1912 May

1st  Ty Cobb swipes home in the 1st inning and the Tigers go on to beat the White Sox, 6–5.

The Giants win their 8th in a row, subduing the visiting Phillies, 11-4, scoring a run in the 1st and 5 in the 4th and another 5 in the 5th against blue-chip rookie Tom Seaton. At that point John McGraw sends in his substitutes, and Toots Schultz, the former University of Pennsylvania pitcher, holds New York scoreless the rest of the way. Larry Doyle is 4-for-4 with an RBI-double in the 1st and a 3-run homer in the 4th. Rube Marquard hurls 7 scoreless innings for the win, with Louis Drucke, in his only appearance of the year, mopping up.

George Sisler, a freshman pitching for the University of Michigan, strikes out 20 in 7 innings.

3rd  Leading 18–5 after 8 innings, A’s pitchers give up a since-tied record 9th-inning outburst of 10 runs to New York before Eddie Plank stops them at 18–15. The Braves will post a 10-run 9thinning next month against the Giants.

Despite a 9th inning triple steal, the Giants lose to the Phils, 8-6, in 10 innings, called by the New York Times. “the triple steal business is about as scarce in the National Pastime as whip sockets on an automobile.” New York overcomes a deficit in the first inning, when the Phillies score 5 runs on no hits, to tie on the triple theft; Merkle’s 4th hit, a Texas leaguer by Herzog and a walk to Meyers sets up the thievery. Reliever Christy Mathewson is drilled for 3 doubles and the loss, while Pete Alexander gets the win. Bill Klem sets a season high mark when he tosses 4 players, including McGraw, out of the game.

In a U.S. League game at the Bronx Oval, the Reading team beats the Bronxites 13–8 as just 250 fans look on.

4th  In New York the Giants rack up 9 stolen bases on catcher George Graham in a 4–3 win over the Phils. Mathewson is the winner over Cliff Curtis. Matty allows 5 hits, but his two base on balls score in the 8th when he serves up a homer to Tom Downey. Phils 3B Hans Lobert, one of the fastest men in the game, chases a foul ball into the stands and breaks his kneecap.

Down by 10 runs, the Cubs rally to pull within one run of the Pirates when they score 6 runs in the 7th. Hank Robinson comes in to notch a strikeout to end the threat and pitches hitless ball for the final two frames as the Pirates win, 12-11. Bobby Byrnes wins a suit of clothes by hitting the Bucs’ first home run of the year at home, an inside-the-park line drive past Hofman.

5th  Dick Hoblitzell is 5-for-5 to pace the Reds to a 11-9 win over the host St. Louis Cardinals. His hitting is needed as the Cards answer with a single, double and triple from Ed Konetchy and a triple and two HRs from Rube Ellis.

6th  At St. Louis, Larry Doyle has 4 hits and accepts 11 chances in the field to pace the Giants to a 6-1 win over the Cardinals.

7th  At Cincinnati, President Taft roots for the Reds, but they fall to the Phillies, 8-5.

8th The White Sox beat Washington 7–6, snapping Walter Johnson’s five-game win streak. Johnson gives up two 2-run home runs, one to Harry Lord in the 1st and another to Ping Bodie in the 5th. A Johnson fastball breaks the arm of 3B Lee Tannehill, an injury that will hamper the infielder’s throwing ability, and ends the career of the 10-year veteran. Sox starter Joe Benz leaves with an injury after pitching 1 1/3 inning. Ed Walsh pitches the next 5 2/3 innings, allowing 3 runs, and Frank Lange allows the same in his 2 innings.

The Giants score 9 runs by the 3rd inning and young Jeff Tesreau holds on for an 11–8 win over the Cardinals. Mathewson relieves in the 9th for New York. In the 7th inning, with a man on third, Tesreau grounds to SS Wally Smith, whose throw to 1B hits ump Brick Owens in the head knocking him out (as noted by Retrosheet). Owen’s wife, who is watching from the grandstands, faints. The runner is sent back to 3B and Tesreau hits again. Owens is back at work tomorrow.

First baseman Heinie Zimmerman has a homer, triple and double to lead Chicago to a 9–8 win over the Braves in Boston.

The Pittsburgh Filipinos, of the newly formed United States League, opens the season at vacant Exposition Park. The team is named after its veteran Deacon Phillippe, former Pirates star. The USL has promised not to sign current major leaguers, but will not last through June.

9th  The Giants top the host Cardinals, 8–3, with Christy Mathewson easily winning over Gene Woodburn.

Roy Akin of Waco, who hit the ball that led to Walter Carlisle’s remarkable unassisted triple play at Los Angeles in 1911, turns the tables. In the first inning, Houston (Texas League) has two runners on with no outs—John Fillmon on 3B and Gilbert Britton on 2B. Red Davis is at bat when Houston tries an aggressive version of the squeeze bunt and attempts to score both runners. With the windup Britton takes off and is around 3B when Davis bunts a line drive. Akin at 3B catches the liner, and steps on 3B for the unassisted triple play.

