night. Lopat recalled later, “While I was warming up, before the game, a drunk came on the field and threw a black cat at me and it clung to my uniform jersey.” It works, as Cleveland plates five runs in the first inning—three on a Bob Kennedy homer—on the way to an 8–2 win. It is Lopat’s first defeat to the Indians after 11 straight wins.

At Boston, the Reds are down 7–0 after 7 innings, but score 3 in the 8th and 7 in the 9th to beat the Braves, 10–7. Sid Schacht, recently acquired, gives up 4 runs and takes the loss. He will make a couple more appearances and then leave the majors with a 14.34 ERA, the highest 20th Century ERA for pitchers in 20+ innings (21.1).

In St. Louis, Lou Limmer’s grand slam is the difference as the A’s edge the Browns, 7-6.

At Comiskey, the first-place White Sox increase their lead to 3 1/2 games by sweeping a pair from the Red Sox, winning 2-0 and 8-2. Billy Pierce twirls the shutout while Saul Rogovin wins his 2nd decision since coming over from Detroit. The Red Sox turn double plays in both games to run their consecutive games with DPs to an AL-record 25: 38 DPs. It won’t be matched in either league the rest of the century.

The White Sox trade Don Lenhardt and the recently acquired Paul Lehner to the Browns for Kermit Wahl and cash.

5th  The Pirates rookie knuckler Paul LaPalme hurls a 8–0 shutout against the Boston Braves in his first ML start. Pittsburgh collects 21 hits and has 18 runners left on base to tie the ML record. The Bucs won’t leave 18 on base again until 2016.

The Gants Sal Maglie scores what will turn out to be the winning run in the 8th inning as he beats the Reds, 3-2, for his 9th straight win. He will drop his next two decisions.

8th  The Indians repeat history when they stop Dom DiMaggio’s 27-game hitting streak, just as they ended his brother Joe’s record 56-game streak 10 years before. The Tribe wins, 7–1, behind Bob Feller. Dom’s streak of 27 is the third longest this century for Boston: Speaker hit in 30 straight in 1912 and Dom set the team record with 34 in 1949. Garciaparra will reach 30 in 1997.

Before 53,940 at Comiskey Park, Vic Raschi and the Yankees edge the Sox, 4–2. Mantle, leading the Yankees with 33 RBIs, ties the game with a single and throws out Nellie Fox, who tries to score from 3B on Minoso’s fly to right.

9th  In St. Louis, the Browns overcome a first-inning grand slam by Washington’s Sam Mele and defeat the Senators, 8-7, in 11 innings. Lou Sleater wins his lone game of the year: he’ll finish 1-9.

13th  Oklahoma wins the College WS in Omaha, defeating Tennessee in the final game 3–2.

15th  Happy Chandler says that his resignation will become effective on July 15th.

Just before game time at Wrigley Field, the Cubs and the first-place Dodgers make another trade this one 4-for-4: OF Andy Pafko, P Johnny Schmitz, C Rube Walker, and IF Wayne Terwilliger go to Brooklyn for C Bruce Edwards, OF Gene Hermanski, IF Eddie Miksis, and P Joe Hatten. To the surprise of fans, the 8 appear in their new uniforms. The Cubs get the best today as Bruce Edward knocks in 4 runs, three on a homer, off Carl Erskine, and Miksis fields well. Pafko hits his 13th homer in a losing cause and will incur an injury in this series that will sideline for three weeks in July. But the New York Post expresses the sentiment of most, calling it “the most barefaced swindle in years.”

Pittsburgh sends Cliff “no hit” Chambers and OF Wally Westlake to the Cards for C Joe Garagiola, P Howie Pollet, P Ted Wilks, OF Bill Howerton, and 2B Dick Cole. Chamber is the first pitcher to throw a no-hitter and be traded in the same season.

The Yanks swap pitchers, sending Tommy Byrne to the Browns for Stubby Overmire: New York adds $25,000 to the deal. The Yanks also deal three RH pitchers—Bob Porterfield, Tom Ferrick, and Fred Sanford—to the Senators for needed lefty Bob Kuzava. Porterfield will blossom into the Nats ace over the next five years, but Kuzava will save the final World Series game in 1951 and 1952.

