1961 June

1st  Veteran Vic Wertz hits his first triple in 6 years as he leads the Red Sox to a 7–5 win over Bob Turley and the Yankees. Since June 14, 1955, Wertz has played in 596 games and collected 537 hits, but no 3-baggers.

      Kansas City swaps veteran Bill Tuttle with a player to be named (Paul Giel) to the Minnesota Twins for Reno Bertoia, and a player to be named later.  Kansas City takes the cash instead on June 10.

2nd  The Cubs Ernie Banks ties a ML record with 3 run-scoring sacrifice flies in one game as Chicago beats the Reds 7–6. Cincinnati scores 5 in the 9th to make it close.

      In Los Angeles, Tommy Davis cracks a 10th inning walkoff grand slam to culminate the scoring in the Dodgers 6-2 win over the Giants. Ron Fairly hits a pinch homer and Willie Davis a solo shot for LA. Jack Sanford does all he can for the Giants, pitching 6 2/3 innings of shutout ball and hitting a homer.

      At Griffith Stadium, the Senators batter the Athletics, 12-4.  Winning pitcher Dick Donovan has 3 hits, 2 run and 2 RBIs, while Dale Long has 2 hits, including a homer, a 5 RBIs.  Marty Keough, subbing in CF for Willy Tasby, has 2 hits, including a triple. Tasby asked to be scratched before the game because of his fear of lightning. Manager Mickey Vernon says, “Willie told me he wouldn’t be any good anyway if he played” (The Sporting News, June 14, 1961). While with Baltimore two years ago, Tasby finished one game shoeless because he feared lightning striking a puddle in the outfield.

5th  In the first of two games at the Stadium, Mantle hits an 8th inning homer to help New York top the Twins 6–2.  Mantle, Maris, and Colavito each have hit 15. The Yankees take the nightcap, 6-1.

      Bill White hits a grand slam in the Cardinals 6-run 7th as the Birds come from behind to beat the Cubs, 10-8. Mickey McDermott, the last of four Cardinal pitchers, picks up the win, his final ML victory.

6th  Cleveland’s 8th straight win, a 14–3 rout of Washington, moves the Tribe into first place.

      At San Francisco, Robin Roberts wins his 1st game of the year, 3–2, after 7 straight defeats. Pancho Herrera’s 3-run homer decides it. Roberts will finish the year 1–10, the worst record ever for a Hall of Fame pitcher.

      Ken Hunt belts a 1st inning 3-run homer for the Angels, and Lee Thomas cracks a grand slam in the 2nd, both off Milt Pappas, as Los Angeles beats the Orioles, 7-3. Eli Grba is the winner.

      Twins manager Cookie Lavagetto is given a week’s vacation by owner Calvin Griffith. Coach Sam Mele temporarily replaces Lavagetto.

7th  The O’s trade OF Gene Stephens to the A’s for 1B Marv Throneberry.

      The Twins lose to the Yankees, 5–1, for their 13th straight loss. They’ll win tomorrow but will reach 14 losses in a row in 1982. Ralph Terry allows the Twins a run in the 1st on 2 hits, then pitches hitless ball for the next 8 innings. Berry and Mantle homer off Pascual in the 3rd; it is a record setting 31 homers in the last 16 consecutive games.

      Behind Mudcat Grant (7-0) the Indians pummel the Senators, 11-0. Catcher John Romano has a hit and 2 RBIs to run his consecutive game batting streak to 22 games.

8th  Milwaukee sets a ML record with 4 consecutive HRs in the 7th inning against the Reds. Eddie Mathews and Hank Aaron hit back-to-back HRs off Jim Maloney; Joe Adcock greets reliever Marshall Bridges with another HR, and Frank Thomas sets the record. When these four teammates end their ML careers, they will have hit a combined total of 1,889 homers. For all the bombardment, the Braves lose 10–8.