10th At Washington, the White Sox finish a sweep of their series with the Nationals with a 5–2 victory. Chicago’s Morrie Rath lines his first ML homer, good for 2 runs in the 5th, off Bob Groom. Rath will total just 19 RBI this year in 157 games, to set a ML record for fewest RBI by a full-season player. Groom is spared serving up a HR to Shano Collins when the new screen in right field prevents the roundtripper; Collins gets a double. Washington reliever Carl Cashion, who homered off Hugh Bedient on May 4, homers again to complete his ML output.

11th In an 8–1 win at Boston, Browns 1B George Stovall nabs Les Nunamaker in the 5th inning with a hidden ball trick.

12th Cleveland rookie Buddy Ryan makes his lone ML homerun a good one, cracking a grand slam off Jerry Akers in the Naps 6-1 win over Washington. The game is played at League Park in Cleveland as part of a itinerant series with the Nationals: yesterday’s match, a 8-0 victory for Washington’s Walter Johnson, was played in D.C. but the Capital’s blue laws prevented today’s game from being played there. The next two games in the series, which the two teams will split, will be back in Washington.

13th Hippo Vaughn and the Yankees stop the host Tigers, 15–4. The Tigers score in the first inning when Ty Cobb swipes home.

A Western Union telegraph operator named Lou Proctor inserts his name as a pinch hitter into the Browns-Red Sox box score (a walk in his at bat). The Sporting News will publish the box score and, years later, Proctor’s name will appear in the first edition of The Baseball Encyclopedia.

14th The first-place White Sox batter the A’s Jack Coombs out of the box in the 5th inning en route to a 7-0 victory behind Joe Benz. Fresh from high school, Herb Pennock debuts allowing the Sox one run in 4 innings of relief.

15th Ty Cobb charges into the stands in New York and attacks a crippled heckler named Claude Lueker. Other fans and Tigers mix it up before order is restored, and Ban Johnson suspends Cobb indefinitely for the incident. The Tigers win the contest, 8–4.

17th  Boston’s Fenway Park, built at a cost of $350,000, is formally dedicated, but the White Sox take a 5–2 win before an overflow crowd.

Chicago 3B Heinie Zimmerman goes 0-for-5 with three strikeouts to end his batting streak at 23 games. The Phillies win, 7–5.

18th The Tiger players protest Cobb’s suspension and vote to strike. Faced with a $5,000 fine for failing to field a team, club owner Frank Navin orders manager Hughey Jennings to sign up some local amateurs. Aloysius Travers, Bill Leinhauser, Dan McGarvey, Billy Maharg (whose real name was Graham, “Maharg” reversed), Jim McGarr, Pat Meany, Jack Coffey, Hap Ward, and Ed Irvin put on Tiger uniforms. Two Detroit coaches, Joe Sugden, 41, and Jim McGuire, 48, complete the lineup, and score the only two runs for Detroit. The Athletics set a club scoring record in winning, 24–2, as Travers goes all the way, giving up 26 hits and 24 runs in 8 innings. The A’s also set an AL-home record of most runs without a homer. The only recruit to hit for Detroit is Irvin, who enters in the 3rd inning and laces 2 triples in 3 at bats. Irvin had been offered a contract by the Phillies before the season, but did not want to be farmed out and refused. He closes his ML career with a 2.000 slugging average (only 3 other players will debut with 2 triples)—Weatherly, McCovey, and Sipin). Irvin will be killed in a barroom brawl in his native Philadelphia in 1916. Only one ever plays another ML game: Maharg will bat once for the Phils at the end of 1916. He will also be involved as a conspirator in the Black Sox scandal of 1919. A’s starter Jack Coombs leaves after 3 innings with a 6–0 lead, good enough for a win under the rules at the time. Boardwalk Brown and Herb Pennock divide the rest of the pitching for the A’s. Eddie Collins has 4 steals for the A’s. Starter Al Travers, having pitched his only ML game, returns to his studies at St. Joseph’s College and later becomes a Catholic priest.

The $400,000 Redland Field is dedicated in Cincinnati. A number of dignitaries, including Pennsylvania governor John Tener, AL Prexy Ban Johnson, and White Sox owner Charles Comiskey are on hand. Designed by Harry Hake at a cost of $225,000, the field replaces the aging Palace of the Fans on the same site, and looks very much like the Crosley Field that will eventually replace it. The Reds then delight the 20,000 fans by beating Christy Mathewson and the Giants, 4–3.

19th  President Ban Johnson meets with the Tigers and tells them they will play in Washington the next day or never play again. Urged by Cobb, they go back to work. Cobb is fined $50, and his suspension will be lifted May 26th. Players who had signed the strike telegram sent to Johnson are fined $100 each. A new players’ organization will be formed as a result of the incident.

21st Bill Malarkey of Oakland (PCL) allows no hits for 9 innings before being touched for a single in the 10th against San Francisco. The game ends in a scoreless tie because of a time limit.