At Pittsburgh, Wes Westrum belts a grand slam to pace the Giants to an 11-6 victory over the Pirates.

In Philadelphia, the first-place White Sox drop a pair to the A’s, losing 4-3 in 11 innings and 12-5 in regulation. Gus Zernial has a grand slam in the second game for the A’s.

16th Andy Strong, 23, outfielder of Crowley (Evangeline), is killed during a game at Alexandria, La., when struck by a bolt of lightning. The game was suspended because of a thunderstorm, and then when the storm abated, play was resumed. Strong took his position in center to start the 6th when the bolt struck him dead.

17th In Boston, the Dodgers win the first of two, 3–1, behind Carl Erskine’s 2-hitter. Gil Hodges hits his 34th homer in support. The Braves jump on Johnny Schmitz for 3 runs in the first inning and take the nightcap, 4–3. Jackie Robinson leaves 13 base runners in the 2 games.

The Giants top the Phils, 8–5, with reliever George Spencer earning the win. Al Dark and Wes Westrum each collect 4 hits to edge New York is nine games in back of Brooklyn.

In the 2nd game of a DH with the A’s, White Sox righty reliever Luis Aloma wins, 9–0. It is the only start in Aloma’s career, making him the 2nd pitcher this century to throw a shutout in his only start (as noted by historian Walt Wilson.) Don Fisher in 1945 was the first. The Sox win the opener in Philadelphia, 4-1, behind Randy Gumpert.

18th Preacher Roe (16-2) returns after a 10-day absence and subdues the Braves, 5–3. Jackie Robinson snaps a 2–2 tie with a homer in the 8th off Chet Nichols.

In a matchup of aces at Shibe Park, Larry Jansen defeats Robin Roberts, 2–0. Jansen’s 4-hitter gives the Giants their 8th straight win and the Phils their 7th straight loss.

19th  Following the Cubs 3–0 shutout of the Braves by Bob Rush, Tommy Holmes replaces Billy Southworth as the Boston manager.

Before 61,596 at Yankee Stadium, Mantle, batting leadoff, has 2 homers and 4 RBIs, but misses two catchable balls. He has a 3-run homer to match Yogi Berra, as the Yankees top the White Sox, 11–9 in the first of 2 games. In the nightcap, Mantle is 1-for-1 with a homer, before being replaced in CF by Gene Woodling. But the first-place Sox take a 5–4 win. Eddie Stewart has a 3-run homer and Phil Masi collects 3 hits and a homer.

Wally Yonamine, an American of Japanese descent (a Nisei) born in Hawaii, plays his first game with the Yomiuri Giants of Tokyo. He will become the first genuine American star in Japanese baseball, winning batting titles in 1954, 1956, and 1957. In 1957 he will also be the Central League MVP. From 1963 to 1986 he will be active with various teams as a coach or manager.

Willie Jones cracks a pair of homers, one with the bases loaded, to drive in 6 runs as the Phils roll over the host Pirates, 9–2. Jones’ first homer comes in the first inning with Ashburn on base, and his second is an inside-the-park grand slam in the 8th inning. Every Philley batter collects a hit including winning hurler Russ Meyer. Murry Dickson is chased early with Ted Wilks, in his first appearance for the Pirates, relieving.

20th  Cleveland IF Bobby Avila hits 3 HRs going 5-for-6 against the Red Sox. His 15 total bases will stand as a team record until surpassed by Rocky Colavito in l959. Before today, Avila had hit just one homer against the Bosox. Cleveland outslugs Boston to win 14–8, as Early Wynn earns the complete game win.

Tommy Holmes’s first win as Braves manager is a breeze as Warren Spahn shuts out the Cubs, 9–0, and is 3-for-4 at the plate, including a HR.

21st  In Pittsburgh, Tommy Brown’s first-inning grand slam jump starts the Phils to a victory, 10-5, over the Pirates. Robin Roberts is the winner.

Bill Veeck gets an option to buy the St. Louis Browns from the DeWitts.

