1956 June

1st In a game that features three 2-run homers—Duke Snider, Ernie Banks and Gene Baker—Baker saves his for the 15th inning as the Cubs beat the visiting Dodgers, 4-2. Starter Jim Brosnan goes 6 innings but hurts his arm and will miss a month.

Yankee pitcher Tommy Byrne has 2 hits, a run and RBI, but he gives up a grand slam to Bob Kennedy as the Yanks lose, 6-3, to Detroit.

2nd  The Indians massacre the Senators, 15–0. Jim Hegan has a grand slam while Same Mele has a single, double, and homer, good for 4 RBIs. Herb Score allows 3 hits, walks none and strikes out 13, the third time this season that he’s reached that number.

3rd  CF Richie Ashburn of the Phils goes 5-for-6 in the 2nd game of a doubleheader against the Cards, a 9–3 win by former Red Bird Harvey Haddix. One run scores on Red Schoendienst’s 1st error of the year. Former Phil Murry Dickson wins the opener, 2–1.

At Wrigley, Bonus Baby Sandy Koufax makes his first start of the season, trimming the Cubs, 4–3, on 5 hits. Koufax K’s 5.

At Baltimore, a pair of former Orioles take revenge on the O’s as the White Sox win, 12–0 and 9–2. Dick Donovan wins the lidlifter as ex-O Dave Philley raps 4 hits. Erv Palica is the loser. Nellie Fox is hit by a pitch on the seat of the pants by reliever Johnny Schmitz, but ump Hank Soar rules he didn’t try to get out of the way and calls a ball. Schmitz then hits him again, and Fox gets 1B. In the nightcap, Jim Wilson hurls a 4-hitter to beat his former teammates.

4th  The Cards pick up relief P Jim Konstanty, who was released by the Yankees.

5th A’s manager Lou Boudreau comes up with the “Mantle Shift” —moving the infielders around when Mantle bats lefty with the bases empty (left fielder plays deeps 3B, SS takes over 2B position, and 2B moves to short RF). Mantle K’s twice trying to bunt, and hits a 2-run homer when the shift is not on, as KC wins 7–4.

7th The Red Sox strand a near-record 17 base runners, including 13 in the first 5 innings, but finally beat the Tigers, 6–5 in 10 innings. Mickey Vernon’s 4th hit drives in the winner. The Millionaires collect 18 hits, 4 walks, an error and a hit batsman.

8th Was it something I said? At Fenway, Russ Nixon and the Red Sox stop the White Sox, 5-3. Nixon gives up 6 hits and hits Sherm Lollar three times with pitches.

9th At Crosley Field, the Dodgers break a 5-5 tie with three runs in the top of the 9th. Clem Labine, who wins in relief, is 2-for-2 with a 9th inning RBI and Ted Kluszewski has a grand slam for the Reds. The Reds remain in 1st place in the NL while the 5th-place Dodgers are just 3 games back.

11th In Milwaukee, Stu Miller and the Phils stop the Braves, 6-2. Catcher Stan Lopata steals home in the 6th on a double steal with Del Ennis.

The discussion over the cork-center base ball continues. At this point, there have been 745 homers in the majors, hit by 192 players; at this point in the 1927 season, there were 320 homers, hit by 140 ball players. NL President Warren Giles will retort that bigger players, not livelier balls, account for the present-day hitting feats.

12th Whitey Ford allows just 4 hits—all in one inning—as the Yankees edge the White Sox, 3–2.

13th  Milwaukee’s Danny O’Connell ties a record when he hits 3 straight triples as the Braves trim the Phils, 8–6. All are off Robin Roberts (5–8).

Vic Power and teammate Tim Thompson of the Athletics each go 5-for-6 in a 13–4 win against the Senators.

The Yankees and the White Sox tie a ML mark by using 9 pinch hitters in their game. The Sox prevail 7–5.

14th  The University of Minnesota Gophers defeat Arizona 12–1 at the NCAA finals in Nebraska. In their 13–5 win against Mississippi on June 11, Gopher Jerry Kindell became the first and only player ever to hit for the cycle in the College World Series.

Cards GM Frank Lane trades future Hall of Famer 2B Red Schoendienst, C Bill Sarni and P Dick Littlefield to the Giants for SS Alvin Dark, OF Whitey Lockman, C Ray Katt and P Don Liddle.

The New York Yankees trade Eddie Robinson and Lou Skizas to the Kansas City Athletics for Moe Burtschy, Bill Renna and cash. Robinson and Renna were involved in the trade that sent Robinson to the Yankees. Burtschy and Renna go to the minors. The 36-year-old Robinson hit 16 homers last year in just 173 at bats, driving in 42 runs.

