1968 June

1st  The Cards edge the Mets, 6–5, with the win going to reliever Joe Hoerner. Hoerner ties the NL record for relievers with 6 consecutive strikeouts.

      The Twins Dean Chance loses his no-hit bid against the White Sox when light hitting Bill Voss hits a one-out single in the 9th. Two singles follow and Chance loses the game, 1–0. Wilbur Wood is the winner, allowing 4 hits.

2nd  Sweeping a doubleheader 6–3 and 3–2 at New York’s Shea Stadium, the Cardinals take first place. They will remain atop the NL the rest of the season.

      The Yankees and Tigers split a pair in Detroit, with New York winning the first, 4-3, with a run in the 9th. The Tigers take game 2, 8-1, as Mickey Stanley hits a grand slam for the Bengals. The Tigers lead the AL by 3 games over the Orioles, winners of a 4-3 match in Boston that goes 5 1/2 innings.

3rd Ron Perranoski throws a hitless 3+ innings of relief as the Twins edge the Yankees, 4-3. Dooley Womack finishes up for the Yankees and starts a 1-5-3 triple play, the last the Yankees will pull of this century.

4th  With his 6th consecutive shutout, 5–0 over the Pirates at Los Angeles, Don Drysdale establishes two new ML records. He tops Doc White’s 64-year-old mark of 5 shutouts, and with 54 scoreless innings he breaks Carl Hubbell’s NL string by 413, set in 1933.

     At Yankee Stadium, Jim Merritt allows 4 hits in beating the Yankees, 3-0. All of the Twins’ runs come on sac flies—2 by Harmon Killebrew and one by Tony Oliva.

      At Wrigley, the Mets Jerry Koosman strikes out the leadoff Cub for his 7th straight strikeout, then wins 2–0.

      Ewing Kauffman signs a 4-year lease for the Royals to play in Kansas City’s Municipal Stadium.

      Fresco Thompson succeeds Buzzie Bavasi as general manager of the Dodgers. Bavasi will run the new NL club in San Diego.

5th  At Yankee Stadium, Joe Pepitone hits a 1st inning grand slam, off Dean Chance, to back Mel Stottlemyre’s 7-2 win over the Twins. Oliva and Killebrew homer for Minnesota.

      Davey Johnson has a grand slam for Baltimore as the Orioles beat the Angels, 7-1, and stay 2.5 games behind the Tigers.

6th  With the assassination of Robert Kennedy at midnight in Los Angeles last night, six MLB games are postponed.

     Tim Foli is the top choice in the regular phase of the free-agent draft. The A’s take Pete Broberg with the 2nd pick, but he opts to attend Dartmouth instead. Cecil Cooper lasts until the 27th round and Paul Splittorff till the 25th. The big winners are the Dodgers, who, in the January draft and the regular and secondary June drafts pick 71 players, 14 players of whom end up in the ML. Among them: Davey Lopes, Geoff Zahn, Bill Buckner (#25 overall in the 2nd round), Joe Ferguson, Tom Paciorek, Bobby Valentine, Steve Garvey, and Ron Cey.

      Behind Bob Gibson’s 3-hitter, the Cards beat the Astros, 4–0, for their 9th straight win. The Reds will beat them tomorrow.

      Blue Moon Odom walks 3 Oriole batters in the 1st but doesn’t allow a hit until, with 2 outs in the 9th, Davey Johnson singles for Baltimore. The Athletics beat Baltimore, 6–1.  In game 2, Jim Nash shuts out the Birds, 6–0.

7th  The A’s Blue Moon Odom’s bid for a no-hitter is spoiled by Davey Johnson, who singles with two outs in the 9th inning. Odom tops Baltimore, 6–1.

      The 8th place Yankees split a doubleheader with the Angels. New York wins the opener and California takes the nightcap, 8-4. Tomorrow’s game will be postponed because of the memorial to the slain Bobby Kennedy.