At Chattanooga, Mobile outscores the hosts 28-7. Bears 1B Wayne Belardi goes 4-for-7 with 2 home runs—including a grand slam—a double and 10 RBIs. Every Bear hitter scores at least two runs. Belardi’s outburst will earn him another call-up to the Dodgers.

22nd  Willie Mays, 20, hits a 10th-inning HR, the first of his 22 extra-innings HRs, off 42-year-old Dutch Leonard of the Cubs. It is a 3-run shot that gives the Giants a 9–6 win.

A power failure at Forbes Field delays the start of the game with Dodgers by 2 hours. Rain holds up play in the 6th inning by another 36 minutes, pushing the ending to 1:56 a.m., the latest game played to date. Brooklyn has no power problems as Jackie Robinson’s homer helps Da Bums to an 8–4 win. Of the 24,966 on hand at the start, 10,000 are still on hand at the end.

23rd Don Newcombe gives up a first-inning single to Ralph Kiner in beating the Bucs on a one-hitter, 13–1. The Dodgers jump on Bill Werle (3–1) and successors for 16 hits, including homers by Carl Furillo and Rocky Bridges.

In a 7-6 loss to the Yankees, Cleveland’s Al Rosen hits his 3rd grand slam of the season. With grand slams at Fenway and at Yankee Stadium, Rosen is the last slugger this century to connect in each park in the same season.

25th The Phillies gain a measure of revenge for their 2–1 City Series loss to the A’s 2 months ago, by beating their rivals today, 5–1. A pre-game show features Lisa Kirk, star of Kiss Me Kate.

26th Fresh from a doubleheader loss on the 24th at Forbes Field, the Dodgers get further bad news at the Polo Grounds. Sal Maglie shuts out Brooklyn on three hits, and Preacher Roe takes his first loss after ten straight wins. Eddie Stanky and Whitey Lockman hit homers.

27th  Former Cubs farmhand Boyd Tepler brings a $450,000 suit against baseball, the Chicago Cubs, and William Wrigley, citing an arm injury he suffered in 1944. His suit contends that “negligent” coaching allowed him to continue with flaws in his pitching motion that resulted in damage to his arm and the end of his promising career.

The 3rd-place Red Sox score 3 runs in the 7th to beat the A’s, 6–5. Sox pitcher Ray Scarborough gets beaned with an errant pickoff throw and is knocked unconscious and reliever Nixon earns the win.

Behind three-run homers by Andy Pafko and Duke Snider, Don Newcombe and the Dodgers coast to an easy 10-4 win over the Giants.

28th Monty Irvin clubs two homers off Ralph Branca as the Giants edge the Dodgers, 5–4. The second homer, a three-run shot in the 8th, gives the win the reliever Sheldon Jones. The Dodgers now lead the Giants by 5 games.

The Cubs Frank Hiller faces just 27 batters in pitching a one-hitter over the Cards, winning 8–0. Enos Slaughter has a 5th-inning single but is erased on a DP. Randy Jackson poles his 7th homer in the 7th and the Cubs pull off a double steal in the 9th when they add 4 runs. Jack Cusick swipes home, with Hiller stealing third base.

The Yankees shut out the Senators for a second day in a row, winning, 3-0, behind Tom Morgan (8 IP) and Joe Ostrowski. Joe DiMaggio picks up a double when his line drive hits his mitt in the field.

The singer Helen Traubel sells her estimated 5,000 shares in the Browns to Bill Veeck and urges her fellow stock holders to do the same.

29th Richard J. Conway, 19, catcher of the Twin Falls (Pioneer) club, dies at John Affleck Park in Ogden, Utah, after being struck over the heart by a thrown ball during pre-game practice. (as noted by Joey Beretta). He is the 3rd minor leaguer to die this month during play.

30th The Braves make it easy for new manager Tommy Holmes’ first appearance in front of the home crowd. Boston tallies 8 runs in the 7th inning and 7 runs in the 8th inning, to squash to Giants 19–7. Backing Vern Bickford’s pitching, Earl Torgeson racks up a record-tying 7 RBIs in the 2 innings, including a grand slam off Sal Maglie, the first time the Barber’s been clipped for a slam.