At Yankee Stadium, Chicago’s Jim Wilson loses a shutout when Mickey Mantle hits a two-out homer in the 7th to tie the White Sox, 1–1. The Yankees then roll to a 5–1 win.

16th Before 40,964 at the Stadium, New York trips the Tribe, 3–1. Mantle hits a two-run game winner off rookie Herb Score for his third homer in three days. Yesterday’s shot came off Mike Garcia in a 6–2 Yankee victory.

Following a loss to the Dodgers, Charlie Grimm resigns as Braves manager and Fred Haney takes over.

17th  In Fred Haney’s first games managing the Braves, Joe Adcock hits 3 of his NL record 13 Ebbets Field HRs in a doubleheader win over Brooklyn before 34,394 fans. In the first game, his game-winning 9th-inning HR off Ed Roebuck lands on the roof, making him the only slugger in history to accomplish this. The ball left the field at the 350-foot mark in LF, clearing the 83-foot wall. The Braves win, 5–4 and 2–1. Under Grimm’s platoon system, Adcock started only against lefties, and last started June 12. He hit a pinch HR yesterday.

At the Polo Grounds, the Reds jump on Jim Hearn for 5 runs, three coming on a homer by Gus Bell in the 2nd inning, but the Giants come back to win, 7-6. Reliever Paul LaPalme gives up 3 solo homers to take the loss. In game 2, Joe Nuxhall fires a 2-hitter as the Reds edge the Giants, 1–0. Ruben Gomez is the tough-luck loser, allowing 4 hits in 8 innings. He does hit Frank Robinson with a pitch: Robby will lead the NL in HBP and set a NL rookie record with 20.

18th At Briggs Stadium, the score is 2–2 in the 8th when Mantle takes a Paul Foytack fastball over the RF roof onto Trumbull Avenue for a HR to lead the Yankees to a 7–4 win.

19th Musial and Morgan hit 2-run homers in the first inning, off Sandy Koufax, as the Cards beat the Dodgers, 6–0. Murry Dickson pitches a shutout, his first win over Brooklyn after 8 straight defeats. His last win over the Brooks was also 6–0, on August 22, 1954.

20th  In the 7th and 8th innings at Detroit’s Briggs Stadium, Mickey Mantle poles 2 Billy Hoeft pitches into the right CF bleachers, something no other player had done since the bleachers were added in the late 1930s. New York wins, 4–1. Mantle is now leading in the Triple Crown race. Johnny Kucks (9-3) is the winner with Whitey Ford in relief.

21st For just the 3rd time this century, and the 4th ever, opposing pitchers throw one-hitters, as Jack Harshman of the White Sox beats the combined efforts of Orioles Connie Johnson (7 IP) and George Zuverink (1 IP) to win, 1–0. Harshman gives up a 7th inning double to Gus Triandos. The Sox score in the first on a walk, stolen base, and a double by Nellie Fox. For Harshman, it is his 3rd shutout of the year and he has now thrown 20 straight scoreless innings.

At Kansas City, Washington’s Dean Stone gives up 3 runs in the 1st inning and 4 in the 2nd without recording an out, as the Athletics roll to a 15-6 victory over the Nats. Harmon Killebrew has a pinch grand slam for Washington in the 7th. Kansas City Star reporter Dick Wade says that his stopwatch proves that there were only 9:55 minutes of actual “action” in the game. Wade calculated the time the ball was in play, allowing a second for each pitch that was taken or fouled off.

22nd At Ebbets Field, Brooks Lawrence allows just 2 hits as the Reds beat the Dodgers, 6–0.

At Comiskey, Billy Martin slaps an 8th inning double for the Yankees first hit off Dick Donovan (and the second hit the Sox staff has given up in 18 innings). The Yankees tie the score at 2-2 and take a 4-2 lead in the 11th. The Sox use 4 hits to tie it and leave the sacks full when Doby grounds out. Rookie Sammy Esposito has a tying double in the 11th and a game winning RBI single in the 12th as the Sox win, 5-4. A crowd of 48,345 is on hand, the largest of the season.

The White Sox purchase knuckleballer Paul LaPalme from the Reds for the waiver price. He’ll go 3-1 with a 2.36 ERA.

23rd  In the 4th inning at Ebbets Field, Hal Jeffcoat of the Cincinnati Reds hits Dodger SS Don Zimmer in the face with a pitch, breaking his cheekbone. This is the second time that Zimmer suffers a beaning that nearly ends his career, and he is out for the season [When retelling this beaning years later, Zim says it followed a homerun by Gil Hodges; in fact it followed a single by Hodges.] The Dodgers win, 7–6, overcoming a Gus Bell homer over the CF scoreboard, and homer by Frank Robinson. Hodges has a pair of homers off Jeffcoat, and Campanella adds one.