8th  The Mets’ game at San Francisco is postponed at the demand of New York players in the aftermath of New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s assassination. Commissioner William Eckert orders all games delayed until evening. He also orders games at New York and Washington postponed.

      Don Drysdale works 4 scoreless innings against Philadelphia before finally allowing a run, after 58 2⁄3 shutout innings, on Howie Bedell’s sacrifice fly. Bedell has no other RBI in 1968. Drysdale breaks the ML record of 56 consecutive scoreless innings set by Walter Johnson in 1913. The Dodgers win, 5–3.

10th Mourning for Robert Kennedy continues. Astros Rusty Staub and Bob Aspromonte are fined for not playing. Pittsburgh’s Maury Wills also refuses to play and is reportedly punished.

      George Brunet tosses a 2-hitter as the Angels top the visiting Twins, 3-0, in the first of two. Minnesota rebounds in game 2 to win, 6-5. Twins catcher Johnny Roseboro steals home in the 6th for the Twins, his 5th steal of home, unofficially a ML 20th C record for steals by a catcher.

11th  The Reds send pitchers Milt Pappas and Ted Davidson, and IF Bob Johnson to the Braves for pitchers Tony Cloninger and Clay Carroll and IF Woody Woodward. Davidson, who made 54 relief appearances in 1966, has never been the same since his estranged wife shot him in the stomach prior to the 1967 season.

      Russ Snyder has a grand slam and 5 RBIs for the White Sox to offset homers by Mantle and Tresh for the Yankees as visiting Chicago beats New York, 9-5.

13th  Two days after hitting a grand slam, Russ Snyder is traded by the White Sox to the Indians for OF Leon Wagner.

15th  Following a doubleheader split in Los Angeles, Gene Mauch (27-27) is fired as manager of the Phillies. He will be replaced briefly by coach George Myatt for the two games remaining in LA, and then by Bob Skinner, manager of the San Diego farm team.

”Doc” Young, the black sports columnist of the Chicago Defender, will subsequently write that Richie Allen was not the reason that Mauch had been fired, despite the reported long-standing problems between the star and manager. “Meanwhile, Richie Allen IS a team problem Possessed of tremendous talent, Richie obviously is prone to controversy. . . .  In his fourth major league season, he was paid $75,000–and no other major leaguer has zoomed so far up the financial ladder in so short a time.  But, Richie lacks the ideal
temperament. Philadelphia fans boo him unmercifully every game. His teammates accuse him of malingering. In Los Angeles, during a recent trip, Richie allegedly attempted to
force the Philadelphia management to trade him.  He played very little, was lackadaisical in practice, and allegedly went to sleep on the bench during a game with the Dodgers.  It is, however, more difficult to replace a Richie Allen than it is to hire a new manager.  Richie met with Carpenter a few days before Mauch was let out and Carpenter said their problems had been resolved.  Under new manager, Bob Skinner, we’ll see.  Allen has confessed that ‘I can do it all–except obey.’  If Skinner is to do any good with the ball club, Richie Allen must take orders.  And that is a form of obedience” (as noted by David Kaiser).

      The Yankees sign outfielder Rocky Colavito after his release by the Dodgers. In another deal, New York sells P John Wyatt, acquired last month, to the Tigers. They also sell sore-armed Jim Bouton to the Seattle Pilots for next season: Bouton goes to the Seattle Angels (PCL) in the meanwhile.

      Chicago’s Tommy John becomes the 9th AL pitcher to hit 4 batters in one game, as he nails 4 Tigers in a 7–4 White Sox win. The Tigers hit 3 homers but Ken Berry clubs a grand slam for the Chisox.

18th  Grady Hatton (23-38) is fired as manager of the Astros. He will be replaced by Harry Walker.

      Pete Rose has 5 hits—3 doubles and 2 singles—as the Reds top the Braves, 7–5, in Atlanta.

20th  Dodger rookie Jim Fairey makes his first ML homer a good one, a blast off Pittsburgh’s Elroy Face to give LA a 3–2 win.  The loss snaps Pittsburgh’s 9-game win streak.