      The Kansas City Athletics hit 3 consecutive triples in a 5-run 3rd inning while trimming the Yankees 9–6 after a first-game loss 6–1. Skowron has a homer in the opener, the 17th straight game the Yanks have homered, for a total of 32. The Bombers are beaten in the nightcap by Jim Archer, who goes the distance. Hank Bauer and Jim Pignatano each have 3 hits for KC.

9th  Ryne Duren sets an AL record with 7 straight strikeouts against the Red Sox as he fans 11 batters in a 5–1 win for the Angels. The previous AL record of 6 straight strikeouts was shared by six pitchers and accomplished most recently by Bob Kuzava, in 1949.

      At Wrigley Field, the Braves, trailing all game, take a 10-9 lead in the 9th inning on a Lee Maye grand slam. But Warren Spahn, the 6th pitcher for Milwaukee, allows 2 runs and the Cubs win, 11-10. All the Braves scoring comes on 4 homers, while Chicago hits none. Bob Anderson (3-5) is the winning pitcher.

      In a rain-interrupted game in New York, Mantle’s 3-run homer in the 3rd is the difference in a 8–6 win over Kansas City. Maris also homers, the third time this year the two have gone deep in the same game.

10th  The Braves tie the NL record with 14 HRs in 3 straight games (at least one in each game) as they outscore the Cubs at Wrigley 9–5.

      At New York, ex-Yank Hank Bauer hits a inside-the-park homer over Mantle’s head to the CF monuments, but Mantle’s homer in the bottom of the 8th off rookie Bill Kunkel cements New York’s 5–3 win over Kansas City.

      Pitchers Ray Herbert and Don Larsen, 3B Andy Carey, and OF Al Pilarcik of the A’s go to the White Sox for pitchers Bob Shaw and Gerry Staley and outfielders Wes Covington and Stan Johnson.

11th  The Yankees sweep two the Angels, winning the opener, 2–1 behind Ralph Terry’s 5-hitter.  Yogi Berra clouts a pair of solo homers.  In the nightcap, Mantle’s 1st inning homer, #19, gives him the AL lead, but Maris adds a pair of home runs, his 19th and 20th, as New York wins 5–1. The Yanks have won 10 of 11 games.

12th  An ailing Bill Veeck sells his interest in the White Sox to Arthur Allyn, a minority partner. Allyn also buys Hank Greenberg’s stock to acquire a controlling interest. Greenberg remains as GM.

13th The White Sox get excellent pitching from Cal McLish and Juan Pizarro and beat the Angels, 2-1 and 10-2. Floyd Robinson’s 2-run homer in the opener trumps Leon Wagner’s solo shot, and Al Smith hits a grand slam in the nightcap.

14th  Sound familiar? The KC A’s ship P Bud Daley, their top winner the past 2 seasons, to the Yankees for P Art Ditmar and OF Deron Johnson. The Yanks then send P Danny McDevitt to the Twins for infielder Billy Gardner.

15th  Undefeated Ralph Terry’s 11-inning 3–2 win at Cleveland moves the Yankees into first place. Mantle’s homer ties the score at 1–1 and Johnny Blanchard’s pinch single in the 11th wins it.

      The expansion Senators are 30–30 after winning today, 5-2, over Baltimore. It is the latest date an expansion team will be at .500.  Washington will lose their next 10 games.

Scoreless after 4 innings, the Red Sox get a grand slam from Vic Wertz in the 5th and roll to a 10-1 win over Detroit. The Tigers manage just 4 hits off Bill Monbouquette (6-6).

      The Braves trade SS Johnny Logan to the Pirates for OF Gino Cimoli.

16th  Detroit’s Phil Regan beats New York 4–2 at home, as the Tigers take first place.

At Candlestick, the Cubs double the Giants, 12-6, as George Altman has a homer and 3 RBIs and Billy Williams clubs a grand slam.  Giants reliever Jack Sanford hits a homer, his 2nd in his last 4 appearances.

      Kansas City bonus baby Lew Krausse, Jr., who just graduated from high school, debuts with a 3-hit 4–0 shutout of the Angels before 25,869 fans at Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium. His father ended his brief ML career with the Philadelphia A’s in 1932 with a shutout.