At Philadelphia, the Phils down the Cardinals, 8-3, as Stan Lopata hits a solo HR and Del Ennis adds a third-inning grand slam.

At Comiskey, Jim Wilson shuts out the Yankees, 2-0, to move the White Sox three games behind the AL leaders. Dave Philley gets tossed in the 6th inning when he gets hit on the shoulder by a pitch and charges Bob Grim on the mound. The two swing before being engulfed by players from both teams. Philley gets fines $250, his second fine in 2 weeks. He was fined $100 on June 14 at Yankee Stadium for refusing to return to the batter’s box after a 2-strike call by ump Charlie Berry. He reluctantly returned to the batter’s box and Berra called for a quick pitch from pitcher Bob Grim. The pitch was high and outside but Berry called it a strike, further infuriating Philley and the Sox. Two players were fined $50 for throwing bats and gloves from the dugout.

24th  Ed Bailey of the Reds hits 3 HRs, and Kluszewski adds another, in a 10–6 first-game win against the Dodgers. The Reds win the nightcap 2–1, on homers by Bob Thurman, off young Don Drysdale and rookie Frank Robinson, off loser Clem Labine.

The Braves get superb pitching from Lew Burdette and Gene Conley and take 2 from the Giants, 6–2 and 7–1. The first-place Braves have now won 10 straight and are 2 games ahead of the Reds. Burdette allows just 4 hits in the opener, while Conley allows 4 hits in 7 innings in the nightcap. Reliever Dave Jolly allows 3 more, including a Dusty Rhodes homer. In the first game, Danny O’Connell’s 3-run homer off Jim Hearn is the big blow. It is Danny’s 2nd homer of the year and his 2nd in two days.

At Comiskey, the White Sox complete a four-game sweep by taking two from the Yankees to move a game behind the AL leaders. The Sox knock Whitey Ford out of game 1 after an inning enrout to a 14-2 laugher behind Billy Pierce (11-2). Dave Philley and Larry Doby have four hits apiece and combine to score 7 runs, Sherm Lollar drives in 4. In game 2, Gerry Staley (2-0) wilts in the 6th, but the Sox win, 6-3. Doby drives in 3 and Minnie Minoso, who fractured his toe when hit by a pitch on the 19th, homers and scores 2.

At Kansas City, Harry Simpson has a triple and a long home run over the RF wall to lead the A’s to a 5-2 win over the Red Sox. Ted Williams and Jackie Jensen homer for Boston. Simpson duplicates the feat of Mickey Mantle and Larry Doby who hit homers over the 40 foot wall since KC joined the AL.

25th The Orioles purchase OF Dick Williams from the Dodgers, and tomorrow buy OF Joe Frazier from the Reds

The Braves break a 5–5 tie with 3 runs in the 9th to beat the Phils. Spahn saves the game for Bob Buhl to give new manager Fred Haney a record of 11–0.

Before 20,602 at Jersey City, Cubs pitcher Don Kaiser loses to the Dodgers Carl Erskine, 3–2.

26th  Robin Roberts and the Phillies hand the Braves a 4–2 loss. It was the first loss for the Braves after 11 wins under new manager Fred Haney.

At Chicago, Jack Harshman has his 20 innings of scoreless ball snapped in the 1st, but he defeats the Red Sox, 4–1. For the Pale Hose, it is their 9th straight win.

27th Unbeaten Brooks Lawrence wins his 10th, beating Pittsburgh 10–2 when the visiting Reds score 9 runs in the 8th inning. Gus Bell, Stan Palys, and Frank Robinson each drive in two runs against Bob Friend in the 8th. Infielder Johnny O’Brien makes his first pitching appearance, hurling a scoreless 9th and striking out Frank Robinson and Roy McMillan. The win moves the Reds to a half-game in back of the Braves.

The Braves lose, 4–3, to the Phils in 11 innings. Stan Lopata’s tape-measure homer in the bottom of the 11th is the game-winner. Willie Jones and Andy Seminick also homer for the Phils, while Johnny Logan and Hank Aaron do likewise.

The Red Sox blow a 7-run lead but outlast the White Sox, 11–9, ending Chicago’s 9-game win streak. The Bosox collect 15 hits, including 4 singles that Ted Williams blasts through “the shift.” Chicago reliever Dixie Howell hits his first ML homer to tie the game at 8–8, but then allows 3 runs in the 8th inning to lose.

29th Against the Senators, Mantle walks four times and Bob Grim allows just two hits as New York wins, 3–1. Pedro Ramos takes the loss.

At Ebbets Field, the Dodgers hit three consecutive homer in the 9th to stun the Phillies, 6-5. Snider, Ransom Jackson and Hodges go back to back to back.