       The Cubs lose to the Cardinals, 1–0, for their 5th shutout loss in a row. During the streak, Fergie Jenkins allows one run in 18 innings, and comes away with a loss and a no decision.

21st  It’s been a bad week for the Cubs, but they end their scoreless streak at 48 innings and setting a ML record of 48 straight scoreless innings, beating the Reds, 3–2, behind Joe Niekro. George Culver is the losing pitcher, allowing the Cubs first score in the 3rd inning when he gives up a walk with the sacks full. The five straight shutout losses also ties a league mark. The streak started on June 15; the final 8 innings of a loss to Atlanta; 1–0 loss to Phil Niekro in 11 inn; 1–0 loss to Cards Nels Briles; 4–0 one hitter to Steve Carlton; 1–0 loss to Bob Gibson. During the drought, Fergie Jenkins allows 1 run in 18 innings and records a loss and no decision. The AL record for consecutive scoreless innings is 43 by the Browns in 1913.

23rd  Cleveland’s Luis Tiant tosses his 5th shutout in six games, topping the Tigers, 3–0 on 9 strikeouts.

      At Crosley Field, the Reds tip the Cubs, 9–8, when Don Pavletich hits a 2-out, 2-run double in the 9th inning.

24th  Detroit RF Jim Northrup becomes the 6th AL player to hit 2 grand slams in one game, connecting in the 5th inning off Eddie Fisher and in the 6th off Billy Rohr, as the Tigers bomb Cleveland 14–3. Northrup misses a chance when strikes out in the 1st inning with the bases loaded. Denny McLain is the victor. First baseman Willie Smith pitches the last 3 innings, walking just one and allowing one hit and no runs. Detroit’s Don Wert is taken to the hospital following a 6th inning beaning, which shatters his batting helmet. He will miss just a few games.

25th  San Francisco rookie Bobby Bonds becomes the 2nd player to debut with a grand slam, as Ray Sadecki blanks the Dodgers 9–0. Bonds connects on his 3rd at bat off John Purdin. The only other player to hit a grand slam in his first major league game was William Duggleby of the Philadelphia Nationals, who achieved the feat in 1898. The Giants have hit all the grand slams  (3) in the NL this year.

26th  The ML Executive Council decides that both the AL and NL will play 162-game schedules in 1969 and operate two 6-team divisions.

      Cardinal Bob Gibson pitches his 5th straight shutout in the first game of a doubleheader with Pittsburgh, winning 3-0. Pittsburgh wins the 2nd game 3–1, although the Cardinals stop Maury Wills’ 24-game hitting streak.

28th  After reacquiring Lou Johnson seven months ago, the Cubs trade him to Cleveland for pitcher Willie Smith.

29th  Jim Northrup’s 3rd grand slam ties the ML record for slams in a month (Rudy York, May 1938), and sets a ML record for slams in a week. The Tigers win 5–2 over Chicago, as Denny McLain tallies his 14th victory.

      The Red Sox finally score on Luis Tiant, but Cleveland tops Boston 8–1.  Tiant strikes out 13 in the win.

      In the first game of a doubleheader at the Stadium, Mantle ties the score with a 2-run homer in the 6th, but rookie Reggie Jackson breaks the tie in the 8th with his 9th homer of the year. The A’s win, 5–2. Mantle’s pinch double in game 2 drives in 2 runs as the Yankees win, 5-4.

      In San Francisco, Reds pitcher Gary Nolan hurls a 4-hit shutout and hits a 3-run homer as the Reds win, 4–0. “Only” Nolan’s homer, off Ray Sadecki, is the only one of his big league career.

30th  The White Sox use an all-out attack to drub the Tigers, 12-0, behind Tommy John’s (7-0) 5-hitter. Light-hitting Bill Voss hits a grand slam, and Sandy Alomar has 4 hits, 4 runs, and 3 steals. The Tigers still lead the AL by a comfortable 7.5 games.