      At Omaha, the University of Michigan edges Santa Clara, 5-4, in 15 innings to win the NCAA college world series.  

17th  With 2 out and 2 on in the 9th, Mickey Mantle homers off Paul Foytack into the RF upper deck. Elston Howard follows with a HR, but Detroit hangs on to win 12–10 over the 3rd-place Yanks.

18th  Pittsburgh takes the first game 5–3 as Don Leppert makes his ML debut with a HR in his first at bat, off Curt Simmons. The Cards salvage a split with a 7–3 nightcap win.

      Milwaukee’s Hank Aaron, Joe Adcock, and Frank Thomas hit consecutive HRs in a 10–2 triumph at Los Angeles. Adcock adds another to drive in 4 runs against the Dodgers.

      In Kansas City, Del Rice hits a pinch homer off Norm Bass in the 9th for the Angels to tie the game, then hooks Bass for a 2-run homer in the 11th to beat the tired A’s starter, 5-3. Rice is just the 6th major leaguer to hit a pinch homer + another in a game.

      In the first of two, the Indians edge the Orioles, 2-1, on Bob Nieman’s pinch RBI single in the 9th. Jim Perry wins. The second game is an 8-5 win for Baltimore with the O’s doing all their scoring in the 2ndinning and the Tribe plating their runs in the 1st.  Dick Hall allows 2 hits in 8 superb innings of relief to pick up the save for Wes Stock. No pitcher the rest of the century will have an 8-inning save.

      It is comeback time at Fenway as the Red Sox sweep a pair from the Senators.  In game 1, Washington scores 5 runs in the top of the 9thto take a 12-5 lead. Willy Tasby belts a grand slam in the inning off Ted Wills. Led by a game-tying grand slam by Jim Pagliaroni, off Dave Sisler, the Sox storm back with 8 runs to win, 13-12.  Game 2 goes 13 innings before Pagliaroni hits his second homer of the day, off Tom Sturdivant, to give Boston a 6-5 win. Tasby also homers in game 2.

      St. Louis Browns midget Eddie Gaedel dies of a heart attack following a mugging in Chicago. He was 36.  The only major leaguer who will be at his funeral is Bob Cain, the pitcher who walked Gaedel in his only ML game.

19th  Charlie Finley makes his first managerial change, booting the recently-hired Joe Gordon (26–33) in favor of Hank Bauer.

      Led by 3B Gene Freese, the Reds sweep the Phils, winning 7–2 and 10–0.  Freese is 7-for-8.

20th Al Kaline plays 3B for the first time in his career. His 2 hits and 2 RBIs lead the Tigers to a 5–4 win over the Senators.  Kaline will return to the OF and play 3B just once more in his career, in 1965.

      For the second time this season, Sandy Koufax takes a no-hitter into the 7th against the Cubs, before Ernie Banks singles with two outs.  Koufax (10-3) allows another single as he and the Dodgers win, 3-0.  On May 12th, Billy Williams doubled in the 7th to break up the no-hitter. Amazingly, Sandy will do it one more time this year against the Cubs (August 29) only to have Dick Bertell single in the 7th.

21st The White Sox go on the offense to sweep a pair from the Indians, 15-3 and 11-1.  Roy Sievers comes off the bench in game 1 to collect 7 RBI with a pinch grand slam and 3-run homer. He is just the 7th major leaguer to hit a pinch homer + another in a game: Del Rice did it 3 days ago. Minoso also homers. Sievers has another homer in game 2 as he scores 4 times. Al Smith has 4 RBI on 2 homers.

22nd  Roger Maris leads the Yankees on an 8–3 thrashing of the A’s by belting his 27th homer of the year. He adds two doubles and a single. Maris has now hit 20 homers in the past 30 days (May 24 – June 22) to tie the mark set by Ralph Kiner in 1947.