With a Ty Cobb serving a suspension and looking on from the stands, George Mullin and the Tigers beat the Senators, 2-0, handing the defeat to Walter Johnson. For Mullin, it is his 200thcareer win. Each pitcher allows just two hits, with Mullin striking out 9 and Johnson fanning 6.

The Yankees edge the leading White Sox, 9-8, scoring the winning run in the 9th when Lange balks home Hal Chase. He was attempting to give an intention walk to Hartzell when Chase bluffed trying to score and Lange paused in his motion. Zinn has a single, double and 3-run homer for New York and drives in 4 runs.

22nd  The Giants complete a western trip in first place, beating the Reds today, 6–1. Mathewson is in total control, giving up 3 hits in the 1st three innings, and then retiring the next 18 batters. The Giants will win 9 straight, before losing to St. Louis 5–1 on May 31st, and will open a 14-game lead.

23rd Sore-armed Cy Young, sitting on Boston’s bench for a month, attempts to pitch but gives up after a short warmup lamenting, “It’s no use. I’m not going on. These poor fellows have lost too many games already.” Young, at 45, retires. True to form, the Braves lose, 3-1, in Pittsburgh.

24th New York’s Rube Marquard beats Brooklyn, 6–3, for his 9thstraight victory.

25th New York SS Jack Martin gets plunked twice by Walter Johnson, who hits three batters in the game. The second time Martin is hit a fast ball shatters his jaw. He will be out of action for five weeks. Johnson, who consciously avoids throwing at batters will, nevertheless, hit 205 batters in his career.

26th The Senators acquire 1B Chick Gandil from Montreal (International) for $12,000 and players Jerry Akers, Charlie Becker and Bill Cunningham. Cal Griffith will later say that putting Gandil in at first base was the reason the team immediately went on a 17-game winning streak—16 on the road.

27th In the 5th inning of a Giants’ 6–2 win over Brooklyn, New York pitcher Red Ames swipes home on the front end of a double steal.

28th Brooklyn belts 10 hits off Christy Mathewson to knock him out in the 7th inning and take a 4–2 lead. But New York rallies behind reliever Doc Crandall to win, 5–4.

29th  At Fenway Park, the second-place Red Sox take two from Washington 21–8 and 12–11 in 8 innings. Joe Wood wins the opener, allowing 11 hits, while Boston collects 18 hits and 15 walks. The two squads combine for 59 hits for 77 total bases.

Detroit whips the Browns, 7-5, in 14 innings with the help of a last-inning error and wild pitch. Cobb has 3 hits including a triple and has now hit in 23 straight games against the Browns (as noted by Trent McCotter). Cobb will match this streak versus one club in 1917-1918, but never top it.

30th  In an attempt to shake up the team, the Pirates send veteran Tommy Leach and pitcher Lefty Leifield to Chicago for 29-year-old Solly Hofman and pitcher King Cole. Hofman is expected to play first base, where the Bucs have been suffering, but he’ll appear exclusively in the outfield. Cole, 40–13 in 2+ years of pitching, will be a no show, eventually pitching in just 17 games for Pittsburgh before ending his career with the Highlanders. The trade breaks up one of the great trios of Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke, and Leach. The 3 first played together in 1899 at Louisville and in their 13 years together won 4 league championships and one WS.

Three doubleheader sweeps—Chicago Green Sox over Richmond, Virginia Rebels; Cincinnati over Reading, Pennsylvania, and Pittsburgh Filipinos over Cleveland—end a short, futile season of the would-be ML competitor, the United States League. Poorly organized and financed, the season began May 1st and collapsed largely through the failure of New York franchise to attract fans. The Filipinos, so named because old Pittsburgh favorite Deacon Phillippe was manager, had the best record: 16–8. Players and fields were barely above semipro level, but promoters will be heard from again with the advent of the Federal League.

In the morning game in Boston, the Red Sox manage just 4 hits off Washington rookie Joe Engel, but score a pair in the 9th to win, 3-2. Engel, making his ML debut at 19, is done in by errors. In the p.m. game, Walter Johnson rights the ship with a 5-0 shutout and Washington starts a 17-game winning streak.

At Philadelphia, the morning game draws 18,000, while 38,000 crowd the afternoon contest. The Giants win both, 7–1 and 6–1, over the Phils. Marquard wins the nitecap to run his streak to 10 wins.

Thanks to the generosity of the Giants, the Yankees host the Athletics at the Polo Grounds for an a.m.-p.m. doubleheader. More than 6,000 fans watch the morning game as New York loses, 7–1, to Cy Morgan. Ira Thomas slugs a 2nd-inning homer, his only one this year, into the RF stands for the A’s against Hippo Vaughn. New York’s only run comes in the 8th inning when manager Harry Wolverton makes his first appearance of the year, batting for Zinn with the bases loaded and 2 outs. Thomas promptly plunks him in the ribs to drive in the only run. Harry plays 3B in the 9th. The afternoon game was expected to draw a big crowd but it is rained out.

31st The Cards top the Giants, 5–1, stopping the Giants win streak at 9 straight.