23rd  Ernie Banks voluntarily takes the bench as a sore knee brings his 717 consecutive-games-played streak to an end.  The streak started August 26, 1956.  The Bank-less Cubs still win 5–3 over the Braves at Wrigley. Joe Adcock, who applied the hidden ball trick last August 31 to George Altman, nabs another Cub, Billy Williams in the 8th.

      At home, the Cards win 10–5 over the Giants. With two HRs, one a grand slam, Stan Musial passes Lou Gehrig on the all-time list for extra-bases hits. Babe Ruth remains first. Musial has 7 RBIs in the game.

      Cookie Lavagetto (4-6) is fired as manager of the Twins. Sam Mele again takes control of the club.

      Louisville’s (AA) Howie Bedell goes hitless against Dallas-Fort Worth, ending his 43-game batting streak, the longest in the minor leagues since Mejias, in 1954. Bedell goes 66-for-197 (.340) during the streak, and ties the American Association record set in 1935

      Down 9–0, then 11–2, the Phillies score 4 in the 8th and 6 in the 9th to top the Pirates 12–11 at Pittsburgh.

25th  Vic Power is the base runner on 1B in the bottom of the 9th, when Chuck Essegian pinch-hits a single. Power, thinking it is a HR, waits to shake hands with Essegian, and is forced at 2B. Detroit and Jim Bunning win, 6–3, then Cleveland takes the nightcap, 4–3.

      Baltimore outlasts the Angels in 14 innings to win, 9-8 on Ron Hansen’s homer. Each team uses 8 pitchers to set a ML record of 16. Albie Pearson collects 5 walks and 2 safeties for the O’s.

26th  At LA’s Wrigley Field, Angel reliever Art Fowler, who has allowed just one hit in his last 12 innings, serves up a 9th inning HR to Bill Skowron as New York wins 8–6. Mantle adds an earlier homer, off Ken McBride, and Ford wins his 13th.

      Don DiChiara sets a NYP league record with 4 consecutive HRs in Batavia’s 14–9 loss to Jamestown.

27th  Gene Green, Willie Tasby, and Dale Long hit consecutive HRs for the Senators, as they trim Cleveland 8–5. The win snaps a 10-game losing streak.

      The Twins win a pair from the visiting Red Sox, 6-5 and 6-3.  Minnesota twice comes from behind in game 1, and Bob Allison’s 6th inning grand slam in game 2 snaps a scoreless tie.

28th  The Phillies and Giants play for 5 hours and 11 minutes, but the 15 inning contest ends in an 7–7 tie. Both teams score 3 in the 15th in the longest night game to date.

      Ryne Duren goes 8 innings and strikes out 12 former teammates to give the Angels a 5–3 win over New York. Mantle drives in all 3 Yankee runs, two on a home run.

29th  With 3 round-trippers at Philadelphia—one a 10th-inning shot to win 8–7—Willie Mays becomes the 4th ML player with 3 or more HRs twice in one season. Manager Gene Mauch’s efforts to conceal his starting pitcher and force Al Dark’s hand has a Phillie lineup including hurlers Don Ferrarese (batting leadoff, playing CF), Jim Owens (3rd, RF), Chris Short (7th, C), and Ken Lehman (9th, P) against San Francisco. When Dark sends lefty Billy O’Dell to the mound for one batter, Mauch replaces Ferrarese, Short and Owen. Dark then replaces Billy O’Dell with Sam Jones. Mauch replaces Lehman with Dallas Green after 2 batters. All the maneuvering takes 3 hours and 20 minutes. The Giants then take the nightcap, 4–1, as Mays triples and doubles home 2 runs and completes a DP with a throw home.

30thWhitey Ford (14–2) tops the Senators 5–1 to give the 2nd place Yankees their 22nd win of the month. Maris drives in 3 runs and Mantle lines a shot over CF Willie Tasby’s that rebounds for an inside-the-park HR.

      At Wrigley Field, rookie catcher Jimmie Schaeffer hits a grand slam in the 1st inning to power the Cardinals to an 11-4 victory over the Cubs. Ray Sadecki is the winner. This is Schaeffer’s first ML homer: his next will come in 1963 when he’s with the Cubs.